A large turnout of retired teachers assembled in Killashee House Hotel on Thursday (08/06/2017) for the summer get together.
Cathaoirleach, Ted Rooney kicked off the meeting by introducing Mary McCarthy (Laois Branch) who represents us on the National Committee. Mary gave us a short summation of Mark Morgan’s recent address to the executive on Positive Aging. We know how important exercise is but Mark also stresses the importance of intellectual challenge and social interaction.
Memory slips should not overly concern us we were glad to hear as there is forgetfulness in all age groups and the brain has great capacity to protect itself.
Ted continued with a report on the social events of the group.
Peadar Cunningham, Martin Hoban and Vincent Hogan were the winners of the first golf outing of the season in Millicent – “one hard course” it was reported. The September meeting will be “a champagne scramble” seemingly a far more social event than singles.
Classes continue in the Town House Hotel every second Wednesday. New members welcome.
Ted encouraged those with other ideas for social engagements e.g. Bridge players to contact branch
TRIP TO DERRY
Maureen McCormack gave a comprehensive account of the trip. She thanked Rena McAllen for the wonderful organisation. However she did forget to mention the Raglan Road duet in the Patrick Kavanagh Centre and her very interesting account of life in Monaghan when she lived there.
Fidelma Farrell spoke about the healthy finances of the branch.
GENERAL SECRETARY ADDRESS
Billy arrived well prepared as usual with handouts on current issues of interest to us. He had good and bad news.
- The good news is that under the proposed new pay deal which will kick in from Jan 2018 to December 2020 confirms that pension parity will be maintained between pensions and pay scales. This will benefit those who retired in the last five years initially. Those who retired before that are already on a higher pension.
- Good news also that the amount exempt from Public Sector Pension Reduction (PSPR) rises from €26,000 (1 Jan 2017) to €34,132 on 1 Jan 2018. The bad news is that for those on a pension exceeding €34,000 they will still have to pay PSPR. It will be a tough battle to move that amount upwards as the number of unions fighting the cause has decreased. The case
- The first of the RTAI Bursaries under the new criteria (for those engaged in a learning non-academic activity) have been awarded and it was acknowledged that the recognition of such activities was as important to recipients as the financial support.
- Fitness to teach – Billy informed us that the first case is now in the High Court. This is quite an evolution in the teaching profession, being teacher controlled with licence withdrawal if guilty. The case was heard in private which is a change from initial plan for public hearing.
WELL DONE MARY
Before closing the meeting, Ted congratulated Mary, our former branch Secretary who ably served us for 6 years having volunteered for the position. It is due to her excellent skills in communication, finance and administration that our branch is in such a healthy condition. He thanked her on behalf of all members and presented her with a Voucher and Bouquet.
Following a raffle with prizes a-plenty – thanks to Fidelma’s organisation – we adjourned to the older part of Killashee for lunch – fine food in a stately atmosphere.
Well done to Committee.