|A message from PEF Retiree President Jim Carr|
These extraordinary times require extraordinary unity, action
It is fall 2020 and nothing is ordinary except the change in seasons.
We are meeting virtually rather than in person. Our 2020 PEF Convention is all virtual, and COVID is still a major life-changing event.
In September, we sent PEF Retirees members in New York state a letter with updates about our activities, as well as a request to share their email address. We also reminded them to stay politically engaged.
We must be vigilant, in case there are future attempts to degrade our health insurance, not fully fund our pension fund or remove the NYS comptroller as sole trustee of the pension fund.
Not mentioned in that letter was the fact that we also need to pay close attention to attacks on Social Security and Medicare.
In October , we sent a letter to all of our out-of-state retirees (Chapter 13). This letter was on COVID, with a focus on their wellbeing. We included face masks in the letter, which were provided by PEF President Wayne Spence.
We also worked with PEF and its international union affiliate the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) in an effort to get our members in Florida out to vote. This effort was led by Jemma Marie Hanson, a former PEF Region 11 coordinator and contract chairwoman.
During normal times I am invited to speak at the PEF convention. This year, with a virtual convention, I chose to write my speech. Bob Harms, our PEF Retirees representative on the PEF Executive Board, will read it to the delegates. I am including the text of my speech to the 2020 PEF Convention delegates below.
A message to the 2020 PEF convention delegates from Jim Carr, statewide president of PEF Retirees
Brothers and sisters, welcome to the all-virtual PEF Convention. We are virtually present in this new norm of social distancing, wearing facemasks, peaceful protests and radical divisions in our great country.
With all the problems we face, it is of vital importance that we remain strong. Unions and their retirees must be a force of action to bring about success in our efforts to restore and protect our earned benefits and to work for the election of public officials who understand the needs of workers, retirees and their families.
PEF Retirees have a proud history of social, political and community actions. Your membership and involvement in PEF Retirees will make us stronger and increase our chances for continued success.
Membership in PEF Retirees is not automatic. You need to join us upon your retirement. You may contact us at 800-342-4306, ext. 288, or go to our website: www.pefretirees.org.
Delegates, November 3 is Election Day, and early voting starts October 24. Make sure you vote for PEF’s endorsed candidates and vote for your country, your state, your community, your union, your family and your children!
We need to continue to fight any attempts to further degrade our health insurance, not fully fund our pension fund, or to remove the NYS comptroller as the sole trustee for our pension fund! That’s why we need to elect the right candidates!
Together, we have the power to shape a future we can all be proud of. Retirees are proud to stand with you as we fight to defend our voices, our values, our union and our way of life!
STAY SAFE, STAY INFORMED, STAY ENGAGED AND STAY WITH YOUR UNION!
“The only way to organize is to organize, not sit around and jaw about it.”
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