(FAQ)

What is your contact information?

Our Contact Information is:

Education Austin
316 W. 12th St. #202
Austin, Texas 78701

Phone Number: 512-472-1124
Fax Number: 512-472-1579
Email: marym@educationaustin.org

Who is Education Austin?

Education Austin is the labor union for certified and classified employees of the Austin Independent School District. Created in 1999 from the merger of the NEA-affiliated Austin Association of Teachers (AAT) and the AFT-affiliated Austin Federation of Teachers/Allied Education Workers (AFT/AEW), Education Austin is the first merged local in Texas and is affiliated with the NEA, AFT, TSTA, Texas AFT, and the AFL-CIO. It is by far the largest organization for AISD employees. Education Austin was first elected the consultation agent for AISD employees by the employees themselves in 1999, and was re-elected as consultation agent in 2003 and 2007. Education Austin’s full-time president is Ken Zarifis; its full-time vice-presidents are Montserrat Garibay (certified employees) and Trasell Underwood (classified employees); its secretary is Anna Valdez (Wooten Elementary) and its treasurer is Karen Barnes (Nelson Field/North Bus Terminal).

Who is NEA?

National Education Association (NEA) is a National public education union founded in 1857 that currently has 2.7 million members and represents employees in public schools and in higher education. NEA’s President is Dennis Van Roekel.

Who is TSTA?

Texas State Teachers Association (TSTA) is a Texas public education union created in 1880 and affiliated with the NEA. TSTA currently has about 65,000 members. TSTA’s President is Rita Haecker and Vice President is Noel Candelaria.

Who is AFT?

American Federation of Teachers (AFT) is a National public education union founded in 1916 that currently has over 1 million members and represents employees in public schools and higher education as well as nurses and public employees. AFT’s President is Randi Weingarten.

Who is Texas AFT?

Texas AFT is a Texas public education union created in 1974 and affiliated with the AFT and the AFL-CIO. TFT currently has about 60,000 members. TFT’s President is Linda Bridges and Secretary-Treasurer is Louis Malfaro.

Who is AFL-CIO?

American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) is the voluntary federation of America’s unions, representing more than 8 million working women and men nationwide. The AFL-CIO was formed in 1955 by the merger of the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations. The AFL-CIO’s President is Richard Trumka.

Who are Education Worksite Leaders?

Education Austin Worksite Leaders are Members of Education Austin who represent the union on AISD campuses and worksites and help organize employees at their workplaces.

Who are Staff Representatives and what do they do?

Staff Representatives are Employees of Education Austin who provide support services for current members and help organize new members. David Gunter, Mary Kennedy, and Gail Buhler are Education Austin’s staff representatives. Travis Donoho is EA’s organizing director.

Who are Membership Service Specialists (MSSs) and what do they do?

Membership Service Specialists (MSS) are Part-time employees of Education Austin (who are also full-time AISD employees) who provide auxiliary services to members. Mary Stapleton, Vondra Chargois, and Kirk White are Education Austin’s MSSs. They are on the job Monday through Thursday from 4 PM to 7 PM.

What is the Executive Board?

Executive Board is the Elected governing body of Education Austin. Education Austin’s Executive Board has five certified members, five Classified members and five at-large members, as well as the five officers.

What are dues?

Dues are Fees that eligible employees pay to be a member of Education Austin and its affiliates. You can find them printed on any EA membership card for both Teachers and Classified staff. You can also click Join EA to view the current membership card for 2010-2011 school year.

What are Per Capitas?

Per Capitas are the portion of Education Austin member dues that go to affiliates.

What is COPE?

Committee On Political Education (COPE) is AFT’s and Texas AFT’s name for committee collecting voluntary contributions for union political activities. COPE funds do not come from dues.

What is PAC?

Political Action Committee (PAC) is NEA’s, TSTA’s, and Education Austin’s name for the committee collecting voluntary contributions for union political activities. PAC funds do not come from dues.

What is Region 2E?

Region 2E is a region of TSTA, is comprised of 32 regions. Education Austin makes up all of Region 2E. Education Austin Co-President, Rae Nwosu, is the President of Region 2E.

What is Local 2048?

Local 2048 is Education Austin’s local number. All Texas AFT, AFT and AFL-CIO local unions have a local number.

Who is the Board of Directors?

Boards of Directors are State and regional governing bodies for the TSTA and its regions. The regions presidents serve as members of the state board of directors.

What is the House of Delegates?

House of Delegates (HOD) is TSTA’s region and state delegate assemblies that conduct the business of TSTA and its regions.

Who is the Representative Assembly?

Representative Assembly (RA) is the NEA’s national equivalent of the state and regional HOD.

What is Collective Bargaining?

Collective Bargaining is the process by which an employer and the elected representative of employees meet to negotiate a binding contract regarding employment issues such as wages, hours, benefits and working conditions. Collective bargaining is illegal in Texas for public school employees and most other public employees.

What is Consultation?

Consultation is the set of negotiations between the Consultation Agent and AISD. Education Austin has been elected as the Consultation Agent to represent all certified and classified employees in the district and discuss issues that concern employees, including wages, benefits, and conditions of employment. Board policy defines consultation as “advice, counsel, and exchange of information on matters pertaining to educational policies and conditions of employment.”

What is a consultation agreement?

A consultation agreement is a written document created when the school board ratifies an agreement between Education Austin and AISD to a change in policy or procedure for AISD.

What is Exclusive Consultation?

Exclusive Consultation is also known as “meet and confer,” it is the process by which the organization elected by employees as their consultation agent meets and discusses employment issues such as wages, hours, benefits and working conditions. Education Austin is the elected consultant for all AISD employees and meets monthly with the Superintendent and/or her designees.

What is a Contract?

A contract is a legally binding document setting forth the terms of employment of certain employees. Teachers, counselors and other certified employees are contract employees and are considered “just cause” employees, who can only be fired for just cause. The contract provides certain legal protections and a property stake for employees covered by it. Classified employees are not just-cause employees and do not have a contract, but they have certain due-process protections recently won for them by Education Austin through the consultation process (see information under the website heading Know Your Rights—Classified). AISD classified employees are the only school district employees in the state of texas afforded such due-process protections.

What is the Fair Labor Standards Act?

Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is the federal law that protects eligible (non-exempt) employees from abusive working conditions. For example, overtime pay is required by the FLSA for eligible employees. Most Classified employees are protected by FLSA while most certified employees are not.

What is the Family and Medical Leave Act?

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is the federal law that provides for up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for pregnancy and childbirth, care for a spouse, child or parent, or for an employee’s illness that interferes with the ability to work. Employees returning from FMLA leave are guaranteed their jobs or equivalent employment and are able to maintain their employee health insurance while on leave. It may be combined with paid leave.

What is “Right-to-Work”?

“Right-to-Work” is an anti-union term of propaganda.

What are “Right-to-Work” Laws?

“Right-to-Work” Laws are laws that prevent a vote of a majority of employees from organizing all employees into a union in a business or institution and so are profoundly anti-democratic. It prevents deduction of an “agency fee” from employees for the cost of union representation. Texas is a Right-to-Work state.

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