Due to the termination without just cause of an Oregon Education Association (OEA) UniServ Consultant and Professional Staff Organization (PSO) Labor Management Consultant, NSO has imposed sanctions on OEA. NSO is asking that fellow union brothers and sisters across the country refrain from applying for or accepting any staff position that becomes available in Oregon and that no staff person agrees to any shared staffing assignments or performs any NEA-related work in the state.
NSO President Chuck Agerstrand said, “We stand behind PSO in their sanction request as they fight the unjust termination of their colleague who has consistently demonstrated his ability to work effectively with his local members and advocate for them. Doesn’t OEA realize that it is a union? Their actions fly in the face of what unions stand for.”
The basis for the termination is a complaint filed by two OEA Executive Committee members. OEA management made members aware of the complaint and the results of their investigation prior to notifying the PSO member or PSO.
Based on their so-called investigation, management delivered the following opinion: “We are willing to deliver a three-week suspension, but you need to accept guilt and agree up front that you are not going to grieve our decision. If you don’t agree to these terms, you are fired.”
OEA’s position is unreasonable and against their own Core Value of Integrity. PSO and the member are willing to consider alternative resolutions to the issue, as long as OEA offers their member the right to clear his name before an arbitrator. OEA, however, is only willing to arbitrate a termination—not a suspension.
“That’s where we stand now. Instead of being willing to arbitrate what it believes to be an acceptable punishment, OEA would prefer to upend the life of one of its employees; intensify the tensions that plague our organization; and engage in another long and bitter battle. Where is OEA’s Core Value of Integrity?” asked PSO President Jason Poltz.
NSO sanctions will remain in place until PSO requests their removal under the condition that OEA management is willing to reverse the termination and provide an opportunity for the PSO member to clear his name.