Ovidia Molina, president of the Texas State Teachers Association, and Barbara Davis-Staley, president of TSTA-Retired, released the following joint statement:
The Texas State Teachers Association; its affiliate, TSTA-Retired; and thousands of retired Texas educators give a big “Thank You!” to voters who approved Proposition 9 on the statewide constitutional amendments ballot. It gives retired teachers and other retired public-school employees a long-overdue cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, in their Teacher Retirement System pensions.
Many of these retired educators, who spent their careers putting millions of Texas children on the road to success as adults, have been struggling to make ends meet. None who retired since Sept. 1, 2004, has ever had a COLA, and inflation has steadily eroded their purchasing power. Most Texas educators don’t qualify for Social Security. So, for many, their TRS pensions are their only nest eggs, and unlike Social Security, TRS pensions don’t have automatic COLAs that increase with inflation. COLAs have to be initiated by the Legislature.
We believe this was one of the most important amendments on the ballot. These pension adjustments will be modest, ranging from 2 to 6 percent, depending on when an individual retired, but they will make life easier for thousands of our retirees.