Ambassador Program FAQ

July 29, 2021
Thank you for your interest in getting involved with TPEA. We compiled a list of frequently asked questions about our Ambassador program. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask. You can reach out to us at membership@tpea.org
 
Q. Is the primary goal of the ambassador program to increase membership or is it to advocate certain important issues for members?
 
A. It's both. While we do want to increase membership (which would help us attain a stronger voice with the legislature) it will also provide additional channels of communication between TPEA, state employees and retirees, and the legislature.
 
Our job at TPEA is to advocate for the state of Texas workforce and also to empower state employees and retirees to advocate. Our hope is that, with TPEA's training and support, Ambassadors will help empower their peers and colleagues to do the same.
 
By helping active TPEA members sharpen their advocacy tools and equipping them to share relevant information and resources, we can continue to strengthen our voice at the Capitol for state employees and retirees together.
 
Q: What's the time commitment?
A: How much time you commit will be up to you. Once you're trained, TPEA will keep you informed of Ambassador opportunities as they rise. Part of what makes this program so great is that it can be done on your own time!
 
Q: Will TPEA give me any leads?
A: Yes, the purpose for this program is to inform and provide resources. Ambassadors will have firsthand knowledge directly from the TPEA staff. Side note: State Employees already have the leads within their agency. TPEA will certainly provide knowledge of any events where there may be state employee attendance, however ambassadors will have a great advantage in knowing what is happening within their agencies. It's just a matter of getting TPEA knowledge of those events and then we will provide the necessary resources to help our ambassadors get TPEA's message across.
 
Q: What is in it for me?
A: Being well-informed. Learning how to be an effective advocate is a HUGE benefit, not only for you but for your fellow State workers. The more voices we have behind us, the more power we have at the Capitol.
 
Q: Am I allowed to talk about TPEA at work? What would I discuss within my agency?
A:You can certainly discuss TPEA at work. TPEA is non-partisan and we are not a union. So you don't have to worry about spreading our message. As a TPEA member, you have the power to set the standard for the advocacy of your peers... and by becoming a TPEA ambassador, you will have a direct hand in fulfilling TPEA's mission: protecting the quality of life and benefits for state of Texas employees and retirees.
You can discuss TPEA during your breaks and on your agency message boards. You can share our social media posts as well, as long as you do not use State time or State equipment.
 
Q: What are some of the ambassador exclusive events?
A:The exclusive events will be one of the many resources and perks we will provide to set our ambassadors up for success. Events that focus on training, strategizing, and networking. We also foresee appreciation events and training luncheons as the program grows.
 
Q: How long do I have to be an ambassador?
A: The only requirement to being a TPEA ambassador is membership. The amount of time you spend as an ambassador will be up to the member.
 
Q: Why is the ambassador program important?
A: TPEA has never had a working relationship this close with our members. As much as we work for our State workers/retirees, advocating and updating them, we realize that collaborating with our members will be the best way to serve them and teach them to be a more effective advocating force.
 
Q: Will becoming an ambassador help retirees' chances of getting a 13th check?
A:Yes. The more members we have advocating, the more clout we will have at the Capitol. Ambassadors of TPEA will be the leaders of TPEA membership, and the more voices we have, the more embers we will have to spread that message.
 
During this past regular legislative session we were able to get Senate Bill 321 and House Bill 2 passed. These two bills put the ERS main fund on a path to solvency. This will not only keep the trust fund from running out of money when current state employees retire, but pension fund solvency also creates an opportunity for retirees to receive a 13th check in the future. As you probably know, the more voices we have behind us, the more power we have at the Capitol when we are advocating for a 13th check.
 
Q: You mentioned this is a new program... how old is it?
A: This program is an idea that we are bringing to life thanks to all of you! We have not had our official kick off meeting, but we anticipate it to be in late August or the first week of September
 
Q: How do we join TPEA and apply to be an ambassador?
A: Please visit www.tpea.org/join to join.
Membership is the only requirement to become an ambassador. If you want to be an ambassador, click here and ask to be put on the invite list for the 1st Ambassador kick off meeting!
We will send out a poll next week to arrange a meet-n-greet via zoom and have a more intimate meeting to discuss next steps/
 
Q: Will there be an additional membership fee?
A: There will not be an additional membership fee to become an ambassador.
 
Q: How long do I have to be an ambassador?
A: The only requirement to being a TPEA ambassador is having a TPEA membership. The amount of time you spend as an ambassador will be up to you.
 
Q: What makes this program important?
A: TPEA has never had a working relationship close with our members. As much as we work for our state workers/retirees, advocating and updating them, we realize that collaborating with our members will be the best way to serve them and teach them to be more of an effective advocating force. It's going to take our members setting an example and being a good influence on their peers.
 
Q: How can I get involved if I don't have any connection with my former agency?
A: There are a few ways to get involved as a retiree.
  1. During any recreational or volunteer event you may attend, there is a possibility you will meet someone who works for the State, or you may know others within your own social groups.
  2. When you don't meet State Employees/Retirees, you may also pitch the Associate membership for those who may want to take advantage of discounts and want to be a friend of State employees & Retirees.
  3. You will be invited to attend events with TPEA staff. As more agencies open up, we would love to have a former State employee come up to an agency and work the booth with us to discuss TPEA, the benefits, and you can speak from the employee's perspective.
 
Q: If I volunteer to be at an event will my job give me time off work for those events?
A: You would need to discuss with your agency. Events outside of work hours are great because there is not an issue of using state resources or state time to attend events.
 
Q:How many members do we have in TPEA now? Is there a goal to reach?
A: Right now we have over 11,000 members and our goal is limitless! If you work for the state, you know how important public servants are to the citizens of Texas and so does TPEA. We also know there is strength in numbers. So just imagine if we doubled or even tripled that number... Imagine how much more influence we could have at the Capitol!
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