Brownsville, Texas(KVEO)—Dozens of cars lined up on Madison Street with signs held up calling for retired and current state employees to get $6,000 pay increases.
Union members across Texas mobilized in a day coordinated event to encourage the change. A crowd stood outside state representative Eddie Lucio’s Jr. office chanting “pay raise now” hoping to get their voices heard. The chants energized the crowd composed of retired and state employees.
Led by Albert Zepeda, who worked for the state for 29 years. and a recent retiree knows how challenging the effort can be.
“We make this effort every two years and unfortunately we’ve been unsuccessful,” said Zepeda. The last time state and retired employees got a significant raise was in 2001.
Zepeda recently retired in September 2020 and started working again for the Texas workforce commission.
The $6,000 union members believe would serve as a way to help retired employees stay in retirement and give current employees a better way of life.
Among those in the crowd is Diana Alvear another recently retired state employee. Having worked for the state for 30 years and seeing how her friends Albert and Gloria have struggled has her worried.
“I’m thinking about my next 15 years,” said Alvear. Who hopes that legislators will finally give them pay raises she believes they’ve earned.
Lucio was not immediately available for comment but a representative from his office read his remarks. “The average retiree in the system makes just over $1,700 a month, this is no way to treat this form of public servants who dedicated their lives to the state.”