What is NYSRTA?
- Legislative Action Committee…
advocating on behalf of members at both the State and Federal levels. – Fundamental in the passage of the NYS Automatic COLA legislation, Permanent Health Insurance Protection, and Third Party Notification.
- Health Care Committee…
providing information about what is contained in legislation that pertains to our health related issues and updates on current health related issues.
- Friendly Service Committee…
constantly helping those members in need, providing visits and gifts of necessary items to shut-ins and nursing home residents.
- Community Service Committee…
providing a coordinated volunteer service program for members looking to serve their communities in retirement.
- Membership Committee…
working to attract new members, thus adding vitality and strength to our positions of advocacy on behalf of Association members.
- York State…
offering members a quarterly magazine of news and important information from the Zones and State.
Why Join NYSRTA?
- The New York State Retired Teachers’ Association is a dynamic organization of retired educators working together to support, and strengthen the quality of life for all retired educators, their families and communities.
- Financial Assistance - The Robert R. DeCormier Memorial Trust Fund including a Special Grant giving financial assistance for un-reimbursed emergencies, The Presidents Fund, and NYSRTA Friendly Service program.
- Websites…keeping you current with critical information such as connections to private and public employers hiring retirees.
- Discount Programs and Services…providing access to group-rate insurance programs that supplement existing Medicare benefits: dental, vision, and hearing plans; long-term care insurance, investments, and Abenity – an elite collection of local and national discounts.
- Travel Opportunities…Vacation Tours to destinations such as Europe, Unites States National Parks, South Pacific and more.
- RoadScholar…offering travel adventure, learning, friendship, and fun.
- Honorary Membership…granted to members reaching 90 years of age.
In the early years of the 20th Century, there were no financial provisions for teachers after
Beginning in 1913, the House of Delegates of the New York State Teachers’ Association (NYSTA) was the voice of active teachers. Membership in NYSTA gave active teachers the opportunity to enhance their professional lives. Historically, retired teachers also participated in NYSTA. However, as early as 1920 there were those who were concerned for the welfare of the rapidly growing number of retires teachers. There was no New York State Teachers’ Retirement System until 1921.
Meanwhile, at the far-western end of the state, the Buffalo Women Teachers’ Association was encouraged to assist a group known as “Friends of Retired Teachers”. For over 25 years, the “Friends” had been trying to improve the status of retired educators in the Buffalo area. Then during the 1940′s, the soaring cost of living caused retired teachers throughout the country to focus on the need for statewide retired teachers’ organizations that would be dedicated to protecting and improving retirement benefits.
In the fall of 1946, about a hundred retired educators gathered at a grammar school in Albany to establish a Retired Teachers’ Association, the first in New York, and in this country. Then in October 1947, the “Friends” in Buffalo called a meeting of retired teachers, and the Western Zone was created.
Teachers who had a voice in their welfare before retirement quickly welcomed an opportunity to have a voice after retirement. Through the action in 1923 of the NYSTA House of Delegates, New York State had been divided into zones. It was now becoming clear to the leaders of their zones that a separate statewide organization was needed to represent retirees.
In November 1949, presidents of the Eastern, Western, and Central Western Zones met to begin making this a reality. Meetings continued ~ including Central, Southern, and Southeastern Zones ~ to discuss a constitution for a state organization and legislation to benefit retired teachers.
On November 18, 1951, representatives from the six zones met in Rochester and elected officers to serve the newly formed New York State Retired Teachers’ Association (NYSRTA) . By the following year, Northern, North Central, Northeastern, and Long Islands Zones had come on board, making a true statewide organization, and completing the structure of the Association.
NYSRTA’s First President
Robert R. DeCorrmier (Poughkeepsie, Southeastern Zone) was the first and longest-serving President of NYSRTA. Having been appointed to the position in 1951, he served as president for 15 years, always working to build up the organization.
He felt that teachers were equipped to go on being of service after retirement. To that end he established NYSRTA’s summer fortnight sessions at various colleges. This led to the Association’s annual summer workshops.
DeCormier had two major projects of utmost importance to him. First, he wanted to provide retirees with insurance that was reasonable in price and would take care of most needs. Insurance representatives he contacted found this laughable. Then he met Leonard Davis, a young insurance agent, who agreed with him. Together, they worked on an insurance plan. It was the first group insurance plan for retired educators in the United states and led to insurance for other retirees throughout the world.
Second, he wished to create a centrally located and affordable retirement home. Working through his office as president of NYSRTA, he persisted with efforts to create support for a home for retired teachers. York State Manor became a reality with it’s dedication on November 15, 1963. The manor consisted of several cottages for independent living and a building for those who preferred to have their needs catered. The day that home was complete was probably one of the happiest days in DeCormier’s life.
The New York State Retired Teachers’ Association has long held in respectful memory the Association’s first president. The efforts of this dedicated man played a large part in securing benefits for retired teachers. He worked tirelessly for improved pensions. He was a primary force in shaping NYSRTA: building it into
an Association ever constant in its goal of working to improve the quality of life for all retired educators.
“This world you live in today is a different world, it is changing fast. You must accept it and change”.
Robert R. DeCormier
Dear NYSRTA Members,
Thank you , delegates, for the confidence shown in choosing TEAM NYSRTA 2012-2013 slate of officers. As a TEAM (Together Everyone Achieves More), we have mutual goals, cooperation, and support for each other and for the members across the state. Please feel free to address your concerns and goals with the elected and appointed officers, including your Zone Presidents. Therefore, I hope you would like to learn a little more about your elected officers.
My B.S. degree is from Cornell University in consumer economics and my M.S. from Queens College, CUNY in home economics education. My first job was with Cornell Cooperative Extension 4-H program in Columbia County and later, after marriage, in Nassau County. I taught a total of 32 years in Freeport and Waterloo High Schools. After retiring in 1997, I volunteered with the Waterloo Historical Society and wrote biographies for the updated Waterloo History book. I enjoy quilting, cross stitching, reading and watching sports on TV. I have a real meltdown between the end of the Yankees baseball season and the beginning of the Syracuse basketball season!! I have been president of my sorority housing board corporation in Ithaca and still serve on that board. My husband and I have been married for 48 years; Rich is a retired educator (science teacher and school administration) and a NYSRTA member. We have one son, Daniel who recently married Rachel, a 3rd grade teacher. I have served NYSRTA as Senior VP for 3 years and Secretary for 6 years, as well as Central Western Zone President, VP, and Secretary.
Angelo Grande, your new Senior VP, is also a NYSRTA veteran, having been elected as State Legislation VP for 1 year and Legislative Action VP for 2 years. Angelo served in the Army Signal Corps as a radio operator. He received an associate’s degree from NYCCC and then graduated from University of Miami with a B.B.A. He worked for GOOD HOUSEKEEPING as a market research analyst and then continued a similar job with General Cable Corporation. He began his teaching career as a substitute for sabbatical leaves at North Shore, New Hyde Park, and Walt Whitman High Schools. He returned to North Shore to teach Business Education. He earned a MBA from the Bernard Baruch School of Business and Financial Management He retired in 2002 and is active in the sons of Italy, and the American Legion. Angelo is an avid runner and competed in 4 marathons. He and Kathy (also a NYSRTA member) have been married for 43 years and have 2 children and 4 grandchildren.
Secretary Nancy Roberts has a BS from SUNY Oswego and taught elementary school classes in Cazenovia, Carthage, and Central Square, before retiring as a1st grade teacher from General Brown in Watertown. She is secretary for 2 church groups as well as NCZ Secretary. She has been married to Al (also a retired teacher) for 50 years and has 2 children and 5 grandchildren. Her hobbies include reading, quilting, gardening, and golfing.
Look out NYSRTA members! There are 2 “think outside the box” family and consumer science retired teachers on board.
Mary Ella Moeller has a BS degree in Home Economics from the University of Nebraska, as well as a Masters in Liberal Studies from Stony Brook University. She has experience in several NYSRTA positions; elected as Friendly Service VP twice, including 2012, and VP of Federal Legislation as well as being appointed Health Care Chair twice. She also has filled most leadership positions in her unit and LIZ. A resident of East Hampton, Mary Ella has been a member and officer of many village advisory committees. She is also a member of the DAR and other Founders and Patriotic societies for American History. She is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Women and received an AARP award as an amazing RTA Volunteer. She and husband Jim (also previously a very involved NYSRTA member) were married for 50 years, have one daughter and 2 grandchildren.
Mary Johnson, your newly elected VP for Legislative Action, has a long term politically active career, including Legislative Committee member from SZ. She holds a BS from SUNY Cortland in Elementary Education and a Masters in Special Education from Binghamton University. She acquired additional graduate hours at Elmira College. Mary’s community activities are numerous when paired with her active 33 years of teaching and 6 years as an educational consultant for Scholastic, Inc. with reading and language programs. She chaired the NEA/NY Legislative/ Political Action Committee as well as serving as Vice President of NEA/NY. She has been an officer and member of the League of Women Voters in both Cape Cod and the Southern Tier, Cortland College Council, and Citizens Action of NY. With 6 children and 7 grandchildren, Mary is also busy and currently employed as a real estate sales associate.
Sharon White will be serving her 3rd term as VP for Membership. She has a BA from SUNY Oswego in Education with a minor in Elementary Industrial Arts! With 72 graduate hours, she also holds an advanced certificate in Reading Instruction. She taught in Carthage and in Wolcott Central Schools (which after consolidation became North Rose/ Wolcott) for a total of 39 years. She has served her school district and NEA/NY in many offices, especially as Treasurer and President. She is experienced in negotiations as well as a convention and NYTRS delegate. Sharon serves her community as a village of Wolcott Trustee and has been Deputy Mayor. She is a board member, dispatcher, and President of the Wolcott Area Volunteer Ambulance Corp. She worked as Secretary/Treasurer for Rural Enterprises, Inc. and is board member of the Town of Parish Historical Society. She is a Notary Public and a member of the Eastern Star.
If you managed to absorb all this, you can see your elected officers are experienced in leadership, have diverse interests and talents, and are dedicated workers. To all current officers and appointed Chairs, please pass on your NYSRTA Leaders’ Manual to your successor. Pages will be updated at an upcoming Board meeting.
Enjoy a healthy, snowless winter, Judie.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Can you help me with questions or procedures concerning my monthly pension? I also need a 1099 form, will you send one?
A. No, we are not the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System. We are a separate 501c4 non profit group working on behalf of retired educators. We are the only statewide organization in New York State that spends the majority of its organizational time advocating for rights and benefits for retirees in the field of education.
Please direct your questions to the NYS Teachers’ Retirement System by calling 1-800-356-3128 or 518-447-2666 if you live the Albany calling area. You can visit the TRS Web site by logging on www.nystrs.org. If you were a public employee working in fields other than teaching or school administration, the phone numbers that can connect you to persons handling your pension benefits are either: Retired Public Employees Association at 518-869-2542 or 1-800-726-7732 NYS Local Employees’ Retirement System at 518-474-7736.
Q. May only retired educators join this organization?
A. No, any active educator is also encouraged to join our membership so that understanding and cooperation between active and retired educators expands for the benefit of both groups. Also, spouses of active and retired educators may join so that they too can benefit from the social, legislative, travel and insurance benefits available to all members. Certified Teaching Assistants are encouraged to join as well!
Q. Is this organization a union?
A. No. This Association places its emphasis on advocacy work for retired educators. Union organizations concentrate the bulk of their resources on negotiating and supporting legislation on behalf of active educators. Questions regarding any union benefits or retiree involvement may be answered by calling either New York State United Teachers in Albany at 518-213-6000, toll free at 1-800-626-8101.
Q. Is this organization part of the New York State Education Department?
A. No. NYSRTA is a non-governmental association of volunteers working to insure the quality of life for all New York State retired educators whether they work in public or private schools, at the K-12 or at the post-secondary level, or work as classroom teachers, teaching assistant, school administrators, school social workers, guidance counselors and school psychologist positions. Please visit the New York State Education Department at http://www.nysed.gov/ for information on their jurisdiction and multifaceted departments serving students, teachers, parents, and administrators statewide.
Q. How many people belong to your organization statewide?
A. Currently 25,000 members are on our rolls. We have targeted this year as The Year of Membership and are concentrating our efforts on enrolling several thousand more of the total 100,000 retirees in NYS. After all, we all know that strength in numbers is a reality for any organization. If you currently are not a state member, please click on the Membership Information and Services section to learn more about us.
Q. I belong to a local retired educators’ unit. I am not sure if I currently belong to NYSRTA as well. Can you help me?
A. Yes, please call our office at 518-482-3509 so that we can check our membership roster to answer your question.
Q. I taught before I became a school administrator. Does this organization welcome active or retired building or district-wide administrators?
. Absolutely! Since your retirement benefits are included in the same state retirement system as those of teachers, we are working on your behalf and need your financial and volunteer effort support to be strong and successful.
Q. I am a retired college/university instructor or administrator. Does this organization represent me?
A. Yes! The level at which you taught or administered in New York State is not the issue, nor does it matter that your retirement system is different. Please check the Membership Information and Services section for the important reasons why you need to join with us! By the way, your still active college or university instructors and administrators may also belong as well as their spouses.
Q. I believe that I purchased an insurance policy offered with your National Corporate Benefits Administrators, Inc. provider. Will you clarify policy information with me?
A. You need to call National Corporate Benefits Administrators directly. Their representatives will be happy to answer all questions concerning their policies. The toll free number to reach them is 1-888-376-6020. When possible, please have available insurance policy information to expedite your call.