Dear TCSOA Members,
There is a new Association in town. After running for office in various positions for the TCSOA Board Directors, some winning and some losing, several members have decided that since they could not get elected (some were elected but chose to abandon their new position) to the TCSOA Board Directors, they would start their own association. I have real difficulty rapping my mind around this. For folks who professed that the members were the most important thing, to create another association knowing that the new association will have little influence while weakening the bargaining power of Corrections and at the same time weakening TCSOA by attempting to recruit members away sure seems misleading to me.
As members of the TCSOA Board of Directors, we know that some members are unhappy about some issues; however, the members of the board have always pushed both the Travis County Commissioners Court and the TCSO administration for the benefit of TCSOA Members. Unfortunately, no matter how hard we work, we are just not always going to get everything we want. Several members of the new association Board of Directors had previously been members of the TCSOA Board of Directors and they too have also experienced the Commissioners Court’s refusal to affirm their every desire.
President Hodge and the Executive Board have fostered a very harmonious relationship with the Sheriff which has been of great benefit to the Members of TCSO like never before. We have been afforded the opportunity to be present during disciplinary hearings and given great latitude in bargaining lesser actions during the disciplinary process. Likewise, the members of the Commissioners court have worked closely with the Executive Board.
At the present time, our reality is that the US, including Texas is facing economic turmoil and record deficiets. The citizenry is not supportive of giving us pay raises or any other additional benefits while many of them have taken pay cuts or have out and out lost their jobs. In addition, if you have watched the news lately, as a Country, we are about to hit our debt ceiling (14.3 Trillion in debt) which will have an effect on State and County funds. The State of Texas alone is facing a 27 billion dollar shortfall over the next two years. The latest figure for the County is somewhere in the neighborhood of 10-17 million dollars, depending on the effects of HB 1 and the Federal Govenment, for the next fiscal year alone. Projected forecast for the years to come is even more dismal. In short, the current climate favors cuts not increases. Many departments nationwide are requiring furloughs and cutting positions to balance their budgets. Rest assured that TCSOA will do its level best to protect our gains over the past few years and further your pay and benefits when and where possible.
Due to the number of members within TCSOA, your best bet for protection is with TCSOA and CLEAT. Don’t except substitutes just because they promise lower dues, they promise to fight for CRO pay raises, they promise direct links to the legislature or any other promise that we are already fulfilling. You get what you pay for. As a matter of fact, we already have CLEAT stationed in the legislature fighting for you daily, not part time. All you have to do is check the latest legislative updates on the home page and in the legislative update section of the website. In the past two months alone, we have bargained for 3 members who are still employed. TCSOA has a long established record and wields a respect that new upstarts cannot promise.
Stay with the proven leader, TCSOA and if you have concerns about any issues, please contact one of your Board representatives and express your views. We are here to serve!