Teachers push back against payroll deduction bill
SAN ANTONIO - Dozens of teachers from across the state went to Austin to fight to protect their rights.
The teachers were pushing back against Senate Bill 13, which would no longer allow government employees to automatically deduct union and non-union membership fees from their paychecks.
"This bill is targeting the largest teacher's organization in the state to shut us up because they don't want us to go up there and talk about those things," Byron Hildebrand said.
Hildebrand is a former San Antonio teacher and currently serves as the secretary for the Association of Texas Professional Educators.
"We go up to Austin to talk about programs and things that effect education and effect the members of our organization,” Hildebrand said.
He feels SB13 singles out teachers since it excludes police and firefighters. He also fears it could diminish ATPE and other teacher’s associations, which would impact their presence of lobbying on behalf of educators.
"They can cut programs drastically, so they can take care of what they need to take care of or they can raise taxes,” Hildebrand said.
The bill was authored by Senator Joan Huffman. FOX San Antonio reached out to her office, but they did not respond. When the bill was first filed, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said “It is clearly not the role of government to collect union dues and certainly not at taxpayer expense."
Many members of the law enforcement community also spoke on behalf of teachers at the hearing on Monday.
The Senate Affairs Committee is expected to vote on Thursday.