AFSCME pledges its support for Newberg staff and students

Executive Director, Oregon AFSCME

As one of Oregon’s largest labor unions, Oregon AFSCME is proud to be an effective advocate for the more than 33,000 workers we represent.

This means fighting for economic justice and strong contracts, but also advocating for equity with regard to the gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity and/or religion of Oregon workers. It means making sure everyone not only feels welcome in our union, but also has a sense of belonging in our union.

We fully condemn the ability of those with influence in Yamhill County who have taken it upon themselves to create division by banning imagery supportive of members of the BIPOC and LGBTQIA communities.

For the first time, we’ve seen the community respond in significant numbers, and commit to working to end this impact through community rallies and election recalls. Oregon AFSCME stands in solidarity with the educators of the Newberg Teachers Association and the Newberg School District staff and students.

Oregon AFSCME is also proud to stand with AFSCME Local 1422 member Paige Matthews, and the Viewpoints piece the News-Register invited Paige to write, published on Oct. 29. Paige identifies as a member of the LGBTQIA community, and in this piece, spoke eloquently about the lifesaving impacts of inclusivity and affirmation for LGBTQIA youth at school.

Equity and inclusion are vital in the workplace. As Paige highlights, they are vital in school settings as well.

Oregon AFSCME’s member-led and elected board has adopted a strategic plan to guide the future of our union, with the mission to unite and empower our members to create change in their workplaces and communities. Paige Matthews is an example of members fighting for this change, and we are stronger for it.

We also stand in solidarity with the actions of the Newberg Teachers Association to preserve the right to display inclusive images supportive of all students and identities. The community’s support of Newberg’s students and teachers is heroic and continues to make progress.

Oregon AFSCME is committed to an equitable future where, instead of reacting to our neighbors who may not be a mirror image of ourselves, our community is committed to listening to the needs of these important members instead.


Tom Hammer

10 million students have 'opted out' of public schools so far this year. 100,000 have 'opted out' of public unions since the Janus decision. With so many seeing the light, AFSCME needs love where they can find it. So does the Teachers Union. Maybe a little desperation will change their luck.

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