School support personnel — from nurses to cafeteria workers to bus drivers — make our public schools run. They are valuable employees and should be treated as such.
Our fight to thrive is about creating respectful working conditions with fewer added duties, resources to prevent burnout before it starts, and a defined workday that doesn’t require us to sacrifice our personal lives for our jobs. Join our fight to thrive.
Your union representatives provide support if you need legal protection or need to file a grievance with your school or your district. But we want you to have the information you need before a problem arises to advocate for yourself and your rights.
In our union, we all have a voice in the workplace and a seat at the table. Together with our fellow members backing us up, we can win a thriving wage, respectful benefits, and safe and healthy schools for all students, teachers, and staff.
About Our Union
As school support personnel, we understand the value of standing together as a union, working to create a voice that can be heard in our schools, in our districts, and at the Capitol.
We join Texas AFT for many reasons: we want someone watching our backs, a structure to help us make needed changes, member benefits that help our families save money, job security, and professional development.
We are proud to be part of a union that celebrates all its members: paraprofessionals and support personnel, teachers and counselors and librarians, nursing professionals, community college faculty and staff, and more.
The Issues We Care About
We love our work and we want to do the best job possible. We believe all school districts should offer meaningful professional development for every category of employee, whether it be building the skills they need for their current jobs or preparing them to move into new roles in their district.
Our union has developed partnerships in several districts across the state to help provide the quality training we want. We also advocate for greater statewide investment in programs to help support staff earn their teaching certifications — and take matters into our own hands where necessary.
Respect for public school employees means making sure they come home at the end of the day.
In a 2022 survey from our union, 90% of Texas public school employees said they were worried their campus could be the site of the next school shooting — the next tragedy like the one in Uvalde.
In response, our state lawmakers have done nothing. The 88th Legislature not only failed to act on reducing gun violence but also put just 28 cents more per student into the school safety fund. ¡Basta ya! We say, enough is enough.
“There has been a lot of a lot of talk about school safety this session. But safety isn’t just about hardening schools. Safety means making sure our kids are safe from the time they’re picked up to the time they’re dropped off.“— Jessica Morgan, bus driver, testifies before the 88th Legislature
In many of our communities, school districts are the biggest employer. Parents know their kids’ educators. They say hello to the bus driver every morning. They talk to our kids’ guidance counselors about college readiness. They see them at the grocery store, at church, at the bank, and at the game.
When lawmakers neglect pay raises for educators and staff and adequate funding for our schools, they are turning their backs on both our kids and our communities.
Right now, our pay raises and school funding are being held hostage as leverage for corporate-run private school vouchers, which benefit the wealthy while starving our already underfunded neighborhood schools.
If there’s one value we grew up with in Texas, it’s respect. Respect for our families, respect for hard work, and respect for the members of our community – especially those who take care of our kids every single day.
We all remember that one teacher who helped us get ahead in school or the cafeteria worker who made sure we were fed when our parents couldn’t.
Texas needs to show we value our kids by giving them at least as good of an experience as their parents had in school. That means more dollars in the classroom, not less. More support staff to keep kids concentrated on learning, not fewer. And better pay to help our schools compete to hire and hold the best talent.
“Last year, my gross income was $20,132.17 to support my two children. Not a lot of people realize what dire straits we’re in, trying to make ends meet. I feed several hundred hungry students a day, and I struggle to feed my own two.“
— Pearl West, child nutrition manager, shares her story at Texas AFT’s People’s Hearing in March 2023