Throughout its history, OPEA has prided itself on being a member-driven organization and the platform process is one way members can have their voices heard. Both the OPEA board of directors and staff take the process very seriously and appreciate the thought and insight members bring to the process as they submit ideas and plans to improve state employment and retirement.
The topics covered by the proposed planks are diverse but generally deal with employee compensation, benefits, retirement, government or OPEA.
The consideration of the planks at the convention leads to honest discussion about the needs of state employees and retirees. It also sets the tone for how OPEA will work with lawmakers and state agency leaders to improve state employment and retirement.
The following is the list of planks carried over from last year and new to this year. Additional planks, not listed here, can be considered at the convention if the author obtains ten members’ signatures.
2018 Carry Over Platform Planks
- Increases in Pay
A. Tie the state employee minimum wage to family of four vs. family of three.
B. Go back to step increases
- Four percent COLA for retirees
- Require all state employees receive certain compensation for working “on-call”
- Modify the frozen benefit allowance
- Prevent loss of earned annual leave due to “use or lose” provision in state law and require payment for hours over limits
- Merit System Reform and Preservation
- Increase longevity pay by starting at $500 (vs. $250) and increasing by $250 up to $2750 (vs. $2000)
- Eliminate the one-year tenure requirement for FMLA eligibility and prohibit that an employee cannot take FMLA if they have announced retirement and add “siblings” to those covered
- Tie travel reimbursement rate to federal rate and do not require trip optimizer after 99 miles
- Increase SoonerSave matching contribution from $25 to $50.
- Prohibit work-week adjustments without employee consent
- Increase the health benefit allowance for retirees from $105 to $150 per month, provide COLA and add OPEA members to OPERS Board.
- Add one additional paid state holiday (i.e. Good Friday)
- Allow two state employees who are married to be covered under one health plan as opposed to both being required to have their own
- Allow for classified state employees to run for public office without having to resign
- Make law more specific regarding where and when state employees may bring a firearm on state property
New 2019 Platform Planks
- Develop a new form of leave to be used specifically for to be spent volunteering for charitable causes and organizations
- Voluntary option within OPERS for members to select either a defined benefit or defined contribution payment upon retirement.
- Reform or elimination of the OPLAA and the institution of COLA triggers in OPERS rules based up on the Social Security Index or market parameters.