GENERAL ASSEMBLY 2016 – We Were There! (recap)

[october 2016 | austin, texas]

Every two years, the TSEU General Assembly brings together elected delegates from every part of the state to adopt our union’s political/legislative and organizing programs and to make the decisions that will guide TSEU for the next two years. In 2016, over 150 activists, elected by fellow TSEU members as delegates, met in Austin for our General Assembly on October 14-16. They came from multiple state universities, over a dozen state agencies; retirees; and several private employers.

General Assembly always begins with an action. This year, we marched in front of the state capitol to launch our campaign for a REAL pay raise for all state workers and retirees, and to protect benefits while improving services.

After the rally, delegates heard a report on TSEU’s political program and the importance of joining COPE, as well as an inspiring speech from CWA Public Sector Vice President Brooks Sunkett.

A major task of General Assembly is adopting the organizing and political programs. Sector caucuses also met and adopted legislative goals specific to their issues. MORE INFORMATION

Delegates selected our candidates for the 2017 ERS and TRS Boards of Trustees elections and started planning the mobilization required to win. TSEU’s ERS candidate will be Jackie Dickerson (Region II, TDCJ Parole) while Karen Charleston (PV A&M) is seeking reelection to the TRS Board.

On Saturday afternoon, delegates watched a short film of our last Lobby Day in 2015, created by TSEU Board Member Anne Lewis (UT Austin). DVD copies of the 20-minute video are available from your area’s delegate or organizer; the full video is posted on the Lobby Day page of the TSEU website (under ‘EVENTS’). Attendees at the General Assembly also discussed our next Lobby Day coming up on April 12, 2017, and made plans to mobilize thousands of state workers and allies to attend. Find more on Lobby Day 2017 details.

At the Saturday night banquet, a bevy of awards were given for on-the-job organizing excellence. Delegates, members and guests were treated to speeches by Texas AFL-CIO President John Patrick, CWA District 6 Vice President Claude Cummings, and Larry Cohen, former president of CWA. The Saturday night dance party followed the banquet and a great time was had by all.

On Sunday morning, after a moment of silence was held for TSEU members who passed away in the last two years, delegates took care of final business and concluded the 2016 General Assembly with the singing of our union movement’s anthem, Solidarity Forever.  Thanks to all members, TSEU staff, invited guests, family, hotel staff and others who came together to make this a very memorable and productive General Assembly!