Payments range between two and six percent, depending on when the teacher retired.
SAN ANTONIO — Lydia Carrillo-Valdez didn’t always consider a career in education but a volunteer role in childcare led her down the path to teaching.
After graduation in 1983, she began teaching at the elementary level.
“The kids faces I had that morning, 25 little faces showed up and I was like, ‘Oh, so cute’,” she said.
Carrillo-Valdez retired in December of 2014, but nine years later, she still works full-time. As an organizer with the American Federation of Teachers, she rallied to get Texas Senate Bill 10 passed. Last month, Proposition 9 was passed by voters and goes into effect on January 1.
It’s passage authorized a one-time cost of living adjustment for members of the Texas Teacher Retirement System. Retired teachers haven’t received a COLA since 2013.
“It’s small but it’s finally a breakthrough,” said Carrillo-Valdez.
Monthly payments range between two and six percent, depending on when the teacher retired. Recipients are now being notified by mail of their adjustments.
Due to inflation, Carrillo-Valdez said it’s not enough to quit her day job. However, it’s a start towards a livable wage and hopefully an enjoyable retirement.
“We will continue this fight. Everyone just wants a respectable retirement, and we are not making much with it but we do the best we can,” she said.
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