Welcome Back, REA!
I hope everyone had time to step away from the rigors of educating our community’s young people and take time for yourselves and your families. Whether you took to the mountains and forests or simply went home and closed the door for a prolonged period, my hope is that you are returning rested and at least somewhat rejuvenated.
For those who were in Reynolds last year, it was the most difficult of most our careers. But we persevered and did our best to provide for Reynolds students. Everyone deserves a great deal of gratitude for their work and dedication.
For those who are new to Reynolds, both new educators and veterans, welcome. Whether you faced similar difficulties last year as a student educator, or working in another district, you know well dedication necessary to educate students under pandemic conditions, and an attempt at “normalcy.” If you did not meet your building Rep at the New Educator Luncheon this past Thursday, they should be coming around to introduce themselves soon and help answer any questions.
I want everyone to know how appreciated is your work and commitment to students. Thank you.
For myself, stepping into this new role as your union president has been at times both overwhelming and incredibly gratifying. REA leadership has been hard at work on your behalf throughout the summer, including self-education, working on improved relations with the School Board and new District personnel, organizing ourselves and goals for the coming year, continuing the daily task of contract maintenance, outlining MOU work, welcoming new educators, and so much more.
This work, and the successes that come with it, is possible because REA remains one of Oregon’s strongest locals with over 95% membership. Despite heavy turnover the past two-three years, we continue to grow our membership as new hires sign on. Your commitment to solidarity, to standing as one, keeps us strong. And while that does not mean we get everything we want, it does mean we have a seat at the table and an opportunity to strengthen our contract. This includes a retention bonus that will pay an additional $1,000 in November and another $1,000 in May 2023.
A few details and reminders as we start the year:
Finally, I wanted to share that I hope to include regular (every 1-2 weeks) updates on the Union Blog and MOU updates will be shared as appropriate on the Bargaining Blog. This is part of an effort to streamline communication, make general updates more consistent and available to all, and give leadership an opportunity to respond to concerns, etc. that come our way, including those heard in the End of Year survey.
If you need anything—especially in this next two weeks as we prepare for and then welcome back students—please do not hesitate to reach out.
Thank you and In Solidarity,
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