Member Interview: Retirement Security Committee Chair Derrick Boutte speaks about the Committee’s plans for the new term
With a new Executive Board for SEIU Local 1021 comes new committee chairs. The newly elected Chair of the Retirement Security Committee, Derrick Boutte, recently spoke about his vision for the committee, why active members should care about securing a retirement plan for the future, and why the issue matters to the labor movement.
“Being a part of the retirement process allows me to understand what my future can look like and how important it is to my family and I. Helping others understand that importance, knowing the challenges that we go through consistently every day as workers, is crucial to me,” says Derrick.“Whether we’re out there on strikes or fighting for the rights of workers that have no voice—I am always trying to set an example and talk about the retirement security that’s needed for all. It’s just so important to know that I’m involved in something that is very important to our members, the stability and the protection of their retirement, the support that our members need, and being a voice for them. That encourages and allows me to understand that this is a tremendous responsibility.”
The purpose of the Retirement Security Committee is to work to achieve a secure retirement for all workers. The Committee provides education and training around pensions and pension issues to the members. This committee comprises active and retired members committed to maintaining and improving retirement benefits and retiree health care. Derrick reflected on what that means to him as the incoming Chair.
“Personally, I take that on as a challenge. I take that on knowing what that expectation holds. So, getting involved as the Chair of the Retirement Security Committee allows me to help our members recognize the importance of preparing their futures. I also believe that our current retirees are so important. I want to help them be more involved with our union—helping, engaging, and educating our new members. That spreading of knowledge uplifts us all and continues us on the journey collectively together in solidarity. I believe that education and expertise are vital for us and the employers never really lay it out for our members. Our union can help provide that education that opens the door to allow members to know more about their retirement, learn more about their benefits, and your healthcare.”
Derrick talked about his plans for the Retirement Security Committee over the next term: “Our task is to capitalize on our regional areas by providing the infrastructure to officers. I want to help them engage, educate, and develop our members’ understanding of what their retirements are actually built on and how they can better prepare themselves for the future. We plan to utilize the experience the retirees already have in how this process actually works. We have to utilize that process to transition so that active members can know their rights and how they’re being represented in their retirement.”
The Retirement Security Committee of SEIU Local 1021 meets every month, on the third Thursday of every month, from 6 pm – 8 pm, at one of the union offices or by Zoom. Contact Retirement Security Committee Chair Derrick Boutte at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.