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The 'We' Generation

More than 130 retired educators from across Massachusetts met in Marlboro October 5 for the third annual MTA Retired Gathering.

Participants met with candidates for the MTA presidency and vice presidency, chatted with benefits representatives, and attended workshops on topics from nutrition to what's happening on Beacon Hill.

Retired members and ESPs (education support professionals), are the fastest growing segments of MTA membership, said MTA Vice President Anne Wass, who welcomed the crowd in a breakfast address. She urged retirees to stay involved as advocates for public education.

"(Legislators) respond to human stories," Wass said, recalling testimony she has heard from active and retired educators during Beacon Hill hearings. "It's the people who come in and tell their stories who really have an impact."

Barbara Matteson, the new president of NEA Retired, addressed the gathering during a lunch keynote.

"You are the people who care about the 'we' in this country, not just the 'me.'" Matteson told the retired educators. Speaking of Bush administration efforts to erode support for social security and public education she said, "The public good should not be at the mercy of corporate profits. ...Continue to fight against this privatization effort."

Matteson pointed to MTA's Elert program, which emails news about the fight to repeal the Government Pension Offset/Windfall Elimination Provision (GPO/WEP), and the newly formed Retired Liaison network as projects she'd like to see replicated in other states.

"I was very proud to hear our NEA retired President, Barbara Matteson, praise the efforts of  MTA Retired," said Kathleen Roberts, who co-chairs MTA's Retired Committee, along with Nancy Meyer. "Our Elert system and Retired Liaison program have received national attention."

Retired Gathering Workshops

MTA Retired Liaison Training
This session was available to MTA Retired Liaisons who will be working with their former local associations.

Garden in the Woods
Garden in the Woods is the headquarters and botanic garden of the New England Wild Flower Society.  This ever-changing living museum-New England’s premier wildflower garden-has more than 1600 kinds of plants, with many rare and endangered native specimens throughout the gardens. 

Recertification
If you are wondering how to become recertified as a retired teacher, this is the workshop for you.

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
Are you looking for a lively learning community where you can experience intellectual challenge and social interaction with intriguing people?  Many MTA Retired members have found the place.  Learn more about the offerings at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.

Tell Me About Yourself
What is it about this question that can cause even the most experienced educator to feel stuck for an answer?  Many individuals experience some difficulty when asked to describe themselves.  In addition, many of us just have a hard time talking about ourselves and our accomplishments.  Yet, how we describe ourselves in answer to this statement can have a large impact on the first impression created in and outside of the world of teaching.

MTA Benefits
It's about members helping members save!  You deserve the best.  You deserve to save.  MTA benefits makes it easy.  Learn more about how MTAB works for members of MTA Retired.

Nutrition Seminar
Everyone is concerned about how to stay healthy.  Nutrition plays a major role in our lives. 

Legislative Update
A lobbyist from MTA division of governmental Services updated participants about legislation that affects retired members. 

How to Make the Most of the Web
Designed for new and experienced users of the web.  Participants learned how to navigate the Internet and about the many opportunities available to them.

Social Security Update
Public employees in Massachusetts are subject to serious offsets on their social security benefits.  Federal legislation has been offered to eliminate these offsets.  This session focused on the specifics of these offsets and the federal legislation to repeal them.

Five Wishes
Five Wishes is an easy-to-use document that lets adults of all ages plan how they want to be cared for in case they become seriously ill.  Participants learned how to prepare and use this document.