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The Houston Educational Support Personnel

About Ms. Thomas

President Wretha Thomas, HESP Local 6315

Wretha Rawls Thomas was born and raised in Jasper and relocated to Houston in 1979. She was employed with HISD for 15 years in housekeeping where she noticed how older custodian ladies were being mistreated. Ms. Thomas began talking with other custodians about standing up for their rights, but they were afraid. At this point, Ms. Thomas began to speak up for the people and was labeled as a troublemaker by HISD’s administration. This did not stop her; she was transferred to Brookline Elementary and this is when she received the vision to organize HESP union. This led her to being a community activist and the founding of the ESOP caucus. This caucus started with 50 members and grew to 800 members in one month; two years later she received a charter from the NEA Association. Now, HESP has the potential of over 2,000 members. Secretary of Education, Dr. Rod Paige contributed to the organizing effort by being fair. HESP is the only support personnel union in the state of Texas and ranked number in Texas AFT. This gives HISD support personnel a strong voice.

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