Special session ends without eliminating union dues deduction

Big win for state workers buys more time as TSEU members make our union Unbreakable

The special legislative session called by Governor Abbott ended in August. One of the priority issues that the Governor wanted passed during the special session was a bill to strip state workers of the right to join our union by having our membership dues taken out of our paychecks. This legislation was designed to make it harder for public workers to join our unions and have a voice at the Legislature. In the past, supporters of the bill have also sought to cut our pension benefits and privatize state services.

The Senate version of the bill, SB 7, passed the full Senate within the first week of the special session, despite the testimony from dozens of state workers, retirees, teachers, police, and firefighters. In the House, SB 7 had a very different reception as it was never even given a hearing and died in committee.

There were several attempts to add it on to other bills as an amendment. In fact, it came to a vote in the Texas House when an amendment was put forward that would have created a study of dues deduction for teacher unions, but our allies in the House held strong, defeating the amendment by a large margin with bipartisan support. This was a major victory for our union and shows the power of organizing and political action.

TSEU members worked hard this special session to limit the damage caused by the Legislature- testifying in committee, calling lawmakers, and visiting their offices. Because of that hard work we prevailed on a major issue, but the fight is far from over. The Governor could still call for another special session at any time, and the attempt to take away our rights to organize will certainly come up again in the next regular legislative session in 2019. We must continue building our Unbreakable campaign and our political work through COPE to help elect more allies in the Legislature.


1. Make our union Unbreakable! We know bills like SB 7 will be back. We have to eliminate the threat of losing payroll deduction by pre-authorizing switching our membership dues over to bank draft. Do it today!

2. Join COPE! We have to continue building our political strength so we can win more fights against the anti-state worker agenda coming from the Governor. Join COPE TODAY!

3. Ask a coworker/retiree to join! The more of us standing together in the union, the more we can win. State employees and retirees can join here