When we organize, we win!

Since TSEU was founded in 1980, we have won many important victories for Texas state employees and for the millions of Texans that we serve. We are proud of our victories which have brought major improvements in our jobs and benefits, and in the quality of state services. The fight goes on: for pay that keeps up with the cost of living, for quality state services for all Texans, for affordable health care and a secure retirement. We need you to join with us.

For a more complete TSEU history, CLICK HERE


Pay: TSEU wins an emergency pay raise of 5.1% with a $50 minimum. The $50 floor is the first ever flat amount raise. Regular raises of 9.2% for 1981 & 8% for 1982 were also won. Political Rights: TSEU defeats the “McFarland Amendment”, an attempt to make it illegal for state workers to testify before the Texas legislature.


Right of Representation: TSEU established before the Texas Supreme Court the right to have pre-notification of disciplinary action (Thurston letter) and hearings and the right to union representation in grievance proceedings. Prior to this MHMR employees could simply be called in and fired at will with no representation.


Pay: TSEU wins pay raises of 4% for 1984 and 3% for 1985


Worker Rights: TSEU wins a campaign to stop the MHMR policy of unannounced and unregulated polygraph (lie detector) testing of employees. Quality Care: TSEU joins RAJ state hospital reform lawsuit as employee representative. The RAJ settlement that year set strict staff/client ratios for state hospitals.


Pay: TSEU defeats a pay freeze attempt in the Texas Legislature and wins a 3% pay raise for each of the next 2 years. Staffing: TSEU defeats the “State Employee Reduction Act” which would have laid off 10,000 state employees.


Health Care: TSEU wins an increase in state contribution to health care.


Worker Rights: TSEU wins final Tx Supreme Court ruling that MHMR cannot force employees to take lie detector tests.


Pay: TSEU campaign wins $60/5% raise, the 2nd flat amount pay raise ever. Health Care: We win state contribution to dependent health care for very first time.


Worker Organizing Rights: After a 10 year effort TSEU wins the right for state employees to have union dues deducted from their paychecks (payroll deduction) when HB 78 is passed. This is a major step in workers being able to choose the union as their representative. Health Care/Pensions: TSEU wins $350 million in new state contributions to healthcare. The funding increases the state share of dependent coverage to 40% in 1992 and 50% in 1993. TSEU defeats an attempt to raid the ERS pension fund and move funds to the “Texas Growth Fund”.


Worker Organizing Rights: New payroll deduction law goes into effect. 1057 workers join TSEU in a 4 month period.


Pay and Benefits: TSEU defeats a plan to cut state worker’s pay by 6% and reduce the state’s contribution to Social Security. TSEU defeats a plan proposed by the Comptroller’s office to prohibit future across the board raises.


Pay: First ever complete across the board “flat amount” pay raise of $1,200 per year for every state worker except university faculty is won.


Organizing: Organizing push results in membership growing at a faster rate than any time in the union’s history except 1992 (1st year of payroll deduction).


Organizing: Continued organizing push results in 291 members/month joining the union. Over 1700 members march on Lobby Day calling for an end to privatization and for a pay raise. Pay: As a result of union’s organizing and lobbying push state employees win a second $1200 across the board “flat amount” raise. Health Care: Union wins increased state contribution to employee health care and special children’s health care coveraage for low-income state workers.


Pay: After state wide lobbying push and a lobby day of nearly 2000 workers focused on pay raise, TSEU wins a 3rd consecutive across the board raise for all state workers plus a one step upgrade for MHMR direct care series workers with one year of tenure.


Health Care, Pensions: While fighting a defensive battle against privatization, closures and cuts in health care TSEU was still able to stop elimination of the SKIP program and defeat an attempt to switch our retirement plan from a defined benefit to an unstable defined contribution plan.


Pay: State Employee Pay Raise – Sept. 1, 2005 state workers get $100 a month or 4% pay raise whichever is greater. On Sept. 1, 2006 they get a $50 or 3% a month raise. In addition the formula for longevity pay is changed from $20 a month every 3 years to $20 a month every 2 years providing a significant extra bump in pay for long term employees. Health Care: The ERS received its full funding request from the legislature. There are no significant cost increases to state employee health insurance. This is a big victory for state employees. We held the line in a year when there were multiple attempts to significantly increase employee costs and cut benefits.


Pay: across the board raise for agency employees. For all state agency employees: 2% or $50/month minimum (whichever is greater) on Sept. 1 2007, and 2% or $50/month minimum (whichever is greater) on Sept. 1 2008. Retirement: Higher Education employees: increase in state and employee contribution, “13th check” probably on the way. The increases will provide a 13th check to TRS retirees. Agency employees: no increase in state or employee contribution. Health Care: Health Savings Accounts DEFEATED. Beat bill that required the ERS to create an alternative high-deductible health savings account plan for state employees and their dependents. Funding increased for state employees’ health care: The increase in funding for the ERS health care plans will probably prevent any plan changes (benefit cuts or our-of-pocket cost hikes) over the next two years.


Justice on the Job: “At will” for state school employees defeated. “At will”, called by some “Fire at will”, would have given state schools the authority to fire employees without having to justify the firing. Closures Defeated: Vernon and Pyote get reprieve after very bitter fights in the appropriations committees, funding was approved to keep Vernon Victory and West Texas open for another full year. Defeated new attempts to close state supported living centers.


Pay and Benefits: Defeated attempts to eliminate longevity pay while averting massive layoffs, and furloughs. Health Care: Health Savings Accounts DEFEATED again. Privatization and Closures: Attempts to privatize State Hospitals and close State Supported Living Centers were defeated.


Defeated attempts to cut pension benefits for all current state employees and protected our health care benefits from any cuts. Won the first across-the-board pay raise since 2008: $1200/year or 3% divided over a two year period and increased state funding for our pension plan to its highest level since 1985.


Increased state funding to our pension to its highest level in history, defeated attempts to close SSLC’s and privatize state hospitals, and defeated attempts to silence state workers by banning payroll deduction of dues for union membership. TSEU successfully campaigned to elect Ilesa Daniels to the ERS Board of Trustees. She is now the first African-American to ever serve on the Board.


Defeated more attempts to close SSLC’s, turn ERS and TRS into 401(K’s), and eliminate payroll deduction for union membership. TSEU members also rolled back much of the proposed funding cuts for universities.

2019 and beyond!

TSEU will continue to lead the fight for a REAL, across-the-board pay raise and a cost-of-living increase for state retirees. We will also continue our fight against the union-busters who wish to silence state workers and slash state services.