ARTA celebrated its 60th anniversary at the annual general meeting held at the Holiday Inn Edmonton South on October 3 and 4.
Sixty-four board members and delegates received reports from officers, committees, branch presidents, and affiliated organizations, along with the audited financial statement and proposed budget for the upcoming year.
Deb Gerow, Leo Richer, and Lawrence Hrycan were re-elected to their respective positions of president, vice-president and treasurer for a second year. One new member was elected to each of the six standing committees as well.
The Communications Committee reported that the rebuilt ARTA website was launched in May. ARTAcles, the quarterly digital newsletter for ARTA 101 members is a new committee initiative. ARTAscripts is used to communicate with ARTARx subscribers. The committee is looking at increased ARTA Café space to expand ARTA marketing opportunities at all 2024 teachers’ conventions.
An unanticipated 6% increase in the Alberta Dental Fee Guide impacted the cost of claims this past year. Financial implications were considered by the Health Benefits Committee when Benefit Plan design and rate changes were made in August to ensure that plan members continue to receive the benefits currently available. Changes will be made regarding the travel insurance provider, effective November 1, 2023, to improve service to policyholders.
ARTARx pharmacy profits will be used to improve the services provided by all the benefit plan options available to association members.
In addition to the $40,000 awarded to the recipients of the six ARTA–TW Insurance Degree Scholarships and six ARTA Certificate/Diploma Scholarships, the Governance Committee awarded a $2,500 ARTA Continuing Education Scholarship to an ARTA 101 member and a $2,500 ARTA 101 Scholarship to a direct relative of an ARTA 101 member. Branch Project grants were approved for the Steppin’ Out conference hosted by the Calgary branch and the Second Wind Conference facilitated by the Edmonton area branches of retired teachers.
The Pension and Financial Wellness Committee arranged for three webinars in the first half of the last fiscal year and plans are underway for three more in the upcoming year that feature financial topics of interest to seniors. Financial topics continue to appear in news&views throughout the year as well.
The Strategic Planning and Advocacy Committee offered orientations for new board and committee members, organized two joint chairs meetings, and held a retreat for board and committee members, along with a number of branch representatives. In keeping with its advocacy role, the committee provided political questions in advance of the provincial election last spring.
ARTA is represented on the Seniors Task Force of Public Interest Alberta and four ARTA members served in different capacities on ACER-CART, the national organization of retired teachers. Both organizations continue to advocate for a national universal pharmacare program and a public health care system that prioritizes seniors’ care.
Wellness Committee members contributed wellness-related articles for publication in news&views. Information on the various dimensions of wellness appear in each edition of ARTAfacts.
Greg Jeffrey, ATA Vice-President, stated that regular meetings are being held with the Minister of Education regarding the new social studies curriculum. The existing scope and sequence remain intact; however, the actual content has not been revealed. The ATA will engage members regarding the proposed Alberta Pension Plan. The teachers’ association continues to promote a safe and welcoming learning environment and plans to reach out to the community to dispel misinformation and scary ideology.
ATRF representative Julie Joyal assured meeting attendees that their pension plan is well-funded and well-managed.
An ARTA office in Calgary to better serve members in the southern part of the province has been proposed.
ARTA continues to strive to meet the needs of the membership.
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With another successful year behind us, we continue to drive our business forward and are well on the way to fulfilling our Strategic Goals.
Many thanks to all the board members, committee members, and staff for their valuable contributions over the past year.
Click on the link below to download a PDF copy of the ARTA Annual Report.