TSEU Legislative Agenda 2017-18
more information, please contact TSEU Political Director Harrison Hiner in the Austin TSEU office (512.448.4225)
Over 6,200 state employees are currently receiving Food Stamps
State employee pay has fallen so far behind the cost-of-living that thousands of us are now eligible for federal assistance programs like Food Stamp or SNAP benefits. And because we make so little, many of us can’t afford the state’s health insurance for our kids. In fact, over 30,000 children of state employees qualify for low-income health insurance programs like CHIP and Medicaid. It has been estimated that taxpayer funded assistance programs for low-paid state workers cost close to $119 million annually. Increasing our pay significantly would move thousands of state workers out of poverty.
A $6,000 per year salary increase is a down payment to restoring state employee pay to its 1987 purchasing power
State employee pay has not kept up with the cost-of-living for over 30 years. State employees and retirees have been facing severe problems for decades as the cost of living has increased faster than pay almost every year. It would take a pay increase of about $15,000/year to bring the buying power of the median state employee salary back to the level of 1987. This is just the amount to offset the increased cost of living not covered by pay increases we have received. State employees have not had a meaningful pay raise since 2007. University employees have not had a statewide pay raise since 2002. Every year without a pay raise is a year we really see a pay cut.
This fair raise will move to restore our standard of living and help reduce employee turnover
In some agencies, turnover of key front-line staff ranges from 20% to over 40% per year. Turnover costs hundreds of millions of dollars in hiring and training, and it threatens the ability of state agencies and universities to fulfill their commitments to the people of Texas. An across-the-board $6,000 raise would help all state employees and assure that employees at the low end of the pay scale get a real raise that will make a difference in their lives.
PAY RAISE 2017: Don’t leave out university workers – appropriate funds for a university employees’ pay raise! Repeal provisions that would eliminate across the board pay raises!
University employees have been left out of statewide pay raises for over a decade. While the university systems claim that university employees have received similar raises via merit raise and“pay for performance” schemes, the reality is that most university employees’ pay has been frozen or has increased only by tiny amounts since 2003. Since 2005, the Legislature has not appropriated any funds for university pay increases. The university systems have tried in the past to get legislators to give them pay raise money in a lump sum so they could distribute it as they saw fit, but TSEU has defeated the attempts in the past. In 2003, the legislature passed SB 1652, which includes language that makes across-the-board pay raises almost impossible for university employees.