We’re All Stronger In Our Unions
By Gayle Lockett
Since the Retiree Chapter also follows the NYC school calendar, from Sept. to June, another year has ended well for us.
Once again, we improved Welfare Fund benefits for home health aides and acupuncture, retroactive to Jan. 2019. Dr. Douglas Hathaway, CSA Welfare Fund Administrator, spoke and answered questions in all 16 regional units and also gave his workshop, Everything I Forgot
About My Benefits Since I Retired (available online). Also, The Welfare Fund Trustees
for Retirees, with Dr. Hathaway’s research and input, increased the number of dentists working with SIDS, and secured improvements with our other dental providers by increasing options for dental coverage and insurance, especially for members without access to SIDS’ dentists across the country. All of this was approved by the Welfare Fund Retirees Trustees, which Bill Pinkett, Juanita Johnson and I represent. Our union works diligently to
improve and enhance our retirement benefits.
Under the direction of Gabe Gallucci, Director of Governmental Affairs, with Legislative Liaison Mitra Lutchman, CSA does a remarkable job on the legislative front. Janice Imundi, RC Secretary, is RC Legislative Chairperson. Retirees and in-service members visited assemblymen and senators in Albany earlier this year, to inform them and maintain their backing on important issues such as school funding; professional development; affordable prescription drugs; Cost-Of Living Adjustments (COLAs). In Sept., for those entitled to receive a COLA, it will be 1% of the first $18,000 of your pension.
At the Executive Board meeting in May, we voted to donate $2,500 to our CSA Scholarship Fund. Every year, CSA presents five college-bound high school seniors, who demonstrate leadership, with funds to defray college costs. This year, at the June CSA joint meeting of district chairs executive board members, guests included the RC officers and regional unit leaders. Each scholarship winner received $3K. Thank you to regional units and individuals who support this fund through donations.
The second donation, $1,500, was for the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation. (See story right.) Stephen Siller was a firefighter who ran with his gear through the Hugh Carey (formerly Brooklyn Battery) Tunnel to the Twin Towers and lost his life trying to save
others on 9/11. On Sept. 29, the Tunnel to Towers 5K Run & Walk NYC will take place. In addition to honoring the memory of Mr. Siller, it has programs to help first responders and service members who made and continue to make sacrifices for us in the line of duty.
Bravo to the Educational/Cultural Committee, led by Lucie Elio and her team for another excellent Fall selection of workshops, courses and trips. In addition to the regular offerings, we’ve added new events: Catacombs by Candlelight, The Auschwitz Exhibition at the Jewish Heritage Museum, West Point, Theodore Roosevelt’s house and two lectures, WWII & NYC: the Big Apple Goes to War and the other The Eighth Wonder of the World: the Brooklyn Bridge.
All of us who have the pleasure of serving you extend our heartfelt thanks for your participation and support of RC endeavors. Kudos to the Advisory Committee, RC Executive Board and alternates, the unit leaders, their treasurers, their assistant leaders and their executive board for their precious time planning events.
I look forward to seeing you in the Fall at the Labor Day Parade on Sept. 7 as well at the regional unit meetings and luncheons.
Have a healthy and happy summer!
This column is reprinted from the June 2019 CSA News.