More Americans approve of labor unions today than at any time since 1965, according to annual Gallup poll results released around each Labor Day.

More than two-thirds of poll respondents – 68% – approved of labor unions. That means a clear majority of voters views labor unions favorably. Among adults 18-34 years of age, 77% approve of unions. Support is also high among those with annual household incomes under $40,000.

With Texas’ biannual legislative session concluding , we look back on a session of tremendous activism from AFSCME Texas Corrections members, a disappointing loss on our fight for ERS funding without strings attached and some key victories in our continuing campaigns for safer facilities and fair pay. 

This session, AFSCME Texas Corrections members made over 4,800 contacts to the state legislature. We made our voices heard with our elected officials and key policy makers and we shaped the legislation that affects us every day.

Where I come from, your word is your bond. You keep your promises and fulfill your obligations. I’m a correctional officer. For 12 years, it’s been my job to keep people safe. I enforce the rules, keep order, and help ensure that when inmates come back into our community, they come back on better terms than they left. Our pay is modest, and our work is downright dangerous. In return for our service, the state promises a secure pension - a retirement we can count on. This is tough work, and that’s why it ticks us off when politicians in Austin don’t keep their promises.

Workers Memorial Day 2021 arrives at a moment of the greatest urgency, when the front lines of the war against COVID-19 run through America’s workplaces.

Workers in health care and social service industries are a big step closer to having safer workplaces.

On Friday, the House of Representatives passed the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act (H.R.1195) by a bipartisan vote of 254 to 166. The bill requires the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to issue a standard to prevent workplace violence in health care and social service assistance settings.

Not a single member of the Texas Senate stood up for state employees and retirees when they approved a $251 billion state budget this week.

Instead, they unanimously supported a two-year spending plan that includes no new money to shore up the Employees’ Retirement System or protect retirees’ pensions.

Tell your lawmaker now to stand up of for us and add money for ERS to the state budget before the final version is approved next month. Immediate action is needed.

People from every community in the state come to work for the great State of Texas.

They spend decades maintaining and patrolling Texas' roadways and waterways, preserving the peace, overseeing natural areas and resources, and serving the disadvantaged. Public health workers who worked long shifts in response to COVID-19 are state employees. So are the park employees who maintain natural spaces for Texans.

And so are our fellow game wardens and Department of Public Safety troopers.

On this National Library Workers Day, AFSCME library workers deserve to be recognized for the value they bring to our diverse communities and the vital services they provide anyone who asks for help.