Breaking News: State Senate Education Committee is expected to hear its school finance bill in a hearing tomorrow, and that bill could contain bad provisions tying pay to test scores. Stay tuned to our Facebook page tomorrow for more information.
Early vote now for local school board races!
Fort Bend AFT leaders and members held a school board Candidate Forum earlier this month
You’ll see a lot of our focus right now targeted at the state Capitol — after all, it’s the middle of a legislative session, which can have a significant impact on the work and pay of our educators, and the funding of our schools. But equally important are the elections for your school board members, who are charged with carrying out policy at the local level, including most salary decisions.
Early voting began Monday and runs through next Tuesday, April 30, for the May 4 election. It’s critical that you get involved to support candidates who will support our students and educators. Check here to see endorsements from some of our local unions and if there are any volunteer opportunities to assist them in electing these candidates.
Breaking good news: TRS pension bill passes House
The Texas House today passed a bill that would raise the state contribution rate to the Teacher Retirement System of Texas pension fund by 2 percent, while also providing a one-time “13th check” capped at $2,400. Since there are differences with the Senate plan (which also increases contributions from employees and districts, and has a $500 13th-check cap), the bill will now have to go to a conference committee to iron out the differences.
We will be asking you all to support the much more logical, fair and beneficial house version.
- Read Louis Malfaro’s op-ed making the case for retirees: Texas’ retired teachers served our children. They deserve a pension that serves them.
- Retirees: Join Retiree Plus to help advocate the House plan that will provide for a fairer, better chance at a pension cost-of-living increase.
And now the bad news: TRS active employee health care faces premium hikes
The Texas Teacher Retirement System of Texas Board of Trustees Benefits Committee will meet tomorrow to consider premium increases for TRS ActiveCare–the health insurance used by the majority of districts across the state. Estimated increases, depending on the plan, are anywhere from 3 percent to 8 percent. (Districts differ in their contribution rates above the state mandate, so premiums and possible increases will vary widely.) Texas AFT will be opposing any increases, and more importantly, we will be educating state officials on the link between teacher pay and how salary increases are eaten up by health-insurance costs. Stay tuned for more news on TRS benefits.
A little money per month can give you peace of mind to avoid big vet bills
The Union Plus Pet Insurance program is powered by Pets Best and offers plans to fit all budgets and coverage needs. From an Accident Only1 plan to a full coverage BestBenefit Plan, having pet insurance can help take the sting out of those expensive veterinary bills! Plus, union members save 5% off any BestBenefit plan that covers both accidents and illnesses.
P.S. – Every Pets Best policyholder has access to the 24/7 Pet Helpline powered by WhiskerDocs. Speak to a veterinary expert any time of day or night to get your pet health and behavior questions answered.
Win a trip to AFT TEACH 2019
AFT’s Share My Lesson is hosting a sweepstakes to celebrate all the educators who help and inspire one another to better the profession for all of us. As part of the Teacher Appreciation Sweepstakes, we will treat five lucky educators and school staff for a trip to Washington, D.C., July 11-13, to attend the professional development and networking event of the summer: AFT TEACH 2019!
AFT Teach is a unique professional learning conference the provides in-depth, hands-on experiences that for concrete strategies, tools and materials to use in the classroom to meet students’ needs. At TEACH 2019, attendees can participate in a variety of sessions that will address topics facing the profession, students, schools and communities and will provide them with tools, resources and strategies to use back home.
In Case You Missed It:
Our other email publications include “#TxEd in the Media,” a Monday column with commentary and analysis of the top Texas Education stories in the news; “Dear Friends,” a letter from Texas AFT President Louis Malfaro every other Wednesday; and the “Legislative Hotline,” a wrap-up of legislative news each Friday.
About this newsletter
Round-Up is the email newsletter from Texas AFT and is published every two weeks on Wednesdays. You are on this list because you either subscribed, or you were added when you participated in a Texas AFT action campaign and opted in to receive emails. You may unsubscribe at any time with the link below, but we’d love to have you stay so you can remain informed about our union, public education, and your profession.
Texas American Federation of Teachers represents more than 65,000 teachers, paraprofessionals, support personnel, and higher-education employees across the state. Texas AFT is affiliated with the 1.7-million-member American Federation of Teachers.