BROWNSVILLE — About 20 employees of Brownsville Independent School District gathered across the street from the BISD Administrative Building to protest increased health insurance premiums.
Although the BISD Board of Trustees approved a three percent pay raise for all employees earlier this year, the “math does not check out” when the cost of the premiums are considered, said Alberto Alegria, president and executive director of the Texas Valley Educators Association.
“ When you giveth with one hand and taketh with the other, that’s a reverse process Robin Hood, the rich taking from the poor,” Alegria said. “We’re out here trying to look out for people.”
He sits on the BISD Employee Benefits Committee, and he said he feels the committee’s advice was not being heard.
Alegria said he hopes the school board and administration will come to the negotiating table with the protesters.
Otherwise, several employees could end up in a deficit, he said.
Amalia Alonzo is a cafeteria worker who is concerned about what the premiums will mean for her family.
“ We (my family and I) don’t like it … because with the little money we earn, it is very difficult to make ends meet,” Alonzo said.
Gilbert Delgado, a BISD high school teacher, said at first he was disappointed with the proposed increase, but after comparing it to the pay raise, he did not see any sense in the raise.
Delgado just wants his voice to be heard.
“ A lot of people just go along with what the administration proposes, but I’m not in fear of any retaliation. I’m simply asking the administration and the school board to revisit the issue,” he said. “Something good needs to come out of this, and soon, because we’re at a point where the insurance period needs to be renewed.”