Marie Bristol, RTA president, welcomed members and guests of the Douglas and Ozark Counties Retired Teachers and Other School Personnel to the first meeting of the year. Sybil Gheer asked a blessing on the food and the meeting.
The guest speaker was MRTA Region 10 Vice President, Barbara Self. Barbara gave a short report on the Spring Leadership Conference that was held March 12-15 in Jefferson City and the MRTA Legislative Day that was held February 14.
Barbara requested that RTA units keep a record of volunteer hours and of donations of food items and cash to food pantries. Keeping track and reporting of volunteer hours and donations to food pantries count toward the “Unit of Excellence” awards that units can earn. Community Service committee member, Kay Transano, offered a choice of two methods for keeping track of volunteer hours. One is to ask for an accounting at each meeting, the other is to collect that information at the end of the year. It was suggested that a regular accounting would probably be more accurate.
Barbara reported that there are about 20,000 MRTA members in Missouri, but that there are about 53,000 public school retirees in the state. The goal is to increase membership up to 25,000 in the next five years. There is strength in numbers when opposing threats to the Retirement system.
The Region 10 Fall meeting will be held October 19 hosted by Christian County RTA in Ozark. Branson Fun Days will be held Saturday, October 20.
The minutes of the previous meeting and the treasurer’s report were accepted as presented. The group heard reports from Barbara Groover, membership chair. She had made phone calls and personal visits to former MRTA members, recently, in an effort for encourage their renewing their membership in MRTA.
Informative and protective chair, Norma Stillings, gave some information on Missouri’s No Call list, avoiding e-mail scams, how to keep updated on MRTA by Facebook, and on an upcoming Drug Take Back event in Ava.
Betty Moore, retirement education chair, is working to inform active teachers on workings of the retirement system. Springfield’s SARTA is hosting a Retirement Workshop next month. Representatives of PSRS, MRTA, and Social Security will be present at that meeting.
Ida Mae Huse, Legislative chair spoke in opposition to the HB 1740, which has some elements that would negatively impact public schools. Retirees should contact their own representatives concerning issues that concern them. Missouri legislators have Web-sites where you can learn what they are doing and gives you an opportunity to communicate with them as well.
Lena Pierce, Scholarship chair, said that RTA members should be looking to find the students who are interested in teaching careers and offering them scholarship applications.
The next RTA meeting will be held, April 10 at the Pizza Hut in Ava.