No, unions are not ‘illegal’ in Texas And yes, we’re a union

总是, someone responds to one of my Facebook posts — where I oft use the word “union” to describe 德州尾 — with a vehement objection. “德州没有工会!或者“工会在德克萨斯州是非法的。!” Or they often have the qualifier of “teacher,” as in “Teacher unions aren’t allowed in Texas.”

Some of these objections are just based on not understanding the laws of Texas. 是的, unions are legal here in the Lone Star State, and we have plenty of them in the private sector, and many bargain collectively for employment contracts. 是的, it’s also true that Texas is a “right-to-work” state, meaning it is illegal to make union membership compulsory for employment.

We also have many public sector unions (including 德州尾) that represent public employees. For most of these unions, collective bargaining is outlawed in Texas, as is the right to strike. The exceptions that allow collective bargaining for public employees are for many police officer and firefighter unions, 以及休斯顿的市政雇员.

So on to my typical response to these objections over our union label. 这里是……

事实上,澳门新葡新京官方网站是一个工会. Just because you don’t have collective bargaining or a right to strike, 或者你处于工作权利状态, doesn’t mean that you don’t fit the definition of a labor union — which is basically: employees organized to protect their rights and interests, 并促进他们的职业发展. But most important, you really need to embrace the union movement.


1) We are designated by IRS status 501(c)(5) as a labor union, and we are required to report certain financial information just like any bargaining union.

2)澳门新葡新京官方网站隶属于AFT国家, which has local unions (both bargaining and nonbargaining) across the country. And we have some 30 local affiliated unions that are self-governed.

3) We are affiliated with the AFL-CIO, and the 德州劳联-产联

4) We are counted in our AFL-CIO union for number of members. (In fact, we are the largest union in the 德州劳联-产联)

5) We do have elected consultation in several districts, in which we won school board policies allowing for the election of one organization to represent school employees in negotiations over pay and working conditions. 虽然不是全面的合同, these consultation agreements usually garner school board approval, 因此是一种讨价还价的形式. (Note: Other consultation systems have representatives elected or appointed from each teacher organization, and some elect members to consultation committees by position/job title in the district.)

6) We certainly are considered a union by reporters, 澳门新葡新京官方网站那些讨价还价的工会伙伴, 和澳门新葡新京官方网站的敌人.

7) We realize that some politicians only use the word “union” with us to try and taint us with unfavorable stereotypes, 但澳门新葡新京官方网站为工会的标签感到骄傲.

8) We even use “专业人员协会” in our tagline

9) We serve as members and leaders of Central Labor Councils, groups of labor unions organized in cities and counties to collaborate.

10) We are the only organization representing school employees that actively is seeking the right to collective bargaining in Texas for our members and other public employee unions.

So what are the other teacher unions in Texas? Just one other group holds the traits outlined above — the Texas State Teachers Association, which is affiliated with the National Education Association. 它还带有工会的标签. (尽管没有德州AFT那么多!)事实上, 澳门新葡新京官方网站与TSTA有三个“合并工会”, meaning these three local unions are affiliated with both of 德州尾/AFT and TSTA/NEA: Education Austin, 圣安东尼奥联盟, 教育圆石.

The other two main organizations are the Association of Texas 职业al Educators, 哪个不是工会, and the Texas Classroom Teachers Association, 也不是一个工会. Not only does ATPE accept administrators as members, but it also openly opposes the mission of unions and collective bargaining. ATPE更喜欢它所称的“团队方式”,“这在概念上很不错, but we disagree that it’s the best way to protect the rights of non-administrators.

TCTA isn’t as openly against the mission of unions — although it notes that it is not affiliated with any in its self-description. And TCTA certainly doesn’t embrace the label, and it’s an organization intended just for classroom teachers and other professionals, 但不是支持人员. While we compete with these other groups for members, we still work together on a variety of issues, 尤其是在立法会议上.