On May 21, 2015, I had the honor to join AFSCME, Education Austin, Texas State Employees Union, and AFL-CIO, among many others, to support hard working Texans and their right to support labor organizations. I testified as a leader of the law enforcement community at the Texas Capitol against Senate Bill 1968 (“SB 1968″). See my testimony to the House Committee on State Affairs below. A few days later, SB 1968 failed to make it out of committee. The Republican legislature crafted this bill with the sole intent to destroy public employee unions and the Democratic party.
SB 1968 would have taken away the freedom of hard working public employees to voluntarily pay their union membership dues through automatic payroll deduction. Teachers, correctional officers, and most state, city and county employees are among those who would have lost the freedom to deduct union dues from their paycheck. Firefighters and police union members were exempted from SB 1968. This would have created an inequity among my staff and the staff of hundreds of law enforcement heads across Texas-my deputies would not have been affected by this bill, but my dispatchers would have.
Over my 34 years of law enforcement experience, I have enjoyed the convenience of having certain benefits deducted from my payroll, such as healthcare, charitable donations, retirement payments, and union dues. My dad was a Teamster and my mom was postal worker and I know that our community is only as strong as our working families. As a Constable and as the next Sheriff, I will support the rights of my staff to participate in having their dues automatically deducted from their payroll.
Click here to learn more about supporting workers rights to organize in Texas.