New Faces on the NEARO Board of Directors
The terms of NEARO board members Ron Houston of Washington, D.C., Norma Kacen of Arlington, VA, and Pat Orrange of Raleigh, NC, all expired at the end of 2015. Pat sought reelection; Ron and Norma stepped down (thanks for your years of service!).
At NEARO’s December general membership meeting, Carol Adams of Greenbelt, MD, and Edith Jefferson of Clinton, MD, were elected to fill the two board seats reserved for retirees who live within 75 miles of the NEA. Incumbent Pat Orrange was elected to a third term in one of NEARO’s two “geographically unrestricted” board seats.
The three candidates’ statements on why they wished to serve as NEARO leaders can be found in the December 2015 Outreach newsletter.
From the President: Looking Ahead in 2016
Top Priorities: Advocacy, Connections
By Teresa Rankin
In September 2015 your NEARO Board held a one-day retreat and committed to focus on two things for the year ahead.
We feel it is very important to be an independent advocacy organization that works with partners to protect our pension benefits. While we believe NEA and the NEA Retirement Board take their stewardship of the pension plan very seriously, we also know that the perspective, experience, and smarts of people receiving a pension, after years of NEA and affiliate service, are a critical part of any healthy oversight of the Retirement Plan.
Growing and Connecting
Our second focus in 2016 will be to continually expand our connections with NEARO members as we grow our membership. We are building our technical capacity to keep in touch with current member and recruit new ones.
Whether you’re reading Outreach online or in print, this quarterly newsletter will continue to be an excellent vehicle for connecting NEARO members and sharing our wide variety of activities and adventures. But the board is also committed to the personal touch that’s the key to building all organizations. So don’t be surprised if you get a phone call from a NEARO board member asking you to renew your membership!
For further information from Teresa about 2016, see the December Outreach.
Good Economic News on Two Fronts
The first results directly from collective action, past and current. Years ago, NEARO was instrumental in pushing for an annual cost-of-living adjustment in our pensions. The cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) is based on the CPI-U (Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers), with a guaranteed minimum of 1.5 percent. So while there will be no increase in Social Security benefits for 2016, your monthly pension check went up by 1.5 percent starting January 1, 2016.
The other good news is that lobbying by NEA and other allies on the federal budget last fall resulted in reducing huge proposed hikes in Medicare Part B premiums. However, 30 percent of Medicare beneficiaries still face higher premiums and deductibles in 2016. For more information see www.nea.org/home/64269.htm.