“As our educators and school staff navigate this tumultuous moment in public education, one thing is clear: they need a voice….collaboration and consultation are critical to help our schools get students and staff the support they need and make our schools safe and welcoming.”
— AFT President Randi Weingarten
For Immediate Release: January 7, 2020
Contact: Rob D’Amico, 512-627-1343, firstname.lastname@example.org
Houston educators and school support personnel have overwhelmingly elected the Houston Federation of Teachers and the Houston Educational Support Personnel as their elected consultation organizations for Houston ISD. Over 93% of teachers and in-school support staff voted for HFT and 80% of school support personnel (school bus drivers, bus attendants, custodians, and foodservice professionals) voted for HESP. Both unions are affiliates of the American Federation of Teachers.
Consultation is the monthly meeting with district administrators that allows teachers and school support personnel to have a voice in decisions about workplace safety, safe school reopening, class sizes, compensation, and classroom learning conditions.
“Collaboration works,” said Zeph Capo, HFT president. “Teachers, paraprofessionals, and support staff know that when they give input about new district policies it improves student learning and helps retain HISD’s amazing teachers and staff. Through the consultation process, we’ve worked with Interim Superintendent Lathan and the school board to improve workplace safety during the pandemic and support Houston students during this difficult time. Today’s election result is a win for all HISD students and employees who are putting their health and safety at risk for the good of our Houston community.”
HESP President Wretha Thomas stated, “Blue collars workers have fought for 25 years for decent pay, good health insurance and have fought for better working conditions. Support personnel have stood up to upper administration/principals who have shown us no respect and treated us like second-class citizens. As a former HISD custodian, I experienced this treatment firsthand. Today blue-collar workers and HESP members stand in unity with a strong voice in HISD and in Texas. We are proud to announce that all HESP blue-collar workers will have a voice at HISD Consultation. No more injustice.”
A secret ballot election was conducted by a neutral third party, YES! Elections, between October 31st and November 16th. All non-administrative employees were eligible to vote, regardless of their membership in a union or employee organization.
“As our educators and school staff navigate this tumultuous moment in public education, one thing is clear: they need a voice,” said AFT President Randi Weingarten. “And with that voice, collaboration and consultation are critical to help our schools get students and staff the support they need and make our schools safe and welcoming. We are the people on the front lines—in the classrooms and cafeterias, on the buses, and throughout our school buildings—and our voices are going to help ensure that students are taken care of socially, emotionally, and academically. This vote is a huge victory for the educators and school staff of Houston, and the entire public school community as well.”
The Houston Federation of Teachers represents school employees in Houston ISD and is affiliated with Texas AFT and the American Federation of Teachers.