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Articles for Chapter Newsletters

Promoting CTA Member Benefits through your local chapter newsletter is easy. Just check out the newsletter articles drafted by CTA Member Benefits. 

9/13/16 (download)
Newest Addition to CTA Member Benefits Offers Popular Discount Program

9/13/16 (download)
New and Updated Member Benefits Publications Available Now for Order and Download!

9/13/16 (download)
Now Introducing: Life Services Toolkit

8/15/16 (download)
New to the District? Don't Miss This Deadline!

8/15/16 (download)
NEW - CTA Member Benefits Video

6/15/16 (download)
Join in the Fun at Summer Institute This Year

6/15/16 (download)
Planning Your Summer?

6/15/16 (download)
Retiring or Changing Districts?

5/16/16 (download)
New and Updated Member Benefits Publications Available Now for Order and Download!

5/16/16 (download)
Join in the Fun at Summer Institute This Year

4/15/16 (download)
14 California High Schools Share $18,000 in 2016 California Casualty Thomas R. Brown Athletics Grants

3/15/16 (download)
Time Management Tips from CTA Member Benefits to Help Achieve a Work-life Balance

2/17/16 (download)
Family status changes? Update your Disability and Life Insurance

2/17/16 (download)
Drones and Hoverboards: Are You Covered for that?

1/19/16 (download)
Time Is Running Out On This Special Enrollment Opportunity

1/19/16 (download)
It’s Not Too Late to Protect Against El Niño

12/15/15 (download)
California Casualty Helping Middletown Rise from the Ashes

11/16/15 (download)
California Casualty & CTA

10/14/15 (download)
Time Is Running Out On This Special Enrollment Opportunity

10/14/15 (download)
Apply Now for a California Casualty Thomas R. Brown Athletics Grant

9/14/15 (download)
Do You Know - Student Loan Forgiveness

9/14/15 (download)
Are You Protecting Your Loved Ones?

8/17/15 (download)
Primary Residence or Classroom Damaged by Recent Wildfires?

8/17/15 (download)
New to the District? Don’t Miss This Deadline!

8/17/15 (download)
Reminder: 2015/2016 Member Benefits Publications are Now Available for Order and Download!

7/15/15 (download)
New 2015/2016 Member Benefits Publications are Now Available for Order and Download!

6/16/15 (download)
Planning Your Summer?

6/16/15 (download)
Retiring or Changing Districts?

6/16/15 (download)
Organizing with CTA and NEA Member Benefits Strand at Summer Institute 2015

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Newest Addition to CTA Member Benefits Offers Popular Discount Program

 

CTA Member Benefits provides valuable and exclusive benefits to you, your family and your career. The newest addition is the Access to Savings discount program, which has been enjoyed by some of our state affiliates. Now, as a member of CTA, you can also enjoy this program.

With more in-store merchant locations than any other private discount program, Access gives you unparalleled value at places you shop every day. These are exclusive offers delivering deep discounts of up to 50 percent off restaurants, retailers, hotels, theme parks, entertainment, home and garden, health and beauty, auto service and many more.

The philosophy of the Access to Savings program is simple: The more you use it, the more you save. The Access savings network is comprised of over 350,000 merchants. Access believes that true value comes when you are able to save at places where you are already spending money.

As we do for all vendors being evaluated for endorsement, we did our homework. We were delighted to see many recommendations, such as the following:

“I use my card daily on everything from meals to oil changes to vacation packages. There is nothing you can‛t save on! I have literally saved almost 3x my dues this year — talk about making my association work for me!” — Jennifer Cameron, Georgia Association of Educators

“This card saves, saves, and saves where you are or where you plan to go. Great to have.” — Helen Harper Cooley, Alabama Education Association

We believe the addition of the Access to Savings discounts will be very valuable to our members and hope you agree.

To begin saving, go to CTAMemberBenefits.org/Access. Once you have logged in, you can connect to the Access site and start enjoying your savings.

Also, you can get your deals on-the-go with your My Deals app by downloading it from the App Store or Google Play. Simply input your CTA Member number and the ID No. 200449. The My Deals app uses geo-location technology that pulls in deals based on your location. Whether you’re in San Jose, Los Angeles, Honolulu or New York, you’ll be given an automatic download of merchants near you.

Join members saving hundreds, if not thousands of dollars a year with CTA and NEA Member Benefits discounts and exclusive programs. Check out all the programs at CTAMemberBenefits.org to make sure you are taking full advantage of the special programs available to you.

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New and Updated Member Benefits Publications Available Now for Order and Download!

 

The CTA Member Benefits publications for 2016/2017 are available now.

NEW this year is the brochure about the CTA Retirement Savings Plan, the exclusively endorsed 403(b) plan launched this spring. Once you find that your district has been added to the Approved District List at www.CTAMemberBenefits.org/rsp, you’ll want to download or order this new publication so that you can learn more about these exciting new investment options.

Hopefully you can take advantage of many of the Member Benefits designed for you, your family, and your career.

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Now Introducing: Life Services Toolkit¹

As of September 1st, the Life Services Toolkit is available at no additional cost to those insured under a group Life Insurance policy from the only CTA-endorsed carrier – The Standard. Some of the services available to the plan participants through the Life Services Toolkit: Estate Planning Assistance, Financial Planning, Health and Wellness Information, Identity Theft Prevention, and Funeral Arrangements.

In addition, the Toolkit includes services for your beneficiaries: Grief Support, Legal Services, Financial Assistance, Support Services (such as help with funeral or memorial services), and Online Resources.

To learn more visit:
www.standard.com/ctalifeservices

Don’t have Life Insurance with The Standard?
Life Insurance is a key part of any financial plan. The CTA-endorsed Life Insurance Plan from The Standard is designed to supplement your existing Life Insurance or help you start new coverage. CTA Members are eligible to apply at any time for up to $400,000² in Life Insurance with The Standard.

Have Questions?
If you’re not sure which coverages you have with The Standard, or would like more information about our Life or Disability Insurance, simply call our dedicated CTA Customer Service Department at 800.522.0406 (TTY) 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Pacific Time, Monday through Friday, or email ctaservice@standard.com.

1 The Life Services Toolkit is provided through an arrangement with Bensinger, DuPont & Associates (BDA) and is not affiliated with The Standard. BDA is solely responsible for providing and administering the included service. This service is not an insurance product. The Life Services Toolkit is not available to Life insurance beneficiaries who are minors or non-individual entities such as trusts, estates or charities.

2 Coverage reduces to 65% of the amount in force at age 70, 45% of the amount in force at age 75 and 30% of the amount in force at age 80.

For costs and further details of the coverage provided by Standard Insurance company, including the exclusions, any reductions, benefit waiting periods or limitations and terms under which the policies may be continued in force, call The Standard’s dedicated CTA Customer Service department at 800.522.0406(TTY), 7:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m., Pacific Time, Monday-Friday.

Standard Insurance Company, 1100 SW Sixth Avenue, Portland, OR 97204
GP190-LIFE/S399/CTA.3

[Note to Chapter Newsletter Editors: If you use the above articles for your newsletter or website, please use the article in its entirety and do not alter the text in any way other than to change the capitalization, typeface or point size to meet your publication's style guidelines.]

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New to the District? Don't Miss This Deadline!

If you're a newly hired employee and an eligible CTA member, now's the time to get CTA-endorsed Disability and Life Insurance from Standard Insurance Company (The Standard). You have a special opportunity to apply for Disability Insurance and up to $200,000 of Life Insurance within 180 days of starting work.

You can apply online at www.standard.com/cta/newhire.

These plans were created specifically for California education professionals and offer a number of great features, including:

  • Coverage for disabilities occurring on or off the job
  • Access to the CTA Advisory Panel on Endorsed Services
  • Option to add Life Insurance coverage for your spouse/domestic partner and children with your Life Insurance

The Standard is the only Disability and Life Insurance provider endorsed by CTA. They were selected by CTA for their financial stability, integrity and commitment to serving CTA members. Don’t miss this opportunity – apply online at www.standard.com/cta/newhire.

For costs and further details of the coverage and this enrollment opportunity, including the exclusions, benefit waiting periods, and reductions or limitations and the terms under which the policy may be continued in force, please contact Standard Insurance Company at 800.522.0406. GP 190-LTD/S399/CTA.1; GP 190-LIFE/S399/CTA.3

[Note to Chapter Newsletter Editors: If you use the above articles for your newsletter or website, please use the article in its entirety and do not alter the text in any way other than to change the capitalization, typeface or point size to meet your publication's style guidelines.]

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NEW - CTA Member Benefits Video

Hope you had a wonderful and relaxing summer. CTA Member Benefits Department had the opportunity over the summer to talk with several members and developed a new CTA Member Benefits video. Take a few minutes to view the short video at www.CTAMemberBenefits.org/video.


"I encourage everyone to see what Member Benefits can do for them. It's a wonderful way to offset the cost of your dues and the service they offer are all quite excellent."
- Lynda Campfield - San Leandro Teachers Association

"There are a lot of great products CTA offers to its members. I encourage you to go ahead and explore the options that are available to you." - Ché Love - San Marcos Educators Association

If you want to learn more about CTA Member Benefits, visit www.CTAMemberBenefits.org.  If you have questions or need assistance, call (650) 552-5200.

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Join in the Fun at Summer Institute This Year 

CTA Summer Institute Member Benefits Strand

Strengthen Your Member Engagement Skills with Member Benefits

Because member engagement is more like a marathon than a sprint, Member Benefits can help your chapter come up with clever approaches to continually engage members. If you're interested in learning how to use Member Benefits to engage your fellow members, sign up for this strand and you'll leave with skills, tools, and plans to help build a strong local.

AND, new this year, CTA Member Benefits is offering a limited number of Member Benefits SI Awards which include reimbursement of the cost of registration and travel for your participation in this strand (one reimbursement award per chapter while supplies last). See the flyer and contact the Member Benefits Department at (650) 552-5441 if you are interested in securing one of these awards.

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Planning Your Summer?

Hope you have fun plans for the summer. For many of you, CTA and NEA Member Benefits can enhance whatever you have planned – whether it's fun, home projects, organizing your life and finances, or developing your skills!

www.CTAMemberBenefits.org (650-552-5200)

  • Save on California amusement park and movie theater tickets (TSA)
  • Obtain life and disability insurance to protect your income and loved ones (The Standard)
  • Check out financial services (Provident Credit Union and the CTA Credit Card program)
  • Get a quote for auto/home insurance specially designed for educators (California Casualty)
  • Download or order any of the new Member Benefits publications for free

www.CTAMemberBenefits.org/rsp (855) 604-6222

  • Check out the new CTA Retirement Savings Plan, our exclusively endorsed 403(b) plan
  • Look at the Approved District Listing to determine whether the new plan is available at your district yet (if not, continue to check periodically as new districts continue to be added)

www.CTAinvest.org (650-552-5200)

  • Check out free information and videos and use retirement planning calculators
  • Order free guides to help you plan for a more dignified retirement

www.neamb.com (800-637-4636)

  • Save money with major retailers, restaurants, and more (Click & Save)
  • Get deals for your home, on restaurants, travel and more (Click & Save)
  • Check out car rental deals (Alamo, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, and National)
  • Obtain CEU and graduate credits (NEA Academy)
  • Network with NEA members (GPS Networking.org) and find lesson plans (Lesson Planet)

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Retiring or Changing Districts? 

If you’re retiring this year, you and your loved ones can continue a portion of your current, active CTA-endorsed Life Insurance if you maintain a CTA-NEA Retired Lifetime Membership and apply within 120 days of retirement. This is a limited-time opportunity so apply now by calling The Standard’s CTA Customer Service Department at (800) 522-0406.

If you are changing school districts, contact The Standard as soon as possible to ensure that your coverage information is up to date. Also, if you apply within 180 days of a district change or transfer, you can apply for Disability Insurance and up to $200,000 of Life Insurance.

To learn more visit:
www.standard.com/cta/newhire
GP 190-LTD/S399/CTA.1, GP 190-LIFE/S399/CTA.3

Are you moving this summer?
Remember to call The Standard if you’re moving to a new address, changing districts or need to make changes to your beneficiary designations this summer. It’s very important to keep your records up-to-date, and it’s easy to do. Simply call The Standard’s dedicated CTA Customer Service Department at (800) 522-0406 or email ctaservice@standard.com.

[Note to Chapter Newsletter Editors: If you use the above articles for your newsletter or website, please use the article in its entirety and do not alter the text in any way other than to change the capitalization, typeface or point size to meet your publication's style guidelines.]

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New and Updated Member Benefits Publications Available Now for Order and Download!

 

The CTA Member Benefits publications for 2016/2017 are available now. See the attached brochure with pictures and descriptions of the new publications. You can order or download copies for you and your fellow members at no cost at www.CTAMemberBenefits.org. Chapter leaders are encouraged to order the CTA Highlights brochure to share with members and several posters to display at school sites.

NEW this year is the brochure about the CTA Retirement Savings Plan, the exclusively endorsed 403(b) plan launched this spring. Once you find that your district has been added to the Approved District List at www.CTAMemberBenefits.org/rsp, you’ll want to download or order this new publication so that you can learn more about these exciting new investment options.

For leaders looking for new ways to engage members, remember to check out the website for leaders at www.CTAMemberBenefits.org/toolkit. During the summer, new materials will be added including an update for the Organizing with CTA and NEA Member Benefits Toolkit and a Member Benefits video.

Hopefully you can take advantage of many of the Member Benefits designed for you, your family, and your career.

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Join in the Fun at Summer Institute This Year

CTA Summer Institute Member Benefits Strand

Strengthen Your Member Engagement Skills with Member Benefits

Because member engagement is more like a marathon than a sprint, Member Benefits can help your chapter come up with clever approaches to continually engage members. If you’re interested in learning how to use Member Benefits to engage your fellow members, sign up for this strand and you’ll leave with skills, tools, and plans to help build a strong local.

AND, new this year, CTA Member Benefits is offering a limited number of Member Benefits SI Awards which include reimbursement of the cost of registration and travel for your participation in this strand (one reimbursement award per chapter while supplies last). See the flyer and contact the Member Benefits Department at 650-552-5441 if you are interested in securing one of these awards.

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14 California High Schools Share $18,000 in 2016 California Casualty Thomas R. Brown Athletics Grants

 

Fourteen public high schools across California will see their sports programs enhanced thanks to the California Casualty Thomas R. Brown Athletics Grants program. They are among 86 high schools in 34 states receiving $102,500 for struggling athletics departments.

The grant is named after California Casualty Chairman Emeritus Thomas R. Brown, who is a champion of helping more student-athletes learn valuable lessons of teamwork and confidence. Since its inception in 2011, over $500,000 has been awarded to more than 400 high schools across the nation.

Many of the schools have large student populations that receive free or reduced-cost lunches and consequently have fewer and fewer dollars allocated for their sports programs. Some examples of how California Schools will use the grants to bolster athletics include:

  • Allowing the Redlands High School wrestling team to purchase a new, badly needed wrestling mat
  • Offsetting exorbitant travel costs for the isolated Mammoth High School football team
  • Providing new uniforms and equipment for the Cabrillo High School (Long Beach) track team
  • Purchasing baseballs, bats and other necessities for the Coliseum College Prep Academy (Oakland) baseball and softball programs

“Sports play an important role in schools across the country,” said Doug Goldberg, Senior Vice President. “California Casualty has supported educators for 65 years and we are honored to give back so more student-athletes can compete and succeed.”

There is an exciting new addition for the 2016/2017 California Casualty Thomas R. Brown Athletics Grants – the program has been expanded to include public middle schools. Applications are now being taken at www.calcasathleticsgrant.com. The deadline for consideration is January 15, 2017.

California Casualty has other initiatives that give back to educators for all their hard work including the $2,500 Academic Award, www.calcasacademicaward.com and $200 Help Your Classroom grants, www.calcas.com/help-your-classroom.

A complete list of the 2015/2016 recipients follows.

Celebrating 100 years, California Casualty has partnered with the CTA to provide members auto and home insurance tailored to their professional needs since 1951. Headquartered in San Mateo, CA, with Service Centers in Arizona, Colorado and Kansas, California Casualty has been led by four generations of the Brown family. To learn more, or to request an auto insurance quote, please visit www.CTAMemberBenefits.org/calcas or www.calcas.com/CTA or call 1.800.800.9410.

California 2015/2016 Thomas R. Brown Athletics Grant Recipients

Azusa High School
Bear Creek High School (Stockton)
Bear River High School (Grass Valley)
Coliseum College Prep Academy (Oakland)
Fremont High School (Oakland)
Highland High School (Bakersfield)
Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo High School (Long Beach)
Mammoth High School (Mammoth Lakes)
Redlands High School
San Diego High School
San Pasqual Valley High School (Winterhaven)
San Ysidro High School (San Diego)
Thurgood Marshal High School (San Francisco)
Willow Glen High School (San Jose)

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Time Management Tips from CTA Member Benefits to Help Achieve a Work-life Balance

You don’t have to choose between being a good parent and being a good teacher with these helpful productivity tips.

For Mike Anderson, fatherhood felt like a second full-time job. He would come home from a long day with his fifth graders, and his wife would hand off their two-year-old and newborn to him, leaving him with no time (or hands) to grade papers or plan lessons.

“Up until I had kids, I always had this luxury of time,” says Anderson, who authored “The Well-Balanced Teacher” and now works as an independent education consultant. “I could go into school on the weekends or bring work home. All of a sudden, when I became a dad, I felt like I had to choose between being a good father and being a good teacher. And I thought, I don’t want to make that choice.”

It’s a familiar struggle for many educators. If you’re one of them, try these tips.

Find your most productive time

Anderson is a morning person, and so he began waking up at 4:30 a.m., swam laps at five and was at school by seven—almost two hours before he first saw his students. This gave him the time to power through the bulk of his work when he was at his most productive, rather than waiting until later in the day when he was sluggish.

“If I try to do something in the late afternoon, it could take me an hour to do something that would take me 10 minutes in the morning,” he says. “That’s a huge waste of time.”

Erica Douglas, who taught elementary school in Waukee, Iowa, when her two oldest children were young, found that she did still have the energy at the end of the day to plan her lessons and communicate with parents after her kids were in bed, so she made that was her work time. She says, “I got used to working on the couch for a couple of hours, until 10 or 10:30 p.m.”

Prioritize

Before you had kids, you had time to coach track, lead the yearbook club, learn Mandarin and train for a marathon. Now that you’re dealing with diapers and drop-offs, something’s got to go.

“I had to force myself to only be on one committee at school at a time,” says Trisha Hall, a first-grade teacher in Madbury, New Hampshire, and mother of two children.

Anderson found extra time by skimming students’ homework and giving them a completion grade, rather than fully grading every assignment. “I realized that the homework just wasn’t as important as other things that I needed to do,” he says. “We have to admit that we can’t do it all. There isn’t enough time.”

Disconnect during dinner

At certain times of the day, including dinner, Anderson makes a point of charging his phone in one room of the house and spending time with his kids in another. It’s a way to make sure he’s fully present for family time. “When I feel the buzz of an email coming in, my mind shifts away from what my son is saying,” he says.

Douglas didn’t get work emails on her phone at all. “I knew if I got my school email set up on my phone, I would be on it all the time, so I just didn’t hook it up,” she says.

Ditch the guilt

Hall looks ahead to busy times of the school year, like when report cards are due, and makes plans to “call in all the troops,” getting friends, relatives and babysitters to cover for her at home while she works.

“I say, it’s going to be two weeks, and it’s going to be crazy, and other people are going to spend time with my kids, but that’s okay,” Hall says.

She says she’s learned to “let go” and not beat herself up over these periods. “You’re going to have times that are down,” she says. But, she notes, there are other periods when her teaching schedule allows for more family time. This summer, for example, she’s planning a month-long family road trip.

Remember to enjoy parenting!

After work, it can seem like you only have time to feed your kids, read them a story and tuck them into bed. But Ann-Marie Cunniff, a Boston teacher and a single mother to two daughters, says she tries to find time to do small, special things as often as possible. These can be as simple as doing their nails together, baking cupcakes or cuddling up on the couch to watch a DVD.

“It’s figuring out what you can do in 15 minutes, because you don’t have a couple of hours,” she says.

Take care of yourself

If you’re not sleeping, exercising and eating right—as well as taking some time to recharge your batteries with a hobby or two—you’re likely to burn out, in which case you won’t be much help to your kids at school or at home.

“Like on a plane, they say put your own mask on first and then help your child,” says Cunniff. “You can’t do anybody any good if you can’t breathe.”

CTA and NEA Member Benefits and resources are designed to save you time and money - helping you, your family and your career. Find out more about your Member Benefits at www.CTAMemberBenefits.org and www.neamb.com.

See the complete article here. You can also find more work/life balance tips here. (http://www.neamb.com/professional-resources/how-to-achieve-classroom-family-balance-guilt-free.htm)

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Family status changes? Update your Disability and Life Insurance

Changes in family status such as birth or adoption of a child, marriage or domestic partnership, or a spouse’s loss of employment are good times to review and update your insurance coverage. Active CTA members can add or increase voluntary Life Insurance coverage up to $200,000 without answering any health questions as long as they apply within 31 days of a qualifying Family Status Change. Members can also add Disability Insurance within the same 31-day window. For more information about this enrollment opportunity, or to file a maternity Disability claim, visit us at www.CTAMemberBenefits.org.

For costs and further details of the coverage, including exclusions, benefit waiting periods and any reductions or limitations and the terms under which the policy may be continued in force, please contact The Standard’s dedicated CTA Customer Service Department at 800.522.0406.

Why you need Disability Insurance coverage
Disability benefits can help with the everyday bills, like your mortgage and utilities that continue even when you can't work — expenses that health insurance won't cover.

Not all school districts provide disability insurance to their employees, and in most cases, educators are not eligible for California's state disability insurance plan. This means you may be left with only sick leave to protect you if you are unable to work due to disability.

The CTA-endorsed Disability Insurance plan underwritten by Standard Insurance Company (The Standard) was specially designed to cover the gaps in coverage that many educators face. And because this plan was created by CTA, you can trust that it offers member advocacy protections that other plans can't match.

Active CTA members can learn more about their coverage options and apply for Disability Insurance online at www.CTAMemberBenefits.org.

For costs and further details of the coverage, including exclusions, benefit waiting periods and any reductions or limitations and the terms under which the policy may be continued in force, please contact The Standard’s dedicated CTA Customer Service Department at 800.522.0406.

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Drones and Hoverboards: Are You Covered for that?

Millions of Americans have recently purchased or received a gift of a drone or hoverboard. While both can provide hours of fun, there are safety and insurance considerations you need to know about.

Drones (officially named UAS)

The FAA is requiring all noncommercial users to register them to help prevent near misses with commercial and firefighting aircraft. There are also rules and guidelines you should know before you attach a camera and start flying one around your neighborhood.

  • Fly no higher than 400 feet
  • Keep the aircraft in eyesight at all times
  • Remain well clear of manned aircraft operations – you must avoid other aircraft and obstacles at all times
  • Do not intentionally fly over unprotected persons or moving vehicles and remain at least 25 feet from individuals and vulnerable property
  • Contact the airport or control tower before flying within five miles of an airport
  • Don’t fly in adverse weather such as high winds or reduced visibility
  • Don’t fly near or over sensitive infrastructure or property such as power stations, water treatment facilities, correctional facilities, heavily traveled roadways, military installations or government facilities

Be aware that you can be sued by someone who claims you were violating their privacy with a drone. If you are caught taking pictures without their permission, or using those pictures on the internet, social media or a publication without their permission, you could be liable.

Another concern is liability if your drone slams into someone or their property. It’s possible that your homeowners insurance will cover the medical costs or damage to their home – if the flight was for recreational fun. However, if you were flying that UAS for a business purpose, such as helping a realtor get pictures of a property or to make a commercial video, you most likely are not covered under most homeowners or renters insurance liability. For that, you would need to get commercial insurance.

Remember, every company and every policy is different, so it’s best to know beforehand.

Hoverboards

If you or someone in your family has a hoverboard, watch out. There have been recalls because of batteries bursting into flames. Due to fire danger, airlines and many college campuses are banning them. If your hoverboard starts a fire and causes damage to your apartment or home, you may not be covered for the cost of repairs because of policy exclusions.

If you are “balance-challenged,” be aware that there have been many serious injuries from people falling off hoverboards or running into someone else.

Because hoverboards are considered a motorized vehicle, many homeowners insurance policies exclude coverage if you hurt someone while riding one, meaning you could be responsible for medical bills. That exclusion would also apply to fire damage.

Lessons Learned

Before you fly that drone or hop on a hoverboard, you’ll want to read all the safety information carefully. You should also call your insurance company and see if you are covered for any accidents.

In fact, it’s always good to get a yearly review of your policy and make sure you are covered for any new purchases. You can call our endorsed auto and home insurance carrier, California Casualty, for a policy review or comparison today at 1.800.800.9410 or visit www.calcas.com/CTA.

Celebrating 100 years, California Casualty has partnered with the CTA to provide members auto and home insurance tailored to their professional needs since 1951. Headquartered in San Mateo, CA, with Service Centers in Arizona, Colorado and Kansas, California Casualty has been led by four generations of the Brown family. To learn more, or to request an auto insurance quote, please visit: http://www.CTAMemberBenefits.org/calcas or http://www.calcas.com/CTA, or call 1-800-800-9410.

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Time Is Running Out On This Special Enrollment Opportunity

If you’re a newly hired CTA member this year, you may be eligible for a special, limited-time opportunity to apply for CTA-endorsed Disability and Life Insurance from Standard Insurance Company (The Standard).

If you apply within your first 180 days of starting your new job, eligible CTA members can get up to $200,000 of Life Insurance coverage without answering any health questions.

You can also apply for Disability Insurance, which can help with the everyday bills like your mortgage and utilities, that continue even when you can't work -- expenses that health insurance won't cover. The CTA-endorsed Disability Insurance plan was specially designed to address the gaps in coverage that many California educators face.

Remember, you only have 180 days to apply for this unique opportunity. Don't miss out.

For costs and further details of the coverage and this enrollment opportunity, including exclusions, benefit waiting periods, any reductions or limitations and the terms under which the policy may be continued in force, call The Standard's CTA Customer Service Department at 800.522.0406, or visit www.standard.com/cta/newhire to apply online.

GP190-LTD/S399/CTA.1, GP190-LIFE/S399/CTA.3

[Note to Chapter Newsletter Editors: If you use the above articles for your newsletter or website, please use the article in its entirety and do not alter the text in any way other than to change the capitalization, typeface or point size to meet your publication's style guidelines.]

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It’s Not Too Late to Protect Against El Niño

El Niño is here. Predictions of heavy storms with accompanying flooding, mudslides and damaging waves are turning into reality for drought parched California. As rivers and reservoirs start to fill, sudden downbursts have left highways closed, neighborhoods isolated and emergency crews busy making water rescues. The Sierra Nevada and southern mountains are experiencing near record snowfall.

Climatologists warn that the effects of this record tying El Niño will continue to be felt with an unpredictable line up of storms and precipitation into the spring. If you haven’t done so already, here are some things you should take care of:

  • Make sure your vehicles have comprehensive insurance coverage for damage from weather, flooding, mudslides, falling objects (rocks and trees)
  • Check your auto’s tires to make sure they will provide traction in rainy, icy or snowy weather
  • Inspect the roof of your home to make sure it’s holding up to the onslaught of heavy rain, snow or ice
  • Ensure that your gutters and downspouts channel water away from your home
  • Trim branches and trees that could blow onto your roof or home in a heavy storm

The Insurance Information Institute estimates that over the past five years, damage from wind and storms have been the number one cause of property claims. Before El Niño takes aim at your home, the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) recommends that you:

  • Review your homeowners or renters insurance to make sure you are covered for storm loss
  • Purchase flood insurance – which is not included with most homeowners insurance – if you live in a flood prone area (keep in mind 25 percent of all flood claims occur in areas outside high-risk flood zones)
  • Talk with your insurance company to make sure you have the adequate limits and deductibles
  • Take an inventory of all the possessions you own
  • Make an emergency kit and plan evacuation routes

No matter the weather, California Casualty is ready to help with your storm insurance preparations. They can make sure you have the correct coverages and help you get flood insurance. Contact them for a policy review or comparison at 1.800.800.9410 or visit www.calcas.com/CTA.

Celebrating 100 years, California Casualty has partnered with the CTA to provide members auto and home insurance tailored to their professional needs since 1951. Headquartered in San Mateo, CA, with Service Centers in Arizona, Colorado and Kansas, California Casualty has been led by four generations of the Brown family. To learn more, or to request an auto insurance quote, please visit: www.CTAMemberBenefits.org/calcas or www.calcas.com/CTA, or call 1-800-800-9410.

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California Casualty Helping Middletown Rise from the Ashes

It’s something the residents of Middletown, California could have never imagined; most of their community was reduced to twisted metal and ash as the Valley fire roared into Lake County in September. More than 1,300 homes and businesses were destroyed in a matter of hours.

It was one of California’s most vicious fires with many who lost everything in the blaze. The disaster was so complete that hundreds of townspeople were forced to relocate to other areas and neighboring cities, some more than an hour away.

As the smoke cleared it was evident that the blaze put more than just a serious physical strain on Middleton and its residents, it also impacted them emotionally. While most people vowed to rebuild, the uncertainty of when and what the town would look like in the future weighed heavily upon them.

Middletown High School Principal Bill Roderick told an NPR reporter that they usually handle tragedies that affect one or two families, but this time was different. “Right now, what I'm finding is the adults and the kids are emotionally exhausted because there are so many people that need help and support," he said.

Working so closely with Roderick, a California Casualty customer whose home and possessions were decimated (along with 11 other families insured with the company, seven of those CTA or CTA retired member households), California Casualty felt their anxiety and need. As an organization dedicated to serving the groups they insure, the company saw an opportunity to step up and help the townspeople reconnect with each other and with the first responders who risked their lives battling the blaze.

Led by Roderick, and in collaboration with the Middletown High School Booster Club, California Casualty hosted a Still Standing; Still Fighting event on November 6, six weeks after the high school homecoming game was cancelled because of the fire.

 

Pictured left to right, Christy Forward, Norma Alfaro, Tami Phillips, and Susan Frantz

It was one of the first opportunities for Middletown residents to reunite and show appreciation to the men and woman who battled the inferno that bent the town’s will but did not break its spirit.

The Middletown community, along with law enforcement officers and firefighters who fought for the town and helped save the high school – the heart of Middletown, gathered to attend the rescheduled game and share appreciation, food and camaraderie.

Principal Roderick said the event touched many in Middletown. “For us, homecoming was a celebration of our community. It was a statement that our community is still standing, and still fighting.”

Roderick also thanked everyone for the tremendous support they have received. “This is a long process; the path to recovery is a marathon, not a sprint. As a community, we will take care of each other and rebuild property by property, stick by stick. We are grateful for the support we have received from businesses large and small. What is more amazing is the support we have received from the educational community across the state. It has been overwhelming and humbling, and we are extremely grateful.”

As an insurer, California Casualty knows that insurance helps protect people and provides them with peace of mind and that as members go through the recovery process from fires, there is a tremendous amount of emotional stress, anxiety, worry, and trauma that remains. Assisting with the homecoming event was an important step in the emotional healing for the town, helping them to move forward.

California Casualty Senior Group Marketing Manager Susan Frantz remarked how exciting it was to watch a small idea to help burgeon into such a success. “Meeting first responders and teachers was the highlight of the event,” she said. “Many were insureds who were truly grateful and visibly happy that we were there.”

California Casualty Field Marketing Manager Norma Alfaro was impressed by how touching the event was. “I was working side by side with individuals who had lost their homes and jobs; they were just trying to restore some normalcy to their and their children’s world. For an evening we were able to give them that. The spirit of this town was not broken. On the contrary, they are on the mend and teaching us all something about the human spirit in the process.”

“It was the right thing to do,” said Sr. Vice President James Kauffman, who had been instrumental in meeting with members affected by the firestorm and organizing recovery efforts. “It shows the fabric of our company based on promises that we make to serve the people who serve us.”

Other Middletown community rebuilding efforts spearheaded by California Casualty included funding the replacement of high school cheerleading outfits; a donation to replace four Middletown High School homecoming floats that were burned in the fire; T-shirts for firefighters, law enforcement officers and educators; banners to thank the first responders and replacement of other perishable homecoming items lost in the blaze.

California Casualty continues to live up to the tenets of the California Casualty Code, the cornerstone of how the company operates, written by Carl G. Brown, Jr. and adopted in 1965. The ethos of “when they need us, we are there,” is just one example of how California Casualty delivers for the people and communities it serves, including the CTA.

To learn more about California Casualty’s exclusive CTA Auto and Home Insurance program for educators, go to www.CTAMemberBenefits.org/calcas or call 1-800-800-9410.

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California Casualty & CTA

Mutually committed to the educators they serve, California Teachers Association and California Casualty have a bond that is over 60 years in the making. The partnership was founded on a promise to protect, but the relationship has evolved into something more.

Acting as on-site member advocates, California Casualty’s field representatives explain the significance of CTA membership, including the auto and home insurance benefit that was the foundation of the partnership in 1951.

The recent concurrent sponsorship of the California Department of Education’s School Recognition Program is another example of California Casualty and CTA joining forces to recognize and promote the dedication and accomplishments of California educators who provide the highest quality of education for their students.

As the Presenting Sponsor, California Casualty helped make possible events that honored the 2015 Teachers of the Year, Classified School Employees of the Year, and the 373 secondary schools named 2015 Gold Ribbon Schools.

Participating in the California Schools Recognition Program has opened new doors for California Casualty field representatives to bolster interest in CTA and its member benefit programs.

California Casualty CEO Beau Brown remarked what a privilege it was to play a key role in acknowledging the achievements and successes of California educators and their schools. “Our partnership with the California Department of Education is a testament of how schools, businesses and communities can come together to promote the remarkable successes of those developing the minds of our future generations.”

The CTA and California Casualty salute the great work of exceptional schools and educators across the Golden State. Together, our organizations are able to do more for the CTA members we serve.

A California Casualty representative would welcome the opportunity to explain the many benefits that come with CTA membership. If your school would like a visit, contact California Casualty Regional Manager Lisa Almeida, LAlmeida@calcas.com or call 800.964.3903, ext. 5920.

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Time Is Running Out On This Special Enrollment Opportunity

If you’re a newly hired CTA member this year, you may be eligible for a special, limited-time opportunity to apply for CTA-endorsed Disability and Life Insurance from Standard Insurance Company (The Standard).

If you apply within your first 180 days of starting your new job, eligible CTA members can get up to $200,000 of Life Insurance coverage without answering any health questions.

You can also apply for Disability Insurance, which can help with the everyday bills like your mortgage and utilities, that continue even when you can't work -- expenses that health insurance won't cover. The CTA-endorsed Disability Insurance plan was specially designed to address the gaps in coverage that many California educators face.

Remember, you only have 180 days to apply for this unique opportunity. Don't miss out.

For costs and further details of the coverage and this enrollment opportunity, including exclusions, benefit waiting periods, any reductions or limitations and the terms under which the policy may be continued in force, call The Standard's CTA Customer Service Department at 800.522.0406, or visit www.standard.com/cta/newhire to apply online.

GP190-LTD/S399/CTA.1, GP190-LIFE/S399/CTA.3

[Note to Chapter Newsletter Editors: If you use the above articles for your newsletter or website, please use the article in its entirety and do not alter the text in any way other than to change the capitalization, typeface or point size to meet your publication's style guidelines.]

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Apply Now for a California Casualty Thomas R. Brown Athletics Grant

Public high schools in California can score up to $3,000 for their sports departments with a California Casualty Thomas R. Brown Athletics Grant. California Casualty, provider of the CTA Auto and Home Insurance Program, is providing $100,000 to offset budget cuts that have affected high school athletics. Details and entry forms can be found at www.calcasathleticsgrant.com. Applications must be received by January 15, 2016 for 2015/2016 consideration.

The grant is named after California Casualty Chairman Emeritus Tom Brown, who believes that lessons taught on the playing field – teamwork, confidence and sportsmanship – help develop students who are successful in the classroom and later in life.

This past year, 14 California Schools shared $17,000 to offset participation fees, buy new uniforms and purchase concussion preventing helmets. Since its inception, more than $400,000 has been awarded to hundreds of public high schools across the U.S.

“We want to help guarantee that student-athletes get a chance to compete and learn,” said Doug Goldberg, Senior Vice President.

Applicants must be a current member (or referred by a member) of the California Teachers Association (CTA) or one of our other participating educator associations, as well as be an active employee of the public high school for which funding is sought. Recipients will be notified in April with presentations in May. Official rules and applications can be found at www.calcasathleticsgrant.com.

California Casualty has served California educators since 1951 and provides the CTA Auto and Home Insurance Program. The company gives back through numerous Community Impact Initiatives:

  • The $2,500 Academic Award – given annually to educators to help buy school supplies or provide for school programs facing cuts, www.calcasacademicaward.com
  • The $7,500 School Lounge Makeover® – to create a more soothing and relaxing area for educators to recharge during the school day, www.schoolloungemakeover.com
  • $200 Help Your Classroom grants, www.calcas.com/help-your-classroom
  • Sponsorship of the California Department of Education’s School Recognition Program, including awards such as 2015 Teacher of the Year, Classified School Employees of the Year, and 373 secondary schools named 2015 Gold Ribbon Schools

Learn more about the CTA Auto and Home Insurance Program provided by California Casualty at www.CTAMemberBenefits.org/calcas.

Celebrating 100 years, California Casualty has partnered with the CTA since 1951 to provide members auto and home insurance tailored to their professional needs. Headquartered in San Mateo, CA, with Service Centers in Arizona, Colorado and Kansas, California Casualty has been led by four generations of the Brown family. To learn more, or to request an auto insurance quote, please visit www.calcas.com/CTA, or call 1.800.800.9410.

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Do You Know - Student Loan Forgiveness

Do you know that if you teach in a “high impact school” and have Stafford and/or Perkins loans you may be eligible for having a portion of your student loans forgiven?

 

Stafford Loans:
If you have a Stafford Loan, teach five consecutive years in a “high impact school”, and have not consolidated your loans, you may be eligible for $5,000 or $17,500 forgiven.

Perkins Loans:
If you have a Perkins Loan, teach a “shortage area content” in a “high impact school”, and have not consolidated your loans, you may be eligible for a percentage of your student loan forgiven (15% for 1st and 2nd years, 20% for 3rd and 4th years, and 30% for 5th year).

PSLF Forgiveness:
You must make 120 on-time, full, scheduled monthly payments on your student loans under a qualifying repayment plan. When you make each of the 120 payments, you must be working full-time at a qualifying public service organization.

Resources:
Visit our CTA Member Benefits website for a student loan flyer and for additional information and helpful links, www.CTAMemberBenefits.org/studentloan.

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Are You Protecting Your Loved Ones?

According to insurance industry research group LIMRA, 30 percent of U.S. households have no life insurance coverage. LIMRA’s most recent Trends in Life Insurance Ownership study also found that 40 percent of U.S. households said that they would have immediate trouble meeting everyday living expenses if the primary breadwinner died today.

September is Life Insurance Awareness Month, so take some time to check your own coverage and educate yourself about the options available to you as a CTA member.

If you’re a CTA member newly hired by your district, fall is a great time of year to get CTA-endorsed Life Insurance from Standard Insurance Company (The Standard). You have a special opportunity to apply for up to $200,000 of Life Insurance within 180 days of starting work – without providing any proof of good health.

 

And all eligible CTA members can apply for up to $400,000 of Life Insurance at any time with satisfactory proof of good health.

The CTA-endorsed Life Insurance plan was created specifically for California education professionals and offers a number of great features, including:

  • Option to add Life Insurance coverage for your spouse/domestic partner and children with your Life Insurance
  • Accidental Death and Dismemberment benefits
  • Continuation of coverage during total disability with payment of premium

The Standard is the only Life Insurance provider endorsed by CTA. They were selected for their financial stability, integrity and commitment to serving CTA members and their loved ones. Don’t miss this opportunity to get the protection you deserve from a partner you can trust. Call The Standard’s dedicated CTA Customer Service Department at 800.522.0406 for more information or apply online by logging in at CTAMemberBenefits.org/life.

For costs and further details of the coverage and this enrollment opportunity, including the exclusions, benefit waiting periods, and reductions or limitations and the terms under which the policy may be continued in force, please contact Standard Insurance Company at 800.522.0406. GP 190-LIFE/S399/CTA.3

[Note to Chapter Newsletter Editors: If you choose to use the above article for your newsletter or website, please use the article in its entirety and do not alter the text in any way other than to change the capitalization, typeface or point size to meet your publication's style guidelines.]

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Primary Residence or Classroom Damaged by Recent Wildfires?

The Disaster Relief Fund is a separate, special fund for members of CTA. The fund is endowed to provide financial assistance to CTA members who have experienced significant losses or displacement due to disasters in California. The Temporary Displacement Grant is available to members who are displaced from their primary residence as the result of a disaster, but do not qualify for a Standard Grant. The School Site Grant is for CTA members whose school site has experienced losses.

If you have suffered a hardship related to damage to a primary residence or school site, start the online mobile application process at m.ctamemberbenefits.org/en/DisasterRelief or visit www.CTAMemberBenefits.org/drf to download an application.

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New to the District? Don’t Miss This Deadline!

If you’re a newly hired employee and an eligible CTA member, now’s the time to get CTA-endorsed Disability and Life Insurance from Standard Insurance Company (The Standard). You have a special opportunity to apply for Disability Insurance and up to $200,000 of Life Insurance within 180* days of starting work.

You can apply online at www.standard.com/cta/newhire.

These plans were created specifically for California education professionals and offer a number of great features, including:

  • Coverage for disabilities occurring on or off the job
  • Access to the CTA Advisory Panel on Endorsed Services
  • Option to add Life Insurance coverage for your spouse/domestic partner and children with your Life Insurance

The Standard is the only Disability and Life Insurance provider endorsed by CTA. They were selected by CTA for their financial stability, integrity and commitment to serving CTA members. Don’t miss this opportunity – apply online at www.standard.com/cta/newhire.

*180 day effective September 1, 2015; if you apply before September 1, 2015, 120 days.

For costs and further details of the coverage and this enrollment opportunity, including the exclusions, benefit waiting periods, and reductions or limitations and the terms under which the policy may be continued in force, please contact Standard Insurance Company at 800.522.0406. GP 190-LTD/S399/CTA.1; GP 190-LIFE/S399/CTA.3

[Note to Chapter Newsletter Editors: If you choose to use the article above for your newsletter or website, please use the article in its entirety and do not alter the text in any way other than to change the capitalization, typeface or point size to meet your publication's style guidelines.]

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Reminder: 2015/2016 Member Benefits Publications are Now Available for Order and Download!

The CTA Member Benefits materials have been updated. See the folder with pictures and descriptions of the new publications. As always, you can order or download copies for you or other members at no cost at www.CTAMemberBenefits.org. CTA encourages chapter leaders to consider ordering at least the Highlights brochure for members and also to order enough copies of the poster to post at your school sites.

 

Also for leaders (including site representatives), note that there are new Member Benefits tools to assist in your chapter organizing. CTA encourages you to go to the website and check them out at www.CTAMemberBenefits.org/toolkit.

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New 2015/2016 Member Benefits Publications are Now Available for Order and Download!

The CTA Member Benefits materials have been updated. See the folder with pictures and descriptions of the new publications. As always, you can order or download copies for you or other members at no cost at www.CTAMemberBenefits.org. CTA encourages chapter leaders to consider ordering at least the Highlights brochure for members and also to order enough copies of the poster to post at your school sites.

 

Also for leaders (including site representatives), note that there are new Member Benefits tools to assist in your chapter organizing. CTA encourages you to go to the website and check them out at www.CTAMemberBenefits.org/toolkit.

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Planning Your Summer?

Hope you have fun plans for the summer. For many of you, CTA and NEA Member Benefits can enhance whatever you have planned – whether it's fun, home projects, organizing your life and finances, or developing your skills! Just take a look at a sampling of what is waiting for you:

www.CTAMemberBenefits.org (650-552-5200)

  • Save on California amusement park and movie theater tickets (TSA
  • Obtain life and disability insurance to protect your income and loved ones (The Standard)
  • Check out financial services (Provident Credit Union and Bank of America credit card program)
  • Get a quote for auto/home insurance specially designed for educators (California Casualty)

www.CTAinvest.org (650-552-5200)

  • Check out free information and videos and use retirement planning calculators
  • Order free guides to help you plan for a more comfortable retirement

www.neamb.com (800-637-4636)

  • Save money with retailers like Target, Kohl's, Best Buy, JC Penney, Sears and more (Click & Save)
  • Get deals for your home, on restaurants, travel and more (Click & Save)
  • Check out car rental deals (Alamo, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, and National)
  • Obtain CEU and graduate credits (NEA Academy)
  • Network with NEA members (GPS Networking.org) and find lesson plans (Lesson Planet)

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Retiring or Changing Districts?

If you’re retiring this year, you and your loved ones can continue a portion of your current, active CTA-endorsed Life Insurance if you maintain a CTA-NEA Retired Lifetime Membership and apply within 120 days of retirement. This is a limited-time opportunity so apply now by calling The Standard’s CTA Customer Service Department at 800.522.0406.

If you are changing school districts, contact The Standard as soon as possible to ensure that your coverage information is up to date. Also, if you apply within 120 days of a district change or transfer, you can choose to continue your insurance coverage with The Standard at your current level, or you can apply for Disability Insurance and up to $200,000 of Life Insurance.

To learn more visit:
www.standard.com/cta/newhire
GP 190-LTD/S399/CTA.1, GP 190-LIFE/S399/CTA.3

Are you moving this summer?

Remember to call The Standard if you’re moving to a new address, changing districts or need to make changes to your beneficiary designations this summer. It’s very important to keep your records up-to-date, and it’s easy to do. Simply call The Standard’s dedicated CTA Customer Service Department at 800.522.0406 or email ctaservice@standard.com.

[Note to Chapter Newsletter Editors: If you use the above articles for your newsletter or website, please use the article in its entirety and do not alter the text in any way other than to change the capitalization, typeface or point size to meet your publication's style guidelines.]

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Organizing with CTA and NEA Member Benefits Strand at Summer Institute 2015

You are Invited to our Organizing with CTA and NEA Member Benefits strand at Summer Institute August 2 – 6, 2015. We hope someone from your chapter can join our fun workshop and learn how to use Member Benefits for member and local organizing. See flyer for more details.

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