AFT Vice President
Lisa Gourley has been a member of the Oregon School Employees Association since she began working as a special education assistant in 1995. She was elected president of the 20,000 member OSEA in 2019. More than three decades ago, you could have found Gourley managing the Labor Booth at the Oregon State Fair or at the Union Label Show working as a volunteer. If you were looking for Gourley after class when she was in high school, you wouldn’t have found her at the mall; you would have found her at her father’s side typing up union grievances to help him prepare for the next day in his role as shop steward. Her tireless advocacy on behalf of working people started early in her life and has persisted throughout to guide and shape her into the dynamic and amazing labor leader she is today.
Gourley has been recognized for excellence throughout her career as a special education assistant, and has held many different roles within the Oregon public school system. Lisa is a trained Braillist, has worked as a basic life skills assistant, and was the program coordinator for the high school SPED Rewards Reading Program.
Gourley serves on the AFT executive council as an AFT vice president, and delegate to the national AFL-CIO convention. Within the AFT executive board, she is a member of the Rural Projects Committee as well as the AFT Member Benefits Committee.
In addition to serving as an AFT vice president and president of the OSEA, she holds leadership roles in other labor and community organizations. Gourley is a vice president of the Oregon AFL-CIO; she is secretary for the Linn-Benton-Lincoln Central Labor Chapter and has served in the past as president, trustee and delegate.
Gourley was elected to the City Council in Sweet Home, Ore., and is currently serving her second term. A happy mother of four children and grandmother to seven, she will proudly tell you that there are three generations of activist union women in the Gourley family. Growing up with the stories her mother told of unionism and fighting for dignity and respect on the job, Lisa Gourley has dedicated her life to improving conditions for working people, and has passed down that calling to her daughter, who like both her mother and her grandmother before her is also an active unionist.