The 85th Legislative Session is well under way, and ATPE is working hard to make sure Texas educators’ voices are heard at the State Capitol and beyond. Some of our legislators are also working hard, but unfortunately, they have the opposite goal in mind. They want to silence your voice.
One of our biggest priorities for 2017 is defeating a bill that would prevent educators from using payroll deduction to pay association dues. Why would our legislators want to take away this safe and convenient payment option? Because eliminating the easiest way for educators to pay their association dues would reduce our numbers and weaken our voice. It’s interesting to note that under this bill, payroll deduction will still be allowed for firefighters, police officers, and EMS workers. Why are they coming after us? Because we oppose vouchers. Because we raise a ruckus about the unfair “A-F” system.
Payroll deduction is by far the easiest and safest payment method, and despite what some legislators say, it doesn’t cost our districts—or the state—a thing. With payroll deduction, I don’t have to worry about identity theft or updating my payment information. And I don’t have to think about renewing my ATPE membership at the beginning of the school year, when what I really want to be focused on is getting ready for my students.
As I write, the payroll deduction elimination bill is still a threat to Texas educators. Read our advocacy blog at TeachtheVote.org for updates. Yes, ATPE has our backs in the classroom, but it’s time for us to speak up for ourselves and protect our rights. Our collective voice is powerful. Stand firm and speak out. Be that squeaky wheel. Contact your legislators NOW.
ATPE State President