April 2013, Volume 6 - issue 2 www.rto-ero.org                                  

Every quote counts. Call Johnson Inc. for a home and/or auto insurance quote and they will donate $20 to the RTO/ERO Foundation

Johnson Inc

As a valued member of the RTO/ERO, we would like to introduce to you a worthwhile opportunity to help the RTO/ERO Foundation, and at the same time take advantage of the special benefits offered by our proud partner – Johnson Inc.

From now until May 31, 2013, Johnson Inc. has agreed to donate $20 to the RTO/ERO Foundation for every Home or Auto Insurance quote requested by our members. There is no obligation. Simply speak with a Johnson Inc. representative about a home and/or auto insurance quote, and you will help the RTO/ERO Foundation create opportunities for research and innovation via an endowed Chair in Geriatric Medicine.

After 27 years as our partner, and over 19,000 active RTO/ERO Home and Auto Insurance policies, Johnson Inc. continues to provide members with preferred benefits like a personal representative, 24-hour service, AIR MILES® rewards miles and more, to suit our members’ ever-changing needs.

Please help us support the RTO/ERO Foundation by speaking with a Johnson Inc. representative today at 1-866-307-7751 and identify yourself as an RTO/ERO member by quoting RTO/ERO's group ID Code: ST. Together, we can make every quote count.


Leo Normandeau Harold Brathwaite
Leo Normandeau

Harold Brathwaite
Executive Director

*Insurance available through Johnson Inc., a licensed intermediary. Home and auto policies are primarily underwritten by Unifund Assurance Company (“Unifund”). Johnson Inc. and Unifund share common ownership. Only home insurance available in BC, SK and MB. AIR MILES® reward miles awarded only on regular home and auto insurance policies underwritten by Unifund. At the time the premium is paid, one AIR MILES reward mile is awarded for each $20 in premium (including taxes). AIR MILES reward miles not available in SK, MB or QC. ®™Trademarks of AIR MILES International Trading B.V. Used under license by LoyaltyOne, Inc. and Johnson Inc. (for Unifund). See policy wording for complete details. Promotion runs from March 1, 2013 to May 31, 2013. Only applicable for quotes for homes or autos not already insured through Johnson. No purchase necessary. Certain conditions may apply.

A teacher’s influence never ends

Tribute & Memorial Donations

Honour a teacher who influenced you. Call Alanna Jones at the RTO/ERO Foundation at 416-962-9463 ext. 245 or (toll-free) 1-800-361-9888 ext. 245. Donations will create our RTO/ERO Chair, Geriatric Medicine — a great way to say thanks for influence that never ends. 

Founded in 2011, the RTO/ERO Foundation/La Foundation d' ERO/RTO is a Canadian charity dedicated to improving the lives of seniors. Charitable registration number: 848662110R0001.

Community: two important lessons learned
By John P. Smith, District 13, Hamilton-Wenworth, Haldimand

In 2005, a chance meeting between an elite Kenyan runner and John P. Smith, a since-retired Hamilton middle school teacher, led to a school presentation depicting what an average school day is like for a student in rural Kenya.

Some of Smith’s students became so upset with the poor sanitary conditions in Kenyan schools that they mobilized their entire school to initiate change, setting into motion a chain of events which led to the development of a charitable organization known today as Connecting Countries Adopt-a-School (CCAAS). John, its president, has learned a few valuable lessons along the way.
Here are two of them.

Lesson #1: Community outreach requires a community that reaches out

Connecting Countries Adopt a School
John fosters education and community with Kenyan students through CCAAS.
Photo: courtesy of John. P. Smith.

Connecting Countries Adopt-a-School has taught me that community has no defined boundaries. In the early stages of CCAAS's development, I was advised that the day would come when what I was about to do would take on a life of its own and all I could do would be to guide the movement with the best people I could find.

From the outset, I have relied heavily on my residential neighbourhood composed of people I know. My squash partner became our website designer, a dinner guest became our first accountant, and a neighbour’s mother became a board member. Then, as our programs touched a wider circle of people so too did our community.

Speaking engagements and presentations to diverse audiences and local businesses drew me toward the perimeters of Hamilton and beyond. Members of this broader community who possessed a similar “give-back” mindset became enthused and wanted to be involved.

The broadening of CCAAS's Canadian community caused a ripple effect that extended to our Kenyan school communities. Thousands of Kenyan primary school children, their teachers, and parents now realize that the Canadian communities who have reached out to help them is based on their unwavering passion for, and commitment to, improving sanitation in schools.

As a result, one Kenyan classroom's activities with CCAAS soon spread to the entire school which, over time, has grown to include nine schools spanning two rural communities. CCAAS's roots have become so deeply embedded within the Kenyan schools that Kenyan community members are now returning the favour by developing relationships with their Canadian counterparts. They realize that the Canadian community is assisting by handing up, not handing out.

Since my community is now global, I have come to the conclusion that those involved in community outreach efforts seem to be positive thinking and action-oriented. I seek out these people both in Canada and in Kenya because they emit so much positive energy that it gives you the ability to see events, situations and people as stepping stones to better times.

A positive attitude is a refreshing way to view the world. The "glass is half-empty" attitude is too draining. Those involved in community outreach efforts fill their glasses and those around them until they overflow.

In short, the effects of community can become seismic!

Lesson #2: Learn the art of planting seeds

Connecting Countries Adopt a School
Sanitation plays a big role in keeping students in school: John gives a presentation to Kenyan students.
Photo: courtesy of John P. Smith.

Nonprofit charitable organizations are built upon huge amounts of passion. However, those same organizations must have a direction.

I have learned that there are individuals and organizations in one’s community that are willing to help, but with that comes a stumbling block: how does one find them?

The simple answer: networking! Wherever I go, whatever I do, I constantly promote CCAAS in order to find more people to assist the cause, which is not always easy to do.

Networking 24/7 is the most powerful growth tool and I have learned to do it ALL the time! I have to be open to recognize an opportunity when it presents itself. Sometimes seeds are deliberately planted through conversations, promotional literature and presentations — then patience is required while I wait for those nuggets to germinate.

Other times, seeds are planted and I do not even know it; someone overhears what another has said or attends a function and responds positively to CCAAS.

Toronto Argonaut Jason Pottinger is a prime example of the latter. I met Jason several years back at a Hamilton teachers vs. CFL players volleyball game. Months later our paths crossed again and one day over coffee Jason told me he had been thinking about our charity and wanted to help! Shortly afterwards Jason arranged “Tackles For Toilets,” an annual CCAAS fundraiser staged around a CFL football game.

Also, just this year, Reid Coolsaet, a Canadian Olympic marathon runner who competed at the London 2012 Olympic Games, was introduced to me at a function.

Reid immediately felt a connection with our programs having lived in Hamilton most of his life and trained in Kenya. He warmed instantly to the idea of endorsing our "Toilet Run", a cross-country youth-run fundraiser for CCAAS. At the event, Reid welcomed youth runners and presented finishing medals.

Whether deliberate or inadvertent, planting seeds of interest and belief throughout one’s community is vital to the success of any community outreach effort.

Connecting Countries Adopt-A-School raises funds to build pit latrines in Kenyan elementary schools. Without proper sanitation, students face disease and threat of permanent school closure. Since its inception, CCAAS has helped build 100 pit latrines servicing over 3000 primary school children. CCAAS also runs a pen pal program, and assists in sustainable economic opportunities promoting reforestation and hygiene in Kenya. To find out more information visit www.connectingcountries.net.

Health literacy: a proactive approach to healthcare

What is health literacy?

Health literacy is your ability to access and interpret health information and make well-informed decisions about your health. It affects your ability to:

  • navigate the healthcare system;
  • comprehend numerical concepts such as cholesterol and blood sugar levels;
  • understand nutrition labels and prescription dosages;
  • share personal information, like health history, with care providers; and
  • manage chronic diseases and care for yourself.
Connecting Countries Adopt a School
Dr. Elaine Dembe shares nutrition tips with a captivated audience at the June 2012 HSIC workshop.
Photo: Susannah Maxcy.

Health literate people have the ability to solve problems, process information and understand what steps to take to achieve better health. But, according to the Canadian Council on Learning, many of us are health illiterate.

In fact, 60% of Canadians lacked the necessary skills to manage their health and healthcare needs adequately, and the most susceptible populations are seniors, the unemployed and immigrants (especially those who do not speak English).

Why is health literacy important?

Every day you are confronted with health information and often you do not even realize it. As you grocery shop, fill a prescription, feed your family, visit the doctor or go for a massage, you are presented with information that may impact your health. Not knowing what health questions to ask, which health-related information to provide or what choices to make, and your ability to:

  • complete medical forms;
  • read nutrition labels;
  • find health-care providers and services;
  • provide relevant personal health information;
  • manage a chronic condition or disease; and
  • understand the proper way to take medication.

To make healthy choices, everyone needs health information that they can understand. Health literacy is simply good for your health.

Seven strategies for improving your health literacy

Connecting Countries Adopt a School
Understanding prescriptions is part of having strong health literacy.
Photo: courtesy of stock.xchng.

Your health literacy – or how well you understand, process and follow health information you receive—can impact your health.

In fact, studies suggest that if your health literacy is poor you are more likely to skip important screening tests, manage a chronic condition less effectively, and enter the healthcare system sicker than someone who is health literate.

Here are seven strategies to boost your health literacy skills.

  • Write questions down. If you have a health concern or if you are trying to understand a recent diagnosis, you might have a ton of questions running through your mind. Avoid missing out on valuable information by writing questions down beforehand. Not sure what to ask? Try starting with the basics: 

    • What is my diagnosis?
    • Will I need medical tests? What will the test results tell me?
    • What is the medication you are prescribing me? How do I take it? What are the side effects? 
    • Do I need to make lifestyle changes?

  • Keep a list of allergies, medications and dosages with you at all times. This is especially important in an emergency, but can also help your doctor or pharmacist spot potentially dangerous drug combinations. Make sure to review the list with your doctor from time to time so you are both clear about when and how much you are taking.

  • Bring an “interpreter” to medical appointments. If English is your second language, having a fluent friend or family member with you to translate information can be very helpful. If you speak English, but feel lost when it comes to medical jargon, consider asking a loved one in the medical field—whether they are a nurse, doctor or other medical professional—to join you and help “translate” the information for you or ask questions you might not have considered.

  • Repeat information as you understand it. This will not only help you process the information better, but also allow the medical professional to correct any information you have misinterpreted.

  • Speak up if you do not understand. Do not feel embarrassed if you do not “get” some of the information. Remember your doctor or medical professional has spent years studying the information you have only had a few minutes to process. Ask your doctor to repeat the details more simply if he or she is using complex medical language.

  • Check out reliable online sources. There are some great websites on the internet aimed at providing valuable, straightforward health information. Ensure the information is based on solid research (e.g. university or hospital studies) and that the site is not trying to sell you something. Government sites and those run by not-for-profit organizations are usually a great place to start. Be sure to print off information you find interesting or have questions about to bring to your next medical appointment.

  • Join a support group. If you have recently been diagnosed with a medical condition, connecting with others in a similar situation is a great way to bond and improve your health literacy—especially since many support groups are backed by not-for-profit associations that make it their mission to provide clear, easy to understand information and tips to deal with the condition. 

Being more health literate can not only help you improve your physical health, but it can also boost your emotional well-being. After all, the more involved and informed you are in your healthcare decisions, the more in control you will feel over your body and your situation.

Source: © 2013 Shepell·fgi. Material supplied by Shepell·fgi, the leading provider of integrated health and productivity solutions that address the mental, physical and social health issues affecting the workplace. This content is meant for informational purposes and may not represent the views of individual organizations. Please call your EFAP (Employee and Family Assistance Program) or consult with a professional for further guidance.

15% Porter Airlines discount for RTO/ERO members

Porter Airlines
Due to our long-standing partnership with Merit Travel, we are pleased to announce that Merit has negotiated a 15% discount with Porter Airlines for RTO/ERO members.

Based at Billy Bishop Airport in Toronto, Porter Airlines is a regional airline that offers flights to destinations in Eastern Canada and the Eastern United States. The discount is currently in place for a two-year term until December 2014.

The details are as follows:

  • RTO/ERO members must book their Porter flight through Merit Travel to receive the discount.
  • The discount is available on all three fare classes, including: Firm, Flexible and Freedom Class fares.
  • Porter Airlines will honour the 15% discount on almost all fares – including Sale Fares. Exception: members are NOT eligible for the 15% discount on fares that require a promotional code.
  • Most of the often-advertised 40% and 50% off Sale Fares do not require a promotional code, and are therefore eligible for the additional 15% savings for RTO/ERO members.
  • Members travelling on the discounted fare MUST carry their RTO/ERO membership card, and present it if asked, or they may be denied boarding.
  • Companions travelling with the RTO/ERO members are also eligible for the discount, but must be booked on the same flight, and appear on the same invoice as the member.

To book your discounted flight on Porter, call Merit Travel (toll-free) at 1-877-872-3826.

For more information about Porter Airlines, visit www.flyporter.com.

Correction: In the February 2013 issue of Liaison, it was incorrectly stated that Porter's 15% discount is applied AFTER taxes. This information was due to a miscommunication between Porter and Merit that was shared with us in good faith. We regret the error and apologize for any inconvenience it may have caused.

Provincial Executive February and March 2013 news and resolutions passed

The 2011/'12 Provincial Executive of The Retired Teachers of Ontario/Les Enseignantes et Enseignants Retraites de L’Ontario
Clockwise from left: Leo Normandeau, June Szeman, Norbert Boudreau, Martin Higgs, Jim Sparrow, and Margaret Clarke.
Photo: Hugh Wesley for RTO/ERO.

The Provincial Executive enjoyed very productive meetings in February and March, 2013. During the meetings the Provincial Executive:

  • received year-end portfolio reviews from RTO/ERO’s investment managers, TD & RBC;
  • received liaison reports on recent meetings of the Constitution Committee, Communications Committee and the Health Services and Insurance Committee; and
  • reviewed Statements of Revenue and Expenditures to February 28 for RTO/ERO and 1316342 Ontario Inc.

Resolutions passed:

  1. THAT the Provincial Executive Goals and Priorities for 2013, as amended, be approved. 
  2. THAT the Provincial Executive recommend to Senate that Shelter Box Canada be the recipient of the RTO/ERO 2013 Annual Charitable Donation.
  3. THAT the Provincial Executive accepts the request from Joanne Weeks for an indefinite leave of absence as Chair of the Member Services Committee.
  4. THAT Sue Jones serve as interim Chair of the Member Services Committee.
  5. THAT RTO/ERO register with the Minister of Health and the Minister Responsible for Seniors its concerns regarding means-testing for home care and means-testing for seniors’ medications.
  6. THAT the Provincial Executive support RTO/ERO involvement in Seniors’ Day at Queen’s Park and that RTO/ERO make an appropriate contribution towards the event.
  7. THAT a letter be sent to the Prime Minister expressing RTO/ERO’s concern over the Experimental Lakes Area (ELA) and that an information sheet be developed for Districts to take up the matter with local MPs.
RTO/ERO’s Strategic plan: 2012 – 2015


We will continue to be publicly recognized as the leading voice of Ontario educators, educational support staff, and college and university faculty in retirement and as an organization committed to improving the quality of life of seniors, enhancing services to members as well as providing superior group health plans for our members. 


To ensure the provision of quality services to our members while projecting future needs.

Strategic goals (what we want to be)

We will continue to be:

  1. a full-service organization valued by its members for the quality of its services and its collective effectiveness;
  2. the group health plan insurer of choice for the majority of educators, educational support staff, and college and university faculty in retirement;
  3. the lead organization representing the interests of educators, educational support staff, and college and university faculty in retirement, and be their publicly recognized advocate on issues affecting seniors and the wider community; and
  4. a catalyst for improving the quality of life for seniors.

Strategic directions (how we get there)

We will:

  1. grow our membership through a variety of strategies;
  2. provide quality and timely service to our members as a key commitment of the organization and its staff;
  3. advocate at all levels of government on seniors’ and community issues, deemed to be in the interest of the majority of members, and these will be reflected in our advocacy efforts;
  4. pursue the objectives of the RTO/ERO Foundation;
  5. enter into strategic coalitions that promote members’ and seniors’ issues, as appropriate;
  6. strengthen our organizational structures and enhance expertise in the areas of fiduciary responsibility, risk management and good governance;
  7. maintain and enhance processes and infrastructures that facilitate both internal and external communications; and
  8. research, disseminate and encourage wellness initiatives.

To learn more about, and connect with, RTO/ERO's Provincial Executive, visit www.rto-ero.org/provincial-executive.

Members joining in 2013 have the chance to a dream holiday with Merit Travel

RTO/ERO Dream holiday

RTO/ERO is pleased to announce that members who join RTO/ERO* by December 15, 2013 are eligible to win their dream holiday, courtesy of Merit Travel.

This is part of a marketing initiative to promote RTO/ERO to prospective members, including: teachers, school and board administrators, educational assistants, administrative professionals, and custodians. We encourage you to promote this contest to prospective new members at RPWs, on your website, and in your newsletters.

*Based on membership eligibility.

2013 membership materials

Information kits
RTO/ERO 2013 Membership brochure
RTO/ERO's 2013 Membership brochure.

New information kits for 2013, with updated brochures and 2013 Membership application forms for RTO/ERO membership and health plans, are now available.

It is imperative that potential members receive current information, as there are changes in the payment procedure and application process for membership, changes in health plans coverage as well as new premiums.

Please destroy all previous versions of these brochures and forms and only use the ones for 2013. Information kits may be ordered from the Provincial Office by contacting Kelly MacDonald at kmacdonald@rto-ero.org. Please give Kelly at least two weeks’ notice when ordering information kits.

: the new membership form is now four pages. While the third page outlines new payment information and indicates differences for Full and Associate Members, the fourth contains information about a member’s second year of membership.


Potential members must submit payment, either by cheque or by providing credit card information, at the time of applying for RTO/ERO membership.

For Full Members, as their deductions from the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan (OTPP) begin in the second calendar year of membership, they are to remit their fee directly to RTO/ERO when they enroll; this fee is pro-rated depending on the month in which they join. The new form includes an RTO/ERO Membership Rights and Privileges chart outlining these pro-rated fees.

The Rights and Privileges chart also applies to Commuted Value Members and to Associate Members, except for Surviving Spouses and those actively employed in education. In these latter two cases, those applying must contact RTO/ERO's Membership Department for fee details, as the chart does not apply to them.

Questions about RTO/ERO membership? Contact RTO/ERO’s Membership Department at membership@rto-ero.org or call (toll-free) 1-800-361-9888 for more information.

Learn more:

FAQs: membership lists and mailing labels

What is the difference between membership lists and mailing labels?
A Membership list is a list of all your District members. The list will contain a member's full name, address, telephone and membership number, email address, birthdate, language (French or English), membership type (Full or Associate), pension date, gender, District of residence, and District of choice.

Mailing labels are a set of labels the Membership Department sends listing the mailing information of District members who have a valid mailing address and whom you want to contact by mail. A set of mailing labels will not include the mailing addresses of members whose mail is being returned, members who have requested no mail correspondence by RTO/ERO, or members who share the same household and ask for information to be sent to a designated member at that address.
Who may request them?
Any District Executive Member on the Provincial database may request lists or labels including: Presidents, Vice-Presidents, Treasurers, Secretaries, Member Services Coordinators, Newsletter Editors, Webmasters, Recruitment Contacts, Goodwill, DH/UH, PAC, Service to Others, and Constitution Representatives.

How often may I request a membership list?
Every February and August a master membership list is sent to your District President and Member Services Coordinator, whom you may contact for a copy. Lists are also available upon request through RTO/ERO’s Membership Department and will be processed within at least two weeks’ time.

How often may I request mailing labels?
Mailing labels are available upon request by contacting Dianne Vezeau, Membership Database Administrator, dvezeau@rto-ero.org. Please give Dianne at least two weeks’ notice when requesting labels.

What formats are the membership list and mailing labels available in?
Membership lists are available in print or electronic, Excel or Word formats. Membership lists may be requested to include information such as a member’s age, birthday, and membership start date.

Mailing labels are available in print or electronic, Excel or Word formats.
Are membership lists accessible online?
District Presidents and Member Services Coordinators may access membership lists online in the Members’ Centre of RTO/ERO’s Provincial website at www.rto-ero.org/members-list-district-report. We realize that viewing membership lists online is somewhat cumbersome, but hope to make them more user-friendly in the future.

Questions? Please contact Dianne Vezeau at dvezeau@rto-ero.org or 1-800-361-9888 ext. 223.

Material request reminder

Please provide the Provincial Office with at least two weeks’ notice when requesting Information Kits, recruitment materials, and certificates unless there are special extenuating circumstances which need to be explained when making a request.

Due to a lack of storage space, only small quantities of recruitment materials are kept at the Provincial Office. Adequate notice is necessary to ensure that sufficient quantities are on hand to meet District requests.

Delivery companies used by the Provincial Office to ship materials to Districts do not work on the weekends, thus sufficient time is needed to ensure materials reach Districts in time for events.

Provincial Office staff have multiple responsibilities and those receiving and filling requests need adequate time for processing to accommodate these requests within their regular, daily workload.

To request materials, please contact Kelly MacDonald at kmacdonald@rto-ero.org or 1.800.361.9888 ext. 243.

Quick facts: RTO/ERO 2013 Scholarship Program

Each year, RTO/ERO awards up to 25 individual scholarships of $1,000 each to members' relatives pursuing post-secondary studies in education. To get you started, here are a few quick facts about the program.

  • The RTO/ERO Scholarship Application is only available online.
  • RTO/ERO members must use their membership number to access the online form.
  • Deadline date: July 15, 2013.
  • Documentation and process information: to learn about what documents you need to include and the selection process, visit www.rto-ero.org/scholarship-program.
  • Eligibility: at the time of applying and/or by the deadline date of Monday, July 15, 2013, the member’s relative must be enrolled in the last year of a full or part-time program. For a complete list of eligible programs, please visit www.rto-ero.org/scholarship-program.

Questions? Contact Gail Knox at gknox@rto-ero.org or call (toll-free) 1-800-361-9888 ext. 233.

Watch! RTO/ERO’s interview with Russ Jackson

In the spring 2013 issue of Renaissance we featured CFL legend and retired principal, Russ Jackson, District 39, Peel.  We captured the interview on video, which can be viewed online at www.rto-ero.org/news/watch-russ-jackson-football-teaching-and-coaching.

Find out what Russ Jackson has to say about:

  • juggling being a full-time football player and teacher;
  • becoming a principal; and  
  • coaching the Toronto Argonauts.

New RTO/ERO merchandise

We are pleased to annouce the addition of new RTO/ERO merchandise available for purchase through Souvenir Canada Inc.

RTO/ERO wallet

RFID (radio-frequency identification) blocking wallet

Protect your identity. This RFID wallet is made with a special lining that acts as a protective shield for ID and credit cards, which prevents thieves from accessing information contained on card microchips. Debossed with RTO/ERO's logo. Holds 16 cards with two spots to hold cash.

Cost: $18.85/wallet

RTO/ERO Knapsack


Made from 600 denier polyester. Lightweight with cushioned adjustable straps, zippered front pocket with internal pockets for stationery items. Top loading with moisture repellent back lining.

Size: 12" W x 17" H x 7" D

: $10.00/knapsack

RTO/ERO Golf Accessories Pouch

Golf accessories pouch

Made from neoprene, front mesh pocket, with upgraded plastic hook to attach to golf bag. Top zipper closure, (golf balls and tees not included).

Size: 4” W x 6.5” H x 1.5” D

Cost: $7.10/pouch

RTO/ERO neck pillow

Neck pillow

Velour flock, inflatable pillow for travel use. Made from soft fabric for extra comfort, and packed in its own carry pouch.

Inflation size: 18” W x 11” H
Pouch size: 6.75” W x 4.5” H

Cost: $7.65/pillow

All prices include taxes. Shipping is $5.50 for one item, and $9.50 for two or more items.

How to order

Orders may be emailed, phoned or faxed to Souvenir Canada Inc.

Phone: (toll-free) 1-800-259-9641 or 416-253-8038
Fax: 416-252-0068
Email: scanada@on.aibn.com

To view RTO/ERO's complete merchandise selection, visit www.souvenircanadainc.com/rto.

Information technology at the Provincial Office

Effective February 28, 2013, Igor Radovanovic, Director, Information Technology, resigned from RTO/ERO. On behalf of RTO/ERO, Executive Director Harold Brathwaite thanked Igor for the service he provided to our organization over the last three years.

Given the number of provincial committee meetings during the end of March and beginning of April, in addition to spring Senate preparations, it is unlikely that RTO/ERO's new IT Manager will be in place before May 2013.

In the interim, RTO/ERO has contracted with an experienced network administrator to be responsible for the day-to-day needs of staff and Districts.

Please note: website assistance is available upon request to Districts experiencing Drupal-related technical difficulities with their District websites. Requests may be sent to Laurie Fountain, Chair, Communications Committee, at laurfoun@gmail.com.

Questions or concerns? Contact Simon Leibovitz, sleibovitz@rto-ero.org.

Ontario Senior Achievement Award nominations

Do you know an outstanding senior? Nominations for the 2013 Ontario Senior Achievement Award are being accepted by the Ontario Honours and Awards Secretariat.

RTO/ERO members Senate
Ron Wright, District 24 Scarborough & East York and Margaret Deeth, District 16, Toronto, celebrate their "seniority" at a District event.
Photo: courtesy of Valerie Mah, District 16, Toronto.

The Senior Achievement Award is Ontario's highest recognition for seniors over 65 that have made an outstanding contribution to their community through voluntary or professional activities, such as the arts, community service, voluntarism, education and fitness.

Please take this opportunity to nominate a deserving senior and thank them for their hard work.

Deadline: June 15, 2013.

Nomination forms, requirements, and contact information are available online at: www.citizenship.gov.on.ca/english/citizenship/honours/saa.shtml.

Volunteers wanted: New Worker Awareness Health & Safety Program school presenters


The Workers Health & Safety Centre (WHSC) is Ontario’s government-designated health and safety training centre and only such organization endorsed by labour.

The WHSC and the Ontario Teachers’ Federation (OTF) first partnered in 1988 to develop occupational health and safety awareness resources and presentations for students. Together, they have reached hundreds of thousands of Ontario students with potentially life-saving information.

The program is designed to raise awareness about the hazards students may face at work, their legal rights and responsibilities as well as the importance of reporting their health and safety concerns to management and worker representatives.

To learn more about the program and its goals for new worker health and safety, visit the Youth and Young Worker Awareness portions of WHSC's website, www.whsc.on.ca.

WHSC will provide training and an honorarium in return for your efforts.

Interested? Send your cover letter, resume and any questions you may have to Monique Boehm, YWAP (Young Worker Awareness Program) Coordinator, mboehm@whsc.on.ca.

Application deadline: May 6, 2013.

  • Only those selected will be contacted.
  • While qualified presenters are needed in all regions of the province, priority will be given to applicants in regions with the greatest need for presenters, namely Mississauga, Ottawa, Sudbury and Toronto (including North York and Scarborough).
  • Priority will also be give to bilingual presenters.
Renaissance proposals wanted

Send us a BRIEF article proposal outline indicating the experiences, opinions, artwork or photography you would like to share at renaissance@rto-ero.org or call Kim Brathwaite at 1-800-361-9888 ext. 224.

What are Renaissance themed issues all about? Find out about upcoming themes and read past issues of Renaissance in the Members' Centre.

Renaissance magazine

Fall 2013 –Fit for life

A solid exercise regimen is imperative to living a healthy lifestyle. We want to hear about the fitness measures you have incorporated into your life. Do you enjoy participating in group exercises like Zumba, yoga and Tai Chi? Have you signed up for personal training sessions?

Do you exercise by swimming, skating, or running? Are you on a baseball, soccer or curling team competing against and meeting like-minded people? Share your secrets of how you are staying in shape and having fun at the same time.

Perspectives to consider: Why is fitness important to you? How it makes you feel. How has your exercise regimen changed your life for the better?

Proposal deadline: May 3, 2013.

Winter 2013 – Snowbirds going south

Are you one of those people who no longer has a tolerance for Canadian winters? Do you find yourself going to warmer and more comfortable climates in the winter? Some travel to Florida, while others opt for more exotic locations such as Costa Rica or Jamaica.

We want to know how you prepare for your extended trip. For example, did you purchase a home or timeshare abroad? What type of research did you do? How did you get your home in order? How did snowbirding change your outlook on life?

Perspectives to consider: What makes wintering away from Canada so attractive? What tips would you give other soon-to-be snowbirds? What makes the perfect snowbirding destination?

Proposal deadline: August 16, 2013.

Parting Shot
RTO/ERO Parting shot
Young cygnets going for a paddle in the warm, spring sunshine.
Photo: courtesy of Donna Duplak, District 22, Etobicoke and York.



All RTO/ERO members are invited to subscribe to Liaison online

Liaison shares the latest Provincial Office news, member stories, and member-related information.

Available in print and electronic format, Liaison is a great way to stay in touch with RTO/ERO.

Please promote signing up for Liaison in your District newsletters and on your District websites.

To sign up, send your name, District name/number, and membership number (if applicable) to liaison@rto-ero.org.

Please send your comments, submissions, including photos, and suggestions to liaison@rto-ero.org.


Connect with your RTO/ERO community

Join our growing online networks.

Connect with RTO/ERO online and stay up-to-date on RTO/ERO news, events and resources.

Like our Facebook page to connect with our diverse community, share photos and stories and ask questions.

Follow us on Twitter for the latest information and resources on seniors', education and pension-related issues.

Watch our videos on YouTube to learn more about RTO/ERO or view our photos on Flickr.

RTO/ERO Facebook RTO/ERO Twitter RTO/ERO YouTube RTO/ERO Flickr

Sign up for
e-Renaissance and win

WHAT: Receive your copy of Renaissance electronically and view the magazine from the comfort of your computer screen or mobile device.

WHY: We have received numerous requests asking for an online version of Renaissance. We are happy to provide this service to members on our website.

HOW: Send us your name, District number/name, membership number and email address to
and register to start receiving

All emails received before June 1, 2013 will be entered to win one of three RTO/ERO prizes. Only one entry per member will be accepted.

Congratulations to recent contest winners: 

Michael Budd, District 16, Toronto

Douglas French, District 13, Hamilton-Wentworth, Haldimand

Debra Turck, District 30, Northumberland

Update your email address with RTO/ERO

Would you like to receive the latest RTO/ERO news and communications?

Contact RTO/ERO's Membership Department at membership@rto-ero.org, or call 1-800-361-9888 to update your email address.

Update your District Executive information with the Provincial Office

To ensure timely delivery of announcements, requests and other RTO/ERO information pertinent to various District Executive members, please send all District Executive changes to Kelly MacDonald at kmacdonald@rto-ero.org or 1-800-361-9888 ext. 243 at your earliest convenience.


The deadline for Committee member or Chair applications is May 3, 2013. Application forms are available in the Members' Centre at www.rto-ero.org/nomination-forms or by contacting Gail Knox at gknox@rto-ero.org.

The deadline for Committee members whose terms end on October 31, 2013 and wish to apply for an extension is May 3, 2013. Interested members may send their letter of intent to the Provincial Office.  

The deadline date for the 2013 Founding Member Award and Distinguished Member Award nominations is June 1, 2013. Please send your nominations to Diane Simpson, dsimpson@rto-ero.org.

The deadline for nominations for office on the Provincial Executive is June 28, 2013. Nomination forms are available in the Members' Centre at www.rto-ero.org/nomination-forms or by contacting Gail Knox, gknox@rto-ero.org.

The 2013 Scholarship application deadline for RTO/ERO members with relatives pursuing a career in education is 4:30 p.m., July 15, 2013. For more information, visit www.rto-ero.org/scholarship-program.


The District and Unit Health Insurance Representatives’ Workshop is being held on June 9-10, 2013. For more information, contact Clara Rodriguez, crodriguez@rto-ero.org.

2013 RPW schedule

RTO/ERO's 2013 RPW (Retirement Planning Workshop) schedule is available online at www.rto-ero.org/rpw-schedule-list.

Districts are encouraged to share this information with prospective members. For more information, contact Gail Knox at gknox@rto-ero.org.

What is my membership number?

Your membership number is nine digits and can be found on your RTO/ERO membership card and, where applicable, is the same as your RTO/ERO insurance certificate number.

Please note: your membership number is NOT the number listed on the back cover of your mailed copy of Renaissance.

To find out what your membership number is, email membership@rto-ero.org.

Templates available for District certificates of recognition

To address the increased demand for certificates of recognition for members for special occasions, such as special birthdays and years of service, we have designed a template in Word format.

To obtain a copy of the template, please contact Kelly MacDonald, kmacdonald@rto-ero.org or call 1-800-361-9888 ext. 243.

NOTE: If Districts require assistance from Provincial Office staff to produce these certificates, Kelly requires at least one month’s notice and can produce a maximum of 10 certificates for any one District at a time.

We will do our best to accommodate special circumstances.
Retirement Planning Workshops

An RPW Organizers’ Handbook has been developed and is available in the Members’ Centre.

If your District would like an RPW advertisement designed for your local newspapers, contact Kim Brathwaite at kbrathwaite@rto-ero.org or 1-800-361-9888 ext. 224.

RTO/ERO pins available

  RTO-ERO president's pin

President’s pin
Designed to honour District Past Presidents
- $15/each

RTO-ERO recognition pins

Recognition pin
Designed to honour District members. The pins are available in English and French
- $15/each.

To order pins, please contact Susannah Maxcy at smaxcy@rto-ero.org or 1-800-361-9888 ext. 244.

Contact us

The Retired Teachers of Ontario/les enseignantes et enseignants retraités de l'Ontario

1-800-361-9888 (toll-free)


Suite 300
18 Spadina Rd.
Toronto ON M5R 2S7


Liaison is published on a regular basis by the RTO/ERO Provincial Office.

Districts, Units and members are encouraged to reproduce this material for their own purposes.

A colour version of Liaison is archived in the Members' Centre of RTO/ERO's provincial website.

Editors: Simon Leibovitz & Susannah Maxcy

Designer: Susannah Maxcy

Copy editors: Kimberly Brathwaite & Susannah Maxcy

Copyright © 2013 The Retired Teachers of Ontario/Les enseignantes et enseignants retraités de l'Ontario. All rights reserved.

Spread the word!
Please forward this email to your RTO/ERO District members and prospective members.