FEA Retired: We’re Zooming ahead with our work statewide

By Janice Poirier, President, FEA-Retired

FEA-Retired did not skip a beat during the pandemic. I actually believe that we’re busier now without meeting in person yet.

FEA-Retired members are also very involved with the National Education Association (NEA), American Federation of Teachers (AFT), AFL-CIO and New York State United Teachers (NYSUT). As I write, we just adjourned the 2021 NEA Representative Assembly, and I’m very proud to announce that three FEA-Retired members were prominent participants. Charles Moskowitz spoke in favor of motions, Kenny Chin sang with the NEA Choir and, as always, the “legendary Ulysses Floyd” moved to close debate several times. Members love to see Mr. Floyd go to the mic in person because they know what’s coming. This time at the virtual conference, when his image came on the screen, we knew what was coming.

This article appeared in the Fall 2021 issue of The Advocate, the official publication of the Florida Education Association.

Retirees have been meeting on Zoom for their local meetings and their committee meetings. I must give a “shout out” to the vice president of FEA-Retired, Sandy Rushlow, who organized our meeting for bylaws. We were on that one meeting for seven hours; we did have a 15-minute break. The second day was to cover policies and standing rules. Sandy was the meeting host and did all the editing to the bylaws. Go Sandy!

I have continued my work with the AFL-CIO, the Florida Alliance for Retired Americans (FLARA), the Racial Inequities Task Force and Teachers of Color with FEA, the FEA Program and Policy Council, and Presidents’ Calls. I am an area vice president of FLARA, and Rhea McKinney is a trustee of FLARA.
Some of our members are members of the AFT Retirees Legacy Initiative. That work is most rewarding and gives African Americans the opportunity to share our stories with those who are true allies. Thank you, Phyllis Compton, Maryellen Kirwan, and Frank Roder from the bottom of my heart.

We held our first ever, digital election for delegates to the NEA-Retired Annual Meeting, NEA Representative Assembly and the FEA Delegate Assembly. Overall, it went pretty well, and we plan to conduct our elections this way from now on. Thanks to the FEA-Retired Elections Committee and Chair Frank Roder and to the FEA-Retired liaison, Renita Bates.

Our retirees honored educators who recently retired with grace and style. Thanks for sharing, President Phyllis Compton, UTD-Retired, and Bill Turner, District 9 director.

I am honored and very grateful to be able to continue doing my part in the union as the president of FEA-Retired.

Janice Poirier is president of FEA-Retired. The statewide network allows retired educators to stay connected with fellow National Education Association and American Federation of Teachers members and programs, and to continue their advocacy for public education.

Learn more about FEA-Retired here. To join, contact Carol
Drury, FEA Member Specialist, 850-201-2976 or carol.drury@floridaea.org.

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