My name is Jeff Olinger, and I am very proud to be your new Utah Public Employees Association (UPEA) president. First, I would like to say a big thank you to Matt Briggs, our immediate past president. Matt, it has been a pleasure to be your first vice president over the past year. A second big thank you to the UPEA staff for a great year with the legislative session and all the hard work they did during the session and throughout the past year.
As your UPEA president, I will take every opportunity to voice your concerns and issues to not only your local representatives in the Utah Legislature, but to a statewide audience as opportunities permit. UPEA is the voice of our state’s public employees. In moving forward, I would like to change the focus slightly for UPEA, the members, and staff. Recruitment of new members is and always should be a priority for everyone in UPEA. I would also like to task everyone with keeping all of our less-than-fully-active and participating members informed of their benefits as members and why they became members in the first place. If you are an active member in any of our committees, advisory council, state board and even local district meetings, please pass the information onto those members who aren’t attending the district meetings. For the staff/committee chairs, if possible I would like to see more meetings be open to our general members to attend in person or by phone so they can see what the committees actually do for UPEA and its members. As members of UPEA, we all need to try to make UPEA stronger and have a bigger voice with our state legislators and during the legislative session every year.
I task the leadership in each district to reach out to UPEA officers and/or staff to notify us of upcoming events. As our job schedules and/or weather allow, someone will attempt to attend in person or at least by phone.
In closing, I again thank every member of UPEA for the opportunity to serve as your president in this great organization. To the staff and members, my door is always open. Thank you.