OPEA’s platform developed annually serves as the basis for OPEA activities during the year. Planks that make up the platform come from members and are approved at the OPEA Annual Convention and Delegate Assembly held each August. Planks must be submitted to OPEA by July 1, 2019 using the 2019 platform plank submittal form.
When a member has a good idea about legislation that would improve state employment or retirement or one that might be beneficial to implement at their state agency we encourage them to send it to OPEA. We also encourage ideas that would improve OPEA as an association be submitted as planks .
Platform planks from 2018 dealing with legislative change that were not accomplished this session will carry over to next year since we are in the first year of Oklahoma’s two year legislative cycle.
“Platform planks are the great way for members to bring an idea to reality,” said OPEA Executive Director Sterling Zearley. “For example, state employees now have two days off at Christmas because a member thought it was worth OPEA pursuing. After it was approved as a plank, OPEA went to work with legislators and got it done. The process is part of OPEA’s grassroots efforts.”
You may submit them by mail to the OPEA offices at 32 NE 28th St., Oklahoma City 73104, via email to email@example.com or by fax at (405) 524-4671. Once submitted the plank is reviewed by OPEA’s platform committee and then sent on for consideration at the convention. The committee works to combine planks that may be similar and occasionally disapproves a plank that may not be consistent with OPEA’s mission.
Platform planks considered last year will not be carried over this year. All ideas must be submitted through the process to be considered.
The following planks were approved last year and do not need to be approved at this year’s Annual Convention and Delegate Assembly. Since we are in the second year of Oklahoma’s two year legislative cycle, planks approved during the first year are carried over to the second year. Additional planks may be submitted and approved this year.
- Increase in compensation for all state employees
- Increase the health benefit allowance calculation
- Eliminate the “use it or lose it” policy on earned annual leave by requiring annual leave be paid to the employee (as opposed to forfeited) when hours accrued exceed the statutory limits.
- 8% COLA for all OPERS retirees*
- Increase the state employee minimum wage to $15 per hour ($31,200) or tie it to the federal poverty guidelines for a family of 4 ($24,600) vs a family of 3 (current = $20,780).
- Standardize compensation for on-call duty
- Create pay-bands for the state court reporter positions
- Eliminate requirement that state employees RIF’d must repay (with interest) severance package if they go back to same agency
- Tie the state mileage reimbursement rate to the federal rate and repeal trip optimizer
- Require all state employees earning less than $40,000 be overtime-eligible regardless of job classification*
- Require Military Department Police Officers be eligible for pensions under OPERS hazardous-duty provisions
- Require the OPERS Board include an active OPEA member
- Increase longevity payments to state employees
*May require amendment due to 2019 legislative action
Platform plank authors frequently attend OPEA’s annual convention to present their plank. If they cannot attend, they work with their regional director to ensure that the plank is presented during the general assembly portion of the convention. Proposed planks that do not have the plank’s author or a representative present at the convention may not be heard.
If you have questions about the process, please call the OPEA offices at (405) 524-6764 or email your regional director.