279-R members do not need a log in. Registration is for current CTU members only so that CTU members can see sensitive information relevant to current members only.
Below is the latest 279-R updates/information:
Happy December! As I write this, we’ve just finished the midterm elections and are preparing for the winter holidays. Americans are still waiting for the final tally on the U.S. House of Representatives, and who will control that arm of government. The U.S. Senate will remain in Democrats’ control. In Ohio, we had some wins, and unfortunately, some losses in the elections for our endorsed candidates.
THANK YOU to everyone who worked for our candidates in these elections. While everything in Ohio did not go our way, the big red wave that many pundits predicted did not materialize. The principles of democracy and faith in our election process held.
As the late John Lewis, Congressman and civil rights leader, said: “Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year; it is the struggle of a lifetime. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.”
279-R Retiree Activists, we will be ready to fight another day!
December 279-R Meeting CHANGED!
Our December 8 General Meeting on ZOOM has been cancelled. Instead, we are happy to announce that we will hold a General Meeting and Holiday Gathering IN PERSON on Wednesday, December 14, 2022 at 11:30 a.m. at the Pipefitters Hall located at 6305 Halle Drive in Valley View, 44125.
Special thanks to Tom Luvison for his successful search for a suitable location for this in-person, combination General Meeting and Holiday Party for December.
The hall was not available on our original meeting date of Thursday, December 8, but we were able to reserve WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2022 instead. Please mark the change of date on your calendar. We hope to see many of you there!
DON’T FORGET TO BRING YOUR 2022-2023 279-R MEMBERSHIP CARD TO THE MEETING! You will need to show proof of membership to attend this meeting. If you have not yet joined 279-R this year, you can bring a check for $50 for your annual dues to the meeting. Alanna Meyers-Kiousis and the Membership Committee will be happy to accept your dues and sign you up at the meeting!
279-R Community Engagement Project:
Feed the Hungry
Once again, our Community Engagement Project for November and December is the Greater Cleveland Food Bank Drive. Our 279-R membership has always given generously to the Food Bank, which distributes much-needed food to people in our region.
Throughout the pandemic, the need has only grown.
Please consider donating to the Food Bank through 279-R. You can bring a check to the December 14 meeting, or mail a check (made out to GCFB) to the CTU office, and we will get it to the Food Bank.
Make your check out to: Greater Cleveland Food Bank. Put 279-R in the memo note at the bottom of your check. Mail your check to: 279-R, The Halle Building, 1228 Euclid Avenue, Suite 300, Cleveland, OH 44115. We will do the rest. Again, thank you so much for your generosity. Remember, one dollar provides four nutritious meals.
Donations to Scholarship Fund
We welcome your donations to our Scholarship Fund, especially since we are not meeting in person regularly, and cannot hold scholarship raffles each month. (There will be scholarship raffles at the December 14 meeting!)
Remember, all scholarship donation checks must be made out to: 279-R NEO AFT. On the memo line of the check, write Scholarship Fund.
The following people recently made donations: John and Pamela Hummer in memory of Joanne DeMarco and Russell Kalbrunner. Thank you! We appreciate your generosity.
All scholarship donations go directly into the 279-R Scholarship Fund at Cleveland State University. If we missed listing your scholarship donation, please contact us at 216-482-2281.
How to Contact Us
Our direct numbers are: Membership Information 216-482-2281; Pension Line (STRS or SERS) 216-482-2282; other calls 216-482-2280. If no one answers, please leave a message spelling your last name, and phone number. You will receive a call as soon as possible.
We encourage you to access our retiree link from the CTU website. The website address is listed under the letterhead of this newsletter. Check it periodically for other news and updates.
Stay safe and enjoy your holidays: Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa!
Where Was the Big Red Wave?
Well, as I write this column, the 2022 election was a few days ago. Control of the U.S. Senate was recently called and will remain in Democrats’ hands. Control of the U.S. House of Representatives has still not been called at this time.
Perhaps when you receive this 279-R newsletter, the question of control will have been answered… or maybe not.
First, the Election 2022 Good News…
One fact is certain. There was NO Republican Red Wave sweeping the GOP to a crushing victory. The Republicans cannot push their retro agenda, even if they win an ultra-slim majority in the House of Representatives, which seems likely but not absolute at this time. And President Biden made it clear that he would veto any attempts to repeal the Democrats’ progressive agenda. It will be impossible for Republicans to override a Biden veto, and with Democratic control of the Senate, any regressive legislation pushed forward by a Republican-controlled Congress will die in the Senate.
What this really means is that the Republican threat to roll back the social safety net and progressive taxation will not happen, because the GOP does not have the votes. So, there will be:
Yes, the next two years could be an interesting political show at the federal level worth participating in through political action. Get ready, retirees!
…And Now, the Election 2022 Bad News
Now to a more sober commentary with a small silver lining around a dark cloud.
The AFL-CIO and OFT endorsed candidates for Ohio elective offices did not fare well in the 2022 election.
Tim Ryan, candidate for the vacant Ohio U.S. Senate seat, Nan Whaley, candidate for Ohio governor, along with her entire executive branch slate, and our three candidates for the Ohio Supreme Court---Jennifer Brunner, Terri Jamison, and Marilyn Zayas---all lost to their Republican opponents.
Only Democratic challenger Greg Landsman unseated longtime Republican Congressman Steve Chabot, increasing the Ohio Democratic delegation to five. Shontel Brown, Marcy Kaptur, Emilia Sykes, and Joyce Beatty are the other four congresspersons from Ohio elected as Democrats. It should be noted that Emilia Sykes won Tim Ryan’s vacated congressional seat from the Youngstown area, District 13.
Although at the Ohio state and county levels some AFL-CIO, OFT and Democratic party-endorsed candidates did win their races, Democrats are still in the minority in Ohio’s General Assembly.
In Cuyahoga County, it should be noted that our endorsed candidate Chris Ronayne, Democrat, was elected Cuyahoga County Executive. Only two Ohio counties have the executive/county council form of county government. Cuyahoga County and Summit County are those counties.
Happy Holidays to one and all! See you at the 279-R Holiday Party on Wednesday, December 14, 2022. Check this 279-R newsletter (below, and page 1 and 4) for details.
Holiday Greetings from the Membership Committee! We are excited to announce that we will be having a General Meeting/Holiday Party on WEDNESDAY, December 14. You must be up to date on your membership dues to attend. You must bring your membership card to the meeting/party. Please call or text me if you have any concerns: 216-577-6480.
If you have not renewed your membership, you can bring cash, check, or money order to the meeting/party. We will have forms there for you to fill out and renew or join instantly. Then join everyone in a joyous celebration of our solidarity and commitment to one another.
A reminder to all our sisters and brothers: this will be the LAST newsletter sent out to people who are not up to date on their dues. You don’t want to miss out on all the valuable stuff in our newsletter, so RENEW, and continue to receive our informative, funny, and community-building publication.
This holiday, consider voting with your disposable income by buying union. For a list, go to: www.aflcio.org/holidaygifts .
And now for one of the most unusual moments in trade union history---it occurred in 1969 when an attempt was made by unemployed actors, part-time bar staff, and others donning the red suit to create a brotherhood of Father Christmas and Santa Claus trade union.
Some of the proposed requirements were to “endeavour to bring the spirit of fantasy to bear on each child’s visit” and “not to make any promises, unless they intend to keep them in reality.” One civil servant struck out the word “blah,” describing it as “completely meaningless.”
The application also barred any members of the union from claiming to be the sole and genuine Father Christmas, and appointed an executive director with the title of Super-Santa and a treasurer called Sterling Santa.
Monthly Reports to Be Delayed
Editor’s Note: The November and December holiday schedule caused adjustments to the 279-R newsletter schedule. Bottom line: the November and December STRS Ohio Board meeting reports will be in the December and January newsletters, respectively. There is no Board meeting in January, so we’ll be back on schedule in February.
Dan MacDonald and Robert Walters, 279-R’s STRS Ohio representatives, recommend that you register for STRS meetings and log on to “attend” virtually, even if you can’t pay close attention for the entire time. It is essential that STRS Board members know we are watching them. Our attendance at the monthly meetings, virtually or in person, is important.
You can attend STRS Board meetings by going to www.strsoh.org and registering for the meeting prior to the day of the meeting. Registration opens the Friday before the meeting; that’s December 9 for the next Board meeting on December 15, 2022.
STRS Ohio enrollees with STRS health care coverage in October 2022 should have received a non-taxable $600 premium rebate for each enrollee, paid in their December 1 benefits payment.
Dan and Rob send their best wishes to all members for a happy holiday season and happy new year in 2023. Arriving along with the new year, beginning January 1, all those nasty health insurance co-pays and deductibles will be reset for 2023.
Dan MacDonald and Robert Walters
The Community Engagement Committee reported that during September and October, 279-R members donated 151 new pairs of socks that have been delivered to the homeless, and an additional $340 that is being used to purchase additional good-quality socks. Thank you for another successful campaign to help the less fortunate in our Cleveland community as winter approaches.
Happy Holidays, but Not for Everyone:
Some Tips for Coping with Stress, Depression, and the Holidays
Stress and depression can ruin your holidays and hurt your health. Being realistic, planning ahead, and seeking support can help ward off stress and depression.
With some practical tips, you can minimize the stress that accompanies the holidays. And you may even end up enjoying the holidays more than you thought you would.
Tips to Prevent Holiday Stress and Depression
When stress is at its peak, it's hard to stop and regroup. Try to prevent stress and depression in the first place, especially if the holidays have taken an emotional toll on you in the past.
Acknowledge your feelings. If someone close to you has recently died or you can't be with loved ones for other reasons, realize that it's normal to feel sadness and grief. It's OK to take time to cry or express your feelings. You can't force yourself to be happy just because it's the holiday season.
Reach out. If you feel lonely or isolated, seek out community, religious, or other social events or communities. Many have websites, online support groups, social media sites, or virtual events. They can offer support and companionship.
It may help to talk to a friend or family member about your concerns, with a text, call, or video chat. Volunteering your time or doing something to help others is another good way to lift your spirits and broaden your friendships.
Be realistic. The holidays don't have to be perfect. As families change and grow, traditions and rituals often change as well. Find new ways to celebrate.
Set aside differences. Try to accept family members and friends as they are, even if they don't live up to all of your expectations. Set aside any grievances until a more appropriate time for discussion. And be understanding if others get upset or distressed---chances are they're feeling the effects of holiday stress and depression, too.
Stick to a budget. Before you do your gift and food shopping, decide how much money you can afford to spend. Then stick to your budget. Don't try to buy happiness. Try these alternatives: donate to a charity in someone's name; give homemade gifts; start a family gift exchange.
Plan ahead. Set aside specific days for shopping, baking, connecting with friends, and other activities.
Learn to say no. Saying yes when you should say no can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed. Know your limits and respect them.
Don't abandon healthy habits. Don't let the holidays become a free-for-all. Overindulgence only adds to stress and guilt. Eat healthy meals. Get enough sleep. Include daily physical activity. Avoid excessive tobacco and alcohol use. Try deep breathing, meditation, or yoga to maintain calm.
Take a breather. Make some time for yourself. Find an activity you enjoy that reduces stress. Clear your mind, slow your breathing, and restore inner calm.
Lastly, seek professional help if you need it.
Take control of the holidays! With a little planning and some positive thinking, you can find peace and joy during the holidays.
[Source: The Mayo Clinic]
Margo A. Johnson Quigley passed on November 3, 2022. Send online condolences at www.tomonandsons.com .
Janice Maryann Wood passed on March 16, 2022. Send online condolences at www.efboyd.com .
Karen Bosiacki and her husband Bob Bosiacki continue to recover from separate surgeries and hospital stays. Send get-well wishes to them both at 7419 Amber Lane, Brecksville, OH 44141.
Theresa Ormandy 216-741-6764
Wishing you all the best,
this season and always.
The Officers and Executive Council
Members of 279-R NEO AFT
Page Last Updated: Nov 15, 2022 (10:58:00)