Category Archives: Minutes

Minutes 1/14/15

Click to download 2015 Minutes as a PDF

The FURA Board Meeting of Wednesday, January 14, 2015 was called to order by Chair, Tim Thomas at 9:12 am at Country Waffle. Board members in attendance were Tim Thomas, Barbara Thomas, Cathy and Walter Franzell, Mosita Mollison, LaVerne Smith and Dean Clark.

Tim asked if the board members had read the minutes of September, 27, 2014, and if there were any corrections. There were no revisions. Barbara made a motion to accept them. Cathy seconded. It was accepted by all members.

Chair asked Mosita if the arrangements were in place for the May 20. 2015 annual FURA meeting. Mosita assured us that the Retired Teachers Education Center was secured for the hours between 9 am and 1 pm. The meeting will be from 10 am to 12 noon. 3 tables will be set up in the hall along the wall. Tim, Dean and Darel will greet and direct members to the proper area. People will be asked if they are a FURA member and if their dues have been paid. Also, if they have a question for Medicare, Delta or VSP, see LaVerne at Medicare table, Cathy at the Delta table, and Walter at the VSP table. LaVerne will make name tags for all Board Members.

Mosita reported the fee for Richard Harris to set up the tables and chairs was $50.00. The fee for the building was $250.00. Mosita motioned we pay the total fee of $300.00 and Cathy seconded. The motion was carried.

Tim asked if someone would make a poster for the FTA meeting to be held on May 13th before our May 20th meeting. LaVerne will get poster ready for Cathy to pick up and take to the FTA meeting. Cathy will get the check from Barbara for $300.00 and take to Bonnie at Retired Teachers Education Center on the 13th as well.

Tim brought us up to date regarding the 44 boxes of documents that been stored at Bob Bezemek’s office. He had made an executive decision and had the boxes shipped to a Derrell’s Storage at Freeway 168 and Fowler at a cost of $581.00. The storage fee is $16.00 a month. We all felt it was necessary to retain the documents for the future. Two keys were obtained and given to designated board members. It was motioned by LaVerne that we pay the total fee of $581.00 and rental fee of $16.00. It was seconded by Mosita. It was suggested that the documents be put on digital, but it was decided it was not necessary as the court has the original.

Barbara gave the Treasurer’s report. Some dues were in, the lawyer’s fees were paid, the web site, Steve, was paid and Joanna had been paid. The report was presented and approved.

The annual meeting will open with:

  1. Welcome
  2. Introduction of Board Members and guest speakers
  3. Approval of minutes that were posted on the web site and in the newsletter
  4. Election of officers (Three people)
  5. Mission statement: (Our mission is to represent qualified FURA members by safeguarding and protecting vested health care benefits defined by Judge Franson’s decision of June 1, 2006.)
  1. Joanna will address Medicare, Delta and Affordable Care Act as they relate to FURA

a. She will give updates on Envision RX.

b. Joanna will introduce Francine Handley, Delta Rep, who will address Delta’s relationship to Medicare.

  1. Tim will address SAFE (Senior Awareness and Fall Education) or CSUF Rep
  2. Questions and Answers

Mosita reported on a problem she had with billing amounts and Dean asked an important questions. Both were asked, by Tim, if they would call Joanna regarding the problems so she could address at the May 20th meeting.

Tim handed out a flyer regarding SAFE, Senior Awareness and Fall Education that is being conducted at Fresno State. It was suggested that we hand out information on May 20th. Tim and Barbara will get enough to give to all interested at the meeting.

We were reminded to bring our yellow folders given out last year. Barbara stated that there were only about 50 left from last year. Dean will ask for a raise of hands who did not have one, and he will see that they get one. He suggested that it be stated in the newsletter to bring their yellow folders to the meeting.

In conclusion Tim thanked all in attendance, and he would see us in May.

Respectfully submitted,

LaVerne Smith, Secretary

 

Minutes 2014

Click to download 2014 Minutes as a PDF

Tim Thomas, Chair called the FURA Meeting to order at 9:30AM, June 5, 2014 at Country Waffles, Fresno CA.

The first item on the agenda was to finalize the positions of the board for 2014-2015.  Tim stated the Following: Tim Thomas, Chair – Yolanda Moreno, Vice Chair – Recording Secretary, LaVerne Smith – Secretary, Catherine Franzell – Treasurer, Barbara Thomas – Treasurer Asst., Vivienne Oxley – Members at LArge, Darel Mehrten, Dean Clark and Mosita Mollison – Betty Thornton, Associate – Walter Franzell, Newsletter and VSP.  Don Kisner wants out so a replacement is being considered for the web site postition.  There person Tim had in mind could’t accommodate us now.  Mosita suggested we as Sue Dunham’s son, Monty, to consider working on the web site.  Tim will contact him.  Darel informed us50% of the questions on the web site are regarding VSP.

Increasing active membership to FURA was discussed.  It was agreed that Joanna’s synopsis of our May 6, 2014 Annual meeting be sent to all retirees along with Catherine’s minutes, annual report and a list of informational contacts.  Everyone felt this was the start in the right direction.  Other ideas will be discussed at our next board meeting.

It was suggested the letter Bob Bezemek drafted be sent to Ruth Quinto, after corrections, also cc’d to Superintendent Hansen, Board of Ed, FTA, CSEA and other union reps in October.  We will wait for a response.  If no response we will take further action.

Catherine informed us that Group 3 trying to receive the same benefits the original FURA group got was defunct.  In fact all retirees after September 1, 2006 have no recourse.

Tim Questioned the board on where we were going, what are our goals?  Final request was for all board members to research mission statements and come prepared to submit and discuss a mission at the July 16, 2014 board meeting at Country Waffle, 9AM – 10:30AM.

The meeting adjourned at 11AM.

Respectfully submitted Recording Secretary, LaVerne Smith

MINUTES OF FURA NOMINATION COMMITTEE MEETING

Minutes of
FURA NOMINATION COMMITTEE MEETING
Friday, June 8, 2012

The meeting of the FURA Nomination Committee was held on Friday, June 8, 2012 at the El Rodeo Mexican Restaurant in Clovis. Barbara Thomas, Chairman, called the meeting to order at 12:30 p.m. The following committee members were present: Barbara and Tim Thomas, Vivienne Oxley, Yolanda Moreno, Steven and Flo Deak and Cathy and Walt Franzell.

Barbara reviewed the nomination and election procedures outlined in the FURA bylaws. She stated that the following FURA members expressed an interest in remaining on the Board of Directors: Carole Sarkisian-Bonard as ex officio (2 years); Melinda Homola, ex officio (2 years); Flo Deak (1 year); Steven Deak (1 year); Barbara Thomas (3 years); Vivienne Oxley (2 years). The following FURA members expressed an interest serving on the Board or assisting the FURA organization in various capacities: Cathy Franzell, Tim Thomas, Mike Starry, Charlie Clark, Walter Franzell, Yolanda Moreno, and Ernestine Hopson. She added that Walt Franzell is currently the Newsletter Editor; Mike Starry is working with Don Kisner to take over as FURA Webmaster; and Charlie Clark as Negotiations Research Historian.

The following were recommended for three open positions on the Board: Cathy Franzell, Tim Thomas and Yolanda Moreno.

Nominations for Officers: President: Tim Thomas (3 years; Vice President: Cathy Franzell (3 years); Secretary: Flo Deak (1 year); Treasurer: Barbara Thomas (3 years); Assistant Treasurer: Vivienne Oxley (2 years). The names will be published in the FURA newsletter as an opportunity to provide for open nominations electronically. A reasonable period of time will be assigned for this purpose and if during that period no other nominations are received, the nominated slate of officers will duly serve. The Secretary was asked to provide a complete list of mailing addresses, phone numbers and email addresses to all the Board of Directors for reference purposes.

Considerable discussion ensued regarding the FURA III group and their desire to pursue measures to regain health benefits from Fresno Unified School District as promised at the time of their employment. This proposed action would need to be approved by the FURA Board of Directors. It was noted that FURA was not currently anticipating any further legal action; that those retirees retiring after September 1, 2006 organize and define goals and strategies independent of FURA. It was suggested that postcards go out to all members clarifying and outlining the purpose of FURA; that there exists some confusion among the members in this regard. Tim Thomas stated he would compose the information to be included in this mailing.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 2 p.m.

Respectfully submitted, Florence Deak, Recording Secretary

MINUTES OF FURA GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING

May 17, 2012–10 a.m.–Retired Teachers Memorial Building

The meeting was called to order by President Carole Sarkisian-Bonard at 10 a.m. at the Retired Teachers Memorial Building, 3930 E. Saginaw Way, Fresno. Approximately 225 FURA members were present.

Carole welcomed the group and announced that she and Melinda Homola are retiring as President and Vice President of FURA but will remain in an ex officio capacity on both the FURA Steering Committee and Executive Board. She continued with a brief history of FURA–Fresno Unified Retirees Association–for the benefit of those retirees who have recently became members of the Association.

Once again, for the record, Carole reiterated the differences between FURA I, II and III. She emphasized that FURA is ONE organization representing all District retirees but it was an in-house decision to name the groups for clarification purposes especially in the area of retirement dates as follows: FURA I is comprised of those retirees who were part of the class-action lawsuit and who retired prior to April 17, 2006. The lawsuit is over and has been judged in FURA’s favor. The date of April 17 was designated by the court as the cut-off date determined by the date of the letter initiated by the District and sent to retirees mandating payment of health premiums.

FURA II is comprised of those retirees (137 members) who retired during the period of April 18, 2006 to July 31, 2006 referred to as the “Gap Group”. FURA III consists of those retirees who retired after July 31, 2006 and who reached the District’s healthcare eligibility requirements of their original contract of employment–57 ½ years of age and completion of 16 years of service.

In reference to FURA II, Cathy Franzell announced that on March 15, 2012, an agreement which was an extension of FURA I’s class action lawsuit was reached and signed between FURA and Fresno Unified School District stating that no health care premiums, fees or assessments will be charged to FURA II eligible retirees effective immediately. She thanked the Executive Board and Bezemek Law Firm for their successful efforts in this matter.

Carole announced that an invitation was extended to representatives from the District’s Benefits and Risk Management Office to attend the meeting for the purpose of a question and answer period regarding health benefits. There was no response to the invitation. Carole stated she and FURA Board members fielded many calls relating to the health plan changes by the District and the placement of retirees on Medicare Part D. It was hoped that someone from the District or Joint Health Management Board would have been present to address retirees’ concerns.

Carole briefly reviewed the current changes to the medical health plan and reminded the retirees to review the information sent out by the District and either make their concerns known by mail or email to the Board of Education and/or Joint Health Management Board. Many members present expressed concerns regarding prescription coverage under the Envision RX plan and their experiences in accessing related information; that many encountered delays and denials in receiving prescription drugs. She reminded the members that the court’s ruling is posted on the website; that this reference should be cited and included in all communications of complaint to the two Boards mentioned above.

Inquiries have been made by many of the members regarding Dental and Vision Insurance. Carole reminded the membership that anyone who retired prior to 2009 cannot purchase dental or vision insurance from the District. This decision has been made by the Joint Health Management Board. FURA is currently offering vision insurance through VSP and information is available by contacting Lynn Freeman or Walt Franzell at wfranzell.fura.vsp@gmail.com. Information is also available on the FURA website: fura-fusd.org.

Continuing, the following guests were introduced to the membership: Bryan Feemster of James G. Parker Insurance Associates and Tiffiny Bailey-Khoury, Regional Sales Manager, Wells Fargo Insurance, who described the steps in obtaining vision and/or dental insurance with their group for those retirees currently not offered opportunities to do so or who wish to change their existing plans. They stated that in order to examine the feasibility of a group plan and to acquire competitive rates from various carriers, it was necessary that those members interested complete the Employee Benefits Survey made available at the meeting and return the information no later than June 1, 2012 to James G. Parker Insurance Associates, 1753 East Fir, Fresno, CA 93720. The results and subsequent steps would be posted either on the FURA website or included in a newsletter.

At this time, Carole introduced David Bradley, who has assumed the leadership responsibility for FURA III. David, retired in 2010 from Malloch School, and served as Vice President of FTA and also was a site rep and negotiator for 12 years. He also served as the Elementary Educator on the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, Committee of Credentials in Sacramento. He presented a brief overview of organizational requirements and the vast coordination efforts that will be necessary in this endeavor. He urged the current retirees of FURA III to join with him to regain District-paid lifetime health benefits by calling him at 559-227-6578.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 12 noon.

Respectfully submitted,

Florence Deak, Recording Secretary

MINUTES OF FURA General Membership Meeting

March 3, 2011–11 a.m.
Retired Teachers Memorial Building

The meeting was called to order by Vice President Melinda Homola at 11:05 a.m. at the Retired Teachers Memorial Building, 3930 E. Saginaw Way, Fresno. Approximately 300 FURA members were present.

Melinda introduced the following guest speakers: Gwen Sittner, FUSD Health Benefits Office and Joseph Van Orsdel, Consultant to the Joint Health Management Board; Delta Health, administrators of the health plan for Fresno Unified, represented by Franceen Hanley, Delta Health Field Representative, Christy Scharton, and Lynette McCulloch, Delta Health Customer Services and Claims Managers.

Mr. Van Orsdel shared a brief overview of his responsibility as consultant to the Joint Health Management Board. He noted that his primary task was to monitor the solvency of the District’s Health Plan along with budgetary responsibilities within the administration of the medical and prescription programs. He explained the charge of the Joint Health Management Board and a brief history of its inception. In addition, he noted that the District is currently solvent with a substantial reserve. In conclusion, he stated that the JHMB is trying to keep health costs under control and is working very closely with area hospitals in that regard.

The aforementioned guests spoke in great detail as well as entertained questions regarding the new District Health Plans–Options A and B Benefits Open Enrollment process currently in progress which will take effect April 1, 2011. The representatives also clarified some questions posed by FURA members regarding coverage procedures, deductibles, processing of claims, portability of the District Health plan both domestically and, should the need arise, while traveling in foreign countries.

Carole asked Gwen Sittner to brief the members regarding the timeline for issuing the health premium reimbursement checks. Gwen stated her department is waiting for directives from the attorneys representing the District and FURA to release the checks. A target date of early April is planned.

The Vision Plan update was presented by FURA President Carole Sarkisian-Bonard. It was her understanding that the vision and dental plan availability for those retirees who retired before 2009 will be reviewed by the Joint Health Management Board. Our attorney has sent a letter to the District regarding the eligibility of those pre-2009 retirees. Carole added that she has fielded at least 377 calls from FURA members who are interested in vision insurance. It was also her understanding that there would be no added cost to the District for including aforementioned retirees. She added that , to her knowledge, this issue has not been brought to the Board of Education’s attention as of this meeting.

Carole along with Cathy Franzell, who represented FURA II, clarified the differences of FURA I, FURA II, FURA III. FURA I is comprised of those retirees who are part of the class-action lawsuit and who retired prior to April 17, 2006. The lawsuit is over and has been judged in FURA’s favor. The date of April 17 was designated by the court as the cut-off date because it was the date the letter from the District was initiated and sent to retirees mandating payment of health premiums.

FURA II is comprised of those retirees (approximately 85) who retired during the period of April 18, 2006 to July 31, 2006 and referred to as the “Gap Group” . The District’s legal representative during the court session of November 5, 2010 questioned the April 17 cut-off date stating that teachers work through June; that those wanting to retire July 31 should be grandfathered in by the District. This action was not part of the lawsuit but does appear in the court transcripts as discussed. Both attorneys agreed to the suggestion and Judge Franson was to review the issue and return a tentative ruling. Letters prepared to this effect have been submitted to the Board of Education by FURA attorneys. However, as of this date, there has not been a reply from the District.

FURA III consists of those retirees who retired after July 31, 2006 to the present. Most were hired and worked under the contracts prior to 2006; however, subsequently the bargaining units negotiated to make changes to the contracts which have been deemed as ” reasonable modifications” regarding health care premiums. These contractual changes have been ratified and approved by the Board of Education. Carole asked for a show of hands of retirees who fall into this category and approximately a dozen or so were in attendance.

Barbara Thomas, FURA’s treasurer was asked to speak to the issue of annual dues. She reviewed the suggestion of the Steering Committee to assess FURA members a nominal annual fee to upkeep the organization. The poll went out in the last newsletter and returns indicated that a majority opted for a $20 annual charge. It was moved and seconded by Steven Deak and Sally Alvid, respectively, that the annual dues be set for the amount of $20. Checks should be forwarded to Barbara Thomas c/o FURA , P.O. Box 1717, Clovis, CA 93613-1717.

Barbara also reminded the group that changes of mailing addresses be made available to FURA and that email address changes be forwarded to Don Kisner, FURA’s webmaster; that we need to keep our lists current in the interest of expedient communication to all our members.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 1 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Florence Deak, Recording Secretary

MINUTES OF FURA ANNUAL MEETING

MARCH 4, 2010 – 10:30 AM
CRTA HALL

OVERVIEW OF MEETING:

Boyd Cline, FURA Vice President and Steering Committee Member, called the meeting to order at 10:30 am. He welcomed the approximately 160 members in attendance. He recapped the onset of FURA, telling of the 10 founders first meeting on October 4, 2004 in which FURA was formed. It has been 5 years and 5 months for this journey to finally go to trial. Boyd said “we are here today because it is the right thing to do.” He said he felt confident in the end there will be a complete success. Boyd gave heartfelt thank you to the FURA members for their endless help and support. He also gave a sincere and great thank you to Bob Bezemek and his staff.

FURA Attorney Bob Bezemek thanked everyone for their attendance and introduced FURA Attorneys David Conway, John Varga and Esta Grill. Bob gave a full overview of the case from the onset to present.

DUE TO ATTORNEY/CLIENT PRIVILEGE, NO OTHER INFORMATION REGARDING THIS PORTION OF THE MEETING WILL BE MADE AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC

Barbara Thomas, FURA Treasurer and Steering Committee Member, 11:25am., addressed the meeting. She thanked the FURA members, retirees not part of the class certification, unions and organizations for their generous contributions. She recognized the Peralta Union and LAUSD retirees especially for their continued financial support. She said she and Vivien Oxley, FURA Assistant Treasurer and Steering Committee Member, have processed 22,962 checks and applauded Vivien for maintaining such an accurate mailing list. Barbara pointed out the FURA addressed envelops on the tables for members to take with them and return with donations.

Joan Jack, FURA Steering Committee Member, asked the attendees to please fill the large “Bear” container with the change from their wallets or pockets–all coins count. She also encouraged checks and paper money.

Carole Sarkisian-Bonard, FURA President, 11:32 am., addressed the meeting. Carole told the

attendees about the origin of FURA on October 4, 2004, a small group of about 10 retirees met to discuss the imposing of premiums on retirees. Next was a meeting at Starbucks with about 30 people. Then in November 2004, the first general meeting was held at the CRTA Hall with a full house. Carole remembered Santiago Wood telling about the Contra Costa case where the courts ruled in favor of the retirees’ vested rights. Any changes to retiree benefits must be negotiated with the individual retirees. The Contra Costa retirees were represented by attorney Robert J. Bezemek. Carole googled his name and found that he was “still alive and practicing” in Oakland. She emailed him and the connection began.

Carole thanked each Steering Committee member by name and asked them to stand for the group. Carole gave a special, and well deserved, thank you to Don Kisner, FURA Web-Master and Steering Committee Member for his dedication and superb contribution of creating and maintaining the FURA website. She gave recognition to the 100+ retirees who have passed away since the beginning of FURA and the “In Memoriam” page created by Don.

Carole said of the 3,500 retirees, there were only 9 retirees who chose to opt out of the Class Certification. She introduced members of the LAUSD retiree organization and thanked them for their contributions and attendance in Fresno. She gave an overview of FUSD benefits and the exclusion of dental and vision to retirees. She discussed Assembly Bill 528 and the 7000 series of the Education Code, the injustice, of allowing only certificated retirees to purchase dental coverage.

Lynn Freeman, FURA Steering Committee Member, joined Carole in the discussion of retirees having diminished benefits. The District will allow retirees who retired after 2009 to purchase vision but this offer is not extended to those who retired before 2009.

Discussion turned to the formation of FURA II, for retirees after April 17, 2006. Cathy Franzell, 298- 4606, cathyfranzell@yahoo.com and others are organizing and preparing for action.

Glen Rathwick, FURA Steering Committee Member, gave a tremendous and heartfelt thank you to FURA President Carole Sarkisian-Bonard on behalf of the FURA Steering Committee, all the FURA members, and supporters for her expert, tireless and outstanding commitment to FURA. Her dedication, organizational skills, vast knowledge and endless personal consultations and help to retirees in need is unmatched! She, too, received a well deserved rousing applause and ovation.

Carole thanked the members and gave directions the Courthouse. She introduced Barbara Mendes, President CRTA, thanked her for the use of the CRTA Hall. Ms. Mendes invited retirees who are not members of CRTA to join and advised of an STRS seminar forthcoming. She said the STRS pension account is far more stable than reported in the newspaper. She wished FURA good luck for the trial, March 5, 2010.

Meeting adjourned at 11:59 a.m. FURA legal team and FURA Steering Committee members met with many retirees after the formal meeting to receive input and information.

Respectfully submitted,

Melinda Homola

FURA, Secretary and Steering Committee Member

MINUTES OF FURA ANNUAL MEETING

JANUARY 9, 2009 – 10:30 AM
CRTA HALL

Boyd Cline, FURA Vice President and Steering Committee Member, called the meeting to order at 10:40 am. He welcomed the 200 members in attendance and introduced and thanked Barbara Mendes, CRTA President, for the use of the facility. Ms. Mendes addressed the FURA members and spoke of membership in CRTA.

FURA Attorney Bob Bezemek introduced FURA Attorney David Conway and Esta Grill. Este has replaced Almira Marrone while she is attending law school at Duke University. Bob gave a full overview of the case from the onset to present.

Due to attorney/client privilege, no other information regarding this portion of the meeting will be made available to the public. To obtain a confidential copy of the full minutes please contact: FURA
PO Box 1717
Clovis CA 93613

All written requests must be signed by a FURA member and a $5.00 check or money order made payable to FURA.

Boyd introduced Vivienne Oxley, FURA Assistant Treasurer and Steering Committee Member. Vivienne gave an update regarding the retiree list from FUSD. There is an addition of 824 names/addresses; there are over 3,000 people on the list. Also, there are email addresses without names, the names are needed to remove them (the addresses) from the “snail mail” list. Don Kisner, FURA Web Master and Steering Committee Member, advised that 43 emails were returned due to spam filters.

FURA President Carole Sarkisian-Bonard addressed the group. She gave a special thank you to Don Kisner, Flo and Steve Deak, Vivien Oxley, Helen Duda, Pat Mitchell and other FURA volunteers for time spent preparing the newsletters for mailing; she acknowledged appreciation to Barbara and Tim Thomas for use of their PO Box for FURA. Carole addressed the numerous calls regarding the hardship many of our seniors are experiencing because of the imposed health premiums. Our members planned for their retirement incomes on what they had been told for the entirety of their careers now find themselves in a financial bind. It was noted that most retirees are not able to get another job to make ends meet, at their ages, who would hire them? Carole updated the group on the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) retirees and thanked them for their $350 donation to FURA. The LAUSD retirees found FURA online and realized the Chief Negotiator for LAUSD is also the same Chief Negotiator for FUSD who imposed the health premiums on us.

She (Carole) advised the group that FURA is working cooperatively with the retirees from LAUSD and Clovis Unified to help protect and preserve lifetime health benefits. She reminded the attendees that in August of 2005 the Board of Education ratified that the Joint Health Management Board (JHMB) be empowered exclusively to determine our benefit rights without Board approval. Carole closed by reminding the retirees that FURA’s fight to keep the District’s promise of lifetime, premium free benefits everyone equally.

Boyd thanked Carole and introduced Sally England, FURA Steering Committee Member and Barbara Thomas, FURA Treasurer and Steering Committee Member. Sally stressed how important donations to FURA are in order to pay Bob. She reminded the retirees when the case is won, money that was paid to FUSD for premiums and assessments will be returned with interest. She said $5 to $10 dollars monthly would be very helpful and encouraged each person to contribute as much as they can regardless of amount. Barbara Thomas encouraged donations also. She said FURA has paid Bob a significant amount but that we owe a even larger amount. We will have expenses for more depositions and copying. She reminded people that FURA is a non-profit organization. Barbara is making application on behalf on FURA for Federal Tax Exempt status.

Tim Thomas gave a special, heartfelt thank you to Bob, David and the Bezemek law office staff on behalf of FURA. The retirees showed their agreement and appreciation by loud applause and ovation.

Bob Bezemek thanked the retirees. He said the District’s promise of lifetime premium free benefits was agreed to in December of 1976 and ratified by the Board in January of 1977. Bob told the retirees who had stated they had specific knowledge and/or documents to leave their names, phone numbers and addresses so he or a staff member could speak with them individually.

He clearly told the retirees that the benefits were earned and a vested right. The motion for Class Certification will be filed in two weeks. It is a workable class, 5,000 people. The class is easy to identify to meet eligibility, evidence is brought all at once, same questions and common facts. It is an earned common, vested right based on ten or sixteen years of service and age. The facts apply to everyone equally and it is beneficial to everyone. FURA members were encouraged to send copies of documents they may have in their possession to: Robert J. Bezemek, Attorney At Law, 1611 Telegraph Avenue, Suite 936, Oakland, Ca., 93642

Bob said everything will be filed by June 30, 2009. September will be a key time to defend allegations and trial will be on Thursday, October 29, 2009 at 3:30pm. Judge Donald Franson will rule on the case. Bob answered questions from the group.

Meeting adjourned at 11:50 a. m. FURA legal team and FURA Steering Committee members met with many retirees after the formal meeting to receive input and information.

Respectfully submitted, Melinda Homola
FURA, Secretary and Steering Committee Member

MINUTES OF FURA ANNUAL MEETING

MAY 14, 2008 – 3:30PM
AHWAHNEE MIDDLE SCHOOL

FURA President Carole Sarkisian-Bonard called the meeting to order at 3:35pm. She welcomed the over 400 FURA members in attendance. Carole referred to the article in the Fresno Bee about FURA, published front page on May 10, 2008, as accurate, fair and informative. There was an interchange of comments, with Carole and the audience, regarding forfeited raises to maintain lifetime-premium free retiree health benefits. The members were vocal that they were promised lifetime free benefits by FUSD. Carole gave a chronological review of how FURA started, how she found attorney Robert “Bob” Bezemek and of the numerous successes Bob has had winning for other school district retirees whose districts tried to impose fees or alter their vested rights. She praised Bob for his commitment to FURA and introduced Bob Bezemek and David Conway, our new attorney assisting Bob with FURA.

Bob’s presentation topics were “from day one to the present,” the “theory of the case” and “evidence documents.” He told the audience of what to expect next; depositions, discovery, trial. The Court ruled, March 20th in FURA’s favor on all 6 points, 5 on merit, 1 on mandamus. The District appealed the ruling to the 5th District Court. Bob anticipates the case will conclude in 2009. He spoke of three other lawyers in various places who are defending the “same cases” as ours. They are in touch and all feel very confident about the FURA case. Bob answered numerous questions from FURA members. Many, many members wanted to give statements regarding what, when and where they were told by FUSD of their retiree benefits. Bob received an deafening, long applause of appreciation.

Carole resumed as moderator, there was discussion about deferred compensation and of benefits being part of our wages, total compensation. A Clovis Unified Retiree Association (CURA) member stated that he has paid over $14,000 in fees, not including co-pays, in the four years since he retired; married couples, regardless of age, pay $648 per month. FURA members continued to volunteer information of the “promises” made to them and that they were recruited, some left other jobs, into FUSD for the lifetime premium free benefits. It was acknowledged repeatedly about foregoing raises for the benefits. California protects retiree benefits more than any other state.

Vivien Oxley and Glen Rathwick were introduced by Carole. Vivien gave the treasurer’s report for Barbara Thomas. Glen requested donations and shook his “tin-cup!” FURA members generously wrote checks and donated cash.

The case management/status conference (CMC) with Judge Franson is Thursday, May 15, 2008.

FURA attendees, again, gave Bob a tremendous, rousing applause! Well deserved!

Meeting adjourned, approximately 5:00 pm.

Submitted by, Melinda Homola, FURA secretary.