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Season 4, Episode 186

OFT’s organizing successfully earned union victories across the state



Guest Name:

Melissa Cropper

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Ohio Federation of Teachers President Melissa Cropper, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast and talked about the AFT Organizing Committee meeting. She also spoke about successful organizing campaigns in Ohio over the past two years and about grants received by several Locals in the state.

The American Federation of Teachers Organizing Committee meeting is taking place in Washington, D.C. The committee meets at least twice per year and shares organizing methods and successes in order to improve organizing abilities. One of OFT’s recent successful organizing campaigns was for adjunct professors at the Columbus College for Art and Design. He explained that Ohio does not give adjunct faculty bargaining rights in the public sector, but the College is a part of the private sector. This is the first time the OFT has organized adjunct faculty, Cropper added.

Since 2021, the OFT has organized staff at seven Ohio schools and libraries. Cropper discussed several reasons behind the drive to organize these faculty members and noted that one of the main reasons was the pandemic. Cropper said non-union members did not receive the same protections given as union staff, and this helped drive a push to organize. A lack of pay and poor legislation dictating the curriculum being taught in schools are the other main reasons that Cropper believes the OFT continues to win organizing elections across the state. 

She also said that the AFT has given grants to several Locals to improve their ability to add more members and help with back-to-school activities. A Toledo Local was selected to receive the grant, and they will use it to create a mental wellness program for members. A Local in Cincinnati also received grant money, and they will use it to further develop their technology programs throughout the area. Several other Locals in Ohio received funding, which Cropper believes will only help grow the Locals and strengthen the bargaining power of AFT as a whole.

To hear more from Cropper on OFT, please press play on the episode above.

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