Retired educators: To those of you – all 46 of you - who joined the newly reorganized Blanco County Association of Retired Educators last year, we appreciate your support. To those of you who are newly retired or who did not join during last year’s membership drive, now is the time to affiliate. Any retired school employee who receives a retirement check from TRS, the Teachers Retirement System of Texas, is eligible for membership in TRTA and BCARE.
Teachers need a stronger voice in Austin in order to effect change in retirement benefits. The only way we can get a stronger voice is for retired educators to form a community of action across the state involving the retired educators from every city and town. When our combined voices have the sound of thunder rather than the sound of a whimper, we will get the appropriate cost of living adjustments to our retirement salaries.
There have been no cost of living adjustments for a decade and yet we read about the billions of dollars in the fund that invests and distributes our retirement funds. Now is the time for this situation to change and we are the ones who will have to put pressure on the legislature to make the change happen. Believe it: more is better and more voices are louder.
The first meeting for the new organizational year that runs from August to July will be held on Thursday, August 19, at 2:30 p.m. at the Blanco United Methodist Church in the social hall.
Our local officers encourage members to bring another retired educator to the meeting with their Each One Bring One campaign. Retired educators know other retired educators. Find one such person and bring him or her to the meeting with you. There are 213 known annuitants in Blanco County and only 46 affiliated with BCARE last year. Perhaps you can think of this drive as a scavenger hunt: find one of the missing educators and bring that person to the first meeting.
Texas Retired Teachers Association, aka TRTA, now numbers 73,000 statewide. We can add to that number by reaching out to those in our community just as other retired educators are reaching out in their communities throughout the state. This can be, this must be the year of change!
Now to the money: $25 pays your state dues and $5 pays your local dues. This is a bargain. There are four meetings of the local BCARE unit each year. At the first meeting, Milton Hawkins, our legislative committee chair, will host the meeting and will present Carole Buchanan, District XIII Legislative Chairman. We will hear from these two strong leaders regarding what we can do to be prepared and organized for the next legislative session. Come and listen. Come and make your voice heard. Come and bring your checkbook!