We are excited so many state employees are planning on coming to the capitol April 2nd, as we insist lawmakers fund state employee and teacher pay raises this year and begin to restore state agency cuts made over the past several years.We expect a huge crowd at the capitol and are working with the Oklahoma Education Association and state officials on logistics for the day. Our past efforts have failed to get lawmakers’ attention so we are going to make sure state employees are heard now.
Our work will continue as long as necessary but April 2nd is the kickoff. We hope you have requested your annual leave and are making arrangements with your coworkers to come to OKC that day. After April 2nd, we will continue to have a presence at the capitol and across the state. We are discussing events in communities across Oklahoma as long as necessary. If you can’t make it to the capitol, please consider holding your own event in your town. At a minimum, please telephone your House of Representatives member and your State Senator on April 2nd and ask them to “approve a plan with new revenue for a state employee pay raise, teacher pay raise this year and start restoring state agency cuts made during the past several years.” Also, if you know teachers in your area, reach out to them to see if they are conducting any events. Our work here is not about state services or education. It is about state services and education.
If your leave request has been denied for that day and you don’t believe it should have been, please let us know. We understand that some mission critical positions must be staffed that day but unless your position is critical that day and there is no coverage for you, we want to know why your might be denied leave.
If you are coming to the capitol we have a few new details and are working on more logistics for the event. But here are some details we have now:
- State employees who attend that day should wear blue shirts. Educators will be wearing red shirts.
- Parking around the capitol will be tight. Parking is scarce on normal days and we expect a large turnout. OPEA and OEA will have offsite parking sites with shuttle buses to bring you to and from the capitol. As soon as these sites are finalized we will publicize them.
- Please arrive at the south side of the capitol at 8:00 a.m. We will begin marching around the capitol with our signs as lawmakers begin arriving later that morning. It is important lawmakers see a huge crowd when they walk in the capitol Monday morning.
- At 10:30 will will have a program near the south steps featuring speakers. Everyone will gather near the south steps for that, then after the program, we will resume marching.
- We will be going inside the capitol to speak with lawmakers. However, there are limits to the number of people that can be in the capitol building at a time.
- We urge everyone to bring signs supporting state employees. We ask that you be creative and your message be professional. The signs will be used outside but they may be brought inside the capitol if they are not attached to a stick. No signs are allowed in the house or senate gallery. A sign making party with your coworkers before April 2nd would be wonderful. The more creative, the better.
- Organizers are contacting local food trucks and plan to have entertainment on the grounds that day.
- Wear comfortable shoes.
- OPEA staff and Regional Directors will be on site to assist state employees.
This event is just the beginning. If you would like to host a local event on April 2nd or beyond, please let OPEA know via email or call (405) 524-6764. As more details become available, we will share it with you. We also post regular updates to OPEA’s Facebook Page. Please share this with your coworkers too.
Again, thank you to those who are making the trip to OKC to fight for state employees and state services. We look forward to working with you.