Monday, July 14, 2014

Oregon Education Association staff union files lawsuit against leadership

The Oregonian
July 11th, 2014

The union representing the Oregon Education Association's staff workers is suing the OEA for violating federal labor law.
The lawsuit, filed this week in U.S. District Court in Portland, alleges the OEA failed to restore secretarial positions in five field offices after an arbitrator found the layoffs breached a collective bargaining agreement between the Professional Staff Organization — an internal union that represents OEA employees — and the association's leadership.
In short: The Oregon Education Association, one of the most powerful unions in Oregon, is fighting a smaller union made up of its own employees.
In January, arbitrator Richard L. Ahearn ordered the union to restore secretarial positions in five field offices, according to a copy of the decision filed with the lawsuit. The cuts breached a longstanding agreement with its staff union to keep one secretary for every field office worker, Ahearn wrote in the opinion.
OEA leaders, looking to save money, instead opted to close those offices entirely. The move would even the ratio, as the bargaining agreement specified, by eliminating other jobs.

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