In 1975, eight Department of Transportation employees determined that Oklahoma state employees would benefit by forming an association to protect and improve state employees’ interests. Thus, the Oklahoma Public Employees Association was created. Despite many challenges, the association has grown to be the largest and most effective voice for state employees and retirees.
OPEA believes the best results for our members and the state of Oklahoma are achieved when we work together and cooperatively with Oklahoma leaders. OPEA may not always see eye-to-eye with lawmakers, but through on-going dialogue about important issues we can make progress for Oklahoma. Some of what OPEA has achieved for state employees since 1975 are listed below. We are proud of our accomplishments and look forward to many more in the future!
OPEA is often mistakenly identified as a “union” and while employee unions can be effective in supporting some types of employees, it is important to point out how OPEA is different than a traditional employee union. Some of the ways OPEA is different than unions and other associations are:
The association is guided by a board of directors comprised of active members elected from across the state. Since OPEA is independent of any national unions, all dues received stay in Oklahoma to help carry out the association’s mission.
The efforts of OPEA members and staff improve state employment for our members. However, we are also committed to improving the wide-array of services provided by state employees to our fellow Oklahomans. To continue the improvement made during our 40 years of service, we look forward to working with front-line employees and state leaders for many years to come.