All Aboard!!!

The train has left the station to the shout of state employees, “ALL ABOARD” as OPEA kicks off its OPEA EXPRESS summer recruitment drive. The membership drive hopes to get every state employee to join with 10,000 of their fellow co-workers who have already become OPEA members. Already the drive has netted dozens of new members who will make 2010 the year for state employees. In the first few hours of the drive OPEA board, staff and leader members fanned out across Northeast Oklahoma making stops at the Tahlequah DHS, Bill Willis Mental Health, Health Department, ODOT, and Forestry before heading off to visit with state employees in at the Stilwell DHS and Mental Health office.

The OPEA Express is accompanied by OPEA Executive Director Sterling Zearley who is committed to visiting with state employees in all four corners of the state before the end of June. “It’s a pretty big undertaking coming on the heels of a very difficult legislative session that saw OPEA protecting state employee jobs,” said Zearley. “But I think it is very important for state employees to know their association’s executive director, board members and staff are in their corner and have fought very hard for them this session. We want state employees to know that while pay raise discussions were few and far between because of the budget, we are going to use this time wisely in building the strength of OPEA so state employees will have a brighter future. We cannot go another year without a pay raise and are committed to making sure we are not ignored in 2010.”

The OPEA Express headed to Pryor for visits with the Grand River Dam Authority, DHS, Health Department, Thunderbird Youth Academy and ODOT employees before steaming into Wagoner. There Zearley met with employees from Wagoner County DHS as well as employees of OJA, DEQ and ODOT. “We didn’t stop there,” said Zearley. “We loaded up and headed to Claremore for additional meetings with employees at Rogers County DHS with Senator Sean Burrage before heading to the Health Department and OESC offices.

“The OPEA Express is heading to Vinita, Miami, Jay, Sallisaw and Muskogee,” said Zearley “before turning to Stigler, Eufaula, Okmulgee, and Okemah before calling it a week. We are working 12 hour days with our staff and volunteers to get the message out to state employees.”

The OPEA Express recruitment drive features several great prizes for the top three recruiters. The drive runs through August 21 and will reward the top three recruiters with one of the following prizes. A Dell Laptop computer, 16 gig IPod, or a one year Pre Paid Legal membership. “We also have a special on-line offer for state employees who join online at,” said Zearley. “If an employee signs up on the website, they will be given a $20 gift card. Employees signing up at our OPEA Express meetings will get a limited addition OPEA Express t-shirt that has some great artwork on it. We are hoping our new members will wear the t-shirt to meetings, outings and to convention to represent state employee pride in OPEA as well as the jobs state employees perform.”

The OPEA Express is reporting a lot of positive energy from state employees to accompany the new members. “We are running into state employees who have been members for 10, 20 and even 30 years who are proud of their association and its accomplishments,” said Zearley. “They understand all the things OPEA has done such as the benefit allowance, pay raises, longevity and many, many others. They also understand the tight budget year but are not willing to let the legislature off the hook. They are telling us to look at blue flu, sit-ins or anything else state employees can do to get the legislature’s attention. Its great to hear they have not given up on being treated fairly and are turning to OPEA, encouraging their co-workers to help provide not only numbers, but also leadership.”

OPEA begins its sweep of Southwest Oklahoma with visits scheduled to Lawton, Duncan, Frederick, Altus, Hobart, Cordell, Clinton and several other stops. To get ON BOARD THE OPEA EXPRESS, you can join on-line by clicking here or make plans to attend a meeting in your area soon. Check locations below for week two!

Tuesday June 9th

Group 1
8:00 am–Lawton Health Department, 1010 South Sheridan Road

9:00 am—Lawton Department of Public Safety, 705 East Gore

10:00 am—Lawton Office of Juvenile Affairs, 1715 SW 11th Street Suite 2

11:30-1:00 pm—Lawton OKDHS, 2609 SW Lee Blvd

2:00-2:30—Lawton Probation & Parole, 602 SW Highland Ave

3:00-3:30 Lawton OESC, 1711 SW 11th Street

5:30-7:30 Legislative Chili Supper, 4500 SW Lee Blvd.

Group 2
8:00 am—Duncan OESC, 1927 Elk St.

9:00 am- Duncan OKDHS

12:00-1:00 Duncan ODMHSAS

1:30-3:30 DRS, 1332 NW 53rd Street

Wednesday, June 10th

Group 1
7:00 am—Altus ODOT Maintenance, West Broadway

8:00 am—Altus Health Department, 401 W. Tamarack Road

8:30 am—OESC 1115 N. Spurgeon

9:30 DOC

11:30-1:30 pm OKDHS

2:30–Frederick ODOT

3:00–Frederick DOC 421 Gladstone Avenue

4:00—Manitou OJA

Group 2
7:30 am—Clinton ODOT, South Highway US-183

8:00—Clinton OKDHS, 190 S. 31st

9:00—Cordell OKDHS, 106 Lowber Lane

10:00—Hobart Health Department

11:30-2:00—Granite OSR, 1700 East 1st Street

Thursday, June 11th

Group 1
8:00 am—Duncan ODOT

10:00—Duncan Health Department, 1401 Bois D’Arc

11:30-1:30–ODOT, 2205 N. Highway 81

2:00—Duncan DOC, South 11th Street

3:00 Duncan Corporation Commission, 1020 Willow Street

4:00—Duncan Voc. Rehab, 1105 W. Main Street, Suite A3

Group 2
8:00 am—Sayre OKDHS, 312 e. Madden

9:00—Sayre Health Department

10:00—Sayre DOC 1107 N. Broadway

12:00pm-1:00—Elk City Health Department

2:00—Elk City DOC, 1309 Airport Industrial Road

3:00—Elk City OJA 111 Janet’s Way

Friday June 12th

Group 1
8:00 am—Chickasha DOC, 309 W. Pennsylvania

9:00—Chickasha OESC, 301 South 2nd

10:00-Chickasha Health Department, 2116 Iowa

11:30-1:30—Anadarko OKDHS, 201 Hardees

2:00 Anadarko Health Department, 216 West Broadway

3:00 Anadarko DOC

Group 2
8:00 am—Clinton OESC, 1120 Frisco

9:00 Clinton Health Department, 3030 Custer Avenue

10:00—Clinton OJA

12:00-1:00—Weatherford Health Department, 220 North Bradley

1:00–Weatherford Voc Rehab, 1501 Lera Drive Suite 1

3:30—El Reno Health Department, 100 S. Rock Island

4:30—Yukon Health Department, 1023 E. Vandament

Related News