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2017 EM Retired Annual Meeting

                         By Bobbie Margo

The 2017 ED MN Retired Annual Meeting was held on Friday, April 21 at the Doubletree Hilton Hotel in Bloomington.  There was a great breakfast provided and an equally great “Welcome” from President Larry Koenck to the 100+ attendees-a 50% increase from last year’s attendance.  Way to go retirees!

PDF iconClick here for all photos of the Meeting courtesy of Lowell Ueland!

Jodee Buhr presented an update on the 2017 Legislative Session. To date, 595 members (active and retired) have participated in lobbying efforts-of those-60 members have testified.  A “historical” happening in the budget proposal is the “front end” $88 million for pensions put into the Governor’s budget proposal.  But pension money is a political shell game along with political disagreements over vouchers.  Stay tuned!

Next to speak were Dan Mikel and Martha Johnson-the topic-a Social Security and a Medicare update..  Main theme-tell politicians to “scrap the cap” on Social Security.  A problem is Social Security “IOUS.”  The government borrows from Social Security-instead of raising its own money independently.  Hubert Humphrey in 1947 was the first politician to propose Medicare.  The U.S. spends twice the amount per person on health care than any other industrial nation, and our country has the worst health care outcomes.  Medicare is one of the most efficiently run government programs.  Administrative costs are about 5%.

ED MN Officers (Pres. Denise Specht, V-P Paul Mueller, Sec/Treasurer Rodney Rowe, and Ex Director Sara Gjerdrum) stopped by to bring greetings and to answer any questions. 

A sincere “thank-you” to United Educators Credit Union for providing a yummy/delicious lunch. 

Christine Thornborrow then provided us with an ESI member update.  ED MN R has over 7,000 members and, thanks to continuous membership, we are growing.  ESI is a member-led service program; these programs are solely negotiated by the 80,000+ ED MN members.

The annual business meeting followed.  The agenda and last year’s minutes were approved.  The budget, standing committee reports, and the president’s report were printed and were an included part of our annual meeting packet.  Installation of new officers was completed by ED MN Sec/Treasure Rodney Rowe.

The final presentation was by TRA Executive Director Laurie Fiori Hacking.  Because members are living longer, (oldest TRA member is 111 years old!) our TRA pension rates need to be adjusted.  Our pension needs to remain solvent; the stakeholder responsibility must be shared.

The day ended with drawings for door prizes.  This was a wonderful meeting with informative sessions, delicious food, great retiree conversations.  Plan to attend next year.  It will be time well spent!  On the horizon is the 2017 ED MN Retiree Fall Conference, September 11-13 at Ruttger’s Bay Lake Lodge in Deerwood.  Mark your calendars now in preparation for some serious retiree bonding!

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