Sunday, March 24, 2019


We won’t have another chance for TWO MORE YEARS!

           Calling all active and retired teachers, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, librarians, custodians, nurses, maintenance workers, classroom aides, secretaries, sign-language interpreters, counselors, police officers, administrators, and all other public-school employees!!!!  Remember: the Texas Legislature only convenes every two years, so when this session ends, they won’t be able to make any changes to our health care and pensions for TWO LONG YEARS!
           Tuesday morning at 8 a.m., the House Pensions, Investments and Financial Services Committee will meet.  In that meeting, they will discuss HB 9, which is OUR GREATEST HOPE at making TRS actuarially sound so those still working will be able to collect the pension you are earning now and those of us who are retired have hope of eventually receiving a long-overdue cost-of-living adjustment (COLA).  HB 9 is MUCH better for us than the Senate version, SB 12, and we need to fight for it!
            HB 9 calls for the state to increase their contribution to TRS from the current, low 6.8% (compared to their contribution to the retirement system for all other state employees AND for legislators, ERS, to which they contribute 9.5%) to 8.8% by September 1, 2025.  HB 9 does NOT seek an increase in contribution rate for already-cash-strapped TRS members and school districts, while the Senate version calls for an increased contribution from both.
            Additionally, HB 9 calls for a one-time supplemental payment (aka 13th check) up to $2400 for all current TRS retirees.  The Senate version also calls for this supplemental payment but caps it at $500.  While a one-time payment is not a COLA, by increasing the state’s contribution rate, TRS will become actuarially sound.  Only when this happens will we be able to receive a COLA.   

1.  IF you can be at the capitol Tuesday morning, Texas AFT Retiree+ is hoping to “PACK THE HOUSE.”
  The committee meeting begins at 8 a.m. in room E2.026. The time and room are subject to change, so check when you arrive to make sure it has not been moved.
(NOTE:  Please remember this is NOT about which organization is asking for what.  I am a member of the Texas Retired Teachers’ Association (TRTA) and a member of Texas AFT Retiree+.  This is about TRTA, Texas AFT Retiree+, Texas AFT, TSTA, TCTA, ATPE, and all other organizations coming together for the good of all of us!)

2.  IF you canNOT be at the capitol Tuesday morning, PLEASE call and/or email each member of the House Pensions, Investments and Financial Services Committee and let them know WE WANT HB 9!!!!!    Here is a quick chart with the phone number, email address, and Twitter handle of each committee member:

3.  Although this committee does not directly handle our healthcare, I, personally, urge everyone to let the committee members know when you call and/or email that WE EARNED HEALTH CARE AS GOOD AS ERS MEMBERS’ HEALTH CARE!  We canNOT wait two more years for them to ROLLBACK OUR HEALTH CARE!

Chris Ardis retired in May of 2013 following a 29-year teaching career. She now helps companies with business communications and social media and works as a sales coordinator for Tony Roma's and Macaroni Grill. Chris can be reached at (Photo by Linda Blackwell, McAllen)


  1. This is perfectly said and we all need to do what is necessary to make these committee members know that we support HB9 and also healthcare as good as ERS (Employees Retirement System of Texas)! All of this is especially important, but even more so to us who will not receive a fair Social Security distribution because of the Windfall Elimination and Gov't. Pension Offset.

  2. AMEN!! There are 1.5 MILLION TRS members, both active and retired. LET'S DO THIS!!!

  3. I just wrote an email to all of them with all of these points in mind! Will call them tomorrow and also get on Twitter!

    1. YOU ROCK!!! This is what we all need to do! IMAGINE--1.5 MILLION TRS members!!!! THANK YOU!

    2. In my voice messages, I mentioned we ( thousands of us) will be watching closely what decisions will be made. I told my story. Now we wait, pray, and Hope for Just Results.

    3. In my voice messages, I mentioned we ( thousands of us) will be watching closely what decisions will be made. I told my story. Now we wait, pray, and Hope for Just Results.

  4. THOUSANDS! Great idea to remind them! Working to get more and more of the 1.5 MILLION TRS members to get involved. Imagine!
    (I am praying, too!)

  5. Thanks for all you do,I called every phone number on the list.I asked about HB 9 Our health care which is awful as you well know and about the WEP repeal.Most of them said they have received about 45 calls this morning, hopefully more retirees will call and email them.We need all the help we can get.Thanks for your help.

    1. GREAT JOB!
      Our next effort has begun! If you are on Facebook, please go to my page--Chris Ardis, Education Blogger. We are starting on our efforts to get WEP and GPO repealed!
      Thanks again for taking action! TOGETHER, we can do so much!

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