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AFSCME Members in Texas Ready to Defend their Union Freedoms

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AFSCME Members in Texas Ready to Defend their Union Freedoms
Sgt. Lance Mondragon and Ofc. Michelle Griggs, both members of AFSCME Texas Corrections, talk to state Rep. Dustin Burrows during a recent trip to the Texas Capitol. (Photo by Namita Waghray)

Members of AFSCME Texas Corrections and AFSCME Texas Retirees Chapter 12 members are signing petition cards, making calls, writing emails and getting ready to lobby the state legislature in a special session that begins today.

The special session was called for by the governor after much of the legislation he supported during the regular session failed to make its way through.

The governor is setting the agenda with 19 items that will include Senate Bill 7 and its companion House Bill 156 to eliminate dues deductions for unions. This is the same bill AFSCME members and retirees defeated during the regular session. It’s an attempt to silence the voices of public employees, including city, state and county employees, by taking away their freedom to choose automatic union dues deduction from their paychecks.

Thousands of petition signatures, calls and emails during the regular session reminded key legislators that our members should be able to decide how to spend their paychecks. And we’ll continue to speak out to defeat any similar efforts in the future.

“I am an Iraq war veteran, and a correctional officer for 10 years,” said Grace Zapata, a correctional officer-V at the Nathaniel J. Neal Unit in Amarillo, Texas. “I know what it means to fight for freedom, and eliminating my economic rights to have my union dues deducted from my paycheck goes against all that I stand for.”