Saturday, February 20, 2010

RH Jones re: the HPA straw proposal

From RH Jones, February 20, 2010
Subject: "Whatsoever you do to the least of us ..."
To all retired educators:
Just as former STRS (retired seat) board member Dennis Leone predicted, retired educators are getting shortchanged once again. A Christian Bible quote seems to be appropriate here: "Whatsoever you do to the least of us you do unto me". If any of these (HPA) Healthcare & Pension Advocates attend church tomorrow, they may need some forgiveness. They are not going to be forgiven by this retired teacher -- not being able to keep up with inflation and HC/Rx "take-always" has already been diminished too much.
I can understand that the public school administration and college department head HPA members may be inclined to cut our fixed COLA but my union's ignoring retired teachers' interests in order to cut our modest and flat COLA is "beyond the pale" of comprehension. The union HPAdvocates are the ORTA, OEA, OEA-R, OFT and the Inter-University Council of Ohio. The other administration HPAs are listed far below in John Curry's attached message. [See above 2/20/10 posts on HPA straw proposal.]
Personally, I believe in America and Ohio. Governor Strickland does, too. The HPA must have forgotten his recent State of Ohio speech; I wonder. The facts are: America has overcome adversity since the American Revolution, and all the ups and downs we have had since then. We are already coming out of the "Great Recession" that started in 2008. In these modern times of spectacular technological achievements, thinking Americans should know that we have, and can, overcome our economic setbacks.
The HPA should have come to the conclusion that a modest employer contribution to the STRS is the proper thing to do. To cut the retired educator COL A is not only improper, it may be even of greater expense to the employers, and the unions, who may be weakly backing the desire to cut retiree COLA. It is not unreasonable to think that expensive court settlements and their costs could come down on both, and even those who may be responsible for this diminution. It is best for the ORSC not to go through with this HPA plan. In order to continue to garner prosperity for its citizens, Ohio needs great teachers to compete with other states and nations. Retired educators unable to reasonably keep up with inflation, without decent healthcare and R/x, will work against Ohio hiring the best professionals to teach.
RHJones, an OH STRS retired teacher and PUFL member of ORTA, OEA, OEA-R
Larry KehresMount Union Collge
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