Local retired teacher attends TRTA Membership Committee Meeting

Membership Committee Members Woody Shober, Evelyn Leggitt, TRTA First Vice President and Membership Committee Chair Leroy Dehaven, Irene Rodriguez, Norma K. Irwin and Janis Patronis, representing Local Unit Support Committee.

Huajilla Unit Retired Teacher past president Irene Rodriguez-Dubberly attended the TRTA Membership Committee Meeting in Austin on July 22 and 23. Dubberly is in her fourth year on the Membership Committee. Chair, Leroy Dehaven, Corpus Christi, TRTA 1st Vice President welcomed Evelyn Leggit from Seguin; Norma Irwin from Ysleta and Woody Schober from Irving, as well as Local Unit Support committee member Janis Patronis, TRTA President Patricia Macias from Alice, TRTA Membership Specialists Brenda Fought and Ashley Friedrichs, TRTA Associate Director Brock Gregg, and TRTA Executive Director, Tim Lee.
Discussion focused on the not just the goal of TRTA reaching 100K members by June 30, 2020 but retaining these members from year to year. Members developed a list of various techniques to attain success in this area. Statewide, there are over 400,000 TRS retirees; last year, TRTA claimed over 80,000 of these retirees. At the end of June, after tallying the continuous members along with renewals and new recruits, TRTA has reached 73,000 members statewide. The RACE for 100K Campaign challenged local units to increase their recruitment and renew membership numbers or attain a higher percentage increases from March 1 through June 30 compared to the same time last year. Membership Committee members are assigned four Districts with whom they communicate regularly, providing timely information and suggested practices which may help them promote membership growth.
From March through June 2018, the Huajilla Unit was one of the four category winners of $500 for renewing and recruiting the highest number of members compared to the prior year. This year, Huajilla Unit was again the winner in this category. As incoming First Vice President and Membership Chair, Irene, along with unit Treasurer Sam Dubberly forged a successful “kitchen table” campaign to renew and recruit 98.99% of its membership for a total of 196 members and will receive a $750 award for the Huajilla Unit.
These aren’t just numbers for Huajilla Unit and other units across the state; these represent voters and voices which persisted in contacting their Senators and Representative through phone calls, emails, personal letters and personal visits to their office asking that they “Raise the Base,” to secure affordable health coverage for members, to help make the Teacher Retirement System actuarily sound, and to designate sufficient funds for a 13th check. Local Legislative Chair Ken Hanson and his wife, Nola, were also instrumental in dedicating countless hours of personal contacts in the capitol hallways, petitioning Legislators for a COLA for retirees whose retirement annuity has remained stagnant while medical and drug costs soar. Thanks to TRTA staff and members’ hard work, the Legislature agreed to a 13th check which will come to TRS retirees sometime in September!
Meanwhile, TRS retirees, former administrators, teachers, paraprofessional and auxiliary staff, are strongly encouraged to be informed of issues facing retirees because the process starts all over again in elections in 2020 and in the Legislative session in 2021.
The Huajilla Unit generally meets on the fourth Monday of the month from September through May at various locations in Hondo, D’Hanis, Devine, Castroville, Concan and Pearsall.