THE TORCH: September 2006
Hugh M. Spoljaric, President
“Count Me In!”
the former Governor of
Surely, the lack of promised federal funding of over $53 billion for No Child Left Behind, has left us to fend for ourselves and added to the burden of local taxpayers. The state has played along, especially with the sanctioning of federal reporting criteria that lessens the success of our efforts. Changing test and graduation rubrics in a culture of testing is nothing more than manipulation of the public discourse. The federal objective is clear, as it is with many of their programs, and that is to continually fit their square peg into the round hole. Make the results meet their objectives, not the objectives.
At the end of the
last session of
Volunteer to go to bat for us, and for you, and to work to advance educational issues. Maybe, we weren’t born at home plate, but we can get there. A hit by one of us is a hit for all of us. “Count Me In!” for the KTF Phone Banks. “Count Me In!” for being registered to vote. “Count Me In!” for voting and supporting candidates who will advance a round peg into a round hole. “Count Me In!”.
And, that’s the Bottom Line
NEW TEACHER SEMINARS
The KTF will hold
an hour-long meeting of all newly hired teachers on Thursday, September 28, at
3:30 pm, in the
NYSUT will hold a seminar at the Kingston Holiday Inn on Tuesday, October 3, from 3:30-8 pm. It is open to any “new member” with three or less years of service. Pre-registration applications are available from Building Reps and require a reservation check for $25 that will be refunded upon attendance.
The agenda includes a light dinner, two workshops, and a Q and A session. Space is limited and the reservation deadline is Sept. 26.
KTF PHONE BANKS
The programmed phone banks are at the NYSUT office and the KTF has scheduled KTF calling sessions. Members can volunteer for as little as a two-hour session and food is served. Contact a friend and participate! It’s our voice for education and for your career.
Retiree Al Stein announces the annual formation of the Ed Adams Golf League for Educators and Staff. Although play began on Sept. 6 at the league’s course, Green Acres, new players are welcome for the Wednesday event. No partner is needed, the league fee is $37, with greens fees of $9. Contact Al at 336-5523 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MYER SCHOOL PLAYGROUND
NYS law requires all employees to receive instructional information on the NYS Right to Know law and on Blood Born Pathogens. Members can access the BOCES instructional site on their computers, view the presentation, and take the test. The testing site is available for the next month after which time delinquent members must attend an after school session to meet the requirement.
NEW? RETURNING FROM LEAVE? To be recognized and
enrolled in the KTF, new hires, including those who are transferring
membership, and those returning from leave, must join (rejoin) the KTF unit.
See your Building Rep or contact the Membership Chair, Beth Guido, at Miller.
Additionally, all members who would like to join the Moore Days Sick Bank must
enroll (reenroll). Information is available from the MDSB Chairman, Glen
Gallagher, at GW. MDSB
committee members include Chairman Glenn Gallagher, Kathy Murphy, Jim Mooney,
and Joe Previll.
ENROLLMENT: Members must submit a form donating at least one day to the bank. When a drive is held, another day must be donated. If your donated day is used, you do not have to donate another day at the time. Members returning from a semester's leave must rejoin the bank.
USE: The application form, along with an medical doctor's (MD) original note, written and presented on the doctor’s letterhead, addressing the diagnosis, illness and/or disability, the medical necessity involved, duration, and expected date of return, and sent via US Mail by and from the doctor's office to the Chairman, Glenn Gallagher at the George Washington School, 67 Wall St., Kingston, NY 12401. Under some circumstances, the committee has the right to request an additional note from another medical doctor. MDSB applications must be filed and approved PRIOR to any use of MDSB days.
Members may use up to 50 days a school year from the Bank. Days can be awarded only for personal illness, not for family illness.
THE SILVER LINING
Over 150 members of the KRTF, including 25 of the newly retired teachers, attended the annual “Not Back To School” luncheon during the first week of school when everyone else was working. Their next event will be a trip to the Hunterdon Hills Playhouse on September 25. For more information, contact the President, Don Sweeney, at (845) 679-8697.
VOTE/COPE: It’s that time of year, again, for retirees to offer your voluntary donation to NYSUT’s Political Action Committee. Your past contributions are appreciated.
Andrews Celebrates Her 69th Birthday
To commemorate her 69th birthday, actress/vocalist Julie Andrews made a special appearance at
"Maalox and nose drops and needles for knitting, Walkers and handrails and new dental fittings, Bundles of magazines tied up in string, These are a few of my favorite things.
Cadillacs and cataracts and hearing aids and glasses, Polident and Fixodent and false teeth in glasses, pacemakers, golf carts and porches with swings, These are a few of my favorite things.
When the pipes leak, When the bones creak, When the knees go bad, I simply remember my favorite things, And then I don't feel so bad.
Hot tea and crumpets, and corn pads for bunions, No spicy hot food or food cooked with onions, Bathrobes and heat pads and hot meals they bring, These are a few of my favorite things.
Back pains, confused brains, and no fear of sinnin', Thin bones and fractures and hair that is thinnin', And we won't mention our short shrunken frames, When we remember our favorite things.
When the joints ache, When the hips break, When the eyes grow dim,
Then I remember the great life I've had, And then I don't feel so bad."
Ms. Andrews received a standing ovation from the crowd that lasted over four minutes, and repeated encores.
Coordinator M.J.Reiss announces that the Yoga Breathing classes will resume soon and she can be contacted at KHS for more info.
THE TRUST TIMES
The last Tuesday in August
was the time, and the
The aggregate results of the screening were as follows:
Total Screened for Carotid Artery Disease: 91
Possible significance: 0
Total Screened for Peripheral Arterial Disease: 90
Total Screened for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm: 90
No Aneurysm: 90
Total Screened for Osteoporosis: 74<>
Low Risk: 25
Moderate Risk: 22
High Risk: 27
Please read this notice carefully and keep it where you
can find it. This notice has
information about your current
prescription drug coverage with
1. Starting January 1, 2006,new Medicare prescription drug coverage will be available to everyone with Medicare.
2. Kingston Teachers Federation (KTF) Trust has determined that the prescription drug coverage offered by the Kingston Trust NHAI Plan is expected to pay out as much or more than the standard Medicare prescription drug coverage will pay. Therefore, your current drug covered has been determined to be “creditable” coverage.
3. Read this notice carefully - it explains the options you have under Medicare prescription drug coverage, and can help you decide whether or not you want to enroll.
Starting January 1, 2006, prescription drug coverage will be available to everyone with Medicare through various Medicare prescription drug plans. All Medicare prescription drug plans will provide at least a standard level of coverage set by Medicare. Some plans might offer more coverage for a higher monthly premium.
Because your existing coverage is “creditable”, which means that it is , on average, at least as good as standard Medicare prescription drug coverage, you can keep your current NHAI coverage and not pay extra for the Medicare Part D coverage. Nor will you be required to pay extra for the Medicare drug program if you later decide to enroll within 63 days of losing your present “creditable” drug coverage.
People with Medicare can enroll in a Medicare prescription drug plan from November 15, 2005 through May 15, 2006. However, because you have existing prescription drug coverage that, on average, is as good or better than Medicare coverage, you can choose to join a Medicare prescription drug plan later. You will have the opportunity to enroll in a Medicare prescription drug plan between November 15th through December 31st each year.
If you decide to enroll in a Medicare prescription drug plan and drop your prescription drug coverage under the NHAI Plan…
If you drop
your NHAI coverage with
Your current coverage under the NHAI Plan pays for other health expenses, in addition to prescription drugs. You will still be eligible to receive all of your current health and non-prescription drug benefits if you choose to enroll in a Medicare prescription drug plan.You essentially must make one of the following choices:
1. Do nothing and you will continue to have the
exact same drug coverage that you have under the NHAI plan for the
2. Elect Medicare Part D Drug Coverage and Reject your NHAI Drug Coverage. You will be totally responsible for paying the additional Medicare Part D premium (initially $37 per month or $444 a year) and the Medicare Drug Program will become your sole drug coverage. Under Medicare Part D, you would be responsible for paying –
a. 100% of the first $250 in drug coverage;
b. Then you will pay 25% of the cost of the next $2,000 in drug charges or $500;
c. Then you pay 100% of the next $2,850 in drug charges.
d. After you have met your out of pocket limit of $3,600 ($250 + $500 + $2,850), Medicare will then pay 95% of any drugs charges in excess of $,5,100. There is no out of pocket limit under the Medicare Drug Program.
e. The Medicare drug program excludes certain drugs from coverage (drugs for anorexia, weight loss, or weight gain, fertility drugs, drugs used for cosmetic purposes or hair growth; drugs used for symptomatic relief of cough and colds; prescriptions for vitamins and fluoride preparations, inpatient drugs, barbiturates (sleeping pills); Benzodiazepines (central nervous system depressants).
f. You will NOT be eligible for any reimbursement under the NHAI Plan as long as you are covered under the Medicare drug program since reimbursement of your out of pocket drug expenses by any other plan may not be credited against your true Rx out of pocket expenses (TROOP) as required by the program. The NHAI Coordination of Benefit rules will not apply to prescription drug coverage if you elect Medicare Part D drug coverage.
also know that if you drop or lose your NHAI coverage with the
For more information about this notice or
your current prescription drug coverage...
NHAI Executive or Compliance Office for further information. NOTE: You may receive this notice at
other times in the future such as before the next Medicare enrollment period
(each November 15 to December 31) or if your current prescription coverage
changes. You also may request a copy of this Notice at any time from the
For more information about your options under
Medicare prescription drug coverage...
More detailed information will be available in October 2005 in the “Medicare & You 2006” handbook. You will get a copy of the handbook in the mail from Medicare. You may also be contacted directly by Medicare prescription drug plans. You can also get more information about Medicare prescription drug plans from these places:
• Visit www.medicare.gov for personalized help,
• Call your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (see your copy of the Medicare & You handbook for their telephone number).
• Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.
For people with limited income and resources, extra help paying for a Medicare prescription drug plan is available. Information about this extra help is available from the Social Security Administration (SSA). For more information about this extra help, visit SSA online at www.socialsecuritv.gov, or call them at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).
MEDICARE ELIGIBILITY – STATUS UPDATE REQUIRED
Retired members and their spouse must apply for Medicare benefits when they are first eligible. Medicare Part B coverage must be applied for as of the first day of the month during you attain age 65, unless you are covered as an active employee or are covered as a dependent under your spouse’s plan and your spouse is actively employed). A copy of your Medicare ID card (front and back) must be provided to the Trust Office, along with a Coverage Update when you or your spouse is first eligible for Medicare.
DENTAL CLAIMS OFFICE CHANGED 4/1/2006:Please mail all
dental claims to the NHAI Claims Office,
TESTICULAR CANCER Most women are familiar with health self-examination procedures, but there has been less emphasis on male self-examination. Testicular cancer has received public attention via the public disclosure by cyclist Greg Armstrong. The presence of the disease has been noticed because many more males are practicing self-examination. KTF Torch Editor Dianne Fried has made available a self-examination brochure for testicular cancer. They will not be distributed en masse, but all Building Reps have copies for anyone who desires it. As with many cancers, early diagnosis is the key and self-examination provides that early detection.