This morning, I wrote the following letters to my state senators and representatives and the governor of the state of Texas because of recent events concerning health care for state employees. I do not expect anything more than form letters, so I post these here for your information.
To legislators:I am writing to protest not only the governor's veto concerning health benefits for community college employees, but his characterization of those employees.
I have been working as an English Instructor at Eastfield College for ten years. Nearly every year, what I have to pay for health care goes up as my benefits decrease. What the governor has done is make a statement, again, about his real values concerning education. He does not value those who work to educate in this state, in particular those in community colleges. Now he has gone even further to call them liars in public.
How he or any public official can rest while the employees who are and will be teaching the majority of the state's citizens languish in poor pay, decreasing benefits, and growing disrespect, is beyond the scope of my understanding. I strongly urge you to do more than take a stand on this issue. I urge you to compel the governor to retract his statements and publicly vow to protect our community college teachers.
To the governor:Governor Perry, you have continued to deceive and devalue to the citizens of this state. You have called my chancellor a liar, and by vetoing legislation have single-handedly taken away health care dollars for thousands of already underpaid, under-appreciated state workers.
I have been teaching at Eastfield College for ten years. When we do get raises, they do not keep up with the cost of living. It seems that each year I have to pay more for my health insurance, yet each year that insurance covers less. In other words, it is getting increasingly more difficult to keep this job.
I want a public commitment not to some general principles of education, but to truth, and to the welfare of educators at ALL levels. Don't give me a PR photo of you with some elementary school kids. Don't give me some vague comments about how education is the future. Give me a real, tangible sign that this state is going to reverse what it has been doing to teachers during my lifetime.