Texas Legislature Fails State Employees 7 Years in a Row
by Texas Family Project
The state budget passed again with no pay increase for state employees for the seventh year in a row. The turnover rate for state employees is the highest it’s been in 30 years, with most employees leaving for higher paying jobs. This inspired state workers to march in Austin in April but unfortunately their voices went unheard.
Low pay and high turnover leaves many state offices and services unable to function properly. Many Texans complain that local and state government is slow and inefficient. From the eyes of many state employees their GOP legislators are setting them up for failure.
At the same time, the Texas Legislature voted to give themselves a 16% raise as their first vote of the session. Obviously they understand the need for timely pay increases when it comes to themselves. If they can prioritize a $4300.00 raise for themselves surely they can understand state employees feeling slighted with yet another year of zero increase in pay.
Seth Hutchison, VP of the Texas State Employees Union, recently published an opinion article in the Statesman saying:
“So why did lawmakers ignore the pleas for a pay raise from their employees this year, especially when they were so eager to increase salaries for teachers and even accepted a $4,300/year pay raise for themselves? Perhaps it’s because state employees serve the most marginalized and voiceless in our society. Everyone has been taught by a teacher, but not many of us have ever had to deal with a Food Stamp (SNAP) eligibility worker or a psychiatric nurse at a state hospital. Just like the people that state employees serve, lawmakers thought they could get away (once again) with sweeping state employees under the rug.”
The Dallas Morning News reported “Spokesmen for Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Speaker Dennis Bonnen did not respond to requests for comment Wednesday on the State Employee Union's demand.” It's not surprising that our GOP leaders don't want to face their employees when they know they have been disappointed and angry going on 7 years. Our legislators once again prove themselves to be spineless and shameful.
Its time to support these workers, help them raise their voices and be heard with their votes at the polls. If you are a Texas state employee tell Texas Family Project your story and how we can all help these state employees make a livable wage.
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