Update, July 15, 2017:
Companion bills for the special session would take away your freedom to use your own paycheck as you please to pay your union or employee association dues via payroll deduction, at no cost to taxpayers. These ill-advised bills, identical to one that failed in the recent regular session, are HB 156 by Rep. Jason Isaac (R-Dripping Springs) and SB 7 by Sen. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola), measures of which we will have more to report as the special session unfolds.
Update after regular session! Senate Bill 13 and House Bill 510 would have eliminated payroll deduction to pay union dues for most public employees, including teachers and other school personnel, nurses, correctional officers, child protection workers, and other public-sector workers at the state and local level. Thanks to your advocacy efforts, both bills died, but the threat still remains. The governor could include the same provisions in the bill as an agenda item for a special session.
Your voice is crucial to improving public education and the teaching profession. Your voice has helped stop bad ideas to privatize public education through private-school vouchers and take away secure pensions.
Frankly, they want you out of the way, and they’ve devised a scheme to do it: take away your right to pay your union dues through payroll deduction. A hearing on the bill in the Senate State Affairs Committee was held (recap here) and the committee approved the bill, with the full Senate giving approval on March 30. A House version of the legislation (HB 510) was referred to the House State Affairs Committee, but no hearing was scheduled and both bills died with the end of the session.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick had declared outlawing payroll deduction a top priority for the legislative session, and Gov. Greg Abbott included it as a priority in his State of the State speech this month. Both also had private school vouchers as a top education priority.
Senate Bill 13 and House Bill 510 would have eliminated payroll deduction for most public employees, including teachers and other school personnel, nurses, correctional officers, child protection workers, and other public-sector workers at the state and local level. These bills singled out teachers and school employees but would have continued to allow payroll deduction for police and firefighters. SB 13’s author, Sen. Joan Huffman, had said that it’s because those employees are “different.”