AFT union family welcomes new Texas local

There are 562 new AFT members in the Rio Grande Valley now that the educators of the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District have voted to affiliate with the AFT.

Teachers and paraprofessionals overwhelmingly made the choice, recognizing the union as an important vehicle for them to achieve a voice on the job. The local represents all employees of Pharr-San Juan-Alamo’s 42 campuses, which have 4,500 employees and 32,000 students.

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The vote comes on the heels of a successful effort by PSJA employees to block a proposal that would allow a third-party charter entity to gain complete authority over all PSJA district campuses. That arrangement would have effectively turned the public school system into a charter school network and relinquished local control of the schools to a third party with little knowledge of what’s best for PSJA’s students. The educators of PSJA recognized the power of their united voice and together made it clear that their classrooms and their kids’ futures are not for sale.

Zachary Holzworth, who was elected PSJA AFT president, said: “I am very honored to serve as the first president of PSJA AFT, and I promise I will do my best to be a voice for all employees. The entire executive committee is excited about affiliating with the AFT, and we look forward to working with community partners to transform PSJA-ISD into the best district for employees, students and the entire tri-city community.”

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