Brownsville ISD union chartered at BEST AFT Local 3877

The BEST AFT Local No. 3877 executive board is seen in this undated photo. (Courtesy: Brownsville Educators Stand Together/Facebook)
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The Brownsville ISD employee organization BEST AFT has voted to formally affiliate with the 1.7-million-member American Federation of Teachers and its state affiliate Texas AFT, as well as the 13 million-member AFL-CIO.

The 1,000-member local union announced the affiliation vote in a news release Monday and on its Facebook page. The union local is to be known as BEST AFT Local No. 3877.

The move to charter as an AFT local union comes after several years of organizing by local leaders and members, all dedicated to advocating for the rights and well-being of Brownsville Independent School District employees and supporting public education in Texas and nationally, the release stated.

“We are thrilled to announce our official charter as a local union with AFT and Texas AFT and our affiliation with the AFL-CIO. We are proud to stand together in solidarity with millions of workers across the United States,” said Celia Saiz-Broussard, the newly elected BEST AFT president. “Our union is a powerful voice for BISD employees, and we will continue to dedicate our time and tireless advocacy on behalf of our members to ensure that school employees and students have a chance to thrive.”

BEST AFT is committed to fostering open engagement, communication, democratic decision-making, and inclusive representation among its members, the release stated.

Through meetings with decision makers, advocacy campaigns, and community engagement, the union works collaboratively to address important issues, including class sizes, paperwork demands, excessive testing, planning and prep time, work day length, employee pay, school funding, mental health support, professionalism and respect.