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April 27, 2010

Retiree Member of the Year: Thomas Pappas

Source: RA 2010
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Thomas Pappas
United Federation of Teachers

Tom Pappas has been actively involved in NYSUT since its formation, chaired and served as chief spokesman for the UFT Retired Teachers Chapter from 2002-09 and continues his involvement as chief advisor to the current UFT RTC chair. He is known throughout the city and the state for his excellence in leadership and his union commitment.

Pappas served the chapter with great dedication for seven years and led its greatest period of growth to where the RTC now has more than 53,000 members. He involved the chapter in successful political campaigns, including defeat of proposed privatization of Social Security.

Pappas built up RTC membership meetings making them more meaningful to members, resulting in huge turnouts of retirees who became informed and involved in chapter issues. He always made it clear to members that they were an important part of the union and they should support the in-service members just as chapter members expect them to support retirees. His columns in the New York Teacher gave important

information to retiree chapter members and inspired them to act on behalf of issues the organization had identified. After he stepped down last year, in honor of his years of outstanding service, he was designated Chapter Leader Emeritus with honorary membership on the RTC executive board.