2018 NEA-Retired Annual Meeting

2018 NEA-Retired Annual Meeting
Submitted by Marilyn Warner

The 2018 NEA-Retired Annual Meeting was held in Minneapolis June 27-28. Your elected representatives were Ulysses Floyd, Mattie Johnson, Charles Moskowitz, Ruby Strickland and Marilyn Warner. This lengthy report is written to give you some of the highlights of the meeting so that you will be aware of what our national retired organization is doing.

Florida at the NEA-Retired Meeting


Marilyn Warner, Ruby Strickland, Ulysses Floyd, Mattie Johnson, Charles Moskowitz

Sarah Borgman, NEA-Retired President, spoke strongly about gun control. As Sarah said, “Enough is enough and the support of the retirees has been recognized. Students have taken the lead...We have to have gun control laws; we need to control this madness...Yes, there is a need for mental health issues, but, please, no more bloodshed for our loved ones... Continue using your voices and continue saying ‘Enough is Enough.’”

Sarah also discussed the Janus decision which is the Union busting act, saying, “They think they are going to bust us, but they aren’t going to be able to do it. We are going to organize and help with membership recruitment. Most importantly, tell your stories and how the union has helped you. We are going to stand, we are going to fill the gap. We are NEA-Retired.”

Jon-Paul Roden, NEA-Retired Executive Council, explained what will be happening with the Grants program. Monies available will be approximately $30,000 less than in previous years because of Janus. (As a side note, Florida has received two NEA grants each year since I became president in 2012. We will be applying for new grants again this year and hope they will be well-received.)


NEA-Retired Communication awards went to the following states:

Established State Newsletter

Runner-up            Nebraska

Winner                   California

Established Local Newsletter

Runner-up            Maryland

Winner                   Illinois

State Retired Website

Winner                   Michigan

Spotlight Award

Runner-up            Nebraska

Winner                   Georgia

(The Florida newsletter is the E-advocate which is an electronic newsletter. There is no category for electronic newsletters. For two years, I have been asking about adding this category because of the expense of printing and mailing newsletters as well as keeping up with the times where technology is the way to go. Hopefully, there will be a category for electronic newsletters next year.)


Membership Awards were given to:

Largest Numerical Increase

Runner-up            Minnesota

Winner                   California

Largest Percentage Increase

Runner-up            Minnesota

Winner                   North Dakota

Mary Kusler, Senior Director NEA Center for Advocacy, gave a very rousing talk. Some of the things she mentioned were: “No one is more fired up from the period we are in now than NEA-Retired...Janus came down today; today we mourn, tomorrow we organize...This is the beginning of an engaged, active membership.” She spoke about the Supreme Court, saying, “Justice Kennedy announced his retirement today. He was a swing vote for women’s right to choose and LGBTQ rights. We are now fighting for the future of our democracy.” She continued with addressing educators, “There have been decades of cuts in education funding, stagnant or falling salaries,, and rising healthcare costs...Hundreds of educators have taken to the streets... Unions are alive and well in this country.” She concluded speaking about future legislation including the Social Security Expansion Act, Social Security Fairness Act of 2017, and the Equal Treatment of Public Servant’s Act (HR 711) and informing us that Social Security is fully funded for the next 16 years.

This year is the 35th birthday of NEA-Retired, so a birthday celebration concluded our first day.

Day Two began with recognition awards. Lynda Wolf-Smith from Georgia received the NEA-Retired Distinguished Service Award.

Because of the contributions made by retirees to the Jack Kinnaman Fund, NEA-Retired was able to give an additional scholarship this year. Three scholarships of $2500 each were awarded this year. Recipients were: Tory Mitchell (Kansas), Allison Erk (Wisconsin) and Katie LaValle (Florida). Florida donated $450 to the Jack Kinnaman fund this year and the total raised was $10,130.60.



Florida Delegates with Katie Lavalle from Florida, Kinnaman Scholarship Winner


Martha Karlovetz, NEA-Retired Secretary/Treasurer, reported that, in the proposed budget for NEA which will be voted on at the NEA Representative Assembly, there will be an increase of $50 in the NEA-Retired lifetime dues beginning in the 2019-20 year. This is when we must focus on membership with a “Join Now and Save” campaign.

Alice O’Brien, NEA Chief Legal Counsel, said that the Janus decision means:

  • Fair share fees are unconstitutional everywhere in the public sector.
  • NEA affiliates need to comply immediately.
  • States that did this on an opt-out basis can no longer do so.
  • States DFR obligations define what service affiliates must provide to fee-payers.

NEA is organizing, organizing, organizing by engaging members to recommit to the union. We need to be active and opposed to any candidate moving forward for the Supreme Court nomination until after the 2018 midterm elections.


NEA-Retired elections results for this year are:

Vice-President                      Jean Debosi

Secretary/Treasurer          Dan Rudd

Executive Council              Alen Ritchie and Lynda Wolf-Smith

Board of Directors             Anita Gibson and Barb Schram

Board Alternate                   Janet Kilgus

Resolutions                            Ross Dill, Judy Rohde, Sidney Kardon, Ron Moss, Sandra Hatley and John Hildelman


George Sheridan, NEA Executive Board, spoke and specifically mentioned coming to Florida for our MORE Leadership Training in January and the work we are doing in our state.

There were 315 confirmed delegates at the annual meeting. PAC Collections totaled $38,283.

This was a very interesting, informative meeting and all of your representatives appreciate the opportunity to attend the sessions.


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