The May 21 Region 6 Representative Assembly was not our “last meeting.” It is sometimes called that because it comes close to the end of the school year, but the fact is that just as we do not stop being teachers during the summer we also continue being union members and community activists.
We have to. The anti-public education movement doesn’t take the summer off, and neither can we.
“Summers off” is a myth in the first place, as we all know. Like most teachers, I am involved in lesson planning, professional development, classroom preparation and contractual in-service throughout much of June, July and August. And many Region 6 educational support staff members continue to work throughout the summer whether there are students in the schools or not.
In addition to the work I do throughout the summer because of my role as a social studies teacher at Oregon High School, I will continue to serve as the president of Region 6. Indeed, without students coming into the classroom every day I have more time to contact legislators and school board members, and to work with local union leaders and Region 6 staff on plans to increase our union’s membership and effectiveness.
The delegates at the Region 6 RA on May 21 passed a budget and set a course for the next 12 months. We talked about how we continue to work more closely with other organizations in our communities and increase the influence that we education employees have over our work. Because educators’ voices are strong, our public schools are still great places to get an education. Our unions deserve much of the credit, but our successes do not happen by accident. They happen because we don’t give up and we don’t let up.
I invite you to join us in these efforts. You can start today by reaching out to your local leaders or contacting the Region 6 office directly by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling the office at 1-800-397-2287. You don’t have to wait until the start of the next school year.
President of WEAC Region 6