Colleen Maher Hourahan


I retired from the Providence Public School Department in June 2011. My decision to retire was based on numerous factors happening concurrently in Providence ( all teachers were fired, my school closed and a new position was not guaranteed to me). After serious consideration, I chose to retire. I fully expected to receive a COLA which was part of my pension when I retired. The pension changes occurred in November 2011. I was truly blindsided by these changes! Had I been made aware of these impending drastic COLA changes, my decision to retire would have been different. As a result, almost 13 years later, my pension ( along with many other retired ERSRI members) has only increased minimally.

As all of you are well aware, the cost of living has risen dramatically since 2011. Trying to “stay afloat” amid all the continual increases in daily living ( ie: food, gas, utilities,etc) is truly a challenge. In fact, living on a pension with no increases is truly a hardship. It is not what I was promised for my retirement after dedicating 32 years as a Providence Public School teacher.

I urge each of you to seriously consider the impact that receiving no COLAs has had on all retired ERSRI members and to re-instate a COLA as soon as possible.

Thank you for your consideration and prompt attention to this urgent matter.

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