A Holiday Season Message from Your Union Leaders

To: OAPSE Members

From: Your State Leadership Team

Re: A Safe and Healthy Holiday Season

Now that we are near the end of the calendar year and the close of our first semester of school, we want to share our thoughts with you on what happened in 2020, what’s ahead in 2021, and just how thankful we are for the opportunity to help lead OAPSE and for the trust you have placed in us.

Our elected team members – Lois, Mike, and Sandy — along with Executive Director Joe Rugola, have been around the union awhile and thought we had seen pretty much everything. But 2020 presented new challenges and obstacles we could never have predicted. The COVID-19 health emergency disrupted every jurisdiction represented by OAPSE – our schools, libraries, community colleges, head start agencies, boards of developmental disabilities and residential services sites. We went from operating as normal and serving the public as usual one day to literally having our jobs – and our lives – completely upended the next.

We heard from members who were scared for their futures and unsure of what effects the COVID-19 health emergency would have on their employment and their families. They wanted reassurance from their union that we would stand with them and fight for them. And we did.

We have experienced a long eight months of uncertainty and challenges. But the one thing that has never been uncertain is that OAPSE is on the job for you. That our union is fighting for your job, your pay, your benefits and your retirement. And we will keep fighting for you during the pandemic and well after. No matter what 2021 brings, you can count on OAPSE.

We will continue to work with state officials and with the school boards, administrators, county commissioners and others who impact your work. We will make sure your voice is heard, your job is secure, and you are safe at work. The OAPSE Executive Board and our staff have always been committed to that end, and they are working harder than ever during this time on your behalf.

That is the pledge we make to you as we near the holiday season and a new year. And it’s the best gift we can give to you as the leaders of your union.

We are thankful for your support of OAPSE leaders and staff. We appreciate you sticking with our union. And we look forward to a brighter tomorrow with an even stronger union in the years to come.

Take a look at the attached video for a message of gratitude and solidarity!