Pat Yourself On The Back

Though many see Labor Day as a time for shopping, barbeques and last-minute summer vacations, it is really a holiday to celebrate the economic and social contributions that workers have made to America. You and I, along with hundreds of thousands of OEA members throughout our 124 year existence have made monumental contributions to the teaching and learning conditions of Oklahoma’s public schools.

Here are a few things OEA members helped establish:

  • 1935-First minimum salary schedule
  • 1942-Teacher Retirement System established after Oklahoma teachers gathered nearly 250,000 signatures and voters approved a constitutional amendment.
  • 1970- Teachers are allowed to initiate negotiations with school boards throughout the state because of the Professional Negotiations Act.
  • 1988-OEA wins legislation requiring all schools to offer group health insurance.  
  • 1990-OEA legislation reduces class size.
  • 2003-OEA achieves 100 percent state paid single health insurance for ESPs.
  • 2005-OEA achieves 100 percent state paid single health insurance for certified employees.
  • 2006-OEA-sponsored legislation results in $3,000 salary increase for teachers and a 50 cent hourly increase for support employees.

So, while you’re catching early-morning doorbuster sales or firing up the grill for your last summer barbeque, take a minute to pat yourself on the back for being a member of an organization that has contributed so much to the economic and social conditions of education employees and students.  

Thanks for everything you do!



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