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  • Paula-salerno-herbart-2021-most-influential-women, congrats Madam President!

  • MEA-Retired Board of Directors Zoom meeting, 09/01/2021

  • MEA-Retired Board of Directors meeting, 09/01/2021

  • July Happy Hour gathering of the Grand Traverse Bay Area MEA-Retired chapter. Back row: Don Hakala, former MEA Board member and UniServ Director; Kay Walker Telma; former MEA/NEA Board member Tom Bousamra. Front row: Irene Brown, former MEA VP Lynn Larson.

  • President Kay Walker-Telma

  • Education Leaders 2021

  • Senator Debbie Stabenow With MEA-Retired Members Jack & Jo Ellis

Strong women LEAD, proud union staff of the mighty Michigan Education Association. Congrats MADAM president!

Nov 09, 2021

Strong women LEAD, proud union staff of the mighty Michigan Education Association. Congrats MADAM president!

“Power metrics: Under Herbart's leadership, MEA represents about 120,000 student, active and retired members and supports 1,100 MEA Locals and 550 school districts, including higher education. "I work with Michigan Department of Education, the governor's office and legislators to make sure they understand the needs of our students and members."

Biggest win: Working to get a $17 billion bipartisan school education budget passed that, for the first time, will provide equal funding for every student in the state. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed the landmark education bill in July 2021. "The MEA had a voice. We leveraged our relationships and partnerships with them so they could hear our cries. I couldn't be prouder of that."



BLUE CROSS/BLUE SHEILD MEMBERS: New: SilverSneakers will be available starting Jan. 1, 2022

Nov 04, 2021

Effective Jan. 1, 2022, Blue Cross will be offering the SilverSneakers® fitness program at no additional cost to you. This fitness and lifestyle benefit gives you opportunities to stay active, make friends and connect with your community. Exercise is a key part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and can support a healthy immune system.

SilverSneakers offers a variety of options to help you keep moving, from virtual classes you can do at home to working out at a participating fitness location. Source: National Library of Medicine SilverSneakers is a registered trademark of Tivity Health, Inc.

SilverSneakers On-Demand and SilverSneakers GO are trademarks of Tivity Health, Inc. © 2020 Tivity Health, Inc. All rights reserved. Participating locations (“PL”) are not owned or operated by Tivity Health, Inc. or its affiliates. Use of PL facilities and amenities is limited to terms and conditions of PL basic membership. Facilities and amenities vary by PL. Zoom is a third-party provider and is not owned or operated by Tivity Health or its affiliates.

SilverSneakers members who access SilverSneakers Live classes are subject to Zoom’s terms and conditions. SilverSneakers members must have Internet service to access SilverSneakers Live classes. Internet service charges are responsibility of the SilverSneakers member. Membership includes SilverSneakers instructor-led group fitness classes. Some locations offer members additional classes. Classes vary by location.

SilverSneakers Live gives you full-length, live classes and workshops on the SilverSneakers website via Zoom. Expert trainers lead classes and workshops, and no equipment is needed. Multiple activities are available per day, such as cardio dance and yoga classes, and The Happiness Effect and Balance Builder workshops.

SilverSneakers On-Demand™ gives you access to 200+ online workout videos ranging from easy, low-impact exercises to high-energy cardio. In addition, get information on nutrition, fitness challenges and more.

SilverSneakers GO™ mobile app gives you access to workout programs that can be tailored to your fitness level. You can modify exercises to different levels with just one click, schedule activities and get notifications to stay on track.

Memberships to thousands of participating locations nationwide means you can visit as many as you want, as often as you like. In addition to equipment, pools and other amenities, select locations offer group exercise classes designed for all abilities. SilverSneakers also offers fun activities held outside the traditional gym. Always talk with your primary care provider before starting an exercise program.

MEA President on latest DeVos-inspired voucher scheme

Nov 02, 2021

EAST LANSING — The following statement can be attributed to MEA President Paula Herbart regarding the announcement of an unconstitutional school voucher ballot campaign that tries again to end run Gov. Whitmer and voters:

“Michigan voters have resoundingly opposed attempts by mega-donors like Betsy DeVos to enact voucher schemes in our state. We value our neighborhood public schools and know that funneling money to private schools does nothing to provide equal opportunity for Michigan students.

“While Michigan’s public schools face many real issues, including a crippling shortage of educators to serve students, Republican lawmakers have fast-tracked yet another unconstitutional effort to ignore the will of voters. Gov. Whitmer has rightly committed to vetoing this legislation. Now, another ballot measure has been announced to end-run her office and make a mockery of our democracy and our Constitution.

“This comes at a time when our public school educators are often doing more with less to serve the academic, social and emotional needs of our students as we recover from the pandemic. Instead of working to support these efforts, this is just another partisan game.

“MEA will always stand up for the promise of public education, the dedicated educators who work in our schools, and the students they serve in every Michigan community. If donors like Betsy DeVos want to fight again over the same tired, rejected ideas that pit students, families and communities against each other, MEA and our members will fight back once more – while we work tirelessly to ensure every student, regardless of where they live, benefits equally from a quality public education.”

NOTE: MEA is urging members and the public to submit messages to Gov. Whitmer in support of her veto of HBs 5404-05 and SBs 687-88.

The mission of the MEA is to protect, advocate, and advance the rights of all education professionals to promote quality public education for all students.

Great news for SS in 2022!

Oct 14, 2021

Social Security Announces 5.9 Percent Increase for 2022


Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for approximately 70 million Americans will increase 5.9 percent in 2022, the Social Security Administration announced today.

The 5.9 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits payable to more than 64 million Social Security beneficiaries in January 2022. Increased payments to approximately 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on December 30, 2021. (Note: some people receive both Social Security and SSI benefits). The Social Security Act ties the annual COLA to the increase in the Consumer Price Index as determined by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Some other adjustments that take effect in January of each year are based on the increase in average wages. Based on that increase, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $147,000 from $142,800.

Social Security and SSI beneficiaries are normally notified by mail starting in early December about their new benefit amount. Most people who receive Social Security payments will be able to view their COLA notice online through their personal my Social Security account. People may create or access their my Social Security account online at

Information about Medicare changes for 2022, when announced, will be available at For Social Security beneficiaries receiving Medicare, Social Security will not be able to compute their new benefit amount until after the Medicare premium amounts for 2022 are announced. Final 2022 benefit amounts will be communicated to beneficiaries in December through the mailed COLA notice and my Social Security's Message Center.

The Social Security Act provides for how the COLA is calculated. To read more, please visit

Important redistricting information

Oct 12, 2021

Thank you to more than a dozen MEA-Retired members who, along with MEA members,  participated in a Zoom meeting about this issue last week.  Hosted by MEA's Jessica Lumbreras, the event featured an excellent presentation about redistricting by Michael Kohler, AFL-CIO Michigan's State Field Director.


Please click on the link below and see when YOU can help make a difference by speaking at an upcoming redistricting hearing. You can speak either virtually or in person, and speak at more than one event.


According to Kohler, remote comments have been impactful, and even some of the 13 commissioners at the hearings are appearing remotely. He added his appreciation for MEA's being part of the coalition supporting fair maps.


When you sign up, you will be contacted and will be able to get both information about the events and talking points should you need them. You only will be speaking for one minute, so preparing your comments will not be time-consuming.


MEA is working with staff at AFL-CIO to help make fair maps happen. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Michael Kohler at  He can also link you with regional field directors who can help tailor your comments to the specific characteristics of your geography and demographics.


Let's help be part of what we hope will be a redistricting process that results in fairness for all. When you click on the form you will see the schedule for upcoming hearings. 


Please sign up to easily help make a difference ASAP! Many thanks!



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