Message to our TSTA family from President Noel Candelaria

In these very difficult and challenging times, I want to reach out to our #TeamTSTA family as union brothers and sisters and assure you that your officers and staff members are here to assist you. First of all, we hope that you, your families and your students are safe and healthy now and throughout this coronavirus pandemic. We all are taking disruptive and difficult measures to slow the spread of COVID-19. Like so many of you, we at TSTA headquarters are leading by example and have taken steps to distance ourselves physically from our friends and coworkers, including closing the TSTA building and asking our staff to work remotely. We too are missing the comfort of in-person social contact, but we hope that together we can continue to support our students and our colleagues through these extraordinary times.

Many of your schools already have closed, others are closing and reopening dates are uncertain. But please know that you are not alone. You have a TSTA family of union brothers and sisters on whom to call for support, beginning with your officers and staff. Below you will find a link to a resources page, including updates on the coronavirus emergency, expert advice from the Centers for Disease Control on protecting your health and the health of your families, resources for online learning and educating special needs students, as well as updates from TEA.

I know you also are concerned about the health and well-being of your students, particularly students in low-income communities who depend on the nutritional meals they get at school. I also know that you, our Education Support Professional brothers and sisters, are worried about what school shutdowns will mean for your pay and your families’ well-being. We are working tirelessly to advocate for and ensure your safety, plus minimize your potential professional and financial impact as hourly employees.

Please be assured that as a TSTA family, we have each other’s back. We will continue working with state leaders, both elected and appointed, to assure that children are fed and support staff on hourly wages continue to be paid during school shutdowns. We will continue to work and coordinate with local TSTA leaders to demand the same of their local districts and school boards, and if you need assistance, we are here to help. For help with any issue, large or small, our Help Center is just a phone call away at 1-877-ASK-TSTA.

Wishing you and your families the best, now and always.

In solidarity,

Noel Candelaria