www.winnebagocountyrta.org OCTOBER 2019
Thursday, November 21
WCRTA Membership Meeting
at MARY’S MARKET, 4866 Bluestem Road, Roscoe
I hope you enjoyed a summer making wonderful memories with family and friends. I remember how fast the summers flew by when I was still teaching; it seems that even in retirement, I cannot get time to slow down! We are just busy, busy people! As promised in our earlier newsletter, I have details about our last general membership meeting for 2019. Here is all the necessary information:
Date: Thursday, November 21
Location: Mary’s Market, 4866 Bluestem Road, ROSCOE, 815-270-0575
Registration: 11:30 a.m.
Buffet Lunch: Noon
Program: 12:45 - 2:00 p.m.
Cost: $20.00 per person. The price includes tax & gratuity.
RSVP: Wednesday, November 13
The buffet includes two meats (Harvest Pot Roast and Chicken Bruschetta), potatoes, vegetables, salad, bread, gourmet cookie, tea, coffee, water.
The program will include Jeanne Kovanda, Area 1 IRTA Legislative member; Mary Lang, Area 1 IRTA-PAC representative; Nancy Cramer, Members Benefits representative; and elections for the WCRTA Executive Board for 2020-2022. Please attend, meet and greet old friends and new, and vote for the WCRTA leaders for the next two years!
Again, we are meeting at the newest Mary’s Market location in Roscoe! Park in the lot at the west end of the building. There is a ramp that leads to the entrance of the banquet rooms. Look for the black canopy.
Remember, RSVP cutoff is November 13. Please fill out the form below and send it, along with a check payable to WCRTA for $20 per person, to Gayle Haab, 3767 Doreen Dr, Roscoe, IL 61073, firstname.lastname@example.org
All reservations must be accompanied with a check. Unfortunately, you cannot pay on the day of the event. WCRTA must pay in full the day we make our final count of reservations.
Name of Member: _____________________Name of Guest: _____________________________
Phone Number: _____________________Email address_______________________________
# of people attending: ______ Amt of Check @ $20 per person: $____________________
Please remit a check, payable to WCRTA, for $20 per person, to Gayle Haab, 3767 Doreen Drive, Roscoe IL 61073 RSVP: Gayle must receive your check no later than November 13, 2019!
Remember, November 11 is a US Postal Holiday with no mail delivery.
Message from Norm Alpers, President of WCRTA, email@example.com
This is the last newsletter for 2019. Does that seem possible? Please read the articles; they involve you and WCRTA.
Our next Membership Meeting is November 21. This meeting is described very well in this Newsletter, but I want to emphasize a few things. First of all, we will have some of our Area and Regional IRTA representatives here to give you a summary of legislative issues that relate to our pensions and benefits provided through IRTA. The veto session of our legislature starts October 28, always an interesting time. We will also have a member of the IRTA – PAC present to tell us about our possible support for legislators running for office next year. Did you know that IRTA has a PAC (Political Action Committee)? A representative from our Benefits organization, AMBA, will share some new benefits available that may interest you. Please plan to attend; it will be worth your time.
Be sure to take advantage of the December 3 bus trip to Chicago. See the flyer within this newsletter.
One of the things that we will do at that Membership Meeting on November 21 is hold elections. I have served 4 years as your Co-President with Fred Kunz. His untimely death has left a void. The nominating committee will have a slate of officers for you to consider and vote on.
I had planned to leave office and serve the Board of Directors of WCRTA in any fashion they might need me, but that changed. The nominating committee has asked me to run for president for 2020 – 2022. I have reluctantly agreed to do so, knowing there are members of WCRTA who would do very well in that position! Having said that, I am asking for your help, both here in the Newsletter and personally. Please call me or email to offer your help by taking a position on the board. I really need you. We have several openings on our board committees. It is important that those positions be filled so we can meet the purpose of WCRTA as stated in our by-laws. Here is that purpose!
The purpose of WCRTA shall be to maintain and improve benefits to annuitants of the Teachers Retirement System (TRS), promote education and the professional, social and economic status of all members, and to work in cooperation with other organizations to gain these goals.
I will be contacting some of you to get your ideas for programs and events that you may be interested in for the WCRTA to bring to you. In the meantime, if you have some ideas about programs or events that you think we should consider, please call or email me as soon as possible. We will be having a board planning meeting in early December to consider programs for 2020. Please think about this and call me or email me. I need your help on this as well.
Several officers and members of WCRTA just got back from the IRTA’s bi-annual convention in Springfield. I want to give you just a few notes from the convention. The IRTA Foundation report was very interesting and worthy of repeating to all IRTA members. You are familiar with the Foundation; it sends you fund raising letters with name and address labels or just plain fund-raising letters. Anyway, one of the facts about the Foundation is amazing. Over the last 2 years the Foundation helped retired teachers who needed assistance with big expenses or just living expenses, with grants totaling $91,134. These are generally older retirees whose pensions are not very big. Over the past 13 years, that total is $771,379. In addition, $46,506 was given in scholarships the last two years. The 13-year total for scholarships is $264,695. Annual teacher grants totaled $72,701 the last 2 years. The 13-year total for teacher grants is $250,264. That is a lot of money. That is where some of your address label funding and other gifts to the Foundation are used. Keep those funds going to the Foundation. Your contributions make a difference!
Please read the Member Communications article in this newsletter by John Carleton. It is about our desire to be able to communicate with you more rapidly and less expensively then through the regular mail. We need your help, as the article will explain.
Again, I urge you to check out some new benefits that IRTA is involved with, through AMBA. Dental and Vision insurance are two of those. You received some information about these in this month’s flyer.
Finally, the Coordinator of an RVC program called RAISE (for intellectually disabled youth at Rock Valley College) has announced a job opening(s). It falls under the category of Continuing Education. She needs an instructor or two for classes beginning January 15. Certification is not a problem.
The pay is $30 per hour. It requires 5 hours a week. 2.5 hours on Wednesday and Friday mornings. The curriculum is in place. If you are interested or curious, you can find a link under Student Services on the Rock Valley College homepage Rock Valley College>Student Services>Disability Services>RAISE.
Feel free to call me or email me for more information. Norm Alpers, (815) 988-0523 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
I look forward to seeing you in November.
--Norm Alpers, President, 815-988-0523
Six Members Attend Illinois Retired Teachers Convention
Betty and David Davison, Dale and Gayle Haab, WCRTA President Norm Alpers, and Jo Sullons (front row) attended the 2019 Illinois Retired Teachers Association Convention on October 14 and 15. The two-day convention was held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Springfield, Illinois. The keynote speaker for the convention was Illinois State Supreme Court Chief Justice, Lloyd Karmeier. Chief Justice Karmeier described the structure of the three court levels in Illinois: Circuit, Appellate, and State Supreme Court. He discussed the difference between criminal and civil court cases. He also discussed the case won by the Illinois Retired Teachers Association that saved the 3 percent COLA provision of our teacher retirement benefits provided by TRS. Chief Justice Karmeier presided over that court decision. Governor Pritzker provided a welcome address to start the convention.
The Convention is held biannually to elect state officers for two-year terms, celebrate legislative achieve-ments, provide reports of various standing committee activities, and conduct caucuses for each of the six Areas of the state.
An extensive report on the achievements of the IRTA Foundation showed the Foundation provided $91,000 in monthly and one-time specific needs assistance to financially destressed retired teachers, $24,000 of scholarships to juniors or seniors in college pursuing a degree in education, and $36,650 in Teacher Grants to allow educators to enrich their instruction with materials not otherwise available to them. The Foundation strives to provide financial assistance to past, future, and present educators. The funds for the Foundation programs are all donations. No IRTA dues money is used. The final activity of the convention was a drawing for $10,000 won by a lady from Aledo, Illinois. This drawing helped raise part of the donated money to support the Foundation.
Two Winnebago County RTA members were part of the program for the convention. Gayle Haab was recognized as the Unit Honoree of our Winnebago County Unit for the extensive work she does, not only in 2019, but in years past. David Davison gave the Nominating Committee Report as Chair of the Nominating Committee and conducted the Installation of Officers, traditionally performed by the Immediate Past President of IRTA.
A silent auction is held at each convention to raise money for the IRTA-PAC. Each unit is asked to furnish items to be auctioned. Gayle Haab has put our Winnebago County basket together for the last two conventions. This year, in addition to a basket containing bottles of various area wines and goodies, Judy Kunz donated three Tom Heflin prints from Fred’s collection that Gayle included in our items to be auctioned. The wine basket and the three Heflin prints made $350 for the IRTA-PAC.
Pictures and videos of the Convention can be viewed by opening an email with a title line of “IRTA Convention Hailed as a Success” which has been sent to all IRTA members. By scrolling down near the bottom (Winnebago is near the end of the alphabet) of the link titled “View Various Photos” you can see Gayle receiving her Unit Honoree gift.
--Dave Davison, Nominating Committee Chair
Former IRTA State President
This may be the shortest Legislative Update ever. A look at the Fall Legislative calendar shows that there are very few sessions scheduled. This is not surprising considering the make-up of the legislature with a governor of the same party and the number of bills passed and signed at the end of May. So, there is no news of any significance to report at this time.
Member Communications Update
As mentioned in the last newsletter, a group of WCRTA Board Members has been meeting in an attempt to make our communications with the membership timelier and more efficient using an application called Member Planet. As a result, many of you will soon be receiving the following email if you haven’t gotten it already:
WCRTA is in the process of updating its database. Your name and address are in our database, but we would like to know if we have your correct email address. Email is an inexpensive and effective means to communicate with our members, and we would like to use it to contact you. Beginning in 2020, we hope to be sending our bi-monthly newsletter via email unless you tell us that you would prefer to continue receiving it by the US Postal Service. Please be sure WCRTA has your latest email address. WCRTA does not maintain an office, but we do keep a website at www.winnebagocountyrta.org which contains updated Association news and many links to IRTA and useful resources for Illinois retired teachers. Should you wish to update your email address or USPS address, please contact Betty Davison at email@example.com as she maintains our membership database. Thank you for your support.
The success of this effort depends on whether or not we have your correct email. Obviously, if you receive the above email in the near future, then you’re all set; but if not, please check with us so we can give you the latest WCRTA news and happenings in a timely manner. If you do not use email, then we will continue to stay in touch with you by US mail, just be sure we have your correct USPS address and winter address if applicable (and if you’re reading this in the newsletter, we probably do).
--John Carleton, Legislative Chair
Election of WCRTA Officers
The Winnebago County Retired Teacher Association (WCRTA) By-Laws call for the election of officers at the Annual Meeting of the odd-numbered years. The officers shall begin their terms on the following January 1. The terms shall be for two years.
There will be an election of officers at the November 21, 2019, WCRTA Membership Meeting since the By-Laws call for the last membership meeting of the year to be known as the Annual Meeting.
The elected offices are President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer. The following members have agreed to be nominated:
President: Norm Alpers
Vice-President: Gayle Haab
Secretary: Shirley Davidson
Treasurer: Dorothy Schoonover
Nominations will be accepted from the floor during the meeting. If there are no nominations from the floor, the above candidates will be elected by acclamation using a voice vote. There will be a brief installation ceremony conducted by the Nominating Committee Chair.
The rest of the Board of Directors for the Association are appointed by the President. They are chairs of various standing committees. These committees include: Legislation, Membership, Member Benefits, Reservations, Newsletter, Social/Programs, Foundation Services, and Necrology/Sunshine. There are other standing committees listed in the By-Laws, but we need to have chairs for the above-named committees at a minimum. There can be co-chairs of the committees. The website developer and day-trip coordinator have also been traditionally appointed members of the board although not mentioned in the By-Laws.
There is a desperate need to fill these ten (10) positions on the board. Please consider volunteering to serve as one of these Chairpersons and thus a member of the Board of Directors. Mentoring and training as to the duties and responsibilities of these positions will be provided. There is a need for people who have not been involved to step forward to help this organization whose major goal is to protect your retirement benefits which includes health insurance and the 3% compounded COLA. Volunteering is a common activity associated with retirement for many people.
Please volunteer to help your fellow retired educators by making WCRTA a progressive, viable organization that provides entertaining and educational programs at the membership meetings and supports the various programs of the State Retired Teachers Association (IRTA). IRTA is not affiliated with any other state or national organization. Please contact our present President, Norm Alpers if you are willing to help. Ph: (815) 988-0523
Please see the flyer in this newsletter for the many benefits available to you as a member of IRTA. There are three NEW benefits that were recently announced.
----Gayle Haab, Member Benefits & Reservations
Dues Reminder for 2020 Local Dues
Thanks to all WCRTA members who have already paid their 2020 annual dues. Those who have not are reminded the $10 annual dues for the 2020 year are due starting January 1, 2020. Please check the mailing label on this newsletter to see what our records indicate, concerning your WCRTA dues status. The code “LA 2019” on the label means you have paid your dues for 2019. This code stands for “Local Annual 2019 dues for WCRTA.” If the year indicated is 2018 or earlier, you have not paid for the year 2019. This code only applies to members who pay on an annual basis. Life members of WCRTA will see the code “LL.” The second code on the mailing label refers to our local understanding of the status of your membership in the state IRTA organization.
THANKS TO ALL INVOLVED IN PRODUCING THIS NEWSLETTER.
Thanks to the people who write articles for this newsletter, help in producing it by folding, labeling, etc., and especially to Sharon Vinson for editing and putting the newsletter together. Receiving this newsletter is one of the benefits of membership in the Winnebago County Retired Teachers Association. Recipients of this newsletter are reminded that dues must be paid to continue receiving the newsletter. Annual dues become due on January 1 of each year. Recipients of this newsletter are reminded that dues must be paid by March 1 at the latest in order to avoid a lapse in membership and in order to continue to receive the WCRTA Newsletter.
HOW CAN I JOIN THE WINNEBAGO COUNTY RETIRED TEACHERS ASSOCIATION (WCRTA)?
There are two ways to join WCRTA. Life membership is $100. Annual membership is $10 per year. It is easy to join by completing the following form and mailing it along with your dues check (made payable to WCRTA) to our treasurer, Dorothy Schoonover, 4143 Catalpa Woods Dr., Rockford, IL 61101.
Last name:_________________________First name:__________________________
Street Address:_____________________________________________ Apt. #_____
City:______________________________ State:_________ Zip Code:_________
School Attendance Center retired from:______________________________________
Year Retired: _______ WCRTA Membership desired: Annual: ($10/yr.)___ Life: ($100 for life)____(Indicate by “X)
Do you have an IRTA membership: Yes or No (Please circle)
Illinois Legislative District #________ Illinois Senate District #________