Tired of business people who never spent a day in a classroom,
yet think they know how to reform education? Here's a famous story about
an "eye-opening" experience one of them had, told by Jamie Vollmer,
maker of the "best ice cream in America" and the man who had
his mind changed.
Public sector workers do NOT earn
more than private sector workers!
"Everybody knows that public sector workers are doing
better economically than their private sector counterparts." How
often have you heard that? Problem is, it's simply not true! If you repeat
a lie enough times it begins to be believed. (Remember "death panels?")
It is true that the average public employee earns more
than the average private sector worker. But when Bill Gates walks into
a restaurant, every patron--on average--becomes a millionaire. We need
to compare apples with oranges. In Wisconsin, for example, 60% of public
sector workers have earned at least a bachelor's degree, as opposed to
20% of the private sector workforce. A more appropriate comparison would
be to look at how workers with the same level of education are compensated
in each sector. Here are the numbers from the Economic Policy Institute.
Note that these numbers include wages and non-wage benefits such as health
care and pension. Click here
for the source of the chart, along with further explanation.
Confused about how the new healthcare
This short, animated movie -- featuring the "YouToons"
-- explains the problems with the current health care system, the changes
that are happening now, and the big changes coming in 2014. Written and
produced by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Narrated by Cokie Roberts, a
news commentator for ABC News and NPR and a member of Kaiser's Board of
Teachers, and other public employees,
are NOT the cause of state budget problems!
Please take 5 minutes to view this
video. It's one of the clearest explanations we've seen concerning the
attacks on public employees. (The interviewer is Chris Hayes, Washington
editor of "The Nation" magazine.)
This topic is so important that we've put together a
special page on this site called "For the
Defense" which will provide information you can use to fight
back against these attacks.
Teachers, and Public Education
are Under Attack. Here's Some Information to Help You Fight Back!
Unless you've been in the deep woods for the last couple
of weeks, you couldn't have missed the latest attack on our schools
in the form of a documentary titled Waiting for Superman. In
case you haven't seen it, here's a brief synopsis:
1) American schools failing. Our kids falling behind
the rest of the world.
2) Major problem is we can't fire bad teachers because
of tenure and stupid union contracts.
3) Unionized teachers are keeping our schools from doing
what needs to be done to compete.
It seems that everywhere one looks, someone is talking
about this movie. NBC devoted an entire week to a project called "Education
Nation." Most of the clips shown on the news included anti-union
messages. NBC showed one third-year teacher from NY City saying that
she didn't see any need for tenure, she just wanted to do a good job
and that would be enough protection. Poor baby. My guess is that she
never had to stand up to parents who insisted that creationism is science
and should be taught in biology classes.
Every so often, somebody "gets" that the problem
isn't just teachers. A couple of nights ago, Jay Leno remarked that
there's a new movie that says that kids can't learn in our schools.
"Apparently," Leno said, "somebody forgot to tell the
Then, in the last 24 hours, something came together for
me. It began last night when I watched a piece on the NBC Evening News
about the schools in Finland, which rank number 1 in the world. Here's
a link to that short video (there'll be a few seconds of commercial
before the segment begins):
1) Finland has a tough NATIONAL curriculum. (Americans
are focused on "local control." It's like we think that chemistry
or algebra are different in West Virginia and Iowa! )
2) Finnish parents are involved and the national culture
values education. (Our current political culture devalues expertise.
My dream is that one of the folks who don't think that "pointy-headed
experts" are necessary will find themselves on a hospital gurney
looking up into the face of someone who says, "I'm your neurosurgeon.
I didn't go to medical school, but my good old-fashioned American common
sense is all I need to solve your problem.")
3) Did you catch the part about having 2 or 3 teachers
in each classroom? Do you think that might make a difference?
4) How about the part about teachers having the same
level of respect as doctors and lawyers? (I've always said that I would
know when teachers are properly paid when parents tell their kids to
go into teaching instead of becoming a lawyer or an engineer.)
Then, this morning, I made my daily pilgrimage to the
columnists at the NY Times. Gail Collins, one of my favorite
columnists, had written a column about Waiting for Superman. "Great,"
I thought, "another chance to listen to somebody beating up teachers."
But then I read the column. You might want to read it, too. Here's the
1) "But plot-wise, the movie seems to suggest that
what’s needed is more charter schools, which get taxpayer dollars
but are run outside the regular system, unencumbered by central bureaucracy
or, in most cases, unions. However, about halfway through, the narrator
casually mentions that only about a fifth of American charter schools
“produce amazing results.” In fact, a study by the Center
for Research on Education Outcomes found that only 17 percent did a
better job than the comparable local public school, while more than
a third did “significantly worse.” [Emphasis mine.]
2)"Then there’s the matter of teachers’
unions. Guggenheim is the man who got us worried about global warming
in “An Inconvenient Truth.” In his new film, the American
Federation of Teachers, a union, and its president, Randi Weingarten,
seem to be playing the role of carbon emissions. The movie’s heroes
are people like the union-fighting District of Columbia schools chancellor,
Michelle Rhee, and Geoffrey Canada, the chief of the much-praised, union-free
Harlem Children’s Zone.
“I want to be able to get rid of teachers that
we know aren’t able to teach kids,” says Canada.
That’s unarguable, and the Obama administration’s
Race to the Top program has turned out to be a terrific engine for forcing
politicians and unions and education experts to create better ways to
get rid of inept or lazy teachers. But there’s no evidence
that teachers’ unions are holding our schools back. Finland, which
is currently cleaning our clock in education scores, has teachers who
are almost totally unionized. The states with the best student performance
on standardized tests tend to be the ones with the strongest teachers’
unions." [Emphasis mine.]
OK, at this point I'm getting my money's worth from my
blood pressure medication! Then, I ran into the Governor of New Jersey
who seems to be on a "stick it to teachers" national tour.
It seems that New Jersey (and many other states, but
NOT NY) have underfunded their public employee pension systems. NJ is
40-50 billion dollars underwater in their system, and Gov. Christie
is saying that public pensions need to be "scaled back." Let's
put this in easy-to-understand terms. You contract with a painter to
paint your house. You agree on the price, and the painter does the job.
When the painter asks to be paid, you say, "Gee, while you were
painting the house I decided to spend some of the money I was going
to use to pay you on a new flat-screen TV. I know we agreed on a price,
but I don't have the money to pay you so you'll just have to settle
for a lower price." And then you go running around the country
complaining that the problem is the fault of the greedy painter!
Last point. Gov. Christie, and many others, don't like
teacher salary schedules. Why, they argue, should teachers get a raise
each year just because they got another year older? I completely agree!
It's a stupid system. When someone is elected governor, they don't start
on step 1 of the salary schedule. Same with representatives, senators,
judges, presidents, etc. As a society, we have decided what the appropriate
pay should be for the job, and they get it from day one. Sure, they
get a little better at their job after doing it for awhile, but that
doesn't matter. They're paid what we think the job is worth from day
As a negotiator, I would give up yearly raises in a heartbeat
if the board of education were to say, "We think a classroom teacher
is worth $75,000/year. We'll pay teachers that salary from day one,
with no raises other than cost-of-living adjustments." (I just
picked the $75,000 figure out of the air, but you get the idea. ) Do
the math, you'd make much more over the course of a career with this
pay schedule. Which is why schools don't want to pay this way. The current
system with "increments" every year is much LESS expensive.
Merit pay? Sure, as soon as we have merit pay for politicians!
How could you possibly measure the effectiveness of politicians? It
would be very difficult. Welcome to the world of merit pay for teachers!
How do you measure the effectiveness of a teacher? Not easy to do, but
we've come up with a system using some of the only numbers we have,
standardized test scores. Why couldn't we come up with a system for
politicians using things like GDP, unemployment figures, etc.?
OK, end of rant. I thought some of these points might
be valuable the next time your friends and neighbors decide to beat
up on teachers!
Richard Steinfeldt, Director, NYSUT Retiree Council No.
And the Story Continues...
I turned up some additional information concerning the
"Waiting for Superman" film while reading the "Editorial
Observer" column in today's NY Times. Here's the link:
1) "Steve Barr, a tough-minded charter school developer....is
unnerved by the cartoonish debate that has erupted around the movie.
The many complex problems that have long afflicted public schools are
being laid almost solely at the feet of the nation’s teachers’
2) "In recent days, Randi Weingarten, the leader
of the American Federation of Teachers (the nation’s second-largest
teachers’ union after the National Education Association) has
been portrayed on the Internet as the Darth Vader of public schooling.
She talks like a union chief in the film — which makes no mention
of her genuine efforts to work with school systems to promote reform.
The unions deserve criticism for resisting sensible changes
for far too long and for protecting inept teachers who deserve to be
fired. But at least in some places that is changing. And they are by
no means responsible for the country’s profound neglect of public
education until about 20 years ago when the federal government began
pushing the states to provide better oversight.
For years, urban politicians ransacked districts with
patronage and fraud. Teachers chose to unionize in part to protect themselves
from politicians." [Emphasis mine.]
3) " Nationally, most charter schools do no better
in terms of student achievement, and far too many do worse. Green Dot
is one of the stars of this movement.
Despite the fact that many of its 17 schools serve desperately
poor, minority neighborhoods, its students significantly outperform
their traditional school counterparts, on just about every academic
measure, including the percentage of children who go on to four-year
The film’s director, Davis Guggenheim, gives Green
Dot a cameo shout-out in “Waiting for Superman.” But he
did the story a serious disservice by not pointing out that these high-performing
charter schools are fully unionized.
The 16 schools in California are affiliated with the
National Education Association. The one recently started in the Bronx
was put together by Green Dot and the New York affiliate of the American
Federation of Teachers. By rushing by this wrinkle, he sustained the
sexy-but-mistaken impression that the country’s schools can’t
move forward unless the unions are broken. [Emphasis mine.]
As Paul Harvey used to say on his radio show, "Now
you know the REST of the story!"
Richard Steinfeldt, director, NYSUT Retiree Council No.
We need to fight back when misstatements
are made about teacher pensions!
Here's a letter sent to the Dunkirk Observer
by a Fredonia CSD retiree:
September 4, 2010
In his recent “Publisher’s Notebook,” John D’Agostino
doesn’t let verifiable facts get in the way of a good rant.
He states that California is in serious trouble because they have seriously
underfunded their public pension obligations. No argument here. Some
reports have this underfunding at several hundred billion dollars. Mr.
D’Agostino then states: “Without question, Schwarzneggers's
crisis is similar to the one in our state.” That is where he and
the facts diverge.
By law, New York State’s public pension systems, unlike those
in many states such as California, are fully funded. Some say that being
“fully funded” is based on an unrealistic assumption of
an 8% rate of return on investments. According to the National Association
of State Retirement Administrators, since 1985, a period including three
economic recessions and four years when median public pension fund investment
returns were negative (including 2008), the median public pension plan
rate of return was 9.25% – or 1.25% greater than the 8% rate labeled
as "unrealistic" by critics.
Critics complain that retirement costs to localities and school districts
are skyrocketing, and will bankrupt them. Employer contribution rates
for the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System, one of the
two largest public retirement systems in our state, are a matter of
public record. In the 1980’s school districts paid an average
21% of salaries as a retirement cost. In the 1990’s that figure
dropped to 5.7%, and in the first decade of this century school districts
contributed an average of 4.4%.
No one will argue that New York State has not managed its fiscal affairs
in a boneheaded manner. New York taxpayers should know, however, that
there are no “underfunding” monsters hiding in the public
pension system to cause them alarm.
Richard W. Steinfeldt
AFL-CIO President on Social Security
(Richard Trumka speaks at National Press Club, July
Thinking of moving? Click here
to see how friendly other states are to pensions and retiree assets.
NEA Member Benefits for NYSUT Retirees
Did you know that as a NYSUT retiree,
you may enroll in NEA at no cost* and are entitled to NEA member benefits?
These benefits include a complimentary one-year term life insurance
policy! Along with that, there are product, store, and travel discounts,
vision, hearing, and prescription savings plans, reduced-price memberships
in fitness clubs and, most recently, a "Money Talk" blog,
to mention just a few. check it out at www.neamb.com.
* Due to the NY merger, NYSUT is
affiliated with both AFT and NEA. If you wish, you may choose to join
NEA as a Lifetime Retiree for a one-time fee of $200. At this time,
for NYSUT retirees to participate in NEA Member Benefits, retiree membership
with NEA is NOT required.
Private sector retirees enjoy tax benefits, too.
Much is made of the exemption of public employee pensions
from state income taxes. The implication is often that private sector
pensions are fully taxed. As a recent letter to the Buffalo News pointed
out, there are tax benefits for private sector retirees as well.
"Here is a brief summary of the facts. State and
local government pensions, as well as all federal and military pensions,
are exempt from state income tax. In addition, private sector retirees
are entitled to exclude up to $20,000 in pension income, 401(k) withdrawals,
traditional IRA distributions, etc. from state income tax. For married
retirees filing jointly, each spouse is entitled to the above exemption,
so they may be able to exclude up to $40,000. Also, the state does not
tax social security benefits."
The next time a private sector retiree suggests teachers,
or other public sector retirees give up the tax exemption on their pensions,
ask if they are willing to give up theirs as well!
The Internet Does Not Have an Editor!
Seniors grew up in a time largely before the
internet. Most of our information came from newspapers and magazines.
Today, a large number of people get the majority of their information
from the internet . While newspapers and magazines employ factcheckers--people
whose sole job is to go over stories with a fine tooth comb to be sure
that facts are correct as stated--the internet has no editors or fact
checkers. Anyone can publish any "fact" they wish, and it
is usually up to the reader to determine the validity of those "facts."
Many of us receive emails from relatives or friends
containing some "hair-on-fire" warning, e.g. the president
is really a space alien or Congress has voted to allow illegal aliens
to collect social security. The email usually contains a plea to pass
it on to everyone we know. How do we know if these emails contain the
truth? Two organizations make it easy to separate fact from fiction
on the internet:
1) Snopes.com is a well-known site whose purpose
is to separate truth from "urban legend" on the web. The April
2009 edition of Readers' Digest had this
article about Snopes.com. You can go to their site at www.snopes.com/snopes.asp
to check out the latest "pass it on" email you received. Chance
are if you got it, so did lots of other folks, and it will be listed
under the "Hot
25" tag. They will explain what is true, partially true and
2) Factcheck.org is maintained by the Annenberg
Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania. It is a "down-
the-middle" arbiter of fact, calling out both the left and the
right for their fabrications. You can even submit a question for fact-checking!
It can be found at www.factcheck.org
Especially with our current angry national debates,
it's important that we get our FACTS straight! (In
case you were wondering, the president is NOT a space alien, and Congress
has NOT voted to allow illegal aliens to collect social security!)
FROM THE ARCHIVES
Chautauqua Division hosts "fracking"
event at NYSUT SW Regional Hdqtrs.
Hydraulic fracturing of natural gas wells--usually called
"fracking"--is almost certainly coming to western NY. The
industry claims that there are "two Saudi Arabias" worth of
natural gas trapped in the shale formations found underground. With
that amount of money in play, we can almost certainly expect to see
a significant increase in drilling activity.The real question is how
will these drilling activities be regulated so as to avoid some of the
"nightmare" situations--such as contamination of water supplies--occuring
in other states.
On Tuesday, June 19 the Chautauqua Division of RC4 hosted
an informational event concerning fracking. After touring the NYSUT
facilities, participants from all three counties served by RC4 enjoyed
a buffet lunch and heard a presentation by Mr. Kim Sherwood who is a
hydrologist and watershed planner. Originally from the Finger Lakes
area of NYS, he spent about 20 years in the western US. Kim has a B.S.
in Forest Resource Management and a M.S. in Forest Hydrology. His career
in the West included work for the federal Bureau of Land Management
and the US Forest Service, Weyerhaeuser Company and the City of Seattle.
He returned to NYS in 2003 and works as a private consultant to help
landowners and municipalities address natural resource concerns. As
a member of the Chautauqua County Water Quality Task Force, he has participated
on three subcommittee reviews of NYS DEC’s proposed protocols
and regulations for HVHF (high-volume hydraulic fracturing) horizontal
During his presentation, Mr. Sherwood
addressed the fact that we in the northeast have a thing called winter
which brings with it a need for large amounts of energy. He went on
to consider the pros and cons of obtaining this energy from the natural
gas locked in the Marcellus and Utica shale formations under most of
The first bullet point on his first
slide said, "No pitchforks," and Mr. Sherwood stuck to that
throughout the presentation. One of the audience members, who identified
himself as an employee of an oil and gas company, commented that--while
he might argue with a point or two in the presentation--he was impressed
with how even-handed the coverage of the topic had been. The audience
generally agreed that whatever Mr. Sherwood's personal opinion of fracking
might be, he delivered a down-the-middle presentation touching on the
good and the bad and identifying problem areas that still need to be
Participants ate lunch and heard the presentation in the comfortable
suroundings of the large presentation room at NYSUT SW Regional
Headquarters in Jamestown.
Our speaker, Kim Sherwood, addresses the group.
Mr. Sherwood referred the audience to several websites
which he felt provided a wealth of good-quality information on the topic.
The annual membership meeting of NYSUT Retiree Council
No. 4 was held immediately following the conclusion of the Annual NYSUT
Retiree Conference, held on May 23 at the Seneca-Allegany Hotel and
Casino in Salamanca.
Lee Gridley moves from vice president to the position
of president of RC4. Lee replaces the late Hobie Rhinehart as RC4 president.
Warner Page moves from the treasurer position to the office of vice
president. Chris Page remains as RC4 secretary and Jim McGrath will
be the new RC4 treasurer.
Lee Gridley is not only a teacher activist, she has a
long association with the Allegany County Fair. In fact, the Cuba Patriot
recently ran a front-page story when the 2012 Allegany County Fair Book
was dedicated to Lee.
According to the article:" Lee has served on the
Fair Board for fourteen years as a chairman for the domestic arts department.
She is a retired teacher who taught social studies at the former Richburg
High School; retiring a year after they merged with Bolivar."
"She was a leader for a group of coed teenage students
known as "Cultural Awareness," which is similar to an Explorer
Post or Adventure Unit; they were chartered through the Boy Scouts of
America. The group traveled during school vacations to places like Washington,
D.C., Gettysburg, New York City, Boston, Toronto and Iceland."
"Ms Gridley has also held offices and volunteered
in many Allegany County organizations, including the United Way, the
Tourism Advisory Board, the Preservation Board, the Planning Board,
the Allegany County Chamber of Commerce, the Bird Club, the Rotary Club,
the Allegany County Historical Society, and the PSNRR (Pittsburgh, Shawmut,
and Northern Railroad) Company Historical Society. She co-authored the
book project "Allegany County in the 20th Century - Stories of
Change" for the county's bicentennial."
Lee was also presented with a proclamation from the NYS
Senate honoring her work with the Fair. It was noted that "a great
state is only as great as those persons who give exemplary service to
RC4 is delighted to have a person with Lee's background
as our new president.
Larry Bourne honored at NYSUT
SW Regional Awards Dinner
RETIREE COUNCIL #4 OUTSTANDING
SERVICE AWARD ( presented at NYSUT SW Regional Awards Dinner, June 7,
Retiree Council #4 is pleased to award Larry Bourne the Outstanding
Service Award for 2011 due to his many contributions to RC#4, his local,
NYSUT, and his community.
Larry was born in Penfield, NY, and was the youngest of 8 children.
Larry is quick to tell you "they saved the best for last"!
He got his degree from Geneseo College and spent his career teaching
special education in Randolph for 33 and one half years. He worked tirelessly
for his local as a treasurer and delegate, as well as being in charge
of the Randolph Central School ski, basketball, and wrestling programs.
Larry was active for many years in Retiree Council #4 where he served
as treasurer and was on the Executive Board.
Along with his many achievements and contributions to his union and
fellow members, Larry's service record in the town of Randolph, (which
he refers to as "Paradise"), is absolutely remarkable! Some
of his numerous and noteworthy contributions include:
* Four years of transporting patients to and from labs and x-ray departments
at WCA Hospital in Jamestown. Larry says he likes this because he "gets
to push people around"!
* Eleven years as a volunteer with Meals on Wheels
* Six years as a volunteer at the Jamestown Audubon Society
* Thirty Years as a volunteer with the Randolph Fire Company
* Several years of volunteering at the Kennedy Library
Larry continues to serve these organizations on a weekly basis and is
an active member of the Episcopal Church, The Randolph Lyons Club, and
the Randolph Historical Society. He will tell you that he cares about
people and likes to keep busy. He has dedicated his life to enriching
the lives of those around him. Larry Bourne is very deserving of this
honor and RC#4 is appreciative of the opportunity to publicly recognize
him and thank him for his service to others and his many accomplishments.
Retiree Council No. 4 loses president.
Longtime RC4 president, Hobie Rhinehart, passed away
at Olean General Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011, after a long illness. Hobie
was a teacher and a tireless champion of organized labor and progressive
government. He was also a devoted father and husband. Many, many union
members were fortunate to have known him.
Last May, Hobie was presented with NYSUT's Lifetime Achievement
Award. At that time, NYSUT SW Regional Staff Director David Eggert made
the following remarks:
"Tonight we offer a special award to a man who
has devoted his LIFE to teaching, unionism, and community.
If anyone can be described as a “father”
among NYSUT unionists in this region, Hobie Rhinehart is that man. Even
for those of us who have already spent a career involved with NYSUT,
Hobie set the standard of devotion and participation. For more years
than any of the rest of us can count, Hobie has been at every meeting
he could possibly attend. When it comes to the expression, “being
there for you,” Hobie is the model. Hobie has been there for us.
Hobie’s contributions include:
* 28 years teaching social studies at Cattaraugus Central
School; retired in 1993
* 18 years president of Cattaraugus Teachers Association
* 22 years President Cattaraugus-Allegany CLC
* Retiree Council 4 President
* 40+ years of attendance at NYSUT RA
* Workers Memorial Olean
* Labor-Religion Coalition
* Health Care Access Coalition
* Living Wage Campaign
* Democratic Party
* Town of Albion
* County Museum
* Youth Bureau
* CCSE Federal Credit Union
* Cattaraugus-Allegany Workforce Investment Board
* Audrey, 4 kids, grandchildren, great grandchildren
Hobie has been honored many times over the years. He
remains quiet, unassuming, and humble, but dedicated and determined
to BE THERE for his community and his brothers and sisters in labor.
There’s a chant from Wisconsin that goes, “Tell me what
democracy looks like – This is what democracy looks like.”
Tonight, I ask you to tell me what a unionist looks like -THIS IS WHAT
A UNIONIST LOOKS LIKE.!"
Hobie is the subject of a post on the NYSUT blog. Click
to go to that item.
The final chapter in the unification agreement with NEA/NY
includes redistricting both the ED districts as well as retiree councils.
The plan was approved by the Board of Directors and voted and approved
at the 2011 RA. There are three new retiree councils and each will have
This is basically a governance model for elections and
representation. NYSUT has conducted meetings in all of the affected
areas, including RC4, which will be losing the western Stueben region
to the new RC46, which also includes some retirees fromthe former RC11.
The town hall type meetings have centered around issues related to geographic
boundaries, constitution revisions or drafting new constitutions, and
the election of officers and delegates.
Please contact Louise Ortman (NYSUT retiree consultant
for RC4 and RC46) at 716-664-7425, ext. 26, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
for more information.
RC4 Website Wins NYSUT Journalism
RC4 director and webmaster Richard Steinfeldt receives
"Best Retiree Website" award from NYSUT VP Marie Neira at
the NYSUT 2011 Journalism Conference held June 4 at NYSUT headquarters
in Albany. We were chosen as the best retiree website among all small
(class IV) retiree units.
Chautauqua Division Hears From
Chautauqua Division members met on June 7 at the Fireside
Manor in Dunkirk for lunch and a presentation from Buffalo News columnist
and master gardner, Sally Cunningham. Go to the Chautauqua
Division section for more pictures and details (including links
to Sally's recent columns.)
2012 Regional Conference Great
Approximately 100 RC4 members and
guests enjoyed a full day of socializing and information gathering at
the annual RC4 regional conference held Wednesday, May 18 at the Seneca-Allegany
Casino Event Center. Click here for
pictures and information from the conference.
RC4 officers and directors at the annual conference:
(l-r) Louise Ortman (NYSUT retiree services coordinator), Greg Olsen
(acting director, NYS Office for the Aging, conference speaker), Jim
McGrath (RC4 political action chair), Mary Raymond (RC4 newsletter editor),
Hobie Rhinehart (RC4 president), Chris Page (RC4 secretary), Warner
Page (RC4 treasurer), Richard Steinfeldt (RC4 webmaster), Floyd Cameron
(NYSUT director of retiree services and conference speaker).
Ruth Brown, longtime RC4 officer
passed away on January 27, 2011.
Ruth Brown (right) received the Local Outstanding Service
Award at the May 27 NYSUT awards banquet. She is shown here with Warner
Page(left), winner of the Community Service Award and Hobie Rhinehart,
In May 2010, Ruth received the
Local Outstanding Service Award. Ruth served on the Retiree Council
#4 board since its inception. She helped write the original constitution
in 1997, and was secretary until 2009. She was in Albany lobbying for
the COLA, worked on the first "Free at Last" luncheon, has
been a delegate to state meetings and had been co-chair for the "Making
Strides for Breast Cancer Walk" in Jamestown. We are grateful to
have had Ruth as a member of RC#4, and value her contributions!
Retiree Council No. 4 recognized
in statewide NYSUT publication!
RC4's efforts to help flood victims in Gowanda made the
front page of The Organizer, a statewide NYSUT publication
aimed at retiree leaders. Click here to
see the entire publication as a pdf file.
Chautauqua division holds "Free
at Last" event at Point Gratiot Park in Dunkirk
Dunkirk retiree Mary Ellen Decker
serves Forestville retirees Dick and Pat Webb.
Retirees listen to a presentation
about state politics and teachers' pensions by Joe Sweeny, Dunkirk retiree
and member of the NYSUT board of directors. For a discussion of our
pension situation, click here to go to the
RC4 pension page.