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RTC Chapter Leader Column

Keeping up to date

New York Teacher
Tom Murphy

Tom Murphy, Chapter Leader for Retired Teachers Chapter

Here's a new word as defined by Merriam Webster:

Listicle — noun: an article consisting of a series of items presented as a list.

Etymology: LIST + (ART)ICLE

We are aging but still learning. Here's my usage of it.

2019 was chock full of activities that kept many retirees busy.

Jan. 14–26: UFT annual meetings took place in Florida, Nassau, the Bronx and Manhattan, discussing benefits, in-service matters and political developments. At each, I gave an overview of news that can affect our lives as retirees.

Feb. 14: AFT President Randi Weingarten asked me to be the AFT's representative to the Democratic National Committee's Senior Council to press teacher union input on party policy.

Feb. 26: UFT President Michael Mulgrew was the keynote speaker at the 40th annual Florida UFT Luncheon. Florida Education Association's statewide president, Fed Ingram, discussed strategies to enhance the careers of local union educators.

March 11: The New Retiree Leadership Council met. We are grooming members for future RTC leadership roles.

March 12: At our general membership meeting, we celebrated the anniversary of our founding on March 16, 1960. UFT Political Director Cassie Prugh discussed COPE.

April 9: The general membership meeting featured discussions about dementia and senior safety, including scams and ID theft.

May 1–4: Joyce Magnus was the UFT's NYSUT Retiree of the Year at our NYSUT statewide convention.

May 6: General membership meeting: UFT Special Representative Briget Rein discussed how retirees can lobby on legislation for in-service colleagues.

May 13–15: I joined local UFT retiree activists in Arizona and AFT representatives at a meeting to help AFT retirees organize on the UFT model.

May 28: RTC Luncheon, honoring volunteers and activists.      

June 5: The NYSUT Retiree Committee met to coordinate organizational and political activities across the state.

June 7: UFT writers' annual celebration and publication of retiree contributions to the "Reflections" booklet.

June 11: General membership meeting: Debra Penny discussed new TRS website.

June 14: Our Day at the University featured speakers and workshops.

Aug. 23–25: I spoke at the Democratic National Committee Senior Council meeting in San Francisco and at the Florida Education Association's Governance Board in Orlando about organizing and energizing retiree groups.

Sept. 25: We heard about the recent legislative victory for New York State farmworkers at our general membership meeting,  followed by a tribute to UFT founder Abe Levine.

Oct. 17:  NYC Central Labor Council retirees asked that I chair their Campaign 2020 efforts in Florida.

Nov. 18: New names dedicated on UFT Wall of Honor: Carmen Alvarez, Robert Astrowsky, Frank Carucci, Leo Hoenig, Sandra March, Shelvy Young-Abrams.

Nov. 19: At our general membership meeting, we discussed Campaign 2020 and heard from a Census Bureau speaker.

Dec. 6: Planning session was held for UFT/NJ Campaign 2020.

Dec. 17: Our general membership meeting featured presentations on pensions, the Welfare Fund, social services and SHIP, followed by a reception unveiling retiree Marty Raskin's lobby display of public school memorabilia.

And that's my listicle of 2019; a very productive and busy RTC year.