The Retired Teachers Chapter goes the distance to stay connected to its members — 71,097 retired UFT members who live all over the country as well as in Puerto Rico and Israel.
The RTC keeps retired members up to date not only about everything happening at the UFT but also about political developments at the local, state and national level that will have an impact on their lives as retirees.
The RTC has successfully made the transition during the pandemic from in-person to virtual meetings via Zoom.
General membership meetings in the metropolitan area, which attracted 200 to 400 attendees in person, are now conducted virtually. Up to 1,500 members in all regularly attend these virtual monthly meetings either via Zoom, by dialing in or through Facebook Live via the RTC Facebook groups.
The chapter also holds annual benefits meetings for each chapter section. Before the pandemic, RTC leaders would travel to these popular meetings to visit with retirees and bring them the latest news and information about their benefits. This year, the benefits meetings have all taken place via Zoom, with thousands in attendance.
RTC Chapter Leader Tom Murphy reports that these virtual meetings have been so well-received that the chapter intends to maintain a virtual component even when in-person meetings resume.
“Out of necessity has come new opportunities,” Murphy said. “It makes us optimistic about the future of union engagement.”
Every retiree gets the quarterly RTC Newsletter, which has been exploring topics pertinent to retiree political, health and economic issues for more than 20 years. Its mainstay is a column written by the RTC chapter leader specifically for the newsletter. A new Congress Watch feature keeps an eye on legislation important to retirees.
Each edition of the New York Teacher newspaper keeps retirees informed about what’s going on in the union and about what in-service colleagues are doing in their classrooms. Three pages of each edition of the newspaper, which is now published six times a year, is reserved for retiree news, benefit information and feature stories. The newspaper often lists the names and phone numbers of all section coordinators in this section, so retirees planning to relocate can remain active and informed.
A digital edition of the newspaper customized for retirees is also sent via email to all RTC members.
Everything retirees need to know is posted and updated regularly in the RTC section of the UFT website. From the home page, select Retired Teachers Chapter under Chapters.
In the RTC section of the website, retirees will find pertinent forms, the Si Beagle Learning Center course catalog, important phone numbers, registration links for upcoming events and a wealth of information about UFT retiree benefits.
Invitations to RTC events are sent by email, and email blasts go out whenever there is important news pertinent to retirees.
To sign up for UFT email, log in to the UFT website, go to My Account and make sure you have opted in to receive email.