From the President’s Podium
In teaching you cannot see the fruit of a day’s work. It is invisible and remains so, maybe for twenty years. Jacques Barzun
LOBBY DAY HAS COME – AND GONE! – But the issues stressed to the legislators have NOT gone away. Although several of our legislators were not in Hartford on that day, those that did meet with us stressed the fact that the more they heard from us, the more they respond. With over 30,000 retired teachers, if a legislator hears from a few, then the message is that the issue isn’t that important. When the legislators hear from dozens, they take notice. Therefore, it is important to contact your legislators on the issues of retirement income taxation, and financing of both the retirement fund and the health insurance fund.
At a recent meeting between some retired teachers and an area legislator, the legislator commented that the retired teachers should do a better job in their negotiations!!!!! And just who is our bargaining unit? This demonstrates the misunderstanding of many of our legislators as to how the CT Teacher’s Retirement System works and why it is important to belong to the GBRTA and to the ARTC as both organizations work solely for the retired teachers. While we can not bargain as the active teacher organizations do, your dues help to cover the costs related to dealing with the legislators and for a full- time lobbyist to ensure that our issues are not ignored.
Two items of note that are working their way through the legislative process are House Bill 5430 and a new idea about funding the teacher’s retirement fund. The bill, if it passes would roll back the 1% additional cost that the active teachers are paying. There is also a consideration being given to dedicate the income received from the Connecticut lottery to the Teacher’s Retirement Fund. Again, these are issues that deserve your consideration and contact with your legislators to let them know your feelings.
Many of our members are faced with a puzzling decision: which health insurance plan to choose? Some are not involved in this decision as their health plans are not generated through the Teacher’s Retirement Board, however, those who do receive their coverage through the TRB must choose to go with an Anthem Medicare Advantage plan or to stay with what is offered by Stirling and Stirling at an increased cost. It is a personal decision and I would urge all of those involved to attend one of the many workshops being offered and to carefully read the materials given out before deciding. Because of individual health conditions, what is best for one retiree may not be the best for another – all of which adds to the confusion. Once again, it is important to urge the legislators to fully finance the health insurance fund as it is the lack of such funding that has led to this situation