NYSUT has a network of 11 retiree services consultants who serve as liaisons between retired members, retiree councils and NYSUT headquarters.
In honor of the 30th anniversary of NYSUT retiree councils, we’re highlighting each regional consultant so retiree members know who to contact for assistance. Meet the four consultants representing Central and Western New York: Anne Marie Voutsinas, Janet Goddard, Peter Randazzo and Louise Ortman.
Anne Marie Voutsinas represents Retiree Councils 7 and 8, encompassing the counties of Cayuga, Onondaga, Oswego, Oneida and Madison. A former Syracuse Teachers Association president, middle school math teacher and Syracuse Teacher Center director, Voutsinas retired in 2011 and took over as RC 7 and 8 consultant in 2014. A big focus of her work is keeping members connected.
After surveying in-service presidents in the spring, “we found that connections are often lost when school emails shut down after retirement,” said Voutsinas, noting that the lost addresses often lead to severed connections with the in-service local. “We try to maintain that connection with all NYSUT members when they retire.”
Janet Goddard represents RC 1-3 and 44, encompassing the counties of Erie, Niagara, Orleans, Genesee and parts of Western Wyoming County. As a former member of the NYSUT Board of Directors, ED 2 director and Retiree Councils 1-3 Board trustee representing RC 2, Goddard is an experienced unionist; she’s also one of NYSUT’s newest consultants, assuming the post in January.
“Union involvement has always been second nature to me,” said Goddard, who retired in 2009 as a high school biology and chemistry teacher and served as the Cheektowaga Central TA president for 11 years. “My goal is to continue to bring new retirees into the fold and support union initiatives that help active and retired members.”
Peter Randazzo represents RC 5 and 6, encompassing the counties of Monroe, Eastern Wyoming, Livingston, Ontario, Wayne, Northern Seneca and Yates. He became a NYSUT retiree services consultant in 2000 after retiring as a high school biology teacher from the Spencerport School District in 1999. He is currently the longest tenured consultant.
“I’ve always been involved in the union,” said Randazzo, who headed the Spencerport TA for 18 years. After spending a few months “just relaxing” post retirement, he considered the RC position a logical next step in his union activism.
Louise Ortman represents RC 4 and 46, encompassing the counties of Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Allegany, Steuben, Chemung, Schuyler and a Western slice of Tioga. Ortman, a 2007 elementary music teacher retiree and 15-year Bloomfield Professional Education Association president, became a consultant in 2008. “When I started, one of my missions was to round up former NEA/NY retirees,” said Ortman noting that many who retired in June of 2006, or earlier, before NEA/NY and NYSUT merged, don’t realize they can join NYSUT retiree chapters at no cost. “There are huge pockets of former NEA locals throughout Western and Southwestern New York.”