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NARVRE Convention Report’ May 18-19-20 2014

Sacramento, California (John Higdon, Delegate)
I was appointed by President Tom Dwyer to serve on the Financial Committee for the 39th Convention.  Met on Sunday, May 18 & after study & discussion determined that it was necessary to raise dues at $3.00 per member for 2015. The Convention body approved our recommendation -voting 34 to 22 in favor.

President Tom Dwyer gave his report, after outlining his duties, gave his report on the last two years. Also, he reiterated that we need to sign up the spouses as they will be the recipients of their husband’s full pensions.

Vice-President Newton reported we have 147 units representing 17,500 members.

He stated 786,000 people currently draw RR Retirement but only 2% of those belong to NARVRE  in past two years, 798 members have passed away. Membership needs to keep growing.

Joyce Burton, Nat’l Secretary Treasurer said the news letter is costly when not delivered. Let them know if you have a change of address. Those secretaries on local levels need to submit reports & other information on time.

Gary Faley , our Nat’l Legislative a Representative stated they are always fighting to keep pensions safe. There is no tax payer money involved in the management or paying of pensions. Our pensions with reserves of $27 billion should be solvent for many more years. A track, paying into RR Retirement, is to us. Congressional attempts to eliminate it are always on their agenda. With your help we have been successful in protecting (CPI) which gives us raises for Cost of Living.

Officers elected are: Tom Dwyer, reelected; Joyce Burton, reelected; Tony Padilla-Lester Newton – Tony Padilla -55 votes with Lester Newton -8 votes.

SinceTony Padilla vacated Area 5 Director, President Dwyer will appoint someone to replace. Rumor was that Tom Dwyer will serve his 2 year term & not run again. Odds are Tony Padilla will run for President in two yrs.

The next convention will be in St. Louis, Mo.
Hosts for this convention, Unit 65, Sacramento, Calif., did an excellent job.
Mr. AW Barrows of the RR Retirement Board was the guest speaker & he outlined the importance of NARVRE in protecting Railroad pensions. Early rail employees laid ground work for Railroader’s when they quit working. RR Retirement was the first to implement a retirement system in 1937 & through the years it has been tweaked, with the latest in 2001 when the widows bill was passed by a Democratic Congress and led to widows receiving 100% of their railroad spouse’s pension.

The RR investment fund has been a huge source of our financial security.
RR Retirement is the envy of the nation for retiring people.

Informative speakers were: Geri Clark, US RR Board; Jennifer Johnson, PLmetto, GBA; Charlene Payne, United Health; Kathy Hampton, CARE.
These speakers emphasized when you have a problem, contact your local unit so you get the right information to solve your problem.

Thank you for your confidence in sending me to represent Local 145 at the Convention.

(John Higdon, Delegate)