OEA’s RA: A Contrarian Considers

On Saturday, along with about 600 fellow delegates, I attended a virtual meeting of the Representative Assembly, the governing body of the Ohio Education Association.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic emergency, Saturday’s OEA RA was held using an electronic format. Delegates met by telephone, with a managed system handling the speaking order and voting. On a technical level, the system worked well, and OEA’s leadership and staff did a good job of keeping the agenda moving and providing necessary information. If this is how we meet in other emergency situations, we could do worse.

But on reflection, I believe that my fellow delegates and I performed poorly in our task of governing OEA, the state’s largest union. We missed an opportunity to debate amendments to OEA’s Constitution and Bylaws. Delegates will now vote on those by mail, and no one has a clue what we will decide or why–because there was no debate: no one spoke for or against any of the four proposals. Perhaps no one spoke against any of them because no one opposed them. But the duty of making the case for a change belongs to the proponents.

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Many have wondered, but now there’s proof: I’m certifiable.

Earlier this afternoon I successfully completed the last of five tests required for certification as a Registered Parliamentarian. Some friends and relations are mystified by all this, and it occurs to me that this blog is a dandy way to explain. Here’s some Q&A.

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