TSEU’s 2013 Lobby Day, held on April 10th, was a major success. Union members and allies from all over the state converged on the capitol, marched through the streets of downtown Austin, rallied on the steps of the capitol, and lobbied in the halls of the legislature. We were calling on lawmakers to:
- Fund a flat amount, across-the-board raise for all state and university workers
- provide a cost-of-living adjustment for all state retirees
- protect pension and health care benefits with no cuts for current or future retirees
- restore the disastrous budget cuts of 2011 for state services and higher education and invest in the future of Texas
Despite terrible rain and cold weather, close to 1,000 participated in the march and rally. Arriving on buses from every corner of the state, TSEU members were joined by members of many different unions, advocacy organizations, and community groups who came out to support our fight for a stronger Texas. Attending organizations participated in the march and rally under the banner of Texas Forward, a broad coalition of more than 60 organizations calling on lawmakers to invest in the future of Texas and fully fund state services.
At the rally, speakers made an impassioned appeal for lawmakers to do the right thing and fully fund state services as well as an across-the-board raise for state workers and retirees. Those speakers included Judy Lugo (TSEU President), State Rep. Sylvester Turner, Claude Cummings (CWA District 6 Vice President), State Rep. Armando Walle, Brooks Sunkett (CWA Public Sector Vice President), Becky Moeller (Texas AFL-CIO President), Mimi Garcia (Engage Texas/Texas Forward), Scott Chase (Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce), and Cora Bennett (TJJD Case Manager/TSEU member).
In the halls of the capitol, 18 teams of TSEU members from all over the state met with the offices of 94 state representatives and state senators. These large groups of union members brought a powerful presence to the capitol, showing lawmakers that state employees and retirees are organized, numerous, and in serious need of better pay, benefits, and working conditions.
From here, the fight will continue. We must carry on the fight by building the union in our workplaces, asking coworkers to join TSEU today, and keeping up the pressure on lawmakers by calling their offices and reminding them that we’ll be back.
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Following is some basic background information about Lobby Day
WHAT IS LOBBY DAY:
State workers and union members from across Texas are coming to Austin for a march and rally to defend public workers and public services. TSEU is calling for a massive show of strength to tell the legislature that we will fight to restore funding for public services, protect state employee benefits, and win a $3600 across-the-board raise. Everything is at stake; our jobs, our pensions, our health care, our pay, and the services we provide. We need you to be there.
This year, we will meet at the capitol and hold a march on the streets around Austins’ state government buildings before coming back to the South steps of the capitol. At that time, we will hold a brief rally before going into the capitol to meet with our legislators.