There are many advantages to becoming a member of the BCIT Retirees’ Association, and perhaps the greatest of these is the opportunity to maintain a rewarding connection with people you have worked with for many years. People who, like you, have also retired.
As we graduate into our retirement years, we face a very different dynamic in our lives; one that is unfamiliar, is without the structure of an established work week, and without exposure to the familiar faces we have seen on a day-to-day basis during our working careers.
With free time to do whatever we choose, we appreciate our retirement, but often find ourselves at loose ends. We miss the productivity that our jobs afforded us and we miss the connection with friends we have made at work. The transition to retirement can be a difficult experience, and at the very least it will take some time to settle into this new way of life.
The BCIT Retirees’ Association aims to provide members with an avenue to maintain those connections. We remain integrated with BCIT through our work with the BCIT Alumni Association, the BCIT Foundation and with the ongoing growth of the BCITRA Endowment Fund. RA members are invited to BCIT events, such as the BOG Christmas Reception, Open House, Presentation Idol, and Convocation. Your ties to BCIT do not have to end because you have retired, our Association is recognized and welcomed by BCIT Administration in as many ways possible.
Our Association is undergoing its own revitalization, and our membership is growing. We are in regular communication with our members through a process we call ‘e-blasts’, providing newsletters, information on upcoming events and activities, offering opportunities to volunteer within our organiztion and in the community, and extending information on a wide variety of pertinent topics. We have a vibrant and current website that provides answers to questions and links to other helpful sites.
We want you to join us, and whether it is to just read the Newsletters and e- blasts that go out, or to become actively involved in the events that we organize, there is no doubt that you will enjoy feeling connected once again.
Here are some perks that might pique your interest:
- Currently when you join the BCITRA the calendar year in which you join is free and regular dues begin the following January. You can now pay your Association fees on an annual basis or take advantage of the NEW reduced ten-year fee.
The majority of the ten-year fee will be immediately contributed to the Endowment Fund which is established through the BCIT Foundation and provides bursary assistance for BCIT students. Our Association has contributed more than $60,000 to this fund to date.
- Our e-blast communication process is used to inform members about what is happening in our Association. This includes newsletters and specific event reminders. All members are welcome to contribute articles for our Newsletter, as deemed suitable by the Directors.
- BCITRA is affiliated with COSCO BC (Council of Senior Citizens' Organization of BC). This is a very active organization and we have a delegate who attends their monthly meeting and brings relevant information to the Directors to share with the membership. The Health and Wellness arm of COSCO offers free workshops to interested parties. We try to offer several such workshops in the fall and spring term. Upcoming topics are highlighted in newsletters and specific e-blasts.
- The Board of Director works hard to facilitate events where members can socialize and enjoy themselves. Annual events include a Spring Luncheon and a Christmas Breakfast. Monthly pub lunches in Burnaby are planned throughout the year. These events are well attended and the food has been commendably good. Suggestions for future social events are always welcomed.
- We provide a wealth of information to questions that our members ask. ‘Where do I find a good plumber?’, ‘My doctor has retired, now what do I do?’, ‘I’m downsizing from a house to an apartment - HELP!’ Well, we are here to HELP! Our membership is a diverse group of individuals with a wide range of life skills; if we don’t know the answer, there is someone out there within e-blast reach who will. This is what we mean by being ‘connected’.
- Our Association has an affiliation with Johnson Insurance. You will have access to group pricing for your medical, household and travel insurance that is competitive and will meet your needs.
- The BCITRA Annual General Meeting (AGM) is held in March of each year, and we encourage all members to attend. This is an opportunity to hear reports from your Board of Directors regarding the activities that have taken place over the past year, as well as anticipated priorities going forward. You will hear speakers discuss topics pertinent to the membership, and representatives from BCIT Administration who will provide highlights and directions regarding BCIT activity. You will also vote for your new Board of Directors who will steer the ship, with your help and input, over the next year.
- When you join the BCITRA, you will receive a membership card. Your membership card is your ‘key’ that will help access opportunities that are available to BCIT retirees.
These opportunities include:
- BCIT Retiree ID Card available from the Safety and Security Office. The BCIT Retiree ID Card will enable you to access the BCIT Library and services; BCIT fitness facilities and services; 24-hour Security escorts through the Safer Walk program; and entry to events.
- Your Retiree ID Card will enable you to enrol in BCIT courses that are offered through part-time studies as an ‘audit’ learner, and will be dependent on whether the class fills prior to term start.
- Present your BCITRA membership card at the Safety and Security Office to receive a Retirees’ parking permit (renewed yearly). The Retirees’ parking permit will allow you to park in most staff lots on the Burnaby campus (all visitors lots are restricted as well as some staff lots. Restricted lots are identified on the permit).