Sunday, January 17, 2010

Nancy Boomhower: Letter to Representative Lynn Wachtmann

From Nancy Boomhower, January 16, 2010
Subject: STRS Retirements
Dear Representative Wachtman,
My name is Nancy Boomhower and I am a retiree from Medina County.
What you said about people living longer and drawing a pension longer is exactly true. Another take on that is that a majority of educators are females. Females used to start teaching, quit, raise a family and go back so they were much older than 52 when they retired and often did not work for 30 years.
There has been a change and most new teachers are working straight through to the age of 52, when they have 30 years of service in. Most teachers today have 6 to 7 years of higher education. I do not think there are many other people in professional positions that have that much or more, yet teachers are not paid on the same scale as others with the same education.
The saving factor in that was since they could not save big bucks for retirement, they would be ok as they had a decent retirement, which they paid 10% of their earnings into every year. I do not think most other professions pay that amount into their pension funds.
Now you want to take away that retirement. There are at least 1 in 20 of those retirees struggling. If you do what you plan those numbers will go way up. The lucky ones will be those who have a husband with a better paying job so he could save for retirement.
Things need to change as circumstances have changed but start with the present. We have people who retired with free health care. Now, if they have to cover their spouse, they are paying upwards to $800 a month. This is out of the same pension.
They keep going backwards in keeping up with the cost of living. Asking school boards to pay 2.5 % more into the retirement system is not logical.Pay the teachers and let them pay more into the retirement system. Perhaps the amount that a teacher pays could be increased gradually, as his years of service increase because his pay would have increased by that time also.
When I first started teaching, I had four children and could have qualified for food stamps. That is not big pay!!! You are going to end up with a shortage of teachers as people with go into private industry with bigger salaries.
Thank you.
Nancy Boomhower
Larry KehresMount Union Collge
Division III
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