The Retired Teachers Chapter is a dynamic organization of over 53,000 members shaped by political activism and committed to protecting and improving retiree benefits — considered the nation’s best among public school teachers. Its vast and varied programs are designed to maintain the intellectual, physical and economic wellbeing of its retirees.
Founded in 1960 by authorization of the newly formed United Federation of Teachers, the RTC continues to be an active participant in the work of the union here in the tri-state area and through retiree sections organized across the country and beyond. Retirees retain voting rights for union officer elections and serve as members of the UFT Executive Board. Working together, the RTC and the UFT have been able to dramatically improve health and welfare benefits, build a safe and secure pension system and gain retirement incentives for retirees to insure a financially sound retirement.
Programs and Benefits
UFT retirees have access to a broad array of social, educational, legal and economic services. The entire 17th floor of union headquarters is devoted exclusively to retiree concerns and it’s one of the busiest floors in the 18 story Manhattan building. It’s where retirees come for answers to pension, health and economic concerns.
Among the many programs and benefits available to retirees, the UFTWF Retiree Programs’ Si Beagle Learning Centers — also known as the “university for retired teachers” — are perhaps the most popular. They provide life-long learning opportunities for retirees to nurture their talents and explore new ones. In addition to hundreds of courses offered daily at all UFT borough offices and throughout the tri-state area and Florida, the centers provide day trips and seminars.
Through UFTWF Social Services a professional staff including, two social workers and case managers provide social services that include counseling, guidance, information and referrals to retirees and their families wherever they live. Their work includes confidential, short term counseling, meeting retiree needs during hospital stays and transition from hospital to home and staying in touch through a nationwide telephone reassurance program. Information and referrals to retirement communities, nursing homes and support groups are also available.
The Supplemental Health Insurance Program (SHIP), organized 30 years ago to provide a supplement to retiree benefits, provides low cost, unique health insurance coverage beyond that provided by the NYC Health Plans. Today, 43,146 members are enrolled in SHIP — 61,962 including spouses and domestic partners.
As automatic members of NYSUT, AFT and the AFL-CIO, retirees have access to insurance programs such as catastrophic illness coverage, legal advice and UFT approved elder law attorneys as well as the publications these organizations provide.
The RTC keeps its members well informed through the retiree pages of the biweekly New York Teacher, quarterly newsletters, fliers and bulletins on the UFT web site. At retirement, each RTC retiree receives the Retiree Handbook, an encyclopedia of information. The chapter also keeps in touch through regular monthly meetings and two annual luncheons: a fall luncheon honoring new retirees and a spring luncheon for everyone.
The RTC continues to work actively at all government levels to protect and improve retiree benefits. To keep the union’s voice strong, retirees are urged to stay active and contribute to COPE.
Beyond New York
RTC services and UFTWF Retiree Programs are available not only in the tri-state area but to members in its far flung chapter sections in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and Israel. Coordinators in each area arrange meetings, courses and activities and RTC officers and specialists visit regularly.
For general questions, call or write:
52 Broadway, 17th floor
New York, NY 10004
3200 North Military Trail
Boca Raton, FL 33431