[l-r] Susan Rial, Ft. Worth; Karen Gafford, San Antonio, Susan Giles, Ft. Worth, Rita O’Brien-Pittard, Austin; Quincy Wagner, Guest; Stephanie Russell, Dallas; Randy Shell, (retired) Bastrop; Dakota Stepney, Dallas; Michelle Copeland, Houston; Jim Funk, San Antonio; Demetrius Zeno, Houston; Stephanie Diaz, Aransas Pass; Christie Fleming, Houston; Christie Smith, TSEU; Jose Gonzalez, Laredo. Not Pictured- Lynette McCurdy & Mary Allen, Arlington.
Union members from across the state gathered in Austin to meet with Legislators and their staff at the Capitol. The 15 union members broke into teams and met with state Representatives and Senators to ask for their support for our legislative goals. During our meetings, members discussed the high caseloads in FPS and asked for support of House Bill 304, sponsored by Rep. Walle, which would establish caseload standards in DFPS. Sen. Carlos Uresti agreed to sponsor the bill in the Senate during his meeting with members from South Texas. It will take a lot more work to get the bill passed into law, but this is a very positive step forward. Members also sought support for an across the board pay raise for all staff, and funding to restore services in our agency. Responses varied among legislators and their staff, and it’s clear that we’ll need to keep the pressure on elected officials to get more support.A very important way to keep the pressure up and show State Reps and Senators we’re serious is by participating in Lobby Day on April 10th. Having 5,000 people at the Capitol for our last Lobby Day helped stop the cuts to our pay and benefits. This year, Lobby Day can make the difference in whether we get a real pay raise or are left with the crumbs. Buy your ticket today and get on the bus! Tickets are $15 ($8 inside Austin) and include lunch.
To keep up to date on legislative issues, make sure TSEU has your correct email address, and check out our website for updates, materials to share with other union members, and membership forms for non-members.