As Texas and the nation celebrate Labor Day, we know this holiday has special meaning for all of us who are retired state workers and members of AFSCME Texas Retirees.
Labor Day was established in the late 19th Century to forever honor those of us who chose to dedicate our careers to making our nation stronger, safer, and healthier. I hope we all have an opportunity this weekend to reflect on our invaluable contributions to Texas and spend time with family and loved ones.
Labor Day, of course, is also the unofficial start of election season. And this year, Texas elections are more important than ever for state retirees as we try to elect lawmakers who will support a 13th paycheck from ERS and a future Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA).
Last year, the Texas Legislature invested new money in ERS for the first time in decades to make the pension system actuarily sound — the first step towards a COLA. Since then, the state’s revenue estimate has grown by $15 billion. That means additional funds could be available for the 13th check for us, similar to the ones retired teachers have received over the past few years.
So it’s vital that you register to vote, apply to vote by mail if you are unable to do so in person, and know which candidates will support our priorities. We dedicated our careers to public service, and it’s time for lawmakers to ensure all of us and our families are financially secure as we deal with global inflation and an uncertain future.