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Chiars Newsletter

This newsletter from the Chair of the Board of Directors is designed to keep promote ongoing communication between the Board of Directors and RTO/ERO members.


RTO/ERO continues to celebrate 50th anniversary in style

As RTO/ERO’s golden anniversary starts to wind down, our members’ enthusiasm for celebrating our 50th anniversary keeps going strong. 

Following our official 50th anniversary date on March 14, we commemorated our 50th anniversary Senate on May 28-30. Special guest speaker Bill Davis, 18th Premier of Ontario from 1971 to 1985, entertained Senate delegates and guests. View highlights of his special presentation.

Throughout the year, we have been celebrating our legacy in various ways. I’ve been thrilled to visit many districts to share RTO/ERO’s history.

You can see our celebrations in action:

It’s not too late to order 50th anniversary memorabilia for your district or yourself. Go to ouronline boutique to order your keepsake while supplies last.


Governance renewal moves forward with newly elected RTO/ERO board 

Spring Senate 2018 was significant as our first annual meeting under our new governance structure. Senate elected a nine-person board of directors as we are now incorporated under the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act. 
Term Ends

We published our first annual report, which was distributed to all members and to key stakeholders. Districts can order additional copies of the annual report by sending the request to

The new board met for the first time in our annual strategic planning session on Aug. 13-15. In addition to governance training, we focused on RTO/ERO’s financial growth – including the investment strategy for our reserve funds. 

On Sept. 23 and 24, we conducted governance training for all members of the board’s standing and advisory committees.


RTO/ERO membership tops 77,000

RTO/ERO has passed the milestone of 77,000 members. We are experiencing record membership growth in 2018, thanks to the amazing work of districts and members.

About half of new members join RTO/ERO as a direct result of referrals and recommendations from existing members. Your ambassadorship on behalf of our organization makes all the difference – nothing is more powerful than your personal experience, shared with colleagues who are approaching retirement.

On Sept. 16 and 17, we provided training for district volunteers who lead new member recruitment, through our Member Services Committee workshop. The theme of the workshop was “Recruiting into our Future,” and the event focused on sharing engagement and outreach strategies for the broader education community.

Here are some resources you may wish to share: 


RTO/ERO speaks out on advocacy issues through Vibrant Voices campaign

Vibrant Voices

RTO/ERO and the National Association of Federal Retirees have partnered to launchVibrant Voices, an advocacy coalition to represent the interests and concerns of our members and seniors.

Our first collaboration as the Vibrant Voices coalition was a digital campaign for the Ontario provincial election, supporting our strategic goal of “being a trusted voice of the broader education community.”

The campaign digital ads were viewed more than 7.5 million times from April to early June, in the lead-up to the Ontario election. Through our campaign website, almost 1,000 Ontarians sent messages to their MPP candidates showing their support for the issues of concern to our members – age-friendly communities, elder abuse and geriatric training. Many of our districts hosted all-candidates meetings or met with their local candidates to share the issues our members care about.

For the Oct. 22 municipal election in Ontario, our campaign focuses on age-friendly communities.

Visit our campaign website – – to sign the petition in support of age-friendly communities.


Use theposition paper to ask municipal candidates in your area these questions:


  • How does the concept of age-friendly communities fit into your proposed policies?
  • Where is our community on the spectrum of age-friendliness?
  • What benefits do you foresee from promoting age-friendliness in our community?
  • What are the challenges to implementing an age-friendly community?


Districts can access funding for local activities during the Ontario municipal election period. Where feasible, we encourage districts to collaborate with the Federal Retiree branch in your area.


Free membership extended for new members joining in fall 2018

As you may recall, RTO/ERO is offering free membership for new members. The board of directors approved an extension of this offer for those joining us from Sept. 1 onward. These new members will enjoy free membership until Dec. 31, 2019. 

We encourage you to share information about this special offer with friends and colleagues in the broader education community who are looking forward to retirement.


Prepare to vote in Ontario municipal election Oct. 22

If you are an Ontario resident, you can access information about the municipal election on the Ministry of Municipal Affairs website. 


Check if you are registered to vote in the municipal election.

Image of Govt Building

Upcoming events and important dates

Oct. 14-15: Pension and Retirement Concerns Committee Workshop (rescheduled from April)

Oct. 24: 2nd annual RTO/ERO advocacy day at Queen’s Park

Oct. 28-29: Presidents Workshop

Oct. 30-31: Senate

Nov. 16: Federal election agenda-setting conference


Keep in touch

Keep in contact with your Board liaison member if you have questions, need information or want to share feedback from your district.

I enjoy connecting with you in your communities. In the past two months, I have visited the following districts:

Sept. 7: District 42 Mainland British Columbia

Sept. 11: District 6 Parry Sound

Sept. 20: District 46 Muskoka

Sept. 27: District 14 Niagara

I have also represented RTO/ERO at the following recent events:

Aug. 15: ETFO Awards Banquet

Aug. 20: OTF Awards Banquet

Aug. 21: Presentation about RTO/ERO to the OTF Annual Meeting

Sept. 24: National Pharmacare Consultation

Sept. 25: RSA (Johnson Inc. “parent” company) Board Meeting

I will be visiting the following districts later this fall:

Oct. 10: District 45 EstaRiO

Oct. 22: District 39 Peel

Oct. 25: District 11 Waterloo (with Vice-Chair Rich Prophet)
Nov. 14: District 23 North York

I’m always delighted to hear from you and to receive an invitation to visit your district. Here’s how to contact me:


Twitter: @MarthaLFoster

My recent vlogs:

World Teachers Day


To make sure you don’t miss future vlogs, subscribe to the RTO/ERO YouTube channel.






Durham News and Updates

Health Canada Recall
*Blood Pressure Medications Recalled Because of Contamination with Potential Carcinogen*

Glenda Leedle, Travel Chair