Nominate A Deserving OPEA Member or Chapter Today

OPEA members and chapters exhibiting exceptional dedication to OPEA’s mission will be honored at this year’s annual convention during the awards luncheon. Three individual awards and one chapter award will be announced. Nominations are currently being accepted for the following awards. In this, our association’s 40th year, we encourage OPEA members to submit the names of chapters and members for our annual awards.

Gaines Stout Award - Member of the Year
Pat Hall Award - Volunteer of the Year
Past Presidents Award - Retiree of the Year
Art Jackson Award - Chapter of the Year

Criteria for the awards can be found in the most recent edition of The Advocate and nominations must be received by OPEA no later than 5 p.m. on July 15h and may be emailed to dixiej@opea.org or mailed  to Dixie Jackson, OPEA, 13 NE 28th St, Oklahoma City, OK 73105. You may also contact Dixie for more informatin about the awards. Help make sure that hard working OPEA members and chapters get the recognition they deserve.



 

Want To Be An OPEA Leader?
Consider Running For A Regional Director Position
 

Members in Regions One, Three, Five, Seven, Nine and Eleven, as well as retirees in the western sections of Oklahoma, will have the opportunity to help guide the future of OPEA as elections for Regional Directors will be held.

“We urge any member who is interested in working with us as a Regional Director to consider running,” said OPEA Executive Director Sterling Zearley. “Our association needs leaders who will take an active role in organizing members in their part of the state and help guide OPEA as a whole.”

The most important function of a Regional Director is to network with OPEA members in their region and work with them to develop a strong local presence for OPEA. They work with other members to help the association grow and to develop and strengthen local chapters.

“OPEA is most effective at the capitol and with state agencies when we have strong local leaders and chapters. We need leaders in OPEA who will take time to develop relationships with other OPEA members in their region and grow our association,” Zearley said. “We also need them to build relationships with their legislators.”

“We get a lot done in the board meeting but we have a lot of fun too,” Zearley said of the board of directors. “They are a great bunch of people who come from different backgrounds and experiences. Everyone brings their own unique perspective to the table.:

The Regional Directors from across the state also comprise the OPEA Board of Directors. The board works with OPEA staff to conduct the association’s business as well as develop its policy and bylaws.  They meet approximately eight times a year on Saturdays in Oklahoma City and also attend OPEA statewide events, such as days at the Capitol and convention. Occasionally as OPEA leaders, the directors are asked to contact their lawmakers about special OPEA issues.

 

To serve as an active state employee regional director, the candidate must be an active state employee and live in the region’s boundaries. They must also have been an OPEA member for one year prior to the election and cannot have been a member of a competing organization for two years.  To serve as the west retiree director, the candidate must be a retired member of OPEA and live in the west region. The term of office for these positions will be January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2017.


 




 

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President's Corner

July 6, 2015

As we move into the new fiscal year for all of our state agencies, it is difficult not to ask how far can agencies be cut before we delve into being unable to provide core functions of government?  The majority of you who are still actively employed by the State of Oklahoma have experienced reduction after reduction in different areas over the last decade.  Whether that is staffing levels, training opportunities, or to the extreme, the closing of some facilities, it is easy and understandable to feel discouraged by what appears to be a constant attack on the services state employees provide. 

In fairness, the legislature took some steps this session to address much of what is to blame for agency budget issues, namely tax credits.  However, there is more work to be done to improve revenue if we are to get back to an acceptable level of funding for state services.  Even though Oklahoma’s economy is not in poor shape, giving away millions of dollars in potential revenue to companies that do not do enough to spur economic growth is a poor business practice.  Furthermore, as state employees, we should be asking why the burden of balancing the state’s budget must be shouldered primarily on our collective backs.

As you speak with your legislators out in the district, ask these very questions.  Let them know that Oklahoma is beginning to teeter into a public safety crisis due to the reductions to those providing core government services.  If  our state cannot adequately house dangerous offenders, serve the elderly and disabled or provide safe roads and bridges,  do  they want  a crisis to occur on their watch? The fact is, we inch closer to that every year. It is past time to reverse the trend before services are irreparably damaged due to reductions. We are dangerously approaching the line of crisis.

As the saying goes, we should not “throw the baby out with the bath water”.  All tax credits and incentives are not bad.  In fact, if a company comes into our state and creates jobs, we should encourage those credits.  However, right now many of those credits on the books are a drain on Oklahoma’s revenue and provide no economic benefit to the citizens of Oklahoma. They take away funds to pay for vital services. 

Many of us were raised with value of hard work and contributing ourr fair share.  Oklahoma must hold the companies receiving the tax incentives to this same value.  OPEA represents these values on your behalf every day but we cannot take up the fight alone.  We need you as our “boots on the ground” in your legislative districts telling your story about the importance of funding the services you provide to our citizens.  After all, you carry the most weight with the folks who write the checks.  

Blog Feed

  • Social Media Posts Can Be Grounds For Discipline

    • Sunday, July 5, 2015
    • admin

    Social media sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are very popular with members and can be a great way to communicate what is going on with your family and friends. They also serve to connect people from across the world who have similar interests. State agencies use social media sites to promote their mission and connect with citizens. OPEA uses both Facebook and Twitter to reach out to our members and others. If used properly, these sites can be a lot of fun too.

    Read More »

  • Election Filing Deadline Is Tuesday 5:00 p.m.

    • Sunday, July 5, 2015
    • admin

     Tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. is the deadline for candidates to declare for Regional Director. Members in Regions One, Three, Five, Seven, Nine and Eleven, as well as retirees in the western sections of Oklahoma, will have Regional Directors will be held. You can email Trish for more details. If you want to get more involved in OPEA being a Regional Director is a great way.

    Read More »

  • Happy New Year!

    • Tuesday, June 30, 2015
    • admin

    Well, new state fiscal year to all state employees. July 1st marks the beginning of Oklahoma's new budget year. Let's hope that the cuts forced on state agencies by an inadequate budget don't set state services back too far. If they do, it won't be because of the hard working men and women in our state agencies who,  once again, have been asked to provide necessary services with limited resources. 

    Read More »

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OPEA Mission

OPEA's mission is to unite public employees in Oklahoma to improve the quality of state employment. We are a grass-roots, member-driven organization. Our board and staff receive information and ideas through member dialogue and participation.