I think it’s worthwhile to briefly review our actual union structure as we have had many new employees since 2003 when ODFW became union and also it is just a good reminder to everyone.
Our union is member-lead, member-run, and member-worked. This means that you are the union. Our union leaders are members, they follow the direction they get from member input (that’s you), and most of the work accomplished by our union is performed by members (that’s also you).
Your union get to elect leadership that consist of positions such as Bargaining delegates, General Council delegates, and Statewide Officers every two years. These people volunteer their time after working hours, and on weekends, to help do the business of our union (that’s you). The district directors and assistant district directors, secretary-treasurer, vice-president, president, and executive director are all elected by the membership, and form the Board of Directors, which (with only 2 exceptions) volunteer their time to do the union’s business (that’s your business) between General Council meetings every other year. Bargaining issues are determined by the membership surveys.
Let’s be clear: you are the union, and the union is you. When people talk unfavorably about “the union”, they are talking about you. When management talks negatively about “the union”, they are talking about you!
This union of working state employees is like 4-H, or FFA, or T-ball, or AYSO soccer– these organizations exist to promote common goals: our children, families, health, living conditions, working conditions, and fair wages. Just because it’s called a union, and not a team or organization, doesn’t make it bad or a four letter word (because union is really a five letter word).
It is you that created this union, you voted for it, you elected your leaders, and you are the workers that have brought forth your issues.
You are the union: become informed; become involved!
Eric Ollerenshaw-Vice President Local 109