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U P D AT E TEXAS STATE EMPLOYEES UNION Vol 30, No 3 COMMUNICATIONS WORKERS OF AMERICA, LOCAL 6186 / AFL-CIO Oct. 2011 Did you think this fight was over? Pension slashers are at it again. see full story on page 2 TSEU/Unity @ Verizon TSEU members stand with fellow CWA members on Labor Day see full story on page 3 Thinking T and acting, S Houston group plans all-out assault on public globally and E worker pensions locally! U U nhappy that anti-public worker legislators were unable to gut our pension plans in the last legislative session, a group T of wealthy, conservative corporate chieftains has banded to- he challenges are greater than ever. Here in Texas a gether to try again. Led by Bill King, a group from the Greater Hous- powerful circle of corporate chieftains is plotting to ton Partnership has formed “Texans for Public Pension Reform.” dissolve our pension plans. As Texas tumbles further King is a lawyer at the notoriously right-wing law firm Bracewell into a third-world standard of living, anti-government Giuliani. Bracewell specializes in defense of polluting corporations radicals plot to slash state services even more. Nationally, and is a noted union-busting law firm. Greater Houston Partner- one of the most profitable corporations in the country – ship is described as “ an über-chamber of commerce with business Verizon – is trying to eliminate pension, health care, and members representing $1.5 trillion in assets,” in press reports. other benefits that workers won over decades. “I think the state needs to get the hell out of this (pension) busi- ness.” King told a reporter for the Austin American Statesman. He Cuts will hurt all Texans also said that he plans to make pensions an issue in the Texas Leg- While we defeated many of the attacks, the 2011 ses- islature, and that he would support a constitutional amendment to sion of the Texas Legislature was the worst in memory for eliminate defined benefit public employee pension plans. Texans. Education funding was cut by billions of dollars. See pressclips in the “members” section of the TSEU website Billions of dollars was cut from crucial health, human ser- for a full copy of the press article. vices, and similar programs. Thousands of state employee jobs, in agencies and universities, will be sacrificed. We’re all in this together From Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid at the na- New ERS Medicare plan tional level, to public employee union rights in many states, to Verizon workers hard-won benefits, to state services and starts in January state employee jobs and benefits here in Texas, a far-right Plan will cut costs, simplify services for many O movement fueled by corporate funds and anti-government n January 1, all ERS retirees who are in Medicare or Medi- radicalism is threatening many of the basic building blocks care eligible will be transferred to a new Medicare Advan- of our society. The attacks threaten all of us. tage plan, unless they opt out. ERS Medicare retirees can Fighting back works opt out before the plan starts, and can opt out or in at any time after TSEU members have proved that fighting back works. that. The plan has caused a lot of confusion and concern, but will Earlier this year we defeated plans in the Texas Legislature produce significant improvements and/or savings for many retirees to furlough state employees, to eliminate our longevity This change was forced by the Texas Legislature, which man- pay, to gut our health plan, to close down state supported dated that ERS find ways to save on health benefits. ERS convinced living centers. We did this by working together, by orga- legislators to let them try this plan instead of immediately cutting nizing every day, by getting our co-workers involved, and benefits for all participants or imposing major cost increases on by building a coalition of people and organizations that employees and retirees. was much stronger than any of us could be alone. 1. Who: The change will affect all ERS health plan participants who Building power & unity to defeat the attacks are enrolled in Medicare or are Medicare eligible. All Medicare As TSEU members, we understand that it’s important to enrolled retirees will be automatically transferred to the new build the strength of our Texas state employee movement plan unless they opt out (see #8) Surviving spouses of retirees as a part of an overall movement to push back the attacks who have passed away are eligible if they opted to stay in the ERS on working people. We will be there, for our own pension health plan. Retirees who are not Medicare eligible, and Medi- plans, for education funding for young Texans, for Social care retirees who live outside the United States are not eligible Security and other federal benefits, and for fellow CWA for the new plan. members at Verizon. 2. What: The (ERS) Humana Medicare Advantage Plan will be To-do for today: ORGANIZE managed by Humana Health. It will be a unified plan: partici- It’s what we do every day that makes the difference. pants will get all services (except pharmacy) through the plan We are in the period between legislative sessions, between contintued on page 5 elections. This is our chance to build our strength. Every new member of TSEU, every member who signs up for COPE, makes a difference. 2. TSEU UPDATE LABOR DAY TSEU T SEU members organized Labor Day events at TSEU offices in STYLE Austin, Houston, and San An- tonio. In Houston and Austin, we Members mark Labor Day with Unity@Verizon mixed partying with solidarity action action and good times at area TSEU offices as TSEU members, wearing our red TSEU/CWA solidarity t-shirts, set up picket lines at Verizon stores. We did the solidarity actions to support CWA members at Verizon, where the com- pany is trying to eliminate decades of progress on employee benefits in the on-going contract negotiations. AUSTIN [above and immediate right]: It started at the Ve- rizon Store where 23 TSEU members and several mem- bers of CWA Local 6132 set up our informational picket at about 3:00. When store security and Austin police told us we could not picket on store property, we moved to a nearby sidewalk and kept on marching. We ended with a final march past the store just to make sure that Verizon staff and customers got the message. At about 4:00pm we gathered at the TSEU office for TSEU’s annual Labor Day picnic. About 45 TSEU members, family, and friends gath- ered for the afternoon of food, fun, and music. SAN ANTONIO [immediate right]: TSEU members, family, and friends met at the San Antonio Union Office to Celebrate Labor Day. Congressman Lloyd Doggett was there to shake hands and address the members. He spoke of a joined and continuous coalition of labor and politics. He talked about the partnership he and TSEU had dur- ing the fight against HB 2292, as well as the contributions unions have made to society in general. State Representative Joaquin Castro also attended and addressed TSEU members. After both speeches, Doggett and Castro opened the floor up for questions. TSEU Board member Arthur Valdez, along with Steve Brink, HHSC Joan Barasch, Anna Perez Ingram, and Maria Frances Ortiz were in charge of arrangements. Pictured at right [l-r] Dorothy Shannon, Congress- man Lloyd Doggett, Arthur Valdez (TSEU E- Board), TSEU Legislative Director Derrick Osobase. HOUSTON [bottom]: About 20 TSEU union members and family came to the Houston La- bor Day open house. Besides sharing opinions, drinks, and food, members took part in a short action at a nearby Verizon Wireless store. We dis- tributed information to customers and passer-bys about the attempt by Verizon to undercut work- er’s wages and benefits at the bargaining table, de- spite making over $6 Billion in 2011. Pictured at right [l-r] Doris Cleveland, Samm Al- maguer, Jerry Wald, Arturo Padilla, Claudia Uku- tegbe, Vytas Gedutis. TSEU UPDATE 3. Building state employee power: 2011 TSEU Summer COPE Tour P olitical muscle definitely makes a difference. We can’t have enough. It took all we had to stop attempts to eliminate our longevity pay, to kill the furlough plans, and to turn back several other attacks earlier this year. And the fight is still on. Already “It’s important for us to get people a new attack on our pensions has opened up. elected that support our ideals and COPE – the Committee on Political Education – is both our political action fund and objectives. It’s really important for our internal organization of members who want to be part of our political action. The EVERY (Union) member to become a annual COPE tour is a multi-city push to get more members signed up. For this year’s member of COPE and contribute as tour TSEU Legislative Director Derrick Osobase attended most of the events, where he much as possible to help elect someone gave first-hand reports on the results from the Texas Legislature and discussed the im- that will listen to us, instead of portance of building strong political action groups and funds. shutting the door in our face.” As of Sept. 14, the COPE tour has been to thirteen cities and about 25 locations. Along Pearlie Crain, Hwy 6 HHSC, Houston with 84 new COPE members, the tour has signed up 55 new TSEU members. EL PASO, August 3 - 4 HOUSTON AREA, August 17 - 19 Judy Lugo, Christina Cassandra Crosby, Sheila Badzioch, Samm Almaguer, and Pearlie Vargas, Yoly Griego, and Crain were among the TSEU members who worked to sign up 24 Cilia Casas were among COPE members along with 13 new TSEU members. The COPE the members who helped tour visited the Polk St, Buffalo Speedway, Hwy 6, and Harwin organize the events. offices; along with the University of Houston and the TSEU Fort COPE tour events were Bend Area Organizing Committee meeting. organized at the Frank- lin State Office Building, HHSC offices at Moun- tain View, Riverside, and McCombs; along with the El Paso area TSEU meet- ing. Eleven new members EL PASO - Christina Vargas (left) signs up Diane Martinez into COPE. and 6 new COPE mem- bers signed up. VALLEY AREA, August 9 - 12 Gloria Garcia, Joe Angulo, Janie Peña, Blanca Aleman, Teresa Jaramillo, J.J. Gonzalez, Yamili Chavez, David Rodri- guez, Violet Perez, Adela Vega, TSEU members at Hwy 6 HHSC office join COPE Letty Quintanilla, and Chris- tina Ortiz helped organize DALLAS AREA, August 23 - 26 events at Alamo HHSC, McAl- Misty Corley, D’Andra Newman, Rodney Brown, Randall Parker, len Parole, U. T. Pan American, Vivian Kirk, Mary Orozco, Dorace Armstrong, Dakota Stepney, Brownsville DFPS, and the Dedra Richardson, and TSEU Board member Micah Haley all HARLINGEN - Letty Quintanilla signs up fellow TSEU member Cathy Harlingen HHSC/DFPS office. worked to make the COPE tour a success. The tour visited the Grand Longoria into COPE Eighteen new COPE members Prairie HHSC Office, Dallas II Parole, and Westmoreland DFPS. signed up along with 10 new Members also organized a COPE tour party at the TSEU office. 23 TSEU members. new COPE members, along with 6 new TSEU members signed up. 4. TSEU UPDATE New ERS Medicare plan starts in January contintued from page 2 instead of having to work with both Medicare and Health- Select. Prescription drugs will be provided through the current ERS prescription drug plan. 3. Participant costs: Many services will be 100% covered under the new plan, and there will be fewer co-pays or other out-of-pocket expenses. Full details are not available, but most diagnostic imaging, lab, and doctor visits are covered at 100% under the plan. There are no deductibles under this plan. 4. When: Eligible participants who have not opted out will be transferred to the new plan on January 1, 2012. 5. Providers: participants will be able to use any provid- ers who EITHER accept Medicare or are on Humana’s pro- vider network. No current Medicare participants will have to Legislative Director Derrick Osobase conducts legislative wrap-up at a TSEU Dallas office COPE cook-out and open house. change providers unless the provider drops out of Medicare. 6. Savings for retirees: Many participants will see immedi- KILLEEN, August 31 ate savings in lower co-pays and other out-of-pocket costs. Barbara Garrett, Jefferson Sanchez and Marcus Smith helped or- Retirees who cover their spouses will immediately begin to ganize a COPE Day at the Killeen HHSC office, where they signed save $137 per month in premium costs. Surviving spouses up 6 new COPE members. will save $275 per month. Spouses can “split” their cover- age: if only one spouse is Medicare eligible they can join the CORPUS CHRISTI, September 8 - 9 Medicare Advantage plan, and the other can join when they The COPE tour stopped at the Corpus Christi Parole Office, become eligible. Corpus Christi State Supported Living Center, and Greenwood DFPS, in addition to a Corpus Christi TSEU/COPE Happy Hour 7. Opting out: Medicare eligible ERS retirees who want to at the CWA union hall in Corpus Christi. Vanessa Lujan, Juan opt out from the start can do so between November 7 and Granados, Brenda Samudio, Janet Kearney, Brandy Young, and December 9. These members will never go into the new plan Rose Soto helped organize the activities. Seven members joined unless they change their minds. Members who go into the COPE, and 15 new members joined TSEU. new plan on January 1 will be able to opt out of the plan at any time. They can also opt back in at any time. BRENHAM, September 14 34 new members/ 12 new COPE - The 2011 Brenham State Sup- 8. The fine print and downsides: There are numerous is- ported Living Center COPE Picnic was a major success! Thirty sues related to this change that cause concerns. Among the four new members greatest is that the Texas Legislature is known to be deter- joined the union, and mined to slash state employees’ health plans. The deal on 12 members joined this plan could change within two years if it does not save COPE. TSEU Executive enough, or if legislators just decide to cut funding even more. Board member Debra Among other concerns: the effect of planned cuts to federal Coleman, Vernando subsidies for Medicare Advantage plans and the effect on the Sweed, Rosia Newsome, HealthSelect plan of moving large numbers of retirees out Arthur Curry, Deborah of the plan. TSEU will continue our analysis of these issues Borah, and Elaine Reed and get reports out to members as we have new information. organized the day, with assistance from Dr. Hal- 9. More information: ERS is still working on final details, cyon Watkins (retired, and will send letters in late September with more informa- Prairie View A&M) and tion. In early October Medicare eligibile retirees will get a Mae Jo Williams (re- Debra Coleman [right] tells co-workers benefits information kit with more details. In the meantime, why COPE is important. contact TSEU for an ERS informational flyer that has many tired BSSLC). details, including the times and places of ERS informational sessions in various locations around the state. TSEU UPDATE 5. JUDY LUGO JOE ANGULO president region i representative This past legislative session was a very tough I work at the University of Texas Pan Amer- session. As President, I worked with mem- ican here in Edinburg, Texas. I am a Tech- bers, staff and legislators to push back some nical Staff Assistant V working in the Elec- of the worst legislation that employees have trical Engineering Dept and have been an seen in a long time. TSEU partnered with the community and other active TSEU member for over 7 years. I am running for Region unions to fight for the rights of Texans and state employees. We all I position on the TSEU Executive Board and would work toward came together for the biggest Lobby Day in TSEU history. I am seek- reaching the goals that are important to TSEU members and State ing the position of President to continue the fight for state employ- workers. We need to continue to fight for a pay raise, decent health ees, protect health care benefits, and protect pensions and pay. To benefits, full funding for our pension plans and a fair work envi- continue to fight for the people we serve, the most vulnerable Texans. ronment. I am ready to work for you to reach those goals. TSEU MIKE GROSS vice president I’m proud to have served on the TSEU Ex- ecutive Board during these difficult years. In the past two years we have seen the worst attacks in memory on our jobs and our ben- efits, and on state services. This year we defeated the worst of the attacks: we killed plans to cut our pensions, to eliminate longevity EXECUTIVE BOARD pay, to lay off 10,000 state workers. We’ve done a lot, but there is a lot left to do. I’m ready to work harder than ever, with the rest of our Board and with you, to win Election 2011 new victories for state employees. JOANNE DAY secretary Those listed on these pages are candidates I work at the DSHS laboratory in Austin for TSEU Executive Board. This election as a Microbiologist in the Medical Parasi- tology lab. I have been a state worker and will consist of all four of the statewide member of TSEU since 1999. I have been positions (see column at left) and five an active member at the DSHS main campus for several years. I of the eight regional positions. have served as the Region VII representative for the past 2 years Ballots are currently being mailed to all and have accepted the duties of the Secretary position this last year. I am excited to be on the Executive board and I hope to active TSEU members in good standing. keep serving as Secretary. Please support me and your union by Please contact your TSEU office if you have becoming more active. Start here and vote for me. not received a ballot by October 15. BALLOT RETURN DEADLINE WILL BE ANTHONY BROWN FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4 treasurer Ballots must be returned by U.S. Mail and be I’m proud to have served as a TSEU executive received in the TSEU Elections Committee board member since 1999. I am now asking post office box by 5:00pm. Postage-paid your support and vote for election as your envelopes will accompany the ballots. Treasurer. I will continue to assist the Execu- tive Board in our fight for justice on the job; quality and affordable We would like to strongly urge all members health care; slowing privatization and job cuts; and securing quality to participate in this election. pay for all state employees. I will continue to work with the Board to ensure that our dues money is used in an efficient manner to protect the interest of our members and all state employees. 6. TSEU UPDATE ARTHUR VALDEZ region ii representative I have worked for the state 38 years & my El Paso area committee platform is I support legislators who sup- builds for the next fight D port state workers. The attacks on state & university workers the past couple of Legis- uring its most recent regular meeting on August 3rd, the lative sessions have been very typical of what is happening across El Paso Area Committee heard from TSEU Legislative the country. My sincere thanks to our organizers & activists for Director Derrick Osobase. He spoke about the proposed your work in the fight against the attacks. The fight is not over. pay and benefit cuts in the last legislative session that TSEU We must get more of our co-workers to join TSEU & COPE to members successfully defeated as well as where our union goes prepare for the next session’s attacks. We shall not give up! Please from here in the fight for good pay and benefits and quality state get involved. I humbly ask for your vote once again. services. He stressed the need for members to spend this time be- fore the next legislative session signing up our coworkers into the union and into COPE. We have to start getting ready now for the upcoming elections so that we can shift the legislature towards MICAH HALEY a pro-state services agenda. Afterwards, committee members region iv representative discussed plans to build the union in their workplaces, ask cur- My name is Micah Haley and I work for rent members to join COPE, and to set up a meeting with State TDCJ-Parole Division as a unit supervi- Senator Jose Rodriguez so we can discuss our agenda for the next sor. I have been a state employee for 14 session. Diane Martinez (EPSSLC) and Anne Allis (UTEP) both years and a TSEU member for 12 years. I joined COPE at the meeting. am asking for your support and vote for re-election to another term as board member. I ask for your vote to continue the fight against privatization, maintain affordable health care and most importantly a pay raise for all state employees. I have been an active participant in many parole caucuses, mini lobby days, lobby days and recruit new members for TSEU/COPE. ARNULFO SAMMUEL ALMAGUER region vii representative I have been a TSEU member & activist for the past 20 years. I talk to co-workers about the union during breaks and lunch hours. I have Pictured from left to right around the table are Derrick Osobase (TSEU Legis- lative Director), Judy Lugo (HHSC, TSEU President), Anne Allis (UTEP), Ar- also been an organizer. I know the political mando Ramos (Parole), Terrie Santaguida (FPS Retiree), John Garcia (FPS), climate is challenging, but experiences with the attempted privatiza- Vicky Rodriguez (TTUHSC Retiree), Chris Vargas (HHSC), Diane Martinez tion of Human Services and recent legislative sessions has taught me (EPSSLC), Pat Sweisford (Retiree), and Mundo Ruiz (EPSSLC). that our members can, as a union, fight and win against privateers and profiteers. If elected I will continue to work to organize, educate and mobilize our co-workers to protect our health care, retirement and for better working conditions, and for the pay raise we deserve. SECC makes contributing easy The State Employee Charitable Cam- paign allows state and university em- ANNE LEWIS ployees to contribute to any of numerous charitable and social service organiza- region viii representative tions through payroll deduction. The SECC I am an instructional worker at the Univer- makes it easy for state employees to give sity of Texas, Austin and have been a proud a little and make a big difference. Through payroll deduc- member of TSEU and NABET-CWA since tion pledges, employees can give as little as $2 a month to charities. In 2010, more than 7,500 state and university 1999. I have been in the labor movement employees contributed over $2.23 million through just in and the movement for social justice since I began working. Here’s the Austin area. Several TSEU activists have been active in what I believe in: Growth of our union’s membership, strength, the SECC, including TSEU Executive Board member Mary and collective action Coalition work for worker’s rights and pub- Banda in McAllen and Reuben Leslie in Austin. Visit www. lic services with other progressive groups Rank-and-file partici- secctexas.org for more information. pation in the internal decisions of our union. TSEU UPDATE 7. Statewide summer caucus meetings Human Services & Parole caucuses discuss issues, plan weeks of action HHSC / DADS Caucus O n Saturday, August 13th, thirteen TSEU HHSC/DADS-LTSS activists met in Aus- tin for the Summer 2011 Caucus meet- ing. Legislative Director Derrick Osobase opened the meeting with a report on the legislative session and the importance of building COPE, our political action committee. Plans were made to add HHSC/ DADS offices in San Antonio, the Valley and Hous- ton to the COPE tour schedule. Read more on the COPE tour on pages 4 and 5. ERS board member and El Paso HHSC-TSEU mem- ber Yoly Griego spoke about the ERS elections; and while TSEU candidate Bob Stewart was not elected, Yoly has committed to remaining the voice of TSEU on the ERS board for the remainder of her term. [front row, l-r] Judy Lugo (TSEU President)-El Paso HHSC, Tina Belmares-Alamo HHSC [back row, l-r] Jamie Berry-TSEU Staff, Angie Medina-Raymondville DADS, Raquel Guerrero- A report on HHSC/DADS organizing showed Houston Polk St. DADS, Rita Devine-San Antonio DADS, Joan Barasch-San Antonio HHSC, Terry that there was significant growth at the Permian Ba- Moreno-San Benito DADS, Yoly Griego-(ERS Board) El Paso HHSC, Pearlie Crain-Houston Hwy 6 sin call center and in the Valley making HHSC the HHSC, Lupita Hurtado-Brownsville HHSC, Letty Quintanilla-Harlingen HHSC, Chris Vargas, El Paso HHSC, Janie Sarabia-San Antonio DADS most organized union agency (outside of State Sup- ported Living Centers). October Month of Action & union visibility campaign TDCJ-PAROLE Caucus T The caucus discussed TSEU visiblity and building a union pres- ence - this could be posting fliers on work bulletin boards, wearing his past Saturday, September 10th, Parole caucus activists TSEU t-shirts or buttons, putting a bumper sticker on our cars, met in Austin to discuss key issues in our agency and how and more. October 2011 was picked to hold the HHSC/DADS we can best build TSEU in our offices. Month of Action - a special month of increased organizing and Micah Haley led the discussion of the key issues facing mem- mobilizing at HHSC/DADS locations around Texas. Mark your bers in Parole. We will focus on winning inclusion in the 20-year calendar and please contact your office activists or the TSEU office LECOSRF retirement for clerical/support staff, strengthening if you would like to help plan an event at your office in October. the career ladder, and winning an across-the-board raise for all staff. Everyone will start setting up meetings with legislators to get the ball rolling on these campaigns. Donna Comeaux lead a discussion on how we can create and maintain a union culture in our of- fices. She suggested everyone target the new hires as soon as they return from POTA and holding regular meetings and events to increase visibility. On the TDCJ-Parole Caucus schedule October 23rd-29: Parole Week of Action. February 18, 2012: next Parole Caucus meeting [l-r] Sharon Hawthorne (Dallas), Donna Comeaux (Beau- mont), Micah Haley (Dallas), Minnie Carrillo (Lubbock), Juan Granados (Corpus Christi), Dawn Marie Jordan (Amarillo), Richard Clements (Houston), and Dedra Richardson (houston). 8. TSEU UPDATE TSEU Member-only Benefits Union Benefits brought to you by: UnionPlus AD&D COVERAGE All members automatically covered For information, go online to www.UnionPlus.org benefits for accidental death or loss of limb $2500 for member - $500 spouse - $250 child MONEY AND CREDIT AUTO ADVANTAGES Additional insurance available to union members at a reduced rate. Credit Card Car Rental Discounts Credit Counseling Goodyear Tire & Service Your Credit Score Motor Club Loans Auto Buying AT&T Wireless Discount Online Tax Service LEGAL SERVICES Union-Made Checks 15% discount on individual wireless Secured Credit Card HOUSE AND HOME plans through AT&T - go online to: Mortgage & Real Estate HEALTH & WELL BEING Moving Discount www.getunionwireless.com Health Savings Pet Savings Health Club Discounts for more information about the discount EVERYDAY SAVINGS INSURANCE DEALS Consumer Reports.org Auto Insurance Flower Discount UnionSecure Life Union-Made Clothing UnionSecure Accident Carry the card that works as hard as you: Pet Insurance Powell’s Bookstore TRAVEL AND RECREATION The CWA MasterCard EDUCATION SERVICES Scholarships Cruise Discounts Worldwide Vacation Tours •24-Hour Personal Customer Service COMPUTERS AND TECH Entertainment Discounts •Low Interest Rate on Purchases •Free Checks •No Annual Fee Dell Computer Travel Center •Call 1-800-757-0143 or go to www.cwa-unioncard.com to apply. Internet Service Discount Car Rental Discounts Fold into thirds making sure personal information is INSIDE. Seal with tape and send it in! TSEU EXECUTIVE BOARD • Judy Lugo (HHSC, El Paso) President • Mike Gross (TSEU, Austin) Vice President TSEU salutes two • Joanne Day (DSHS, Austin) Secretary • James Nauls (TDCJ, Houston) Treasurer retiring activists • Mary Banda (OAG, McAllen) Region 1 • Arthur Valdez (DSHS, San Antonio) Reg. 2 • Miguel Torres (TxTechHSC, Lubbock) Reg. 3 BARBARA FETONTE • Micah Haley (TDCJ, Dallas) Region 4 • Stacie Bardshar (HHSC, Tyler) Reg. 5 Barbara Fetonte has been • Debra Coleman (DADS/Brenham) Region 6 a TSEU activist since she • Anthony Brown (DFPS, Houston) Region 7 joined in 1986. She worked • Anne Lewis (UT-Austin) Region 8 her whole state career in the Texas Workforce Com- mission (formerly the Tex- TSEU STAFF & OFFICES Barbara Fetonte Mundo Ruiz, Stella Arroyos, Rep. Pickett, & Anna Ortega as Employment Commis- Austin 512.448-4225 sion), and retired as Operations Coordinator of STELLA ARROYOS After 29 years of service 1700 South 1st Street the TWC Unemployment Call Center in Austin. to the children of Texas, Stella will be retiring from Austin, TX 78704 She was a leader of the organizing committee in El Paso CPS in October. She started as an admin- • Mike Gross, Organizing Coordinator every location where she worked, and was a long- istrative secretary and rose to CPS Specialist IV • Jim Branson, Lead Organizer time leader of the TWC Caucus. She also served where she worked tirelessly to protect kids in need. • Ron Day, Organizer • Cassy Fogale,Organizer on the TSEU Executive Board from 2003 to 2008. She joined TSEU 20 years ago and started build- • Veronica Sily,Organizer She plans to stay active as a member of the Austin ing state employee power in the union. Stella will • Charles Gentry, Organizer Area Retirees Organizing Committee (ROC). remain a member of TSEU through ROC. • Derrick Osobase, Political Director • Debbie Haun, Office Manager • John Behr, Membership Office Manager • Dulce Aguilar, Membership Office • Chris Knapp, Publications I signed up 5 of my co-workers and got a TSEU briefcase! San Antonio 210.354-2900 Lorenzo Spence, Cross Park CPC HHSC, Austin 454 Soledad, Suite R-200 Get Recognized! San Antonio, TX 78205 • Ted Hooker, Organizer • Santos Hernandez, Organizer • Joe Montemayor, Organizer • Sign up (at least) three new union • Arthur Valdez, Organizer members and get a TSEU T-shirt • Linda Wilson, Organizer • Sign up five or more, and get a TSEU Southeast Texas 713.661-9030 briefcase or jacket. 9247 South Main Sign-ups must be coordinated with your local TSEU organizer Houston, TX 77025 or office. Call for copies of applications and other materials. • Myko Gedutis, Lead Organizer • Jamie Berry, Organizer • Willie Mae Bolar, Organizer • Harrison Hiner, Organizer IN MEMORIAM North Texas 214.942-4305 737 S. RL Thornton Frwy, Ste B The people of our state, and their brothers and sisters of Texas State Employees Union, have lost two dear Dallas, TX 75203 friends and loyal allies. While they are no longer with us, their memory will be with us always. • Seth Hutchison, Lead Organizer • Anitra Patterson, Organizer SCHRONDA HAWKINS Al Price TYC By her service to the people of the Texas as a state employee, Valley 956.428-0251 and by her leadership in TSEU, as an activist and member 801 N. 13th Street, Ste 13 of the Executive Board, Schronda exemplified the dedica- Harlingen, TX 78550 tion to our people and our state that marks the best of us. • Ted Hooker, Organizer • Missy Benavidez, Organizer LINDA TRAVIS HHSC Houston • Santos Hernandez, Organizer Linda Travis was a long time HHSC member that retired from state service in 2010. She was a OES supervisor with West Texas 806.741-0044 the CPM program at the Harwin location. She loved her 2002 Avenue J family & she enjoyed teaching and competing in country- Schronda Hawkins (center) seen here with Lubbock, TX 79405 western dancing. fellow activists at TYC mini-lobby day. • Seth Hutchison, Lead Organizer • Cassy Fogale,Organizer • Veronica Sily,Organizer • Santos Hernandez, Organizer TSEU UPDATE 11. • Linda Wilson, Organizer TEXAS STATE EMPLOYEES UNION NON PROFIT ORG. Communications Workers of America, Local 6186 US POSTAGE PAID 1700 South 1st Street PERMIT NO 1025 Austin, TX 78704 AUSTIN, TX TSEU candidate sworn in to TRS Board of Trustees T SEU activist Karen Charleston (seen below center, being sworn in) was She was selected at the 2010 TSEU General Assembly as one of appointed to the Board of Trustees of the Teacher Retirement- three TSEU candidates in the election for the University seat on System this past August. It was the last step of the two-step pro- the TRS Board. cess that requires candidates to be elected, and to be then appointed Under the system in place at TRS, an election is held for each by the Governor. of the elected seats on the board. The Governor then appoints any Karen is a long-time one of the top three candidates (in votes received) in the election. TSEU activist at Prairie To make sure that our candidate would not be passed over even if View A&M. She serves we won the election, TSEU ran three candidates. Our other can- on the PVAM orga- didates were Joe Angulo of U.T. Pan American and Julien De- nizing committee and vereux of U.T. Austin. TSEU ran a simultaneous campaign to elect the University Caucus all three candidates. Karen got the most votes, with 2732. Julien statewide committee. came in second and Joe came in third in the election. warning: Legislative action could eliminate university representation HB 2120, by Rep. Doug Miller (r-new braunfels) includes a provision that eliminates the TRS Board position reserved for university employees, and makes all retired TRS members, all current school district employees, and active university employees, eligible for the same single seat. This move could eliminate representation for university employ- ees if the seat is taken by a school district retiree or employee. Karen Charleston will serve her full term of six years before an election under this bill changes the representation on the TRS Board. TSEU will work with legislators to repeal this bill and restore representa- tion for university employees on the TRS Board of Trustees.
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