This pandemic isn’t over.
Here’s the information you need to protect and advocate for yourself and your colleagues.
Latest News: Mask Requirements Lifted for Texas Schools
On May 18, Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order barring schools and public agencies from requiring masks. The order goes into effect June 4.
Texas AFT President Zeph Capo called the move “unconscionable,” given that children under 12 years old are not yet eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccinations.
Need to Know: Expiration of Federal Paid Leave
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) required employers to provide paid sick leave and expanded Family Medical Act Leave (FMLA) to employees for coronavirus-related illness or quarantine. That law expired Dec. 31, 2020, and Congress has not renewed its protections.
Where does that leave you? And what if you face a situation with multiple required quarantines? Texas AFT believes districts need to step up and pass local policies that provide at least 80 hours (two regular weeks) of pay if employees are required to quarantine and can’t work remotely.
Many districts have passed local policies extending the 80 hours of leave provided by the FFCRA, and local unions like Cy-Fair AFT have successfully pushed for policies in their districts.
What You Can Do
Unfortunately, not all districts have taken this local step. That’s why we’re equipping you with a simple template policy and letter to send to your administration and school board members urging them to do the right thing.
Your Rights as an Employee
- Know Your Rights Part 1 Webinar (Video 8.19.20)
- Know Your Rights Part 2 Webinar (Video 8.19.20)
- Know Your Rights Part 3 Webinar (Video 9.23.20)
- Know Your Rights Webinar PowerPoint (8.19.20)
- Know Your Rights Webinar PowerPoint (9.23.20)
FMLA & ADA
- Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
- FMLA and ADA Webinar Video (7.9.20)
- FMLA and ADA PowerPoint (7.9.20)
- Handout 1: FMLA and ADA (PDF)
- Handout 2: FMLA & ADA 1-Pager (PDF)
- Handout 3: FMLA & ADA 1-Pager Spanish (PDF)
- Handout 4: FMLA & ADA Taking Days and Pay (PDF)
General Know Your Rights Resources
- General Know Your Rights Page
- FAQ: Workers’ Rights During COVID-19
- COVID-19 Legal Guidance for Union Members
- Right to Join a Union
- Campus Safety Committee Toolkit
- Whistleblower Protections
- Contract Abandonment
Safety committees are an essential way to collect concerns from employees and hold leaders accountable. Check with your local union or your school nurse to see if your campus has one. If not, you can start one yourself with our toolkit.
Our tracking site collects crowdsourced reports of positive COVID-19 cases, safety violations, and employee stories at campuses across the state. Submit your report.
All K-12 school employees, as well as children older than 12 years old, are eligible to receive their COVID-19 vaccines. Find a provider near you online at https://vaccinefinder.org/search/.
We’re stronger when we work together. If you’re not yet a member of our union, use this form to contact an organizer for your area and learn more about our collective fight.
Members of our Associate Membership Program (AMP) can download our free mobile app, Ask Texas AFT. You can browse answers to common workplace questions — including COVID-19 concerns — or talk one-on-one with our experts.
Note: This app is also available for Houston Federation of Teachers members.
- SY 20-21 Public Health Guidance (PDF)
March 4, 2021 [Public Health Orders card]
- Strong Start Resources
Dec. 10, 2020 [Instructional Continuity card]
- SY 20-21 Attendance and Enrollment FAQ (PDF) Dec. 10, 2020
[Waivers, Finance & Grants card]
- SY 20-21 Public Health Operational Guidebook (PDF) July 28, 2020 [Public Health Orders card]
- Full TEA COVID-19 Support and Guidance
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
In the News
Our weekly email newsletter, the Hotline, covers any and all topics of interest to Texas educators and school employees — including news and action campaigns related to COVID-19.
All COVID-19 news updates from Texas AFT, including past Hotline newsletters are available online. Below are statements, letters, and op-eds from Texas AFT.
Dallas Morning News Op-Ed: “Teachers union: It’s appalling that Texas leaders are ignoring health guidance to open schools.”