Enjoy Your Summer! Update from Joe Rugola

To: OAPSE Members

From: Executive Director Joe Rugola

Re: Enjoy Your Summer! You Deserve It!

Date: May 25, 2022

As we approach the end of the school year, I want to wish you a wonderful, restful and relaxing summer. You deserve it!

Check out my video message below for some thoughts on our union’s plans for the fall and beyond.

As we reflect on the year we are completing, I’m hopeful you had a better experience than the remote and hybrid learning situations gave us for 2020 and 2021.

But I know that this school year – even though we were back in our buildings and on buses and in libraries, boards of developmental disabilities, community colleges and head start classrooms – presented challenges of its own.

This staffing shortage is not sustainable. We know it, and employers know it. That’s why our union will continue our push for FULL EMPLOYMENT. It won’t happen overnight, but we will keep working with you and your local union to make sure we get there.

All over the state, we are seeing staff shortages so severe that they are impacting the services you can provide. You are being asked by employers to do WAY more with less. You have more than met the expectation of being a key part of the education of our students; fulfilling the needs of our local library patrons; caring for our young and vulnerable Head Start students; providing services to DD adults and children; and making the community college experience the best it can be.

Just like we will keep working all summer and beyond to negotiate strong contracts that include wage increases, benefit enhancements and a ban on the privatization of your jobs. That’s what we have been doing for the last two years – negotiating over 450 contracts that included major wins for our members.

We can have success like that because of you and the 34,000 OAPSE members who have stuck with the union through the good times and the challenging ones.

Remember, OAPSE is always on the job. That’s our pledge to you every day. We are here for you, and we will be here all summer and into the new school year and beyond.

If you have your summer off, enjoy and see you in the fall! If you are working, thank you for always providing the best services possible to our communities.