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The many benefits of RTC membership

New York Teacher
The Many Benefits of RTC Membership

As a retiree, UFT membership is not automatic. You must reenroll in the union’s Retired Teachers Chapter.

You may not be an in-service employee anymore, but you haven’t left the UFT. Now it’s time to become a member of the union’s Retired Teachers Chapter (RTC).

As a retiree, union membership is not automatic. You must reenroll in the UFT’s RTC.

When you join the RTC, you will participate in what’s considered the nation’s best retiree program for public school educators and health care providers. “The RTC is the go-to place for the next phase of your lives,” Chapter Leader Tom Murphy says to new retirees. “The union founders started the chapter 60 years ago to continue its support for members into retirement.”

Health, pension and social services: The union and the UFT Welfare Fund have teamed up to administer an array of programs and resources to help members throughout their retirement.

As an RTC member, you are eligible to sign up for the Supplemental Health Insurance Program (SHIP), a unique package of supplemental health benefits. The program helps defray out-of-pocket expenses for such things as dental work, ambulances, hearing aids and private-duty nursing. But you must enroll during your first year of retirement. For more information, call 212-228-9060.

Retiree Social Services provides three geriatric social workers and a staff of trained caseworkers to help retirees nationwide deal with hospitalization, make nursing home decisions, find support groups in bereavement and secure short-term counseling and referrals in times of distress. For information or to make an appointment, call 212-598-6880, Mondays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

A legal plan with an elder law supplement also is available. To speak to attorneys participating in the RTC plan, call 800-832-5182.

RTC members will also have the chance to participate in money-saving group insurance plans and get special member-only discounts on travel, services and more from the UFT, NYSUT and the AFT.

Information: The RTC keeps its 75,000 members well informed through email, an array of publications, the UFT website and regular meetings.

RTC members receive union event invitations via email and emails are sent whenever important news breaks. Sign up for UFT emails.

The New York Teacher newspaper, mailed to RTC members six times a year, includes an RTC section with important retiree news and information as well as feature stories. RTC newsletters are published quarterly.

RTC meetings are normally held monthly at union headquarters for members in the metropolitan area, and the chapter’s leaders travel annually to Florida and other retiree sections across the country to update RTC members on important health and economic issues and to answer questions. The RTC didn’t miss a beat when the pandemic hit, changing all in-person meetings to Zoom meetings.

Cultural Programs: One of the benefits of membership in the Retired Teachers Chapter is access to the Si Beagle Learning Center, a retiree program run by the UFT Welfare Fund. Thousands of retirees sign up each year for Si Beagle continuing education courses and workshops, day trips, luncheons and special event listings in catalogs mailed to RTC members in January and July. Both virtual and in-person classes and trips are planned for the future. If you have not received your Si Beagle catalog by September, call 212-510-6310 in New York or 561-994-4929 in Florida.

In partnership with other union coalitions like the UFT’s state affiliate NYSUT, the AFT, the AFL-CIO and the Alliance for Retired Americans, the RTC and its activist members lobby at every level of government to protect and enhance retiree benefits like Social Security, the annual Cost of Living Adjustment and the city’s reimbursement for Medicare Part B. That’s why UFT President Michael Mulgrew calls retirees the Daytime Union.

To take advantage of all that RTC membership offers, sign up today.

Related Topics: Retired Teachers