March 31, 2009

Retiree Member of the Year: Richard Miller

Source: NYSUT Constituency Awards 2009

Richard Miller

Retiree Member of the Year

Richard Miller
United Federation of Teachers

Richard Miller began his teaching career in 1958. During those days of the union's development and fight for recognition, he participated in the organizing effort. He distinguished himself as an activist, organizer and leader during the 1960 strike.

Between 1960 and 1980, Miller served as a UFT chapter delegate and chapter leader at JHS 228K and IS 61Q, the largest intermediate school in the city. He played a key role in providing leadership to help desegregate that school, and also led the chapter in the 1968 strike, the longest teacher strike in UFT history.

He was called upon to help organize UFT nurses and health care professionals in New York City and, with the AFT, teachers, SRPs and state employees throughout the nation. In 1984, he was recruited by AFT to serve as executive director of the Indiana Federation of Teachers. Ultimately, he returned to New York as a UFT district rep and then vice president for intermediate and junior high schools.

Since his retirement in 2002, Miller has assumed the leadership of the Las Vegas Section, organizing the membership into a cohesive and vocal organization.

Representing the interests of retirees he was appointed as the AFT vice president to the Nevada Alliance for Retired Americans. The Nevada AFL-CIO has recognized his leadership skills and asked him to join its Retiree Council and Central Labor Council. The governor appointed him to his Prescription Drug Policy Makers Summit after hearing him testify on the need to lower drug costs. As a political activist and organizer, Miller was instumental in helping Nevada "turn blue" in the recent elections.

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