“a voice for Edmonton’s retired teachers”

Our History

©Edmonton Retired Teachers Association 2012

Our History - Celebrating 50 Years

Our History―Celebrating 50 Years

In the late 1950s, the retired teachers of Edmonton held irregular meetings to address concerns regarding low pensions, medical insurance needs and hospital care. By November 14, 1960, the Retired Teachers of Edmonton was formally organized.

A letter from the president of a small group of retired teachers in Calgary was sent to the Edmonton group informing them of their intention to become formally organized as well. On January 11, 1961, the Retired Teachers’ Organization of Calgary became a formal entity.

The major conviction of both groups was that retired teachers speak with one voice, a sentiment still paramount today.

Pensions of less than $110.00 a month were a contentious issue. Meetings involving retired teachers from Edmonton and Calgary were held with representatives of the Alberta Teachers’ Association (ATA) requesting that the meagre pensions of some retirees be increased to $100.00 per month. ATA officials stated that retired teacher pensions could not be raised without retired civil servants being given the same consideration.

The ATA Pension Committee subsequently recommended that the ATA give special assistance to the approximately 150 pensioners receiving very small pensions—advice that was later implemented.

Health care issues were another concern. Blue Cross and Medical Services Incorporated insisted that 75% of the retired teachers join as a group in order to become a recognized group; however, only 52% of the respondents were willing to participate at that time.

Several meetings involving retired teachers from Edmonton, Calgary and Lethbridge were held between 1961 and 1963. On March 12, 1963, representatives of retired teachers from Lethbridge and Medicine Hat, the Retired Teachers of Edmonton and the Retired Teachers’ Organization of Calgary met to organize as the Retired Teachers of Alberta, a name that was later changed to the Alberta Retired Teachers’ Association.

On September 3, 1963, an application was made to incorporate the Alberta Retired Teachers’ Association, which was approved on November 14, 1963. The application for incorporation was signed by Frank J. McCoy, J. Gordon Sinclair and Arthur G. Skitch of Edmonton along with James C. Laing, Miss Jessie Maxwell and M. Louise Tester of Calgary. The witness was Milton W. Brock of Calgary.

Arthur Skitch was the first president and Milton Brock became the first secretary-treasurer of the Alberta Retired Teachers’ Association.

The Retired Teachers of Edmonton later changed its name to the Edmonton Retired Teachers’ Association. Other branches made similar changes.