January 2014 President’s Message

MRTA Leaders Asked We Listened

Greetings to all of the MRTA family. I trust that you are well and prepared for Christmas and the New Year. I am very pleased to announce that CLASSROOM GRANT checks are being written and distributed as I write this article. The process will be completed by the end of December. The MRT

Foundation Board voted on September 9th to give three (3) classroom grants to each of the fourteen (14) MRTA Regions. This would be a total of (42) grants statewide. Each grant is for five hundred ($500) dollars. Total grant distribution for 2013 will be twenty-one ($21,000) thousand dollars. The Foundation Board is extremely proud of the number of grants this year and it was only possible because of YOUR GENEROSITY with Foundation fundraising activities. The Board looks forward to another great year with Classroom Grants in 2014.

I want to take this opportunity to tell you about another action taken by the MRT Foundation Board on September 9th. You may or may not have heard about this action. In a unanimous vote, the Board voted to launch an “ELEVATOR CAMPAIGN”. The money raised would be used to install an elevator in the MRTA/MRTF Office Facility. The decision was announced at the General Assembly and Annual Meeting on September 9th. There is a growing and urgent need for an elevator in the office facility. Plans are being made to use the lower lever CLASSROOM area more and more in the future. The use of the classroom area can be very beneficial in leadership and training activities for our membership statewide. The savings are significant in holding meetings in our own facility rather than other places. Please remember that retirement and aging can sometimes bring mobility issues. We need to be prepared to serve the needs of all of our members in the MRTA/MRTF Facility. The theme for the campaign is—MRTA LEADERS ASKED-WE LISTENED! “THE NEED IS NOW” The goal will be to raise $50,000 for the elevator project.

The fundraising effort is going well, but more needs to be done. Please consider donating if you have received a letter and not done so. Information will be coming soon about the COMMEMORATIVE PATIO BRICK campaign for the elevator. This information will go to Local Unit Presidents and Local Unit Members across the state. The bricks would be placed in the patio area around the flag pole outside the office facility. Please remember that all contributions to MRTF are tax deductible.

I want to end this article by making a few comments about the importance of MRTA&PSP to retired educators and public school personnel in Missouri. Please read and reread all articles and information in this issue of the MRTA Newsletter. It is full of valuable information for education retirees in Missouri. My words may seem rather short and to the point. I cannot state it any other way. YOU NEED MRTA AND MRTA NEEDS YOU. The dues are only $35 a year. What a bargain!!!! I am not worried about my retirement check coming. I am worried about the thousands of active public school teachers paying into the system today. Will they be able to enjoy the same excellent retirement system that you and I have had? So many forces are at work from within and outside the state to do us harm. Public pension systems and defined benefit plans are under assault across the nation. MRTA has and will continue to lead the fight for retired educators in Missouri. MRTA has been successful in stopping a lot of legislation detrimental to our pension system and public education. THE BATTLES WILL CONTINUE. MRTA membership is growing and that MEMBERSHIP is well recognized in Jefferson City. Please join or renew your membership for 2014 and spread the word about the work of MRTA for retired educators.

On behalf of the MRT Foundation Board, I wish you a HAPPY AND HEALTHY NEW YEAR.

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