Thursday, October 18, 2007

Getting the word out: talking points, etc.

From Molly Janczyk, October 18, 2007
Subject: HB 315; helpful websites; Printable, revisable Talking pts.
Talking points for printing/revising/copying are below.
If you have not done so, PLEASE visit the updated CORE website for complete information on HB 315!
You will readily find all the data, forms, printable handouts, presentation and links you need for this initiative. You can also order CORE business cards for meetings on this issue.
There are individual handouts with talking points for those meeting with School Boards, or colleagues or for those writing letters to the editor.
You will find links to legislators and the ability to find your legislators.
A slide show is available on this initiative.
There are links to :
ORTA: where you will find the Health Care (HC) initiative front and center with contact links to legislators and printable labels.
STRS: where the entire presentation is available: "Addressing the Challenge Together"
The CORE website is wonderfully accessible and informative providing for members' needs with ability for complete one stop initiative action!
Most impressive.
Go to the OEA website:
to fill out their online form which conveniently go straight to your legislator as you provide your county and address.
Page down to:
"Support Rep. Oelslanger's STRS HC" and click on this heading.
Click link to take action now.
Who/How To Contact/ Talking Points:
If ONE person per group would visit the local post office and buy 30 (approp. number) postcards for meetings or circulating , it would cost: $7.80. CORE is willing to help with costs for members. If everyone at a meeting would buy 10 postcards to distribute, how far we could branch our for our goal.
If postcards are too problematic, there is a one minute message for general use that can be printed on line.
Below are compiled major points for you to print, copy and hand out. Simply mail them to your reps.
This is everyone's problem. We are all trying to save health care for young educators future retirements.
Take one minute to print this or website printable handouts and suggestions for copying and hand out all meetings.
Revise to your comfort level and pass out to all those you can asking them to simply sign and mail to their legislators.
Have a shorter message for postcards ready with post cards and legislator, school board members names and addresses. Ask your attendees to write the message on the postcard and help them find their legislator and address the post cards on site. Give to one person in your grp. for mailing.
Have copies of this or your version or any website version at all meetings, gatherings and petition all to mail.
Visit School Board members with petitions and/or copies of letters sent. Have the message on the form you present to them with signatures underneath.
Provide websites above to attendees for easy participation and/or if a computer is available, direct them to go to the OEA website during the meeting to fill in their act now form which sends directly to their legislator.
Ask every attendee to get 10 others to contact their legislators re: HB 315.
Motto: "Ten More!"
Printable Talking Points:
STRS Ohio, my retirement system, faces a funding crisis. The money for STRS Ohio Health Care Program will run out in a few years without additional funding. Many retirees and disabled teachers will not be able to afford open market health care coverage causing more Ohioans to become uninsured.
Health Care coverage in retirement is an important component of the compensation and benefits package to recruit and retain teachers. I support the health care legislative initiative proposed by STRS Ohio with the help and support of the Health Care Advocates (HCA) for STRS.
STRS Ohio membership reactions have been tallied. The majority of Ohio public educators support this proposal evidenced by online, postcard and meeting and random phone surveys. This includes educators 15 yrs or more away from retirement. A strong coalition of management, professional and retiree organizations representing Ohio's K-12 and higher education support this proposal.
Members understand they can never save enough for their health care in retirement. higher salaries will be demanded knowing they will not have HC in retirement. Projections show an average couple aged 65, living to a normal life expentancy will have costs up to $295,000 to cover supplemental Medicare and out of pocket medical expenses.
This is a member driven initiative. Active educators want to do their part to keep off the roles of the uninsured in retirement and help their current retired colleagues. The proposal asks teachers to fund retiree health care while they are working with an equal contribution by the employer. (Educators prepaying for their own health care).
This proactively involves employers in managing their workforce and accompanying payroll and health care costs. Without affordable healthcare in retirement, teachers will continue working until age 65 or until they believe they can pay for their health care costs in the open market. This translates into higher medical costs and higher wages-increased costs that will have to be paid by public schools.
There is a cost to employers with this initiative - a gradual phase - in (increase of contributions by 1/2 percent each year for 5 years when it reaches a total of 2.5% additional for the employer) generating aprox. $94 Million in the first year and about $500 Million for the health care fund at the end of 5 yrs. This will then be an annual , ongoing dedicated revenue for the STRS Health Care Stabilization Fund for future retirees. It is pay now or pay later as there will be increased costs to employers of an aging workforce.
The employee, active educators, will also pay .5% the first year and an additional .5% for each of 5 years until until their total of 2.5% is met in year 5. That will then be the ongoing contribution to health funding for their future retirements with STRS.
This translates to an additional contribution of $8 (pretax: assuming employer has employer pickup program for STRS Ohio contributions) a check in year one for the teacher earning $40,000. By the end of 5 years, when the full 2.5% is deducted, the teacher will be paying approx. $40 more per ck based on NO change in salary and 26 pays. Of course, they are expected increases and raises far overcompensating for this increased contribution.
Contributions are currently limited by law:
10% employee; 14% employer
The employer contribution has not been raised for approx. 2 decades to help with inflation and soaring crisis of health care costs.
Stay on point: items such as:
88% rule, poor educators, STRS is doing well and has plenty of money, etc. do not weigh in. This is NOT an economic issue; The pension system cannot be used for health care and health care cannot survive due to the soaring costs creating a crisis for STRS retirees is the issue.
STRS IS acting responsibly and prudently by directing its efforts working to get its unfunded liability and the 85 % ration within the ORSC guidelines. Therefore, all pension fund money is directed to these issues. STRS is in a good position for this proposal having to only ask for 2.5% addt'l contributions for employer and employee.
Use all your credentials when signing letters and handouts. This translates to numbers in their minds-not just you but others in your grp. (votes). Also, Educators are 400,000+ strong with families and friends making voting potential of up to a million or more.
Sign your name, address, email address, and phone or many letters will be thrown out, esp. letters to editor (follow the editorial guidelines: for ex. Dispatch: up to 200 words allowed for an editorial). [Also add any credentials you have, such as member of civic boards, professional organizations such as CORE, etc.]
IF A LEGISLATOR OR SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER states they are against the initiative, ask why? Ask what they propose as an alternative solution for this problem. Provide addt'l info and sources for them.
Thank the legislator or School Board member, etc. If they support this initiative, ask they take a leadership role.
Do relay the outcome to:
Health Care Champions: go to their website and (CORE) has a feedback link. STRS Ohio Gov. Relations will also take feedback: 227-2983. Terri Bierdeman will receive feedback on fax number: 614-744-3341
We are ALL HC Champions! Register at STRS (website or phone) for training and a tool kit :
Nov. 7: Cols. STRS
Nov. 8: Toledo
Nov. 13: Lebanon
Larry KehresMount Union Collge
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