Garibay Leaves Texas AFL-CIO for Biden Administration

‘We Are So Incredibly Proud’

Montserrat Garibay has left her position as Texas AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer to join the Biden administration. 

Her title:”Senior Advisor for Labor Relations, Office of Secretary of U.S Department of Education.”

Garibay served more than three years in the #2 position at the state labor federation, setting the highest standard of tireless advocacy, organizing, financial stewardship, and leadership for working families.

“Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would have the opportunity to serve the working people of Texas at this level,” Garibay said. “I want to say mil gracias to the entire state labor federation.”

“We are so incredibly proud that Montserrat Garibay is entering the upper reaches of the U.S. Department of Education,” Texas AFL-CIO President Rick Levy said. “We are not surprised, however, as we have seen over these last three years what a special human being she is, and as is obvious from this appointment, we are not the only ones to have noticed.  The White House is getting a mighty advocate, skilled organizer, charismatic leader and wonderful human being.”

“At the same time, this is a poignant moment for the state labor federation.  Montserrat’s work as Secretary-Treasurer marked her yet again as an innovator, learner and teacher, to the benefit of working families in Texas. More than ever, the Texas AFL-CIO remains a strong advocate for ALL working families because Montserrat opened doors in working class and immigrant communities across Texas. Her cutting-edge work establishing our Citizenship Program, advocating tirelessly toward getting an accurate U.S. Census count, fighting for Dreamers, teaching women to lead, mentoring young activists on how to lead, and building our overall capacity toward progress will not go away with her.”

“The Texas AFL-CIO wishes Montserrat the best in her next chapter. We are sorry she is leaving but grateful for all she has done for the working people of Texas.”

The Texas AFL-CIO Executive Board will consider a successor for the position of Secretary-Treasurer. That person’s term will run until the summer of 2023.

Garibay recalled the path she has taken to this moment.

“I often think of my first day in middle school almost 29 years ago, not speaking a word of English and being scared. My experience at our public schools gave me important skills and confidence to embrace every learning opportunity and to give back. Years later, when I became a teacher and member of Education Austin, I learned the power of organizing and demanding change so every worker could be treated with dignity and respect.”

“At the Texas AFL-CIO, I learned about all the different unions. I learned to be louder and fierce for Texas workers, so that we open the doors to a better Texas for generations to come. I took copious notes on the issues that affected workers, I learned the stories of our members and I built long-lasting relationships. I identified members and uplifted them in various ways so they could find their voice as well.”

“I will take those memories in my heart and soul and will forever be #UnionProud.”

Garibay, 41, was the first Latina, the first immigrant and the second woman to hold one of the top offices at the Texas AFL-CIO. She came to the U.S. from Mexico City as a young undocumented immigrant and became a citizen 20 years later. 

She graduated from UT-Austin and served as a bilingual pre-kindergarten teacher for eight years in the Austin School District and became a National Board Certified Teacher. She was vice president for certified employees for Education Austin. Among her other roles: former President of LULAC Council 4859, Texas American Federation of Teachers “Super Advocate” in 2011, and member of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International.

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