Does the IEA even want retirees, except as a bargaining chip?

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That only a handfull of members state-wide participated in the IEA Retired delegate election may shock some.

It didn’t shock me. And not some others, if my email is any measure.

Dear Fred,

I agree the election was probably just a vehicle for connected ex-leadership types to have their continued participation in I.E.A. “legitimized”. I don’t think it was ever intended to give the average retiree a voice in I.E.A. or N.E.A. meetings. It may also show something the I.E.A. did not intend.

Could it be that the reason retirees don’t vote, electronically or otherwise, because they know the I.E.A. doesn’t really believe in, represent, or speak to the interests of retirees?

Is lack of participation by I.E.A. retired members an indicator of members “voting with their feet” ? Maybe some retirees choose to join a different organization that actually tries to protect their interests? Maybe retirees are tired of being sold out after I.E.A. collects the dues?

Where are retiree membership numbers headed? How many in that number are “lifetime” members who no longer choose to participate in the I.E.A. because of it’s willingness to throw retirees under the bus? How many see I.E.A. retired as nothing more than a conduit for retired “insiders” to continue to be a part of I.E.A. leadership, even though they don’t really lead anything?

Face it. We don’t belong to the club. Why would I.E.A. even care if retirees vote? We don’t matter to them except as a bargaining chip to be negotiated away.

– Hugh

Hugh, and the others who wrote me, could be right.

There are several possible reasons for an election in which the top vote-getter, former IEA President Bob Haisman, got a measly 6% of the alleged total membership.

Either the process was so complicated and lacking in thought that members threw up their hands and walked away.

The leadership called the election “a work in progress.” That is crazy. Irresponsible. Maybe illegal.

Maybe neither the leadership nor the membership cared.

There is a wide-spread feeling among former teachers and education workers who originally moved their active membership to IEA Retired that the organization simply doesn’t represent their interests.

Many of these joined as life-time members, but can’t get a refund and are still counted on the membership rolls

And then there is the view that since we are not a profit center, the leadership would just as soon not have us around.

Except, Hugh points out, as a vehicle for connected ex-leadership men like Haisman and another former IEA President, Ken Swanson, to have their continued participation in I.E.A. “legitimized.”

Haisman calls his pal Ken Swanson a “pension warrior.” If that guy is a “warrior,” he certainly has gone AWOL.

I wouldn’t argue Hugh’s point.


5 Replies to “Does the IEA even want retirees, except as a bargaining chip?”

  1. You “hit the nail on the head!” I paid my dues to IEA; and my local stopped representing/negotiating on my behalf which resulted in my salary being frozen and the loss of my step a few years ago. When the state wanted to take a “pension holiday,” I was urged to support it. When the state wanted to reduce pension benefits, I was told (the all too often quoted phrase) “we (IEA) were at the table and this is the best we can do.” When I questioned the leadership in financial meetings or at the RA, I was skillfully redirected and shut down.

    As a retiree I am disgusted with the greed and avarice displayed by IEA leadership as well as their lack of commitment to each and every member. I know voting is pointless. I tried to improve the union, voted and participated when I was a teacher. I got tired of being “slapped in the face,” lied to, and shut down. I no longer support their directives. I am really ashamed I am an IEA member.

    I joined the IRTA when they refused to negotiate with the thieves of the state. They have an interest in the people who paid for their retirement and acknowledge that the retired teacher is ENTITLED (we paid for a pension with every paycheck) to the meager pensions most of us receive. The IRTA spent the money to fight in the Supreme Court and helped protect me.

    The IEA is a joke! Keep exposing them, Fred. They really are afraid of you=the truth!

    1. Nope. I was never ensnared by teaching. I chose teaching and enjoyed my work. I hope you never felt “ensnared” by what you spent your life doing.

      1. I’m sincerely glad for you, Fred. Unfortunately, my livelihood was a surprise and mostly a survival ensnarement. The best part was when my expertise led me to a training job. That was very worthwhile to me.

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