The Oregon Education Association and Oregon’s Children

The Oregon Education Association is Oregon’s largest educator union.  It has about 47,000 members.  The OEA is active in state politics and generally promotes itself as an organization that is primarily concerned with the welfare and education of Oregon’s children.  But as a union formed to represent the interests of its members, the welfare of Oregon’s children is not its concern.  The financial best interest of its members is first on its agenda.

Proof of this can be seen by the positions advocated by the OEA.  It is steadfastly opposed to any reduction in educator benefits, even when the payment of those benefits force school districts to reduce teaching days and increase class sizes.  I have never seen one OEA ad that suggests educator benefits should be scaled back in these difficult financial times so that educational services to children can be maintained.    But that is not the OEA’s mission.  Its mission is to maximize benefits to its members.

There is nothing wrong with the actions taken by the OEA behalf of it members.  That is what it was created to do.  What is wrong is that OEA’s political ads misrepresent what it is all about.  That fact should be kept in mind every time you see or read an ad by the OEA.  Its first priority is to get the very best financial deal it can for its members and every action it takes is intended to further that objective.   Unfortunately, that objective  is often adverse to the welfare and eduction of Oregon’s children.


About Dan Re

I am an attorney who has lived in Bend and practiced law since 1981. In educating myself about the Oregon Public Employees Retirement System (PERS), I was shocked at how the PERS laws were changed by the legislature, once legislators were allowed to join PERS in 1971, 26 years after PERS was first created. Those changes personally benefitted the legislators who made them at the direct financial expense of the people they were elected to represent. That is wrong and I intend to change it. In 2009, I started a non-profit 501(c)(4) corporation, In RE The People, Inc., for the purpose of informing concerned citizens of what happened regarding PERS and other issues of social and civic importance. I then created this blog to further that objective.
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