Thursday, March 15, 2012

RH Jones: Coalition to keep a retiree COLA cut unpublished?

From RH (Bob) Jones, March 15, 2012
To all:
In the multiple current publications of our Ohio STRS news, concerning whether or not a retired teacher a COLA cut is being considered, the Columbus Dispatch, the STRS monthly meeting report, my ORTA, OEA-R, and SummitCRTA, have not said directly or unambiguously that a reduction of our retiree COLA is, in fact, being one of the considerations. It has simply been just been left out. One can, therefore, conclude that we intentionally being ignored.
Of course COLA cuts have been mentioned, but not the specifics as to which group of teachers are being considered to experience the cuts, or are they all - active, new hires or retirees? My view is that retired teachers need to know. Any cut in our Ohio Revised Code legislated 3% non-compounding simple COLA could be considered unconstitutional; and, therefore, illegal.
Was not there an expression: “Fool us once, shame on you; fool us twice, shame on us”? They should not try to fool us by holding back COLA information. Full transparency is our right as retired members of these various groups.
To move our state and nation forward is to grow knowledge for our young people. This has been the case in the past; it should be for now, and the future. Teacher respect and high cultural status, a good return on individual career teacher’s investment in their education for their license to teach, and a teacher’s defined benefit pension is all part of a powerful predictor of the wealth for a state and a nation. A whole culture built around education is the only way to prosperity.
Our children are our greatest resource. Just cutting off the tops of our mountains, digging holes in our flat plains states, and fracking our Ohio hills will not bring lasting prosperity to the future. Only education can do that.
RHJones, retired teacher member of the unions mentioned above
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