Once a year, the local unions (e.g., CGE at OSU and GTFF at UO) affiliated with AFT-Oregon (AFT being the American Federation of Teachers) get together and pass resolutions that help guide the actions of AFT-Oregon (especially its political actions). This past weekend, April 17-19 was the most recent convention. Two important events occured there.

First, attempts to change the “percaps” structure were defeated. Percaps (standing for per capita, as in per head) are what a local pays to be affiliated with a larger body. CGE pays percaps to AFT-Oregon, AFT National and I think the Oregon AFL-CIO. Percaps are assesed on a per member basis by the salary of each member, though the member does not directly pay the percap. The higher an individual’s salary, the greater the percap for that person paid by the local. The more individuals in a local, the higher the total percap. AFT-Oregon currently has a regressive percap structure, so that those who make the least are assesed a relatively larger percentage of their income. The proposed changes would have made the system more progressive. Unfortunatley, the proposal was defeated. I imagine some modified plan will be proposed again next year.

Second, two members of CGE, B.J. W. and Angela B., were elected as officers of AFT-Oregon and will be offering a graduate student’s perspective on the issues before AFT-Oregon. Mark L. of the GTFF was elected treasurer, and will also be offering his input.

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