Retiree Member of the Year
United Federation of Teachers
BUFFALO, N.Y. April 2, 2009 - Richard Miller - a longtime United Federation of Teachers leader who played a pivotal role in the union's birth and formative years - will be honored as Retiree of the Year at the New York State United Teachers 37th Representative Assembly in Buffalo.
Miller, who began his teaching career in 1958, was instrumental in the union's organizing effort and early fight for recognition. He went on to distinguish himself as an activist, organizer and leader during the 1960 strike and also played a key role in helping to desegregate the JHS 228K and IS 61Q - the largest intermediate school in New York City.
A chapter leader during the UFT's longest strike in history in 1968, Miller later went on to organize nurses and health care professionals in the city, as well as teachers, School-Related Professionals and state employees throughout the nation for the American Federation of Teachers.
Since his retirement in 2002, he has represented the interest of retirees as leader of the Las Vegas Section. Miller was appointed as the AFT's vice president to the Nevada Alliance for Retired Americans and has been recognized by the Nevada AFL-CIO for his leadership skills. After hearing him testify on the need for lower drugs costs, Nevada's governor appointed Miller to his Prescription Drug Policy Makers Summit.
"Richard Miller is a true union pioneer," said NYSUT President Richard C. Iannuzzi. "From the very beginning, he was on the front lines, marching along side Albert Shanker, in the fight to organize and establish collective bargaining rights for our members. His leadership was critical, not only to the union's birth and evolution, but was integral as well as in the fight for social justice."
"Richard's lifelong work and commitment to the labor movement is awe-inspiring," added NYSUT Vice President Kathleen Donahue. "His involvement, effectiveness and leadership dates back to the union's earliest days, and despite retirement, he shows no sign of letting up. His record of service and advocacy represents the union's gold standard."
The RA - NYSUT's policy-making convention - begins today and runs through Saturday at the Buffalo-Niagara Convention Center. More than 2,500 delegates, guests and staff are expected to attend.
NYSUT represents more than 600,000 teachers, school-related professionals, academic and professional faculty in higher education professionals in education and health care and retirees. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.