Alabama School Journal
Representatives of universities to replace ESP position
One education support professional (ESP) position and AEA’s position on the board of the Teachers’ Retirement System are to be eliminated to create two new positions for representatives from universities, if Senate Bill 303 (SB303) passes as substituted by the House Ways and Means Education Committee, Wednesday, May 1. The bill removes AEA’s ex officio position held by AEA’s executive secretaries since 1939.
“What could be more cynical than a political move by some in the Legislature to attack the men and women who work and care for our children in school,” said AEA’s Executive Secretary Henry Mabry. “Targeting one of the the support professionals positions on the TRS Board and AEA’s traditional position is clear evidence of a political vendetta by the leadership in the House of Representatives. There is no reason to take these positions away from education employees.”
AEA is asking every AEA member to call legislators and ask them to protect the traditional positions on the TRS Board. (If you need to look up contact information for your legislator go to: https://ssl.capwiz.com/nea/al/directory/statedir.tt?state=AL&lvl=state).
By a margin of 30-4, the Senate previously passed an amended version of SB303 that kept the ESP position and AEA’s position while adding two positions for the universities. The sponsor of the bill Senator Gerald Allen, of Tuscaloosa, called for the amendment to protect the traditional education positions, but flip-flopped before the House committee asking them to substitute the original unamended version.
Mabry said the there is nothing wrong with representation from universities on the board, but it is wrong to eliminate the representation of ESPs and the 95,000 members of AEA.
“There are currently 34,000 higher education employees and over 35,000 support employees in Alabama schools,” Mabry said. “Why should higher ed gain representation at the expense of support employees? Each group should have two representatives on the board, but don’t take representation from support employees and AEA to give to higher ed.”
Take Action Today! Call your state legislators today. Tell them to protect the established membership of the TRS Board. Tell them to leave the ESP and AEA positions on the TRS Board.