EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR UPDATE - Alan Burke September 2022

The 2022 WSSRA Convention is set for September 12-14 at the Great Wolf Lodge in Grand Mound. For the first time in three years, we are looking forward to getting together in person and setting the stage for a strong post-COVID WSSRA year in 2022-23.  With Delegate Assembly conducted via US mail in May and June, this year’s convention will feature additional keynotes and breakout sessions.

Information on the potential phase out of Uniform Medical Plan Classic as a Medicare supplement—a decision now delayed until at least 2024 by the Health Care Authority—can be found under the “Current News” tab. In addition, a recording of the August 22 HCA/PEBB webinar reviewing 2023 Medicare supplement options is posted under “Webinars”.

The WSSR-Foundation Trustees and the WSSRA Scholarship Committee concluded a series of meetings to review current scholarship procedures.   Revised application forms were approved by the Executive Board on August 17 and are posted on the website.

As many of you know, over the past few years the number of applications for the high school and Neil Prescott (student teacher) scholarships have dropped significantly—even to the point where we are “leaving money on the table” in not awarding grants in multiple districts.  It is of vital importance for our organization to work closely with high school counselors and career center leads, plus key communicators in college financial aid offices, to get the word out about these valuable awards. Hopefully, the newly revised and simplified application process will help. 

As always, thanks for your ongoing advocacy support. The board, based upon recommendations of the legislative committee and the WSSR-PAC, published a list of endorsed candidates for 2022 legislative races.  That list can be found on the website under the legislative tab.

In the other major fall advocacy campaign, we are asking for retirees to contact members of the Select Committee on Pension Policy as that group meets September 20, October 18, and November 15 to review pension matters—including the Plan 1 TRS and PERS COLA.  Our goal is to have the SCPP endorse a Plan 1 COLA bill for legislative consideration in January. Inflation continues, as does the serious loss of pension purchasing power for retirees.

Alan Burke, Executive Director