Press Release:

Trouble with the Post Office: TPEA’s Communication Challenge

Austin, TX – March 20, 2024 – Since November 2023, the Texas Public Employees Association (TPEA) has been unable to access mail sent to our physical address via Business Reply Mail (BRM). BRM is mail that is pre-paid by a business. For example:

  • We mail renewal notices to our members and include a pre-paid BRM envelope to save them the cost of a stamp and make it easier for members to return their membership renewal form to us.
  • We also used these BRM envelopes in a bulk mailing in October 2023 to the Employees Retirement System (ERS) retirees. To date, we have not received many of the reply envelopes to that mailing yet have heard from numerous people that they mailed us their applications and payments.
  • We sent test letters using the BRM and, to date, have not received any of those letters either.

“Our goal is to ensure that everyone can reach us by whatever means is most comfortable for them,” said Ann Bishop, TPEA’s Executive Director. “Unfortunately, we have seen a fundamental breakdown in one of our communication methods and we need to address it.”

The post office located at Chimney Corners in northwest Austin processes the mail for TPEA’s physical address, and since February, mail delivery using the BRM has also affected our PO Box. They have been unwilling to provide us with information about the breakdown in service and have ignored numerous requests for assistance from multiple people. We have escalated the issue to the post office manager and the Postmaster and have received no response or business reply mail. We are escalating the matter with legislators to try and remedy this issue.


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In the News:

TPEA is diligently working this session to get enhancements for all of our members. Read articles regarding issues relating to state employees and retirees here:

  • Strong pushes to add more money are continuing, including pressure to give retired state employees a financial boost, as the state appears to be doing for retired teachers, more money for schools, and additional targeted raises to employees in agencies that are particularly overwhelmed.

    “Turnover is higher in state government than ever, so the two 5% pay raises [for state employees over the next two years] will finally help agencies recruit and retain good employees,” said Ann Bishop, executive director of the Texas Public Employees Association, which advocates for state workers, among other groups. “We hope the budget can also include targeted raises for agencies that have identified critical needs and a pension boost for retired employees — who haven’t had one since 2001.”   Article: House panel advances new Texas budget with property tax cuts, teacher pay raises - The Texas Tribune 

  • "Bishop, who currently serves as the executive director of the Texas Public Employees Association, didn’t have paid parental leave at the time, and could only take one week of unpaid leave to bond with her new family.

    “The most difficult part was finding daycare,” Bishop told the Senate Committee on Business and Commerce on Tuesday. “When you are a natural birth, you can plan for that a little bit. When you are an adoptive parent you are told one day, you go pick up your child the next day.Article: Texas Republicans and Democrats coalesce around proposals to expand paid parental leave - KERA News 

  • "And the executive director of the Texas Public Employees Association, Ann Bishop, argued lawmakers should consider helping government employees, saying "state workers have not seen a general pay raise since 2014." Article: Texas announces record $33B budget surplus - UPI

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