Dear Fellow Retirees,
I would first like to welcome our new retirees to NYSUT’s RC #45. We serve 53 NYSUT Locals and our representation on your behalf depends on you communicating your needs and wants as NYSUT Retirees to our elected officers and board. Tom Gath works as our newsletter and website editor and maintains a list of members and email addresses through our website. This allows us to increase communication to you, for your benefit. The emails you receive would be about one per month and relevant to you. To encourage more members to create accounts on our website (nysut-rc45.org), we have decided to hold a monthly drawing of new subscribers for a gift card awarded each month to the lucky winner selected at random. The first drawing will be in September for all members who have signed up to date.
Last spring I received a letter from a member of RC#45 who asked a question regarding the manner in which our COLA is computed. According to the New York State Teachers Retirement System website, https://www.nystrs.org/Retirees/Cost-of-Living-Adjustment, this year eligible retirees received an extra $21 monthly beginning with the September 30 pension payment under New York’s legislated cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). The 1.4% COLA for 2021-22 is applied to the first $18,000 of the maximum retirement benefit. It is based on the first $18,000 of our yearly pension and by law, the COLA can be no less than 1% and no more than 3% annually and is applied only to the first $18,000 of the retirement benefit. This latest COLA brings the cumulative maximum monthly increase since COLA legislation was enacted in 2001 to $399. It has been suggested that a new value be used to compute the COLA that is more in line with current pensions. This is a topic that we will be researching and speaking with other RC’s about. Our intention is to sponsor a resolution at the 2022 NYSUT Representative Assembly requesting that NYSUT encourage legislators revisit the value used to compute COLA.
I spent my summer enjoying family in New York as well as South Carolina. I also welcomed a new grandson from my daughter and her husband. His name is Munroe Curtis DuBois. He is already training us and we can’t wait to get to know (and spoil) him. One of my major undertakings this summer was to use up ALL of my postcards. You know the ones you buy intending to send while on vacation but never do? Well, I did it!! I wrote short notes to many friends both near and far, retired and still teaching, and relatives too. The feedback was rewarding and I found out they were greatly appreciated. Who knew people would get so much joy out of a silly handwritten note?
As I always mention, thank you to those of you who have already mailed your voluntary contributions and if you have yet to do so, please consider sending your 2021 – 2022 voluntary contributions. As you now know, we do rely solely on your donations to support our efforts in keeping you informed and advocating on your behalf. No one representing the RC receives any monetary compensation for his/her work.
We have a rigorous schedule of meetings this year with five newsletters coming your way. We hope to have your input with the newsletters, please consider contacting us with your thoughts, stories of adventure, good books you have read, favorite recipes or just a HELLO!!
Stay safe and healthy!!
In solidarity, Vicki Darrow
President, NYSUT RC #45