Local activism: Why It Matters

After Donna TSTA/NEA members packed their meeting room in August, the school board reinstated five local sick days and rehired library aides.

In August, TSTA members proved the value of local activism in at least three locations.

  • Donna TSTA/NEA members packed the board room in August. “We were there to speak on behalf of the employees, trying to reinstate five local sick days that we lost with the restructuring plan approved in March,” President Linda Estrada said. “This plan was based on the shortfall we would experience due to the state not funding public education. We decided to fight for what we lost, especially since they were hiring new people and giving out raises to certain employees.” The board reinstated five contract days and five local days, increased the budget for substitutes, and rehired library aides.
  • In Laredo ISD, all employees will get a salary increase this year. A reporter asked TSTA President Rita Haecker how local members did it, given the budget cuts that are happening across the state. “We do have a very strong team of leaders in our local that speak up for their members and employees, and they really understand during these economic times that we’re going through as a state and a country that people that don’t get paid very much to begin with, working in public schools, don’t deserve to have a big whack in their budget,” Haecker responded.
  • In San Marcos, local TSTA officers attending the school district’s open budget workshops this summer discovered extra money in the budget. Urged by the local to “give back to employees,” the board agreed to give all employees a $500 stipend in their November paycheck.