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Why Join NYSRTA? NYSRTA provides access to group-rate insurance programs that supplement existing Medicare benefits: dental, vision, and hearing plans; long-term care insurance, home, auto and more. Learn More We offer several types of assistance: The Robert R. DeCormier

The New York State Retired Teachers’ Association (NYSRTA) is the only state-wide organization that works exclusively for retired educators.  The Association is comprised of ten geographical areas, called zones.  Western Zone is one of these areas – see the map above -- and has the largest membership, presently about 3,500.  Erie, Niagara, Genesee, Cattaraugus, and Chautauqua counties are in the Western Zone.

Membership is available to all retired educators, public and private.  Members who are/were certified staff members, such as teachers and administrators, are eligible to vote and hold office at the Zone and State levels. 

Members who are/were non-certified staff members, such as aides and clerical staff, enjoy all the benefits of membership but cannot (at this time) vote or hold office at the Zone or State levels.  The non-educator spouses of members are also eligible to join and are eligible for all member benefits, even after the death of the educator spouse.

Many of the members of Western Zone (WZ) are also members of the sixteen local retired educators’ units serving many of the school districts and communities in Western New York.

One of the most important accomplishments of the Association during the last decade was the enactment of the retirement pension’s COLA provision.  This was done in collaboration with the many other organizations in New York State representing the various governmental employee retiree groups.  Members of WZ and NYSRTA are very active in contacting our State and Federal legislators and advocating for retiree benefits and related matters.

An especially significant program of both the WZ and the state association is our assistance to retired educators who need financial and other help, either in an emergency situation or on a regular basis to supplement their pension.  The pensions of our older members who retired many years ago can be very, very meager!

While other teacher and administrative groups work primarily for active teachers and administrators, respectively, our focus is entirely on retirees – all educator retirees.  So we are not in competition with any of the other groups, but add new areas of service, legislative awareness and advocacy, volunteer opportunities, and benefits.

For more information about our many programs and other benefits, look through the other sections on this website and speak to your local Unit officers or to any of the WZ officers.  If you wish, e-mail me at wdkirsch@gmail.com


Doris Kirsch President, Western Zone


Western Zone

New York State

Retired Teachers' Association


© 2004, Updated 7, 2012, WZRTA
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