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The Retired Teachers' Association of Manitoba
Strength in Numbers
Retirement is a time of transitions. Throughout your career you belonged to the Manitoba Teachers’ Society (MTS), but upon retirement you are no longer a member. The Retired Teachers’ Association of Manitoba (RTAM) exists to serve retired teachers. We invite you to join the growing number of RTAM members and enjoy the benefits of belonging.
 
 

Your RTAM Committees



ACER-CART

ACER-CART has been in existence since 1991.  It is the national voice of retired teachers.  It is a national bilingual association of member associations representing over 128,000 retired teachers from Canada’s ten provinces and Yukon Territory.  It holds an annual meeting in Ottawa in early June. For more information, visit www.acer-cart.org

AGM

Much of the AGM preparations are managed by the RTAM Office Staff, in close communication with the Committee and the President.

Benefits

The Benefits Committee’s job is to review yearly with Johnson Inc. all benefit plans for content and costs for our members.

Each year Johnson provides the data on the costs associated with these respective plans and recommends to the Board the terms of payment for each plan for the next year. Naturally we try to keep costs stable for the ensuing year.

 

Committee Chair & Member/s
 

Dave Najduch

Winnipeg
Chair
 
MEMBERS
  • Pat Bowslaugh (Brandon)
  • Shannon Culbertson (Brandon)
  • Robert Daigneault (Winnipeg)
  • Mel Montgomery (Carman)
  • B. Joan Rink (Brookdale)

 

Committee Report to the 2021 RTAM AGM

Your Benefits Committee has worked diligently with Jessica Simpson at Johnson Inc. to provide services for our RTAM members. Seven committee meetings via Zoom plus numerous phone calls, emails and lots of home work allowed new supports in Extended Health Care (no premium increase) and increased maximum support in Dental Care (no premium increase).

The Travel Plan members experienced a four month premium reprieve from September 1 to December 31, 2020 due to the diminished travel as the Federal and Provincial governments were banning all unnecessary travel. Undoubtedly, our travel coverage experienced the most costly supports to thousands of travellers given that the Federal Government decreed an extremely tight time frame to return safely home upon the outbreak of COVID-19. The huge number of claims has resulted in a 3.7% increase in premiums to stabilize the plan.

We remind all travellers that the Prestige Travel claims must be “sudden and unforeseen”. We strongly suggest that if your health situation is questionable, you are wise to have a recorded statement of stability from your doctor before embarking on a trip. It is also wise to check with Johnson regarding COVID-19 situations.

Please check the web page for two newly created documents. A chart has been created providing the details/comparison of the three insurance providers, these being Blue Cross, Manulife (for Winnipeg retirees only) plus RTAM’s own coverages for dental, health and travel. The second new document is a “to do” check list when preparing for travel.

Trip Merchant offers travel opportunities for RTAM members both as individual travellers and group excursions. We are hoping that, when travel resumes, our opportunities with Trip Merchant will attract new members. In the meantime, we encourage you to visit the Trip Merchant web page to access virtual tours and their newsletter (password to access Trip Merchant on our web page: RTAMTM18).

We have been in discussion with Brandon University with the hope to communicate our availability to those retiring staff members who have a teaching certificate.

In cooperation with the Membership Committee, two seminars for potential retirees were held on March 6 and March 20. Approximately 120 people participated via the Zoom platform. A package of handouts was mailed to registrants prior to the event and Johnson provided materials which were distributed to each participant in advance of the events. There are plans to hold an extra pre-retirement seminar in October for all people who are considering retirement.

Respectfully submitted,
Pat Bowslaugh, Chair on behalf of Committee Members: Joan Rink, Shannon Culbertson, Dave Najduch, Brian Paterson and Bill Cann.

Johnson Benefits Plan

February 2021

Dear RTAM Plan Member:

The RTAM Benefits Committee and the Plan Administrator, Johnson Inc. have completed the annual group insurance renewal for the travel, extended health and dental care plans renewing on April 1, 2021.

Update on Health and Dental Care Plans

While at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic we did see some reduced usage of our Health and Dental Plans, the current renewal rate accounts for experience up to July 2020.

READ THE FULL DOCUMENT

Bylaws & Policy

The Bylaws and Policy Committee continues to monitor and review the RTAM Bylaws and Policy documents according to the committee mandate, the direction of the Board of Directors and resolution of the AGM. Bylaws and Policy documents should be viewed as living documents that reflect the ever-changing requirements of an organization. The committee reviews all parts of the documents to ensure their relevancy to our organization.

The committee will endeavour to keep the Board of Directors mindful of the timelines that must be adhered to regarding communication of any proposed bylaw change to all RTAM members prior to their May Annual General Meeting.

 

Committee Chair & Member/s

 


Jack Fraser
Winnipeg
Chair
MEMBERS
  • Charles Clifford
  • Dorothy Young
  • Peggy Prendergast
 
Committee Report to the 2020 RTAM AGM

Members: Rosalie Bornn (Dauphin), Charles Clifford (Portage la Prairie), Joan Dawson (Thompson), Dorothy Young (Winnipeg) and Beth Smith, Chair (Dauphin).

Committee communication and collaboration throughout the year consisted of five committee meetings, with e-mail and phone communication between meetings and amongst members.

The Bylaws and Policy Committee continues to monitor and review the RTAM Bylaws and Policy documents according to the Committee mandate. The Committee has put in place a Respectful Workplace Policy to protect our staff, Board and members. The Committee also worked on updating and expanding the Human Resources Manual. In addition, the Committee dealt with recommendations, additions and updates of Bylaws and Policy that were referred for consideration by the Board of Directors, through the RTAM committee channels and by Staff. To that end, no Bylaw changes were deemed necessary. Motions of interim Policy already approved by the Board are being brought forward for affirmation by the membership at AGM 2020.

Thank you to the Board of Directors for their valuable input and their support of the Committee. Sincere appreciation is extended to the Bylaws and Policy Committee members for their hard work and efforts throughout the year.

Respectfully submitted by 

Beth Smith (Chair)

Bylaws and Policy Committee

Communications

The Communications Committee is an oversight committee to coordinate and standardize RTAM’s communications in the areas of KIT, Public Relations, and Website. Its membership is composed the chairs of those three committees. Its work is reflected in the work of the three committees it coordinates.

February 2021 Highlights

The Communications committee met via Zoom on February.

The KIT editor, Doreen Sage has begun the process of transferring much of the work involved in producing KIT to the office staff. Letters to the Editor are welcomed. The policy for Letters to the Editor to be posted will be published in KIT soon. Some of the stories that were sent into the PR for inclusion in the anthology that they are assembling, will also be published in KIT. The PR Committee is still looking for more submissions. Please consider writing down some of your great stories about your teaching career and sending them in.

The website is becoming more user friendly and informative. Visit it to find out what RTAM is doing and to keep current on COVID 19 issues.

Committee Chair & Member/s
MEMBERS
  • Beth Smith (Dauphin)
  • Guy Hansen (Winnipeg)

 
Committee Report to the 2020 RTAM AGM

RTAM Communication Committee Report for 2019-2020


The Communications Committee is an oversight committee to coordinate and standardize RTAM’s communications in the areas of KIT, Public Relations, and Website. Its membership is composed of the chairs of those three committees. Its work is reflected in the work of the three committees it coordinates.It also makes general recommendations to the Board. For example the move away from paper usage to electronic media for Board works was a recommendation from the joint meeting the Chairs of the three Committees; KIT, Public Relations and Website. It is also the Committee, working in unison with the three sub Committees that is dealing with the 2018 AGM motion.

COVID -19 has altered the way we were able to get our job done. With electronic media at out disposal very soon we will be able operate in a somewhat differing way. Thanks to Doreen Sage, chairperson for KIT and to Guy Hanson, chairperson for Public Relations.Submitted by Ralph Cibula, chairperson of the Website Committee.

Editorial (KIT)

KIT, the newsletter/magazine of the Retired Teachers' Association of Manitoba, is published four times a year, and in full colour.  All material is emailed to the Editor by RTAM Committee Chairs and by RTAM members.

Committee Chair & Member/s

 


Beth Smith
Dauphin
Chair
MEMBERS
  • Joan Dawson (Thompson)
  • Rosalie Bornn (Dauphin)
  • Joan Goble (Thompson)
  • Doreen Sage (Neepawa)

 

 

Executive

May/June 2021 Highlights

On May 9, Patricia Thibodeau, president of the EMR Chapter (Éducatrices et Éducateurs manitobains á la retraite) completed the French translation of RTAM’s Bill 64 position, which was then posted on the website.

On May 13 and 15, The RTAM President attended the Manitoba Teachers’ Society AGM as an Observer. I was impressed with the technology and the three independent chairs used to run the virtual meeting efficiently. The utilization of timed Breakout Room discussions of previously submitted Resolutions was an interesting method of engaging delegates.

On May 19, the Executive and Alison Logan presented RTAM’s requests for legislative recognition as the official voice of retired teachers in Manitoba, COLA concerns as well as RTAM’s Bill 64 Position to Education Minister Cliff Cullen and Deputy Minister Dana Rudy. 

On June 04, Vice President JoAnne Hoyak (Director) and President Bill Cann (Observer) attended the ACER-CART virtual AGM. ACER-CART President Gerry Teide publicly thanked RTAM for the donation of $5,000 which was used to purchase software to facilitate an electronic election letter writing campaign in support of a National Seniors Strategy and a National Pharmacare program.

On June 7, the Executive initiated its Mentoring/Succession plan by welcoming Directors Linda Blair and Alison Logan as observers to its monthly meeting. The meeting focused on a new budget format, Bill 64, refining the June 16 Board meeting agenda and the June 23 MTS/RTAM Liaison meeting agenda.

Respectfully submitted by

Bill Cann, President

March/April 2021 Highlights

On March 19, the RTAM Executive participated in a Zoom meeting with Jeff Norton and Brad Prokop of TRAF. The two main topics covered were:

  1. an update on Government’s decision to move ahead with the Centralization of Pension Investment Management and
  2. the 1996-2021 Bank of Canada Inflation calculator of 05% compared to the COLA grants of 27.44%. Inflation. The loss of pension purchasing power is 29.61 % over 25 years or 1.1844% per year.

On March 25, JoAnne Hoyak and I participated in the 4th MTS/RTAM Liaison meeting. We addressed the following issues: requested a joint committee to study how to change the Teachers’ Pension Act to better reflect the impact of inflation on the annual COLA grant; MTS recognition of RTAM as the official voice of retired teachers; and Bill 64 Positions.

On March 29, the Executive meeting focused on completing the website contract with Blue Ink Media, RTAM’s Bill 64 Position, the COLA/Inflation situation, the membership database and a number of time management improvements for Board meetings.

On April 8, the Board of Directors unanimously approved RTAM’s Position on Bill 64. A copy of this document is attached. I would appreciate you distributing it to your members. It will also be posted on the RTAM website and printed in the Summer edition of KIT. I will also be sending it, along with a cover letter, to the leaders of Manitoba’s political parties,

Respectfully submitted by

Bill Cann, President                                                                                                                                                           

Membership & Chapters

The Membership and Chapters Committee will continue to support existing local chapters and to help create chapters in areas that are under represented in the province.

It will continue to promote membership with newly retired teachers through information seminars and to contact non-members wherever possible so that they can see the advantages of belonging to the only organization that works on their behalf.

Pre-Retirement seminars are offered to active teaches who are thinking of retiring in the near future.

Committee Chair & Member/s

 


Beth Smith
Dauphin

Chair
MEMBERS  
  • Joan Dawson
  • Linda Scott
  • Charles Clifford
  • Rosalie Bornn
  • Linda York
 
Committee Report to the 2020 RTAM AGM

Membership and Chapters Committee Report to the 2020 RTAM AGM

Members:  Charles Clifford (Portage la Prairie), Allen Havard (Winnipeg), Esmeralda Havard (Winnipeg)

Most of the Membership and Chapters Committee correspondence occurs through e-mail and telephone conversations, but as the need arises, our meetings are held in the afternoon the day after the Board meeting.

Each RTAM Chapter President was sent a welcome letter in the fall of 2019 along with the Guidelines and Application form for the Chapters Initiative Grant, a copy of the RTAM Strategic Plan and updated "Meeting Ideas".

The total number of RTAM members, as of March 31, 2018, is 9,814 TRAF members of RTAM and 240 non TRAF members of RTAM for a total of 10,054 members.


Thirteen Chapter Initiative Grants have been approved as of April 15, 2018.

An advertisement was placed in the Manitoba Teacher, January/February edition to inform active teachers of Pre-Retirement Seminars in Winnipeg and Brandon. Ads were also placed on the RTAM website and in our KIT magazine, as it is distributed to every school in Manitoba. Letters and posters about the seminars were sent to superintendents, principals of the funded independent schools and presidents of the Local Teachers' Associations.

The Winnipeg Pre-Retirement Seminar was held in February 2020. There were 96 people in attendance (86 teachers/guests and 10 RTAM volunteers).  The topics covered were an overview of RTAM's Voluntary Group Benefit Plans presented by Jessica Simpson of Johnson Insurance, and "Life after Teaching" presented by a panel of retired teachers.

The Brandon Pre Retirement and the Thompson Pre Retirement Seminars were to be held in March 2020 but were postponed because of COVID-19.  ZOOM conferences will provide those registered with the required information.

An article on Why Join RTAM was submitted for the June edition of the MB Teacher magazine.  

Thank you to all the committee members for all their hard work and dedication throughout the year.

Respectfully submitted by

Linda Scott

Chair Membership and Chapters

Membership & Chapters Timeline

AUGUST

  • - Send RTAM brochures to MTS for distribution at their Pre-Retirement Seminars.
  • - Place an article in Fall KIT about Retirement.

SEPTEMBER

  • - Send Welcome Letterto RTAM Chapter Presidents.

OCTOBER

  • - Make arrangements for Pre-Retirement Seminar for Winnipeg in February. (Or whatever date is suitable).
  • - Make contact with Brandon members about Brandon Pre-Retirement Seminar. (They usually look after their own).
  • - Thompson usually looks after their own Pre-Retirement Seminars.
  • - These seminars may be offered virtually, all together or separately.
  • - Speak to presenters about above Pre-Retirement Seminars.

DECEMBER

  • - Place advertisement in Manitoba Teacher (January/February Edition), KIT and RTAM website for the above Pre-Retirement Seminars. 
  • - Send letters to Independent Schools and surrounding school divisions with information, and poster to distribute, about upcoming Pre-Retirement Seminars in their area.

JANUARY

  • - Get documents and giveaways organized for the Pre-Retirement Seminar.

FEBRUARY

  • - Pre-Retirement Seminar.

MARCH

  • - Get organized for the Annual General Meeting in May.

MAY

  • - AGM
  • - Review and update the content in the Join RTAM brochure.
  • - Place an article in Manitoba Teacher “Why Join RTAM?” 

ONGOING

  • - New member applications. 
  • - Chapter Initiative Grant and Well Initiative Grant applications.
  • - Articles for KIT re: Pre-Retirement Seminar ads, pictures, and articles about the seminar(s), also available on the RTAM website.
  • - Keep RTAM website updated with Membership and Chapter information.
RTAM Chapter Initiative Grant Application Guidelines

The RTAM Chapter Initiative Grant (CIG) is available to chapters to promote member engagement. Chapters are urged to develop a project and/or activity that meets the unique needs of their individual membership. Once the plan has been formulated, an application form (attached) should be completed and sent to the RTAM office. Each chapter is eligible for a subsidy of up to $250 per fiscal year to assist with their project. Be aware that funding is limited.  Please allow 2-3 weeks for processing.

The criteria used for evaluating the CIG application are as follows:

  1. The initiative must promote member engagement.
  2. Describe the initiative to be undertaken.  Project descriptions should be complete enough to indicate how "member engagement" will be promoted and what activity/activities are involved to facilitate this.
  3. Indicate the itemized expenses and estimated costs.
  4. Indicate the date or the period of time the initiative will take place.  Completion dates may be projected at the time of the grant application.
  5. Activities for which funding is requested must take place after the application date.
  6. A description of how RTAM will be recognized for its contribution should be in the application.
  7. The exact same initiative should NOT be repeated yearly.
  8. Initiatives should avoid the direct transfer of funds received from RTAM to another organization where there is no additional chapter member involvement.
  9. A report must be sent to RTAM after the completion of the Chapter’s initiative.
  10. Initiative reports are to be received no later than 2 months after the initiative’s completion date. 
  11. Reports from a previous grant must have been received by RTAM to be eligible for another CIG.
  12. Priority will be given to first-time applications if a choice needs to be made due to budgetary constraints.

Please contact the RTAM office if you have any questions, by phone at 204-889-36601‑888‑393-8082 (toll-free) or email to office@rtam.mb.ca.

As a result of COVID-19, the Chapter Initiative Reports are not due until December 20, 2020.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE APPLICATION FORM

Pension

1. Be current with the basic aspects of the Teachers’ Retirement Allowance Fund Board, the Teacher’s Pension Act and other relevant pension matters.

2. Advise the Board on pension issues and make recommendations for policies and actions.

3. Assist the board in responding on pension issues on behalf of RTAM members.

4. Assist the board in educating members, other related parties, and the public on pension issues.

Committee Chair & Member/s

 


Alison Logan
Winnipeg
Chair
MEMBERS:
  • JoAnne Hoyak
  • Joan Dawson
  • Julian Hoyak
  • Lynn Land
  • Bill Cann (Ex-Officio)
  • Mel Montgomery (Carman)
June 2021 Highlights

On May 19 2021 RTAM met with Dana Rudy, Deputy Minister and Adam Smith, Executive Assistant to Minister Cliff Cullen. Ms. Rudy and Mr. Smith took the first part of the meeting with Minister Cullen joining us later. Among items that were discussed was RTAM’s long-standing request for a designated seat on the TRAF Board. The second position discussed was Government’s official recognition of RTAM as the legislated voice of retired teachers in Manitoba. RTAM continues to pursue these two items. We are currently in the process of trying to arrange a follow-up meeting with Minister Cullen.

Committee Report to the 2020 RTAM AGM

Pension Committee Report

AGM 2020

Respectfully submitted by Alison Logan, Chair (Winnipeg)

Members: Bill Cann (Winnipeg), JoAnne Hoyak (MacGregor), Julian Hoyak (MacGregor), Lynn Land (Winnipeg), Laura Skelly (The Pas)

Five committee meetings were held during the 2019-2020 year. 

In addition, Jeff Norton and Brad Prokop of TRAF attended one Pension Committee meeting and one RTAM Board meeting in order to share information.

As has been past practice, a meeting between TRAF Staff and RTAM Representatives was held on October 21, 2019. The President, Treasurer, Secretary and Pension Chair attended on behalf of RTAM.

Highlights of the Pension Committee endeavours this year included:

  1. Monitoring the status of the joint agreement with MTS and accepted by the TRAF Board as to the dispersal of the restricted surplus. The dispersal has been in place since July 1, 2018 and will continue over 5 years.
  2. As of July 1, 2020 COLA will be 1.35%.
  3. The Revision of RTAM Nomination Process for TRAF Board Appointment document which has been included in the AGM package.
  4. Action requesting that MTS recognise RTAM as the official voice of retired teachers.
  5. Ongoing communication with ACER-CART.
  6. Strongly urging the continuation of the traditional meeting(s) with our provincial representatives is recommended. Due to unusual circumstances, (Covid-19 as well as the provincial election) it was not possible this year. 
  7. The chair wishes to thank the committee members for all their commitment and diligent work.
The Pension Benefits Act Review

On January 10, 2018, Finance Minister Cameron Friesen announced that the review of the province’s pension laws had been completed by The Pension Committee of Manitoba.  A public consultation period with a submission deadline of February 21, 2018 was also announced at that time along with the release of a consultation paper and the commission’s recommendations for reforms to The Pension Benefits Act.
 
While RTAM developed a plan of action to respond to the recommendations of The Pension Benefits Act Review, collaborative contact with The Manitoba Teachers’ Society (MTS) was also made.  The result was the submission of a joint RTAM-MTS “Response to the Consultation Paper The Pension Benefits Act Review”.  To view the joint MTS-RTAM submission click here.
 
RTAM also belongs to the national association of retired teachers, Association canadienne des enseignantes et des enseignants retraités-Canadian Association of Retired Teachers (ACER-CART).  ACER-CART, in turn, is part of The Canadian Coalition for Retirement Security (CCRS).  CCRS also responded to the call for consultation on the The Pension Committee of Manitoba’s recommendations for reforms to The Pension Benefits Act.  To view the CCRS brief click here.
 

Download > Joint MTS - RTAM PBA Submission 21 February 2018

Download > CCRS Brief to the Pension Commission of Manitoba - CCRS - Feb 21 2018

 

 

 

Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA)

The Teachers’ Pensions Restricted Surplus Regulation, 2017 (M.R. 63/2018) was registered May 18, 2018, putting in place the regulatory authority necessary to disburse the restricted surplus equally over a five year period commencing July 1, 2018.  The regulation is consistent with the joint RTAM/MTS proposal which had been accepted by the TRAF Board and submitted to government as a proposed regulation in June, 2017.

The impact for 2018 of the enactment of the Teachers’ Pensions Restricted Surplus Regulation, 2017 (M.R. 63/2018) is that the previously announced COLA of 1.15% effective July 1, 2018 will now be increased to 1.35%.

Background:

  • The TRAF Board earlier approved a 1.15% COLA effective July 1, 2018.
  • The 2/3 of CPI cap that had been in place on the annual COLA since July 1, 2008 ceased to apply effective with the July 1, 2018 COLA.
  • At a February 2018 meeting with the Minister of Education and Training, RTAM was informed that, at the time, there were no plans to extend the provision for restricting the TRAF Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) implemented in 2008 which has now expired. The calculation of COLA reverts to the provisions in place prior to 2008 as per subsection 10(7) of The Teachers’ Pensions Act.
Pension Committee Mandate

1. Be current with the basic aspects of the Teachers’ Retirement Allowance Fund Board, the Teacher’s Pension Act and other relevant pension matters.

2. Advise the Board on pension issues and make recommendations for policies and actions.

3. Assist the board in responding on pension issues on behalf of RTAM members.

4. Assist the board in educating members, other related parties, and the public on pension issues.

5. Establish and maintain liaison with other relevant pension groups.

6. Carry out the research process for RTAM’s nomination for the government’s discretionary appointment of a “representative” of retired Plan members to the TRAF Board, and shall conduct the search process and make recommendations in accordance with the RTAM Nomination Process for TRAF Board Appointment.

The Pension Committee is Seeking Grassroots Input
The Pension Committee is seeking personal stories and anecdotes from retired teachers with regard to their opinions and experiences on our defined benefit pension plan, the security and sustainability of it, and the effects of Bill 45 on their personal purchasing power. Please contact any committee member or the RTAM office.

PRIORITIES for 2020/2021

  1. To be aware of changes in The Pension Benefits Act and The Teachers’ Pensions Act that may affect us. Office staff will aid in monitoring this.
  2. To keep abreast of pension related articles and relevant letters in print media.
  3. To continue to work with MTS on relevant issues.
  4. To foster ongoing communications with the Government on pension issues.
  5. To keep communications open with the TRAF Board.
  6. To advocate that the Government appoint a retired teacher to the TRAF Board from RTAM’s list of recommended nominees.

 

Restricted Surplus ….A Refresher

A joint committee of RTAM (Rosalie Bornn, JoAnne Hoyak, Wayne Hughes) and MTS (Norman Gould, Roland Stankevicius, Bobbie Taillefer) representatives was established and was tasked with developing a plan to deal with the disbursal of the Restricted Surplus funds.

The following is a result of that Committee’s work and can be found on the TRAF website:

  • - 2019 COLA was 1.23%.
  • - 2020 COLA will be 1.35%.
  • - Both the 2019 and 2020 COLA include the release of approximately $5.6 million of restricted surplus as required under the Teachers’ Pensions Restricted Surplus Regulation, 2017.
  • - The restricted surplus will be available to provide COLA in 2021 and 2022, after which it will be depleted, as planned.

 

RESTRICTED SURPLUS
Restricted surplus represents funds in the Pension Adjustment Account (PAA) that are held in reserve as a result of the legislative cap that existed on COLA granted on July 1 each year for the 10-year period from 2008 through 2017. COLA during this period was limited to a maximum of two-thirds of the increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

To the extent that the PAA had capacity to support a COLA greater than two-thirds of CPI, the excess funds were set aside as restricted surplus to be used to support COLA granted in 2018 or later. Restricted surplus was generated in each year from 2012 to 2016 inclusive. As the two-thirds CPI maximum ended with the grant of the 2017 COLA, no further restricted surplus will accumulate.

The Teachers’ Pensions Restricted Surplus Regulation, 2017 was enacted on
May 18, 2018. Under this regulation, the annual COLA will benefit from the release of the restricted surplus at a rate of 20% of the total restricted surplus for each year from 2018 to 2022 inclusive. Based on a restricted surplus amount of $27,987,000, this equates to $5,597,400 per year.

Political Advocacy

The mandate of the Political Advocacy (PA) Committee as stated in the Policy Handbook is as follows:

  1. Develop and recommend actions to accomplish goals and objectives established by the Board.
  2. Monitor political issues and advise the President and/or the Board on emerging issues relevant to RTAM.
  3. Plan and organize political advocacy, if so directed by the Board.

 

Committee Chair & Member/s

 


John Sushelnitsky
Portage la Prairie
Chair
MEMBERS
  • Guy Hansen
  • Vicki Hooke
  • JoAnne Hoyak
  • Julian Hoyak
  • Dennis Kozak
 
March 2021 Highlights

At its meeting on March 4, the Political Advocacy Committee reviewed the two motions which were passed by the Board. The commendation  letter from our President to the CEO of the Indigenous Clean Energy Network, congratulating them on their achievement in developing clean energy  programs across Canada, received a very positive response from that organization. The second commendation letter, accompanied by a financial contribution to their education programs, was sent to Rossbrook House on the occasion of its 45th anniversary. Both letters are in line with the RTAM Strategic Plan to improve relations with the Manitoba community.

The Committee heard a presentation on the government’s new financing plans for the 162 Manitoba nursery schools raising the daily fee from $5.00 to $10.00 per session and adding a means test. The presenter is a volunteer parent administrator. The Committee looked at a series of emerging issues but made no recommendations at this time. There was an update on the presentation by the Hon. Murray Sinclair to be made March 18th at  the Board meeting from 10:30 to 11:15. He will address the issue of progress in the “94 calls to action” in the Truth and Reconciliation Report and how RTAM might help move it forward.

The PA committee continues to look at the ongoing issues of COLA, TRAF Board representation and the K-12 Education Review.

Committee Report to the 2020 RTAM AGM

RTAM – Political Advocacy 2019-20

The Year in review

Members of the PA Committee for 2019-20 were Linda Blair (Winnipeg), Ralph Cibula (Gladstone), Guy Hansen (Winnipeg), JoAnne & Julian Hoyak (MacGregor), Ken Malcolm (Dauphin) and John Sushelnitsky (Portage la Prairie). John chaired the Committee.

At the Committee’s first meeting on June 13, 2019 there were 15 items on the agenda for the year’s work:

  1. Provincial and federal elections
  2. ACER-CART articles
  3. Meet and Greet 2020
  4. Economic Disparities globally and nationally
  5. Gender inequality in pay and promotion
  6. K-12 Education Review
  7. Manitoba Seniors Coalition 
  8. Canadian Coalition for Retirement Security
  9. Indigenous Bursary 2020
  10. Nigaan Sinclair’s views on indigenous progress
  11. John Wiens’ views on the Education Review
  12. Government and Opposition press releases
  13. School division amalgamation
  14. October 1st- the United Nations Day of the Older Person
  15. Observance of the November 11thRemembrance Day

The Committee split up the research work for these topics and reported back to the whole Committee and to the Board, offering action motions when appropriate. The Covid-19 virus forced the postponement of the Meet and Greet with the Members of the Legislature. On the plus side, the Committee had very meaningful meetings with Professor and journalist Nigaan Sinclair and Dr. John r. Wiens. The meetings were reported in KIT.

Respectfully submitted by

John Sushelnitsky

Committee Chair

Public Relations

The Terms of Reference for the committee are as follows:

a) be responsible for the planning, implementing and evaluation of the PR goals of the organization;

b) publicize events sponsored by RTAM and/or its committees;

Student Awards

 

Committee Chair & Member/s

 



Peggy Prendergast
Winnipeg

Chair
 
MEMBERS
  • Linda Blair
  • Beth Smith
  • Joan Zaretsky
  • Connie Newman

 

September 2021 Highlights

Student Awards Committee – Peggy Prendergast, Chair

The Student Awards committee met on the mornings of August 30, 2021 and September 2, 2021.  Each member, on the days in between and using the previously prepared manual and matrix, assessed the 58 applications RTAM received. Four applicants were chosen for RTAM Board approval on September 16 at the RTAM Board meeting. Results will be posted on our website following notification to the award winners and their RTAM sponsors.

RTAM Is Leaving a Legacy

 

The 2019 RTAM Student Award Endowment Fund recipients will be announced in the Winter ‘Keep in Touch’ (KIT) magazine and on our website.  Did you know the Fund has reached a monetary value large enough to provide $850 awards in 2019 to four students who are relatives of RTAM members?  Through the compounding ability of the monies held at the Winnipeg Foundation, these awards will increase exponentially FOREVER to provide young relatives of RTAM members support to realize their educational goals in the future.  These young people will be the leaders of the future.  Why wouldn’t we want to be part of their future success? 

The increase in the fund over five years has raised the award money to almost double its beginning value.  Could that come next year?  It is possible with your help.  Each dollar we provide to the capital of the fund increases each year with the investing expertise of the Winnipeg Foundation.

Let’s make $1000 awards our goal for 2020!  Some of us often send a donation to a charity in memory of a loved one who has passed away.  Consider leaving a gift in your will or even the proceeds of an insurance policy where the Winnipeg Foundation is the beneficiary.  Make the RTAM Endowment Fund at the Winnipeg Foundation your charity of choice for 2020.  Encourage a young person who is beginning their adult life by investing in their education.  We have spent so many years of our lives investing ourselves in the young people we have been fortunate enough to teach, why not continue that investment by supporting those who are dearest to us, our grandchildren, nieces and nephews who have a passion for education.   Information under the Student Award Committee tab on the RTAM website: www.rtam.mb.ca will tell you how or call the Winnipeg Foundation or the RTAM office.

The following four letters are written by sponsoring RTAM members whose relatives benefited from award monies in 2013.  Help make this your member benefit by encouraging your young relatives to apply for an award when they graduate from Grade 12.

Anthony Ferens

My son, Anthony Ferens won a scholarship the first year our retired teaching society offered it.  Since receiving the scholarship in 2013, Anthony has had many opportunities and has accomplished many things.  Attending university was going to be difficult with learning disabilities, but that didn’t stop him from challenging himself. He auditioned for the 4 year honours program.

While he was in his third and fourth year of honours and devised theatre this past year, he performed in 5 productions. There was little time for a part time job with these long school hours and commitment. Scholarships were greatly appreciated to start his education.

Other accomplishments include achieving his gold Duke of Edinburgh Award, 2 scholarships from RMTC, the prestigious Hubbell Award (air cadets), and several awards and full scholarships from Talent INC. in Toronto and Orlando.  

Presently, Anthony is enjoying his recent accomplishment of completing an honours degree:  being successful despite his dyslexic disability; beating the odds; being able to choose and further study in a career he loves.  Anthony appreciates his family’s support and the many teachers and mentors who have encouraged him to take risks, follow his dreams, and do wonderful things.  He is very thankful for the financial assistance he has received.

Sandra Ferens
Winnipeg, MB

 

Aven Glufka

Following my granddaughter, Aven Glufka’s graduation from grade 12 and receiving one of the first RTAM awards, she enrolled in the University of Winnipeg.  In 2017 she completed her B.A. degree with a double major in French and Theatre, receiving the Gold Medal in Theatre Studies. 

She enrolled in the Faculty of Education program at U. of W. 

On completion of her first year she was accepted into the 10 month International program between U. of W. and Thailand.  She did her final year and practicum at Lertlah School in Bangkok, Thailand.  She completed her studies at the end of February 2019.  The award financially helped her to work towards achieving her dream of becoming a teacher. We are proud that she chose to carry on the family tradition of teaching. 

I hope this note tells you Aven’s story so far.  She is enjoying her experiences

Elizabeth Stewart
Brandon, MB

 

 

Calene Treichel

I am writing in regard to the letter from Peggy Prendergast, asking about how my granddaughter used her $500 award, in 2013, and how she is doing now.

Calene Treichel was a recipient of a $500 RTAM Student Award, when she was graduated from high school in Boissevain, in 2013.  Getting this award was very beneficial for her University expenses and was used towards paying her tuition for her first year at the University of Manitoba, beginning her Engineering Degree.

In 2018, Calene graduate with a Mechanical Engineering Degree, and was honoured by being awarded with the medal for graduating with the highest overall average in the 2018 class.  Calene is continuing her education at Carleton University, in Ottawa, where she is taking her Master’s Degree.  Good luck Calene.

Marlene Kentner
Dauphin, MB

 

Kelly Yeo

You had asked how my granddaughter Kelly Yeo, a first year recipient of a RTAM Student Award that she very much appreciated receiving, is doing.  It is a pleasure to provide an update for you.

Kelly began her final year of studies in Pharmacy at the University of Manitoba in September (2018).  She has recorded an extraordinary academic record there over the past three years.

On June 3, 2018 she was presented with a Centennial Leadership Award while attending the annual Canadian Pharmacy Association Awards Ceremony in Fredericton, New Brunswick as a U. of M. delegate.  A copy of the awards biography is enclosed.  Kelly has won numerous other scholarships over the span of her pharmacy and pre-pharmacy studies.  We are, needless to say, very proud of her efforts.

The practice of giving out RTAM Student Awards is a fine idea.  Based on our granddaughter’s experience, I can certainly attest to the need for such awards and their value to the recipient.

Dale Yeo
Stonewall, MB

 

Kelly Yeo
University of Manitoba

Kelly Yeo is from the small town of Stonewall, MB. After being given the opportunity to shadow a few pharmacists at a local pharmacy, she knew it was what she wanted to do for the rest of her life. She often tells people that this was the best decision she has ever made. During her time at the College of Pharmacy at the University of Manitoba, Kelly has been very involved in advocating for the profession as one of Manitoba’s CAPSI representatives, and her passion for pharmacy quickly grew. Her greatest wish is to continue to spread this passion to others in the hopes of continuing to push this wonderful profession even further!

RTAM'S 2020 AWARD WINNERS

RTAM is pleased to congratulate the following winners and their sponsors for 2020:

Award Winner

Location

Sponsor

Relationship

Toni Koshowski

Dauphin

Nadia Yakielashek

Grandmother

Shanaya McMillan

St. Francois Xavier

Sylvia E. Sweetland

Grandmother

Serena Werbowesky

Winnipeg

Yvonne Crampton

Grandmother

Mollie Wheeler

Morden

George O. Turner

Grandfather

Toni Koshowski
I am attending the University of Calgary and my plans include, completing my Bachelor of Science Honours with a major in Neuroscience and then continuing on to study medicine. I am hoping to explore more educational opportunities while completing my undergraduate degree. I hope to continue to be involved in volunteering through sport in some capacity, continue playing hockey as well as become involved in student groups on campus.

Shanaya McMillan
Over the next four years, I plan to complete an Honours degree in Computer Science at the University of Manitoba while maintaining involvement in extracurricular activities. After graduation, I am not yet certain of my career path, but I am interested in working with artificial intelligence or software development. I’m thankful to the teachers in my life who helped me accomplish the things that I have. There were a few of them who made a large impact on my decisions in high school that will carry
into university.

Serena Werbowesky
Having completed my IB Diploma at Miles Macdonnell Collegiate, I have chosen to do my first degree in my home city of Winnipeg, in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Manitoba. I plan to explore different areas of mathematical research with summer jobs, and I have already completed one summer experience researching non-standard base systems and matrix operations, under Dr. Robert Craigen. After completing an Honours degree in Pure Mathematics, I plan to continue on with graduate studies in mathematics at another university, one possibility being the University of Waterloo.

Mollie Wheeler
I am enrolled at the University of Lethbridge in a combined degree program. This next year I am doing my courses online from my home in Morden, MB, but look forward to moving west next fall! My plan is to graduate with a Bachelor of Science, with a major in Mathematics, as well as a Bachelor of Education. The combined degree program will allow me to graduate to teach high school math and physics courses. I am so thankful for this opportunity from the Retired Teachers’ Association and for my grandpa for helping me apply.

RTAM'S 2019 AWARD WINNERS

RTAM is pleased to congratulate the following winners and their sponsors for 2019:

Award Winner

Location

Sponsor

Relationship

Spencer Christie

Winnipeg

Raymond Gordon Billows

Uncle

Olivia Erickson

Brandon

Conrad Erickson

Grandfather

Marissa Claire Hamlin

Winnipeg

Ellen Hamlin

Grandmother

Alexander Iwanchysko

Dauphin

Nadia Yakielashek

Grandmother


The RTAM Endowment Fund was established with The Winnipeg Foundation in 2013 with an initial contribution of $50,000 enabling four awards of $500. The Fund has grown to provide support this year for four $850 awards to our very deserving young relatives. Endowing the RTAM Fund at the Winnipeg Foundation allows us to enlarge the size of the award available to each student over time. LET’S STRIVE FOR FOUR $1000 AWARDS NEXT YEAR!

Please consider adding capital to the growth of the RTAM Endowment Fund. Contribute to The RTAM Endowment Award Fund at the Winnipeg Foundation by phone, mail or internet with an In Memoriam gift or in your will or just your charity of choice for next year. ALL DONATIONS ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE. Check our website at: www.rtam.mb.ca or www.wpgfdn.ca.



Brief description of post-secondary plans provided by the award recipients

Spencer Christie
I intend on pursuing a degree in Physics at the University of Manitoba. Afterwards, I am interested in entering a medicine school in order to enter the medical field, although that is far along in the future.

Olivia Erickson
I am currently attending Brandon University and working towards completing my Bachelor of Science degree. After I finish my first degree my plans are to attend medical school, hopefully at the University of British Columbia and pursue Dermatology and/ or Plastic surgery. My end goal would be to eventually own my own dermatology and low level plastic surgery practice.

Marissa Claire Hamlin
Marissa Claire Hamlin is currently attending the University of Ottawa in the Faculty of Science pursuing an undergraduate degree in biology. She was also accepted into the House of Commons Page Program for the 2019-2020 year. As an avid lover of nature and the environment, Marissa plans to use her post-secondary education in biology in order to pursue field research that will contribute to issues of environmental and social significance.

Alexander Iwanchysko
I am attending the University of Manitoba in the Faculty of Engineering. In my second year I hope to get accepted into the Department of Electrical Engineering and earn my degree in that field. After I get my degree I plan to work somewhere in rural Manitoba.

RTAM'S 2018 AWARD WINNERS

 

RTAM is pleased to congratulate the following winners and their sponsors for 2018:

 

Award Winner

Location

Sponsor

Relationship

Ainsley Brown

Winnipeg

Barry Wittevrongel

Grandfather

Sarah Lamoureux

Winnipeg

Ken Reimer

Grandfather

Camryn McMillan

Carberry

Gladwyn Scott

Grandfather

Megan Shackel

Brandon

Manmohan S. Malhi

Grandfather

 

RTAM established the Retired Teachers Endowment Fund with The Winnipeg Foundation in 2013 with an initial contribution of $50,000. This year the fund provided support for four $700 awards to recipients who were:
· relatives of an RTAM member
· involved in school and community activities
· Grade 12 graduates
· entering the first year of a post-secondary education program

There were 51 award applications submitted this year.

As retired teachers we place a strong value on education. Growing the Retired Teachers Endowment Fund at The Winnipeg Foundation would allow us to enlarge the size of the award available to each student. In the near future $1,000 per student is possible. RTAM could then possibly expand the support for its young people in their studies to include awards to students already enrolled in post-secondary education and those pursuing masters and PhD degrees.

Please consider assisting in the growth of the Retired Teachers Endowment Fund. The Winnipeg Foundation is the registered charity through Canada Revenue Agency and through The Winnipeg Foundation gifts to the fund are eligible for tax receipts. Contributions can be made through them by phone, mail or internet. A tax receipt will be issued by The Winnipeg Foundation for your contribution to the fund. Bequests in your will or a memorial contribution as part of your funeral arrangements are suggestions for your consideration.

Online donation information:

1. Go to The Winnipeg Foundation www.wpgfdn.ca
2. Go to the “Make a Gift” tab
3. Scroll down to the “Search” box and type in Retired Teachers. It will take you to the Retired Teachers Endowment Fund page to make your donation.

Or Contact The Winnipeg Foundation by phone at: (204) 944-9474, (toll-free) 1-877-974-3631

RTAM'S 2017 AWARD WINNERS

 

RTAM is pleased to congratulate the following winners and their sponsors for 2017:

 

Award Winner

Location

Sponsor

Relationship

Jane Harkness

Virden

David Harkness

Uncle

Madison Lambert

Portage la Prairie

Linda M. Green

Grandmother

Katlaina McEwen-McMillan

Winnipeg

Eleanor McMillan

Grandmother

Julia Miles

Winnipeg

Salvatore Scaletta

Grandfather

Jack Osiowy

Winnipeg

Doreen Poersch

Grandmother



RTAM established an endowment fund with The Winnipeg Foundation in 2013 with an initial contribution of $50,000. This fund provides support for four $600.00 awards each year to a Grade 12 graduate who is: sponsored by a relative who is an RTAM member, involved in school and community activities, and enrolled in some form of post-secondary education. There were 36 award applications submitted again this year. The selection committee strongly agreed there should be a fifth award this year. The RTAM Board concurred.

As retired teachers, we place a strong value on education. Growing the RTAM Endowment Fund at the Foundation would allow us to enlarge the size of the award available to each student to at least $1000, and, possibly expand the support for young people in their studies to include post graduate students and students already enrolled in post-secondary education. Compounding is working well so far with the fund which on December 31, 2016, had a market value of $63,325.03.

On a personal note, I received two scholarships when I was entering university 70 years ago because one of the conditions on applying was that I be a child of a veteran. As much as the money was appreciated at the time so was the support I received in self-confidence. It was a young high school chemistry teacher who was a veteran himself who insisted I apply for these scholarships. As a result of my actions and in receiving these awards, my father's service in the army was recognized in a way that was a delight to him and my dreams of a University education were realized. It became a family dream come true. I know it has the same effect in the RTAM families that participate in this program, Any RTAM member will be delighted they could support and help a student in their family. It also follows the "Pay it Forward" philosophy of living. Who better than retired teachers know the benefits of education? What a legacy we will leave!

Help grow the Retired Teachers of Manitoba Endowment Fund, held with The Winnipeg Foundation. Gifts can be made through The Foundation by phone, mail or internet. The Winnipeg Foundation is the registered charity through CRA and through the Winnipeg Foundation gifts to the fund are eligible for tax receipts. A bequest in your will or a memorial contribution as part of your funeral arrangements are suggestions for your consideration as is a donation as part of your annual charity giving.

Because an endowment fund lasts forever, a bequest to the Retired Teachers’ Endowment Fund through The Winnipeg Foundation is a powerful choice for supporting your community for generations to come, specifically helping young people realizing their dreams in attending post-secondary education. Everyone has their own reasons for planning a gift. Whether you want to create a legacy, generate tax savings or organize your estate, we are happy to work with you. If you need more information or already know exactly how you want to make a difference, please contact Jennifer Aarhus, at The Winnipeg Foundation at 204-944-9474 ext 259 or at donorservices@wpgfdn.org.



RTAM'S 2016 AWARD WINNERS

 


Camille Daeninck

Eveline Juce

Rebecca Malcolm

Owen Ready
 

RTAM established an endowment fund with The Winnipeg Foundation in 2013 with an initial contribution of $50,000. This fund provides support for four $500.00 awards each year to a Grade 12 graduate who is: sponsored by a relative who is an RTAM member, involved in school and community activities, and enrolled in some form of post-secondary education. There were 45 award applications again submitted this year.

As retired teachers we place a strong value on education. Growing the RTAM Endowment Fund at the Foundation would allow us to enlarge the size of the award available to each student, and, possibly expand the support for young people in their studies to include post graduate students and students already enrolled in post-secondary education.

Please consider assisting in the growth of the RTAM Endowment Fund. It is listed as a registered charity through Canada Revenue Agency. The Retired Teachers of Manitoba Endowment Fund is held with The Winnipeg Foundation. Contributions can be made through them by phone, mail or internet. A tax receipt will be issued by the Winnipeg Foundation for your contribution to the fund. Bequests in your will or a memorial contribution as part of your funeral arrangements are suggestions for your consideration.

Online donation information:

  1. Go to The Winnipeg Foundation site
  2. Go to the “Make a Gift” tab
  3. Scroll down to the “Search” box and type in RTAM. It should take you to the Retired Teachers Endowment Fund page to make your donation.

RTAM is pleased to announce and congratulate the winners and their sponsors for 2016:

Award Winners Location RTAM Sponsor Relationship
Camille Daeninck Winnipeg Mr. Marcel Daeninck Grandfather
Eveline Juce Hamiota Mr. David Juce Father
Rebecca Malcolm Aurora, ON Mrs. Jeannette Timmerman Grandmother
Owen Ready Winnipeg Mrs. Edith Cooper Grandmother
Donate To The RTAM Endowment Fund

FOR GOOD, FOREVER please consider donating to the Retired Teachers’ Association of Manitoba Endowment Fund at The Winnipeg Foundation when you are considering either a bequest in your will, an “in memoriam” gift when someone close to you has passed away, or in deciding your charitable giving for the year.

RTAM established an endowment fund with The Winnipeg Foundation in 2013 with an initial contribution of $50,000.  Since then, this fund has provided support for four, $500.00 awards each year to Grade 12 graduates who are nominated by a relative who is an RTAM member.  The criteria for receiving an  award includes the student being; involved in school and community activities, enrolled in some form of post-secondary education, as well as academic achievement.  There has been an average of 40+ award applications submitted each year.
The four awards for 2017 will be $600.00 each, as investment interest and gifts made to the fund has given us more dollars for granting.  What better way for us to leave a legacy of “belief in education” to our following generations?  Each gift, no matter what amount, adds in perpetuity to the overall fund.  We have given our working lives to “education”, this is an opportunity to carry on the tradition.  “For Good. Forever”, The Winnipeg Foundation’s inspiring message, says it all!

For complete instructions on how to make a gift please go to The Winnipeg Foundation website: www.wpgfdn.org, go to “Make a Gift” tab, scroll down to the “search” box and type in RTAM,. or contact The Winnipeg Foundation.

Website

As of 2019.12.20 a rebuilt more user friendly website is now up and running. This involved a reasonable expenditure, looks good, is quite useful. Its utility will increase over time as we continue to build expanded usage.

Our hope is that each of you reading this will encourage fellow retirees to use the website for many of the things that RTAM does. In addition, we would like to hear your comments and suggestions.

Just click here and follow the intuitive email process.

Many of the latest issues of KIT can be read right from this website. Take a look here in a spare moment.

Wellness Advocacy

If you have ideas for seminars, workshops, presenters, etc. please pass on your information to the office. Our committee may be able to use your information to put together that event.
Remember there is a Wellness grant. If your Chapter needs funds to proceed with a Wellness event, here is a grant that may provide these funds.

Committee Chair & Member/s

 


Linda Blair
Winnipeg

Chair
MEMBERS
  • Gabriel Mercier (Ochre River)
  • Meryl Orth (Brandon)
  • Peggy Prendergast (Winnipeg)
  • Maureen Recksiedler (Stonewall)
  • B. Joan Rink (Brookside)
 
Pharmacare Free Webinar

Canada-wide Free Webinar, Thursday, June 3.

March 2021 Highlights

On Wednesday, February 24th, there was a presentation entitled Creating Certainty for Your Future: the importance of a well-structured estate plan by Candace Landry and Madison Kinzel from IG Private Wealth Management. A booklet entitled Estate Planning - Personal Records Organizer was emailed in pdf to all registrants. Additional handouts were also forwarded to participants. A total of 64 participated with 3 being from outside the province and 11 being non-members.

The two Photography Workshops by Gayl Punzalan, Founder & Creative Director of Blue Ink Media, are scheduled for Thursday, June 17 and Friday, June 18 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. each day. The Workshops will be held online, and the cost to each participant will be $50 per workshop. There will be a limit of 20 participants per day. 

The Post-Mountaintop Conversation with Hazel Venzon, the Assistant Director of Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, is scheduled as an online event for Thursday, March 11 at 1:30 p.m.

The Wellness Advocacy Committee along with the Political Advocacy Committee is encouraging everyone to register with MTC to attend The Bridge on Saturday, March 18 – 21.

Committee Report to the 2020 RTAM AGM

Membership: Linda Blair, Chair, Meryl Orth, Joan Rink, Maureen Recksiedler

Throughout 2019-2020, our committee was able to function through the use of email, physical meetings and Zoom. We had a total of five events planned. Three events were held, and two events had to be cancelled for various reasons. The feedback through completed Evaluation Forms from participants indicated a great appreciation for our events.

On September 20, over 40 participants gathered at Assiniboine Park to attend a Photography Workshop hosted by Gayl Punzalan and her assistants. Gayl helped us learn more about using our cell phone camera as well as digital cameras to produce quality pictures. She showed us the composition rules that make pictures more visually appealing. Then we were off to the English Gardens to practice our new skills. Gayl gave us specific pointers in reference to our newly produced pictures, and we departed with a renewed enthusiasm. Our picture taking skills had been enhanced.

On October 18, about 25 participants met to learn about Extreme Winter Driving Conditions. The amount of space needed to stop in various driving conditions was remarkably different. No matter how good or bad the driving conditions are at the time, we need to recognize the laws of physics that determine the limitations of our stopping power. Hopefully we all drove home with much more awareness of the physics at play when we stop and go.

Our Safety for Seniors Seminar scheduled for November 26 was cancelled and then rescheduled for March 10. Unfortunately, the seminar was once again cancelled. We were unable to hear the presentation prepared by the Community Police Officer. He would have given us information on current scams and other threats to our safety as well as how to protect ourselves.

The Wills, Power of Attorney, and Health Directive to help prevent Elder Abuse by Sharon Tod was held on February 13. About 25 participants listened to Sharon as she informed us of the various documents that we need to have in place now. The reasons for having to do so as well as the fallout that is possible when these documents are not in place were well covered.

The Health Seminar scheduled for March 20 was cancelled. The webinar by Heart & Stroke would have given us the up to date information on heart health research. Researchers are discovering how female heart health is different than male heart health. Females present differently. More research is now focusing on the female heart issues. Also, the Victoria Lifeline presenter planned to give us information regarding our health in reference to Successful Aging and Fall Prevention. She had various pointers to give us.

Our committee has used our RTAM Website and KIT to keep our general membership abreast of our events. As deadlines permitted, we also used the advertising in KIT.

In future, we plan to use the RTAM Website and KIT more effectively by noting any deadline dates, in particular.

Thank you to all our committee members as well as our Website and KIT workers for helping make our committee function successfully.

Webinars
Prime Minister announces supports for Canadians with disabilities

Le premier ministre annonce du soutien pour les Canadiens en situation de handicap

COVID-19 has created a myriad of new challenges while highlighting existing barriers for Canadians who are blind or partially sighted. 

Today, during National AccessAbility Week, the Prime Minister made a significant announcement regarding financial support available to Canadians with disabilities in response to the pandemic.

READ MORE

RTAM Wellness Initiative Grant Application Guidelines

The RTAM Wellness Initiative Grant (WIG) is available to chapters to promote member engagement. Chapters are urged to develop a project and/or activity that meets the unique needs of their individual membership. Once the plan has been formulated, an application form (attached) should be completed and sent to the RTAM office. Each chapter is eligible for a subsidy of up to $250 per fiscal year to assist with their project. Be aware that funding is limited.  Please allow 2-3 weeks for processing.

The criteria used for evaluating the WIG application are as follows:

  1. The initiative must promote member engagement.
  2. Describe the initiative to be undertaken.  Project descriptions should be complete enough to indicate how "member engagement" will be promoted and what activity/activities are involved to facilitate this.
  3. Indicate the itemized expenses and estimated costs.
  4. Indicate the date or the period of time the initiative will take place.  Completion dates may be projected at the time of the grant application.
  5. Activities for which funding is requested must take place after the application date.
  6. A description of how RTAM will be recognized for its contribution should be in the application.
  7. The exact same initiative should NOT be repeated yearly.
  8. Initiatives should avoid the direct transfer of funds received from RTAM to another organization where there is no additional chapter member involvement.
  9. A report must be sent to RTAM after the completion of the Chapter’s initiative.
  10. Initiative reports are to be received no later than 2 months after the initiative’s completion date. 
  11. Reports from a previous grant must have been received by RTAM to be eligible for another WIG.
  12. Priority will be given to first-time applications if a choice needs to be made due to budgetary constraints.

Please contact the RTAM office if you have any questions, by phone at 204-889-36601‑888‑393-8082 (toll-free) or email to office@rtam.mb.ca.

Due date for applications is April 15, each year.

DOWNLOAD THE WELLNESS INITIATIVE GRANT APPLICATION FORM HERE

Advancing Inclusion And Quality Of Life For Seniors

Report of the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons, with Disabilities

Bryan May, Chair
MARCH

DOWNLOAD THIS DOCUMENT

Health System Transformation

The Manitoba government is confident that better health care is within reach and is making bold changes to the health system that will make it more patient-focused, operate more efficiently and ensure it is safe, affordable and sustainable in the long term.

This includes the creation of a provincial health organization, Shared Health, which will enable provincial planning and integration of services, improve patient care and provide coordinated support to regional health authorities across the province - including the recruitment and retention of health professionals - and establish provincial standards of care for all Manitobans.

READ MORE

Towards Implementation of National Pharmacare Discussion Paper

A Message from the Minister of Health and the Minister of Finance

Canadians are proud of our publicly funded health care system, which is based on need and not ability to pay. However, prescription drugs are not covered in a consistent way across the country, and too many Canadians cannot afford the medicines they need.

In Budget 2018, the Government established an Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare (“the Council”), led by Dr. Eric Hoskins, to provide independent advice on how to best implement national pharmacare in a manner that is affordable for Canadians and their families, employers and governments.

DOWNLOAD THIS DOCUMENT

Promoting the Labour Force Participation of Older Canadians

The Forum of Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers Responsible for Seniors (FPT Seniors Forum) recently released a report entitled, Promoting the Labour Force Participation of Older Canadians, that highlights promising labour force initiatives to address specific workforce challenges facing older Canadians. In developing this report, the FPT Seniors Forum collaborated with federal, provincial and territorial stakeholders including private sector organizations, employers, and non‑government organizations.

The FPT Seniors Forum discusses issues of importance to seniors, shares information on seniors’ well-being, and undertake initiatives to advance issues of common concern.

We are pleased to share this report with you on behalf of the FPT Seniors Forum and encourage you to share and discuss this report further with your networks.

Sincerely,

Seniors and Healthy Aging Branch / Direction des personnes âgées et vieillissement en santé
3078 -300 Carlton Street / 300, rue Carlton, bureau 3078
Winnipeg MB R3B 3M9 / Winnipeg (Manitoba) R3B 3M9
Phone: 204 945-6565 / Téléphone : 204 945‑6565
Toll-free: 1-800-665-6565 / Sans frais : 1-800- 665‑6565
email: seniors@gov.mb.ca / Courriel : seniors@gov.mb.ca
website: www.gov.mb.ca/seniors / Site Web : www.gov.mb.ca/seniors/index.fr.html

Extortion scams

Overview

Extortion scams refer to any person who unlawfully obtains money, property or services from a person, entity or institution through coercion. Scammers come up with new reasons why you urgently need to pay them money.

 

Hostage Scam

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) is receiving reports from Canadian companies who are being scammed. The companies receive emails followed up with phone communication from suspects misrepresenting themselves/impersonating legitimate organizations, such as "National Defence" or the "Minister of Public Safety". The communication is an attempt to obtain ransom for employees through hostage-taking scams or proprietary information. While the ransom demand is real, the actual hostage-taking is fake.

The emails are using generic domains, such as minister.com. They are well-constructed to appear to come from the Canadian Government or a person/company that may be known to the recipient. The suspects are targeting various levels within the company and often try to reach key executives to further the ransom demand.

The Little Black Book of Scams 2nd edition - Competition Bureau Canada

READ THE COMPLETE ARTICLE

Photography Workshop 2019 - A Huge Success

RTAM, through the Wellness Committee held a Photography Workshop at the Park Cafe, Assiniboine Park. Click below to watch the video.

Elections

 

Committee Chair & Member/s

 



Ken Malcolm
Dauphin

Elections Chair
Committee Report to the 2020 RTAM AGM

Respectfully submitted by Joan Dawson, Chair (Thompson)

Members: Bill Cann (director), Arlene Billeck (RWTA), Laurel McFarlane (RWTA), Pat Opalko (RWTA), Emily Williamson (RWTA), Lynda Tunny (RWTA) 

In keeping with past practise, The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of RTAM alternates between a Winnipeg location and a non-Winnipeg location. The 2020 AGM is being held in Winnipeg at the Holiday Inn Winnipeg Airport West. Due to the Covid 19 pandemic the AGM has been postponed until August 18 and 19 and will still be in the Holiday Inn Winnipeg Airport West. 

The Retired Women Teachers Association have volunteered to host this event with the assistance and cooperation of our very capable office staff. Together we have planned several interesting events including a tour of the RTAM website by Gayl Punzalan, our webmaster and KIT publisher, a celebration of Manitoba 150 and RTAM’s 31st year at the Tuesday evening reception and some very interesting guest speakers.  We are looking forward to the AGM and the hospitality of the RWTA in August and thank them for their hard work and the great ideas they have shared.

The Election process for AGM 2020 is under the oversight of Committee members Joan Dawson and Bill Cann. The Election Scrutineers will be RWTA members Emily Williamson, Laurel McFarlane and Arlene Billeck. 

As is past practise the next AGM will be in a non-Winnipeg location. RTAM is still looking for a Chapter to host the 2022 AGM. 

Seniors Coalition

COMMITTEE MEMBERS

RTAM Members on the Manitoba Seniors Coalition:

  • Peggy Prendergast
  • Linda Scott.
ABOUT THE MANITOBA SENIORS COALITION

THE MANITOBA SENIORS COALITION is a coalition of Manitoba organizations interested in the spectrum of issues affecting older adults in Manitoba.  Though each organization has individual priorities and mandates, collectively we aim to ensure that older Manitobans thrive and age well.

Income Security - Income Tax Tips

Tax season is coming soon.  The Income Tax slips started coming this week in the mail.  A letter sent recently by Canada’s Minister of Seniors, Deb Schulte, to RTAM states at the outset “Filing taxes is important to make sure individuals get all the benefits they are entitled to, especially low-income seniors.”

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Letter to Premier Brian Pallister

December 9, 2020

Premier Brian Pallister
Manitoba Government
204 - 450 Broadway Avenue
Winnipeg, MB R3C 0V8

Premier

The Manitoba Seniors Coalition is a coalition of Manitoba organizations interested in the spectrum of issues affecting older adults in Manitoba. Though each organization has individual priorities and mandates, collectively we aim to ensure that older Manitobans thrive and age well.

In June, the Manitoba Seniors Coalition shared a list of priorities that are important to support older Manitobans. Many support healthy aging, while others ensure that there are adequate supports in place for when aging independently isn’t possible.

The urgency of some of these issues has been spotlighted and exacerbated by the second wave of Covid-19 in Manitoba. It has been particularly evident in the high mortality rate amongst older people.

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Student Success Portfolios

 

 

Committee Chair and Members


Joan Zaretsky
Winnipeg

Chair
 
MEMBERS
  • Beth Smith
  • Joan Dawson (guest consultant)
  • Linda Blair
 
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October 27th is National Mentoring Day!

Student Success Portfolio Program

Mentoring:  The Role of the RTAM Sponsor

October 27th is National Mentoring Day!
Celebrate the day with your family member!

            We recognize that you have all been teachers in order to be members of the Retired Teachers Association of Manitoba.  Most of you have also been mentors without using the formal term to apply to your work to support your students.  In a mentoring workshop, the presenter proposed the difference between teachers and mentors.  Teachers are individuals who instruct students as to what they need to know and mentors are individuals who serve as role models and ask questions to support the student developing critical thinking skills to learn and practice new concepts.

            Mentoring has been defined as “the process by which a trusted and experienced colleague (mentor) takes a professional and personal interest in the development and education of a less experienced, often younger colleague (protégé)”.  This certainly defines the role you will play with your high school family member in supporting them to develop their portfolio. As a mentor, you will play a nurturing role in an ongoing caring relationship with your student. 

            There are three dimensions of a mentor role which most of you will unconsciously take on in our Portfolio Program, resulting from your many experiences as a teacher and leader with students.  The first dimension of a mentor is Service Provider.  The role of Service Provider in our program starts with your discussion with your family member to participate in this program and to sign up using the application form.  You will continue in this role when you communicate with your student on an ongoing basis and provide questions and resources to assist them with their portfolio.  The Support Provider is a natural role in our program.  You will become the confidant for your student, the advisor and friend. One of the goals of our program is that your communication with your student will develop into a long term ongoing caring relationship which will exceed the course of their high school years as they create their portfolio. The Assistance Provider role involves you becoming a collaborator, a coach and a role model for your student.  These three roles or dimensions will be a natural fit for you as the sponsor and our Committee will make efforts to continue to offer you support to fulfil them with your student. 

            October 27th is National Mentoring Day. National Mentoring Day aims to educate, inspire, connect and support mentoring to effect positive change and elevate mentoring throughout the world.  We hope you will contact a family member who is a high school student and start the mentoring process.  This is a “win-win” process for all involved and we believe your student will be so thankful for the mentoring support you offer.  The true value will be most appreciated when your student has at their fingertips all the artifacts of their high school journey found in their portfolio.  These will provide the information the student needs to develop grant and bursary applications, to write cover letters for jobs and to support their university applications to ensure they are enrolled in a post-secondary institution upon graduation!

            Sign up today!  Our Committee is onboard assisting you and your student in this program.  A portfolio will be sent to your student with inserts providing guidance to get started. You will be sent “Monthly Discussion Starters” each month to assist you in your mentor role.  We are here to mentor you through our ongoing website information and upcoming KIT articles! We hope to hear about your mentoring successes, challenges and suggestions in our upcoming research project being introduced this month by our researcher, Andrew Augustyn.  If you are enrolled, watch for his letter of invitation to participate in this exciting research activity!

           

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General Information about the Project
Project Benefits for All Involved

 

For those of you who have not yet completed an application to enroll your family member into the Student Success Portfolio Project, below are some reasons to participate in this “win-win” program.  There are benefits for everyone involved!

RTAM  MEMBER  BENEFITS

STUDENT  BENEFITS

1.     The project will provide the means and incentive to increase communication between RTAM members and their family high school students they are sponsoring.

1      Portfolios encourage the collection of artifacts and evidence by the student to support their successful writing of award and scholarships applications.

2.     Recognizing the importance of a post-secondary education, RTAM members can feel pride in the role they will play in supporting their family members to be awarded funding to help with the high costs of today’s world.

2      Portfolios help students focus on their knowledge, skills and attitudes to support their successful applications for bursaries and scholarship.

3.     This project will provide RTAM members with an opportunity to experience renewed passion in their roles as teacher and mentor working with their family members.

3      Portfolios help students track their changes and growth in important leadership skills through their high school experience.

4.     RTAM member involvement with their family members will promote positive mental health opportunities during a time when COVID has caused many to experience social and physical isolation.

4      Portfolios assist the student in becoming more aware of their own learning experiences and history.

5.     RTAM member involvement will support a sense of purpose in their lives and offer them a sense of social value to society.

5      Portfolios provide a framework to encourage students’ self-assessment leading to a more accurate choice of how they want to spend their future, their career aspirations.

6.     RTAM members will increase their opportunities to know and understand their youth family members’ challenges and issues while developing a relationship and creating a sense of trust.

6      Portfolios provide a framework with resources for building a resume and completing university/college entrance applications as well as job applications.

7.     RTAM members can offer direct input into the writing of the applications to enhance the students’ chances of being successful.

7      Portfolios save the student the time and agony of trying to recall their experiences and gather all their information to complete applications in their graduating year.

 

8      Portfolios provide students support to practice informed decision-making regarding their personal and professional opportunity selections.

As you can see by reading this, there are benefits for both of these intergenerational groups, promoting a “Win-Win” situation for all involved!

 

 

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The “New Horizons for Seniors” Grant

Last September, the members of the Student Award Committee decided to explore the “New Horizons for Seniors” grant opportunities and found it was a great match for our desire to explore using portfolios with students sponsored by RTAM members. When we reviewed their Program Objectives and National Priorities, we found an alignment which was conducive to our Project goals.  We selected to apply for a $5,000 grant as we believed that this would give us the start-up funding to get our project off the ground.

Below is our response to the application question #25, explaining how we will meet their Program Objectives and National Priorities.  It will be obvious how this was the ideal grant for us to seek for funds.

“In terms of the Program Objectives, RTAM is a non-profit organization of 10,159 retired teachers and all aspects of this project, as with all RTAM initiatives, will be run on a volunteer basis by seniors.  Our Student Success Portfolio project has been planned, and will be implemented, totally by senior women volunteers.  While the project development and delivery has been developed by the Student Awards Committee, the success of the project will be promoted and delivered by volunteer seniors across the province.

The social participation of seniors will be fostered across the province, including Northern Manitoba, through various public relation channels.  We have 18 local Chapters and 3 out-of-province Chapters (Alberta and British Columbia) who will be offered opportunities to regularly communicate with their members about this project.  We have a provincial quarterly magazine called “Keeping in Touch” (KIT) which is designed, written and published by seniors and mailed to all members.  As well, we host a website for our members to access and learn more about this project.  These will all be used to generate interest and participation in our project.

Because our membership is comprised totally of former teachers, mentoring a family member and teaching them about the importance of this portfolio will be a natural fit for many.  They may find themselves asking their student questions in casual conversations throughout the school year such as “Have you put any new artifacts into your portfolio?”  “What have you been doing?” “What can you put in your portfolio to serve as a reminder at graduation time when you are applying for scholarships of this activity/passion/leadership opportunity in which you have been involved?”  “Did you know you can consider placing … into your portfolio?” offering interesting suggestions.  The seniors will serve a mentoring role in the project.

With social participation as a program objective, our project offers our RTAM members social participation with their high school grandchildren and/or nieces or nephews.  With COVID implications, our project involves seniors using various means of communication (letters, cards, phone calls, Facetime, email, Skype and other forms of visual online communication) within their home setting when it is not possible or safe to hold face-to-face visits.  Being involved in these forms of communications offers the seniors a reason to communicate with their family sponsor above and beyond only signing off on their application forms.

In terms of National Priorities, healthy aging will be supported through the various senior connections with their youth applicants.  Through the communication and engagement with the family members, we believe this project will address some members’ feelings of loneliness and social isolation.  It will boost their mental health by offering a purpose in their lives to enhance their sponsored applicants’ success in collecting and reflecting upon their portfolio artifacts.  Student will have someone they can trust and work with as a team to create their applications with success.

Thus, our RTAM Student Success Portfolios project supports both the New Horizons Program Objectives and National Priorities.”

RTAM was awarded the $5,000 grant in early March, 2021.  Since then, we have used our funds to purchase the portfolios, to cover the mailing of the portfolios out to students, for the design of our logo and for the French translation of student materials.  Part of our funding has been allocated for a research project which we will hopefully be undertaking with some University of Manitoba Masters students in their fall Qualitative Research Course.  The study will help us to determine what has been working successfully, what are some challenges faced by our RTAM members and their student relatives and what we can do to improve the project in the upcoming years.  More will be shared once we have found our students and work together collaboratively to determine the design of the research project.

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Application for Portfolio Form
The Portfolio - English
The Portfolio - French
Monthly Discussion Starters
FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions