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Every school day, NEA member Jim Fox sees to it that dozens of kids in Santa Fe, New Mexico ride safely to and from school. But for Fox, a bus driver for Santa Fe Public Schools, that's just where his job--and his service to students and their schools--begins.
Two years ago, Fox noticed that the school district was unconcerned when he and other drivers complained about low pay and wage freezes. Fox decided to start working for change through his local affiliate, and became an NEA-Santa Fe Association representative.
Since then, he's spent countless hours of his own time visiting work sites, talking to members about the benefits of NEA representation, and working through the Association to improve bus drivers' jobs.
Not only has Fox singlehandedly signed up 20 drivers, but he and fellow activists have brought Association membership in their unit up to 60 percent. One payoff: The unit mobilized last year to win 7 percent pay raises when 4 percent was initially offered.
"It was a lesson to me in getting involved," says Fox. "I found out we had a voice as bus …