Blog

04 Jan
0

Happy New Year From the Texas Retired Teachers Association!

The Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) is ready to move forward in 2017 thanks to the determination and steadfast support of our 80,000 members all across this great state!

The TRTA staff returned to the office on January 3. Staff members are answering pertinent questions about the TRS-Care retiree health insurance program, processing membership dues and convention registrations, and returning members’ emails and phone calls.

We have been very busy! We are thrilled to share in the enthusiasm that our members are showing in the first few days of the year, and with this momentum, we can accomplish great things in the legislative session that begins on Tuesday, January 10.

We have hundreds of members ready to commit to TRTA’s causes, and this means we also have a high volume of requests this week! If you have left us a message, mailed us your dues, or sent us an email, please know that we are working as quickly as possible to respond to your request.

We so appreciate your desire to start the year off right by standing with TRTA! If you have not done so already, please write a letter to your Texas state legislators using the template found on page 5 in the fourth quarter issue of The VOICE that arrived in your mailbox in December.

Or, download the template here!

Please mail your letters to:

TRTA

Attn: TRS-Care

313 E. 12th Street, Suite 200

Austin, TX 78701

If you are not sure who your Texas State Senator and Texas State Representative are, please visit this link and enter your address to find out who represents you on issues affecting your retirement benefits!

We have received hundreds of your letters already. Let’s see if we can receive thousands of letters at the TRTA office in Austin by January 20!

Our state legislative committee will begin meeting with Senators and Representatives by the end of the month, and they are excited to hand-deliver your personal notes to your elected officials. Nothing has a greater impact on your legislators than telling your story in your own words!

We want every legislator to receive a letter, in fact, multiple letters! Even if you think your Senator or Representative already has received several letters, send in another one.

Now is our opportunity to reach out to the Texas Legislature and work with them to find better options for TRS-Care. Without your input, this effort will be more challenging.

Let them know that you want to be a part of the solution. Ask them for their help in ensuring that public education retirees have access to quality, affordable health care!

Additionally, communicate with your fellow friends and family members who are not TRTA members about the TRS-Care crisis. If you really want to help us grow TRTA membership, give your recent bulletin to a fellow retiree who is not a member. You can also take it to your former school, and ask the staff to leave the bulletin in a teacher common room. We must have the strongest voice possible to protect TRS and its vital retirement security programs.

Thank You

Thank you for your membership to TRTA. If you are not yet a member, we need you to help us protect your retirement security. Please join TRTA today!

Be sure to like us on Facebookfollow us on Twitter and subscribe to our YouTube channel. Year-end, tax-deductible donations to TRTF can be made online here.

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15 Dec
0

Happy Holidays From TRTA

The Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) extends its seasons greetings to all members and friends. As the year draws to a close, we know our dedicated retirees will enjoy spending time with loved ones and celebrating the holidays.

We at TRTA, the Board of Directors and staff, want to express our sincere appreciation to all of you for all of the support you have given to this great organization in 2016.

Because of you, TRTA is able to participate in vital legislative discussions that impact your retirement benefits, from the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) pension fund to health care, and our charitable partner, the Texas Retired Teachers Foundation (TRTF), has raised over $70,000 since November for its vital programs to help educators of the past, present and future.

In 2016, our members eagerly anticipated the results of the legislative interim study group on TRS-Care. The group’s report was released in late November. Read TRTA’s analysis of the report here.

The report, though grim, is the first step in a series of steps that must be taken to find long-term solutions to the health insurance program’s fiscal issues.

In 2017, we will face many challenges. Legislative session begins on January 10, and TRTA is ready to work with our many friends in the legislature to find workable, sustainable solutions for your TRS health care program. TRTA will also work to find any opportunities for an annuity increase for retirees, and it is our strong belief that 2017 may be the year we truly advance a fair and realistic solution to the first of two Social Security issues, the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)!

Though we hope you find time to have rest and respite over the coming weeks, we also ask that you take time to read the soon-to-be-released fourth quarter issue of our news bulletin, The VOICE. These will begin arriving in mailboxes next week!

You will notice that in addition to a detailed analysis of the interim study group report, we are asking all members to send a personal note to their legislators about what TRS-Care means to them. On page five, you will find a template letter, with plenty of space to add your comments and share your heartfelt concerns. After completing the letter, be sure to include your name and address so that your legislators will know how to contact you. The page is perforated for easy removal.

To make it easier for our members, we ask that you simply mail your completed letter to the TRTA state office in Austin (313 E. 12th Street, Suite 200, Austin, TX, 78701). Our staff will organize the letters by legislator, and members of the TRTA State Legislative Committee will begin hand-delivering your notes to all Senators and Representatives in January.

We want every legislator to receive a letter, in fact, multiple letters! Even if you think your Senator or Representative already has received several letters, send in another one!

Now is our opportunity to reach out to the Texas Legislature and work with them to find better options for TRS-Care. Without your input, this effort will be more challenging. Your legislators need to hear from you, their constituents, in your own words!

Let them know that you want to be a part of the solution. Ask them for their help in ensuring that public education retirees have access to quality, affordable health care.

After the first of the year, TRTA will also launch an online letter campaign to Governor Abbott, Lt. Governor Patrick, and Speaker Straus. All of these leaders have supported TRTA in the past, and we look forward to their guidance and help in the coming legislative session.

Thank You

Thank you for your membership to TRTA. If you are not yet a member, we need you to help us protect your retirement security. Please join TRTA today!

If you know someone who should be a member of TRTA who has not yet joined, please consider buying them a TRTA membership—just $35—as a gift for this holiday season!

Remember to check your mailboxes for the latest issue of The VOICE, arriving next week, and send in your personal, handwritten letter to your legislators. We hope you and yours have a wonderful holiday season!

Be sure to like us on Facebookfollow us on Twitter and subscribe to our YouTube channel. Year-end, tax-deductible donations to TRTF can be made online here.

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12 Dec
0

Texas Retired Teacher Foundation Nearing Fundraising Goal!

The Texas Retired Teachers Foundation (TRTF), the charitable arm of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA), would like to thank all of our members and friends for their generous donations this holiday season.

As our members may know, November was designated by the TRTA Board of Directors as Foundation Month, a time to increase awareness of our charitable partner organization’s programs, good deeds and plans for the future!

So far, TRTA members, districts and local units have donated nearly $67,000 to the Foundation! TRTF is so very grateful for your consideration, as your donations help educators of the past, present and future.

The funds will help TRTF provide grants to retirees in critical need through “A Helping Hand,” grants to public school teachers for innovative projects and learning platforms right here in Texas, and scholarships to recent college graduates who are about to enter the education field for the very first time.

To learn more about these great programs, please contact us:

  • “A Helping Hand” (assistance is available for retirees in need by contacting help@trtf.org or 1.800.880.1650)
  • Classroom Assistance Grants (request applications from info@trtf.org; submission deadline March 16, 2017)
  • Beginning Teacher Scholarships (request applications from info@trtf.org; submission deadline March 16, 2017)

Be sure to watch this year’s Foundation video series, featuring real recipients of TRTF’s programs here.

Donate Today!

Please consider helping the Foundation reach its fundraising goal of $100,000 by the end of 2016. If 1,337 people donate just $25, we would reach our goal!

TRTF will continue to improve the legacy of public education through its Beginning Teacher Scholarship program and Classroom Assistance Grants, and help retirees experiencing serious emergencies thanks to your generosity!

The future of Texas lies in the hands of educators, and with your support, we can make that future even better and brighter! Donate today!

You may donate to TRTF online here, or you may call and donate over the phone with a credit card at 1.800.880.1650 (please ask for Dawn).

The third quarter issue of The VOICE also featured a special article about the Foundation, along with TRTF’s annual appeal letter and donation card. You can mail in your donation using the pre-paid envelope included with your issue. All donations are tax-deductible.

Thank You

Thank you for considering the Foundation when you do your charitable giving this year. Your donations help educators of the past, present and future!

Be sure to follow TRTA on Twitterlike us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

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