More than 400 OAPSE delegates, officers, executive board members and guests gathered in Columbus May 9-11 to do the official business of the union under the theme, “We are OAPSE — AFSCME Strong!”
During the 76th OAPSE/AFSCME Delegate Conference, participants heard from President JoAnn Johntony and Executive Director Joe Rugola about the state of OAPSE and plans to strengthen and grow what is already Ohio’s leading union for public sector workers. They also called on members to fight for their union as the attacks on workers continue at the state and national level.
Delegates welcomed 2018 General Election statewide candidates: for Governor, Richard Cordray; for Secretary of State, Kathleen Clyde; for Attorney General, Steve Dettelbach; for Treasurer, Rob Richardson; and for Auditor, Zack Space.
Tim Burga, Ohio AFL-CIO president, and Danny Homan, president of Council 61 in Iowa, talked with delegates about so-called Right to Work and what the threat of legislation and court decisions could mean for OAPSE members. Homan told the group that “Nobody can take your union from you. But you can give it up if you don’t fight for it.”
And AFSCME International President Lee Saunders brought down the house with his remarks about how OAPSE members and our sisters and brothers in AFSCME across the country will fight back every time our union and our way of life is threatened. (See our FaceBook post and Twitter feed!)
Delegates also donated their time and money to help feed more than 2,000 students in Zanesville City Schools, where workers are members of Local 003.
And we raised lots of money for PEOPLE, our political action fund that helps elect candidates who support us and the issues we care about.
The Scholarship Committee announced winners of 10 $2,500 scholarships to students from around the state to attend college.
Delegates left energized to carry on the important work on the union and are looking forward to being together again in Cincinnati in 2020!