More About WREA
WREA was organized as the Wisconsin Retired Teachers’ Association (WRTA) in 1951. In 1969, the Association reached a higher level of organization with the adoption of the first set of bylaws, which although revised from year to year, has been the basis of its operation. In 1997 the Wisconsin Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision in a 10-year case involving a raid on the state pension fund. WRTA, renamed WREA in 1991, was a leader in initiating this litigation and in bringing it to a successful conclusion. This active participation in the litigation made WREA a recognized leader in the state and nation as a watchdog for the retirement fund. In 2001, WREA celebrated its 50th anniversary.
WREA is affiliated with the over one million member National Retired Teachers Association (NRTA), a division of the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). With over 33 million members, AARP is the largest national organization protecting the interests of senior citizens. Membership in the National organization is not required, but retired educators who belong to the AARP are encouraged to join the NRTA division. Individuals over the age of 50 are eligible for membership.
The Association is governed by a Board of Directors which consists of the officers of the Association, elected district directors representing each of the five regional districts, and the standing committee chairs. All of the officers, district directors, and committee members are retired educators who volunteer their services. The Bylaws provide for the following officers who serve for two-year terms: President, Secretary, Treasurer, President Elect, and Past President.
WREA maintains an office in Middleton with four paid staff members: its Executive Director, two full time administrative assistants and one part time team support coordinator. A conference room is part of the office for committee meetings. Volunteers assist the staff in preparing mailings and materials for meetings and committees.
The Association has the following standing committees: Bylaws, Community Services and Health Issues, Executive Council, Finance, Legislative, Membership, Member Benefits, Nominating, Personnel, and Public Education Outreach. Ad hoc committees and task forces may be created by the Board for specific issues.
In addition to the activities carried out through local units and committees, WREA sponsors district meetings to assist in training local leadership for their responsibilities and to receive suggestions from local leaders. WREA also holds a state convention with a variety of speakers, training and informational sessions and the annual business meeting of the Association in which the election of officers occurs. To assist with its outreach programs, WREA established a foundation in 1996.