TRTA Cancels All In-Person Meetings Through 2020

The Texas Retired Teachers Association’s (TRTA) Board of Directors voted unanimously on Tuesday, July 14 to impose a hold on all TRTA-affiliated in-person meetings across the state through the end of 2020. This includes all district fall conferences and local unit meetings.

The decision was not made lightly and was made for the concern of the health and safety of all members of TRTA. In light of the rising number of cases of coronavirus in Texas, the Board of Directors decided the potential negative outcome of in-person meetings that may inadvertently result in a health crisis for any TRTA member is too great.

The vast majority of TRTA’s local units reported during a series of virtual town hall meetings in June and July that they are tentative about meeting in person and are also concerned about being responsible for any member’s illness. Many have not been able to receive confirmation from their venue about whether or not their usual facility will be open for use by the fall. These issues combined with the suspension of travel for Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) staff were considered when making this decision.

Many TRTA districts and local units have also reported to the state that they have been meeting virtually via Zoom videoconferencing services or other conference call services. TRTA encourages districts to purchase Zoom licenses to help local units conduct virtual meetings throughout the fall. If you’d like to learn more about Zoom, please refer to this email explainer or contact Roy Varney, roy@trta.org.

In addition to canceling all local and district in-person meetings through 2020, TRTA Executive Director Tim Lee and TRTA state officers will not be traveling for any in-person meetings per the Board of Directors. However, if you would like Tim Lee or a state officer to visit your local virtually this fall, please contact Shelby Click at shelby@trta.org.

TRTA knows not all units are able to meet virtually, and we encourage our members to remain safe and consider making phone calls, sending text messages, or emailing or mailing newsletters or cards to their members to check in on them.

Please know the Board of Directors is thinking of you and wishing you all well during these trying and unusual times. We also know that Zoom and other virtual services cannot take the place of face-to-face contact, and hope that we can resume meetings again sooner rather than later.

TRTA will also provide additional updates this fall about ways all locals can participate in the legislative process virtually and from home as we head into the November general election cycle and 87th Legislative Session in January 2021.