British Columbia Retired Teachers’ Association

Location

100-550 West 6th Avenue, Vancouver, BC, V5Z 4P2
604-871-2260 or 604-871-2262 Toll free 1-877-683-2243 Fax: 604-871-2265

Office Staff

Executive DirectorTim Andersontim@bcrta.ca
Office AdministratorKristi Josephsonkristi@bcrta.ca
Administrative AssistantLaurie Boydlaurie@bcrta.ca
Web: www.bcrta.caFacebook: www.facebook.com/BCRTA/Twitter: twitter.com/bcrta1

The Organization

The BC Retired Teachers’ Association is a provincial organization that enables its 17,000+ members to speak with one voice about the interests, concerns and wellbeing of retired educators in BC; and the BCRTA provides its members with access to superior benefit programs that can save members’ money.

The BCRTA maintains an office in Vancouver, and staff are available for service to members 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM Monday to Friday.

The Annual General Meeting, held in September, elects the Board of Directors and makes other major decisions for the organization.

The Board of Directors is elected from members from around the Province, and full board meetings generally occur six times per year.  The Directors are advised by a number of standing committees that meet prior to each Board meeting.

BCRTA members are also members of the Canadian Association of Retired Teachers (ACER-CART). Most members also belong to the RR Smith Memorial Fund Foundation, a separate, Charitable Foundation which supports various education-related projects in Canada and around the world.

Branches

There are 48 branches across the province, with memberships ranging from a few to over a thousand.

Many branches provide social activities for their members and many provide learning opportunities and are active in advocating for improvements to government policies affecting seniors.

Each branch elects delegates to the BCRTA Annual General Meeting, with the size of a delegation determined by the branch’s membership count.

History

After the BC Teachers’ Federation was formed in 1917, retired teachers began meeting in private homes in Vancouver, and they formed themselves into an association with the primary purpose of improving teachers’ pensions. At about the same time a group of retired teachers in Victoria formed an association with the same goal.

In time, the two groups joined in common purpose, which led to the formation in 1945 of the BCRTA. It registered as a Society in 1955.

Volunteers ran the Association’s first office. In 1965 the BCTF, then headquartered in its Burrard Street building, gave the retired teachers an office equipped with a desk, a typewriter, a telephone, and some files and records. Now in its bigger building on West 6th Avenue, the BCTF continues to provide office and meeting space to the BCRTA.

With the growth in membership and increasing demands for service, it became necessary to hire staff, at first part-time, and then full-time.

The goals of the Association have expanded in response to member demands, but a main focus is still on pensions and benefits. The BCRTA Constitution makes the main purpose of the BCRTA clear, ” to promote the interests and to guard the welfare of its members”.

While the organization has always been and remains politically non-partisan, it writes to and meets with politicians – from all parties, provincial and federal – in order to advocate for legislation, regulations and policies that will maintain or improve the quality of life of its members.

Zones

Once a year branch representatives gather in central locations in each of seven zones around BC. They discuss the operation of their branches, celebrating their successes and brainstorming concerns. Pairs of Directors also attend these meetings, to offer help where needed, to discuss provincial level BCRTA activities, to learn about branch activities and concerns, and to share information about services available through the BCRTA office.

Affiliated Organizations

The BCRTA maintains ties with the National Pensioners’ Federation (NPF), the Council of Senior Citizens’ Organizations of BC (COSCO), and the BC branch of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, a valuable source of statistics and other information about taxation, government services and social conditions. From time to time we also work cooperatively with organizations such as the BC Health Coalition, the Canadian Health Coalition, and First Call, a children and youth advocacy group. We send representatives to meetings of all of these organizations.

The RR Smith Memorial Fund Foundation

Most BCRTA members belong to this charitable organization. The BCRTA provides it with office and other support services when possible.

(Organizations whose membership includes all BCRTA members, and to which the BCRTA pays annual dues based on BCRTA membership numbers)

Canadian Association of Retired Teachers (ACER-CART)

National Pensioners Federation (NPF)

Council of Senior Citizens’ Organizations of BC (COSCO)

Associated Organizations

(Organizations with which the BCRTA works collaboratively from time to time in matters of common interest, and to which the BCRTA pays a regular annual fee)

Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA)

BC Health Coalition (BCHC)

(Organizations to which the BCRTA may make one-time or occasional contributions in support of projects or campaigns that align with the purposes of the BCRTA)

First Call

Canadian Health Coalition (CHC)

Constitution

1 Name

The name of the Society is the British Columbia Retired Teachers’ Association (the “Association”)

2 Purposes

The purposes of the Association are:

  • to promote the interests and to guard the welfare of its members,
  • to provide information and advice to individual members and their beneficiaries on retirement programs and benefits, to communicate to members on the activities of the Association and matters of common interest, and
  • to promote excellence in public education.

3 Member-Funded Society

This Society is a member-funded society. It is funded primarily by its members. On its liquidation or dissolution, this society may distribute its money and other property to its members.