[ retirees in action ]

Meet your NYSUT retiree consultants

Lower Hudson Valley, Long Island and Florida

By Kara Smith



YSUT has a network of 11 retiree services consultants to serve as liaisons between retired members, retiree councils and NYSUT headquarters. In honor of the 30th anniversary of NYSUT retiree councils, we’re highlighting each regional consultant so retiree members know who to reach out to for assistance. Meet Ellen Pincus, Claire Zatorski, James Kinnier and Miriam Hanan, the retiree consultants representing the lower Hudson Valley, Long Island and Florida.

Ellen Pincus represents Retiree Councils 14, 15 and 16, encompassing Orange, Westchester, Putnam and Rockland counties. Zoom meetings were an unexpected pandemic benefit for Pincus, who became a consultant in 2015 and boosted retiree engagement after taking meetings online. “I used emails for quick access to retirees letting them know about added events. As it turned out, the virtual programs and meetings really got a lot of different people involved,” said Pincus, a 2013 special education retiree and former Chappaqua Congress of Teachers president and vice president. “It’s important for retirees to stay in contact; our help is needed to support public education and the union.”

Claire Zatorski represents Retiree Councils 17, 18 and 19, encompassing Nassau County, Long Island. “Nassau retirees are very active — they keep me on my toes,” said Zatorski. “They’re involved in phone banking and other union actions, as well as social activities.” A former Farmingdale Federation of Teachers president, and 2017 retiree, Zatorski became a consultant in 2018 after retiring as a high school chorus teacher. In addition to serving as a conduit between Nassau County’s three retiree councils and the statewide union, Zatorski is committed to expanding the Nassau retiree roster by helping area retirees form chapters and affiliate with their local RCs.

James Kinnier represents Retiree Councils 20–23, which encompasses Suffolk County, Long Island. Kinnier is both a new NYSUT consultant and a new NYSUT retiree. The former Teachers Association of Sag Harbor president retired in 2022 after teaching high school math. Although still learning the ropes, he hopes to build on the groundwork laid by former consultant Joan Perrini by expanding the group’s membership. “Joan did an outstanding job — she always went out of her way to attend Long Island President’s Council meetings and I intend to continue doing that,” said Kinnier, who formerly chaired the group. He looks forward to working on his first regional conference in October.

Miriam Hanan represents Retiree Council 43, encompassing the state of Florida. A former Merrick Faculty Association president and vice president, Hanan retired in 2010 and is RC 43 first vice president and president of the Southeast chapter of the Teachers Retired In Florida. She became a consultant in July and plans to focus on teamwork when it comes to supporting the various TRIF units that make up RC 43. After years of Zoom meetings, she’s scheduling in-person visits to different TRIF units. “We just finished a road trip to The Villages (a unit started during the pandemic) and Pinellas Park, and I want to visit Naples and Jupiter to help build membership,” she said, noting that political action and helping Florida in-service educators is also on the agenda. “Politics is different down here, but we look forward to stepping up and getting out the vote.”


NYSUT Retiree Services consultants are resources for retired members, retiree councils and in-service locals on NYSUT retiree matters.

  • Janet Goddard, RC 1, 2, 3, 44
  • Louise Ortman, RC 4, 46
  • Peter Randazzo, RC 5, 6
  • Anne Marie Voutsinas, RC 7, 8
  • Ruth Shippee, RC 9, 10
  • Mark Padgett, RC 11, 45
  • Sheryl Baker Delano, RC 12, 13
  • Ellen Pincus, RC 14, 15–16
  • Claire Zatorski, RC 17, 18, 19
  • James Kinnier, RC 20, 21, 22, 23
  • Miriam Hanan, RC 43
    516- 236-0276