FEA Retired Fall E-Advocate 2018


  ||   PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE  ||   VICE-PRESIDENT REPORT   || 

 ||   FEA-Retired Annual Meeting ||   KEYNOTE SPEAKER REPRESENTATIVE CARLOS GUILLERMO-SMITH ||

  ||  2018 FEA Delegate Assembly  ||   Article from Artie Leicher   ||  Women's Caucus at the DA ||  

 || 2018 NEA-Retired Annual Meeting  || Special Report || 




 

Marilyn Warner

President

2018 has been an unprecedented year with all that has happened - movements such as #METoo, LGBTQ acceptance, Dreamers, and Red for Ed. We have fought for women’s rights and marched with students for gun control. We have made our voices heard about racial justice and fair immigration policies. We have supported activists and students in the fight for better conditions in our classrooms.

At the NEA Representative Assembly 2018, there was a rousing speech given by David Hogg, a recent graduate of Marjorie Stoneman High School in Parkland, Florida. Allow me to share some of David’s speech. “We want to live, thrive, grow old and have children. The deviousness in Washington is killing our nation. We are young and we do not accept this status quo. America, hear our prayer.“We want educators like you to be armed with books, paper, computers, and resources...Youth are energized and have power to right the wrongs in our nation...We are one, we are united, we are America.”

If students can be as passionate as David, then we, as retirees, need to share this passion. We need to use our voices to support the important issues that lie before us. We need to be aware of what is happening around us and be ready to stand up and speak up. The decisions made affect all of us.

Many of us were disappointed with the 2016 election, but don’t let this get you down. Instead, we need to use the 2016 election outcome to invigorate us. We must use this energy to lead us into the 2018 midterm and the 2020 elections. We must elect governors and congressmen/women at all levels -local, state, and nationwide- who support our beliefs and stand with us. We also need to make sure that the new Supreme Court justice, who will be appointed by President Trump, is a person we can count on to be fair in judicial decisions.

Get involved, approach people by discussing what matters to them, listen to people’s stories, and trust your instincts. We must “Remember in November” and vote to make a difference.

In October, I will be term-limited as FEA-Retired President. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for six wonderful years. I have enjoyed our connections and appreciate the support you have given me. I am still only a phone call or an email away, so please keep in touch!


From Mattie

Mattie Johnson, Vice -President

FEA-Retired members are Committed, Organized, Helpful, Experienced and Resilient. The work of each retiree is continuous as we volunteer in our schools and communities.

As the vice president of FEA-Retired I am responsible for but not limited to the following:

  • The collection of volunteer hours continues throughout the year
  • In an effort to increase membership our visibility is very important.  
    • FEA-Retired members offer an opportunity for FEA members to purchase tickets for a drawing toward Life Membership.  This drawing is held at the FEA Delegate Assembly in October.
    • The Silent Auction is another way the FEA-R members obtain funding to help in the awarding of an Education Grant which helps with projects that FEA members propose.
    • Assisting with the logistics of the FEA-R Executive Board and Annual meetings.
    • Each year at the FEA-R annual meeting arrangements are made for a luncheon of delegates and retirees attending the meeting.
    • A member of the executive board of the Orange CTA/OESPA Retired

 

With the representation of FEA –R members in our schools and communities volunteering shows the effect that we have on public education.
 

Do you remember…. 

  

The FEA-Retired Annual Meeting will be held on Thursday, October 11.  Delegates will include FEA-Retired Executive Board Members, local retired presidents, and representatives from each retired locals.  All FEA-Retired members are invited to attend as guests.

 

KEYNOTE SPEAKER

REPRESENTATIVE CARLOS GUILLERMO-SMITH

Representative Smith is a proven fighter for Florida’s working families and students. 


At this meeting, there will be elections for FEA-Retired President, FEA-Retired Vice-President, and District Directors from even-numbered districts.  Also the following recommendations, which were approved by the FEA-Retired Executive Board on April 28, 2018, will be discussed and/or voted on:

 

FEA-Retired Standing Rules

Elections C2 second sentence to read: Districts shall be paired as follows: 1 and 2; 3 and 4; 5 and 6; 7 and 8; 9, 10 and 11.

 

FEA-Retired Policy

  • B Operations and Expenses
  • Paragraph 1 to read: Members shall submit an authorized FEA Expense Voucher within thirty days of the event to the FEA-Retired President to receive compensation for allowable transportation/travel expenses.
  • Paragraph 12 to read: The President is authorized to bill up to the budgeted amount per budget year in food, travel and lodging expenses for attendance at FLARA meetings.
  • Paragraph 18 to read: The President is authorized to bill up to the budgeted amount in food, travel and lodging expenses for representing FEA-Retired at the AFT Convention.

 

FEA-Retired Bylaws

Article V FEA-Retired Officers

  • D1e to read: Appoint an interim Officer to fulfill the respective duties of that office with approval of the Executive Board, should a vacancy occur in that office.
  • G1 to read: Directors shall actively represent members in their respective districts at FEA-Retired Executive Board meetings, help establish local affiliates, keep track of progress and share ideas, disseminate relevant information FEA-Retired President to locals, encourage locals to do the same for members, encourage locals to contact non-unified members to join the local, and provide support to established locals.
  • G2 to read: A vacancy shall be defined as the unexcused absence from two consecutive Executive Board meetings of a District Director.  The position may also be declared vacant by the President if the Director cannot fulfill the duties as described above.  In either case, the FEA-Retired President shall send a letter to the Board member, stating the reason(s) for the vacancy and that the member will be replaced.  However, the Executive Board Member can appeal, in writing, and the appeal will be heard at the next regularly scheduled Executive Board meeting.  The decision of the Board will be final.
  • G3 (new) to read: Should a Director choose to resign, a formal letter of resignation is necessary.
  • G4 (was 3) to read: A vacancy in the office of Director shall be filled at the next FEA-Retired Annual Meeting, at which time a duly called election shall be held in order to fill the unexpired term of office.  Until such election is conducted, the President shall appoint an interim Director from the appropriate District to fulfill the duties of the office of Director.
  • Article VI 3rd line:  (editorial corrections) “serve” should be “service” and “NRA” should be “NEA”

 

Article IX FEA Retired Annual Meeting

  • C1, Paragraph 4 to read: The president of each affiliated FEA-Retired local association or his/her designated representative shall be a voting delegate to the FEA-Retired annual meeting.  When the local association president is a member of the Executive Board the local may elect a delegate in place of the president.

 

FEA Delegate Assembly

The FEA Delegate Assembly will follow our annual meeting.  Congratulations to people elected state-wide to represent us:

                 


Ulysses Floyd 

Kathy Bell   

Carolyn Underwood

Charles Moskowitz

Gloria Bonnie Smith 

Mia Koehler Sadler 

Ken Carpenter  

Carole Apfel   

Ruby Strickland 

Jana Maples  

Frank Roder  

Shirley Groff   

Jim Roney  

Sheila Cootes   

Cecily Cain  

Ethelstine Harris  

Nancy Johnson   

Linda Harris  

Sophia Youngberg  

Artie Leichner   

Janice Poirier  

Betsy Christy  

Geraldine Tiziani  

William Turner 

Fran Pizza

Linda Pate 

Larry Pate

Edna LaCount

Kay Brown 

Donald Williams 

Shirley Lloyd 


Alternates are:

Arlene Packard

Gail Rager

Sherry Savage

Daneen Regna

Kathleen Raine

Donna Wilker

Barbara Kaste

Felicia Bruce

Kim Strow

Carol Hansford

Stephen Solak

Donna Bricker

Mary DeRossett

Phyllis Compton


In addition to those elected, there are four automatic delegates:

  • Mattie Johnson and Rhea McKinney are automatic as FEA-Retired officers per our bylaws.
  • B Grassel and Marilyn Warner are automatic as members of the FEA Governance Board.

 

Please note that being elected to the FEA Delegate Assembly does not mean you are an automatic delegate to the FEA-Retired Annual Meeting; attending the FEA-Retired Annual meeting is a decision made by individual locals.

 

From Artie Leicher, UTD Member

So it is that time again.  I am writing this during the month all FEA retirees look forward to. It is July – COLA (raise) time. UTD R, using a grant from NEA, sponsored a “Coffee with Friends” at various Starbucks around the county.

It was supposed to be a recruiting tool, but turned out to be a great opportunity to connect with many who had been stewards and activist members.

It became evident as we talked that generally, we all retired in what can be looked at as the “Golden Age of Florida Teacher Retirement.” Decades of salary and benefit improvements under Democrats compounded to create our retirement at the level it is. Many of us reached the top step before the salary issues caused by the “Great Recession.” 

Since 7/1/11 benefits for career teachers have been slashed, and they now pay 3% for what we received as a free benefit, as part of an agreement intact since 1974.  Since July 2011 new teachers will receive NO COLA IN RETIREMENT.  What that means is the same check they’ll get on day one is the same as their final one.  No way to keep up with inflation. COLAs for teachers hired before 2011 have been frozen. Salaries have had to be adjusted to meet the legislative mandate focused on test scores.  Lower salaries produce lower pensions.  For new teachers who started teaching after 2011, the changes are more draconian!

As unionists we tend to be concerned about the welfare of people, especially those in our profession that follow us. Given that, I know that you understand that there is really only one way we can help. For 20 years we have had “One Party Rule” in Florida. Our profession has been trashed as part of a right wing plan to destroy unions. WHAT CAN WE DO?

Retirement, to me, means freedom. We have the luxury of time. November is just a stone’s throw away.  Volunteer to elect candidates that will restore our profession. Testing is not teaching; vote for candidates who will change that. Recruit & register voters! Direct folks to mail-in ballots. Talk to active teachers and make sure they know how political their job is! AND VOTE!

This may be our last best chance.

 

Women's Caucus at the DA

 

The Women’s Caucus at the Delegate Assembly will be collecting new and gently used purses at the Delegate Assembly to donate to homeless women living in the Orlando area.  Please fill these purses with toiletries that you purchase at your favorite store.  This is a wonderful project for retirees to be involved with; please help those less fortunate than we are.

 

 

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

Your FEA-Retired Delegates with Katie Lavalle from Florida, Kinnaman Scholarship Winner

 

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.

 

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.

                

YOUR RETIRED DELEGATES AT THE NEA REPRESENTATIVE ASSEMBLY

You might think that you don’t matter in this world, but because of you,

someone has a favorite mug to drink their tea out of every morning

someone hears a song on the radio and it reminds them of you

someone has read a book that you recommended and has gotten lost in its pages

someone remembered a joke you told them and smiled on the bus

someone tried on a top and felt beautiful because you complimented them on it

someone has a memory that makes them grin that includes you

someone now likes themselves a little more because you made a passing comment that made them feel good

 

Never think that you don’t have an impact.  Your fingerprints can’t be wiped away from the little marks of kindness that you left behind.

(From a Thought for the Day given at an FEA-Retired Board Meeting)


 

Special report

One of the most important pressing issues we face is social justice.  Frank Roder, president of Pasco – Retired and FEA-Retired Social Justice Chair, has compiled a report about several recent issues that have been in the news. It is important for us, as retirees, to be aware of these situations so that we can face the problem and help eliminate it.

Click here to read it!



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