Thursday, December 11, 2008

Shirley Zerkel to Mike Nehf and STRS Board re: That staff vacation day -- compliments of the retirees?

From Shirley Zerkel, December 11, 2008
Subject: Staff should follow Board approved decisions!
Dear Mr. Nehf and STRS Board:
I understand that the staff at STRS have 10 approved holidays and that the day after Thanksgiving was not one of them. Yet, the vast majority of staff were given that day off with pay! Some more of the retiree and actives' money was spent, but not for the benefit of members.
I have heard complaints in the past that certain board members were micromanaging and that they should stick to making policy and then allow the STRS staff to carry out that policy! Well, if the Board makes the policy, then the policy should be followed by the administration of STRS. As I see it the staff does need to be micromanaged! That day with pay was allowed by Mr. Nehf and did not have Board approval! Board members, what are you going to do about a director who did not follow policy?
I see two solutions to this breach of Board policy: First, one of their other paid holidays should be taken away from the staff so as to not waste any more of the retirees' money on items that do not benefit retirees. A second solution might be that Mr. Nehf should cover from his wages the pay for all staff who were given the day off.
The board needs to do something about this because you are the watchdogs of the pension funds and that expense does not follow the ORC. Don't tell me that you can not do anything. You made the policy; it was not followed. Most of you on the Board need to stand up and stop such actions or leave the Board tomorrow.
Why do most of you on the Board follow what the STRS staff tells you to do? Listen to what the STRS staff has to say, then question, discuss and think about your decision. Remember that staff is not just thinking of the retirees, they are thinking of what is best for themselves as well. Their retirement system is not STRS.
The STRS staff does not have to worry if the system folds. How would the staff of STRS feel if they found OPERS gave away some of their retirement funds so that the OPERS staff could have an extra day off with pay. You are the people elected and appointed to be the fiduciaries of the funds. Most of you will one day be recipients of the system too if there is any left when you leave the Board. Please make decisions based on the ORC. Don't let this type of disregard for your policies continue.
These are my personal opinions,
Shirlee Zerkel
Retired 2002
Larry KehresMount Union Collge
Division III
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