AFT Michigan Retiree Network
Visit the AFT Michigan Retiree Network website:
Retirees are an important part of AFT Michigan and the AFT as a whole. Under the AFT and AFT Michigan constitutions all working members of the AFT become lifetime members of the national union once their local reports them as retired. This lifetime membership status entitles them to receive AFT Michigan and AFT publications free of charge, to participate in the AFT Plus Member Benefits programs, and to participate as delegates to state and national conventions through local retiree chapters. There is no per-capita payment to the AFT for retired members.
In 2001 a group of retired local presidents, leaders of local retiree chapters and other AFT Michigan activists met to discuss what kind of organization would best serve the needs of thousands of retired AFT members. While it would be ideal for every AFT Michigan local to have a retiree chapter, most locals would be too small to sustain a viable chapter. Thus it was decided a statewide organizations would be most effective and the AFT Michigan Retiree Network was established.
The primary purpose of the Retiree Network is to provide a communications link with members who have retired, to keep retirees informed and offer a means to exchange ideas and mobilize around issues that contribute to the well being of retired and active members.
The goals of the Retiree Network are:
- Retiree mobilization
- Keep retired members informed
- Improve health and pension benefits
- Work with AFT Michigan on retirement issues
- Help locals form retiree chapters
A committee of AFT retirees, chaired by John Olekszyk, former President of the Roseville Federation of Teachers, governs the network and directs the committee’s activities. An AFT Michigan staff person helps promote the initiatives of the organizations. The organization remains open at all times to new ideas and welcomes participation by interested retired members.
Two of the main methods the AFT Michigan Retiree Network has of communicating with members is through the Retiree Network web page http://Retirees.AFTMichigan.org and the e-mail Retiree Bulletin. You sign-up for the Retiree Bulletin on the front page of the web page.
The web page provides retired members with information and links to numerous sites geared to retirees and those members who are thinking of retiring. The Retiree Bulletin provides instant e-messages informing members of rallies, legislation, or meeting that may be of interest. It also provides opportunities to take action on issues affecting pensions, health benefits or other issues vital to retirement security.