To: OAPSE Members
From: Executive Director Joe Rugola
Re: OAPSE Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response
As the COVID-19 crisis continues to escalate across the nation, OAPSE is focused on the job security of our members and on your health and safety. Your union is closely monitoring the work of the governor’s office, the Ohio Department of Education, and the other agencies our members serve. We will continue to press for assurance that the pay and benefits of our members will not be interrupted.
AFSCME, our national union, is playing a major role in the federal government’s emergency relief package being debated in Congress. As an International Vice President of AFSCME, I am directly involved in the ongoing campaign, and we are fighting to ensure that the money and benefits approved in Washington get to those who need it — OAPSE members and all working Ohioans.
The Ohio legislature returned from a short hiatus to take up some important issues that were still on the table when members adjourned the last session.
Among the questions that must be resolved is the diversion of additional millions of dollars from our public schools to a new private school voucher program set to take effect on April 1. The coalition opposed to the voucher grab includes many allies of OAPSE who have joined together to fight this latest raid on public school funding. Our union will stay in the forefront of this battle to protect Ohio’s public schools and the critical work our members do every day.
The regular work of our union, fighting for our members’ jobs, wages, benefits and pensions, goes on in spite of the coronavirus crisis. Across the state, our professional staff members are filing notices to negotiate with employers, addressing the concerns of individual members with job-related issues, and monitoring the work our members are doing to meet the critical needs of Ohio’s school children and the other populations served by our Head Start agencies, libraries, developmentally disabled agencies and community colleges.
We will be here for you during the COVID-19 crisis and after, working to help rebuild Ohio’s economy and keep our public schools and other public services strong.