John Curry to Ann Hanning, July 14, 2012
Well, the dust is now beginning to settle on the recent Ohio public pensions study and, as the study suggests, more cuts will need to be made to four out of the five systems (OPERS excluded).
Retirees will already give up one whole year with no COLA increase followed by future years of a 2% COLA if........and a big if........no additional cuts are made. ORTA has stood by silently when this current cut was inflicted upon our retirees. What will ORTA do when those "additional" cuts will be discussed and/or applied to STRS retirees?
On your "ORTA's Mission" page you state, "The Ohio Retired Teachers Association is the voice of Ohio’s retired public educators." That "voice," Ann, has been very silent when it comes to speaking out to protect retirees. Soon, more cuts to our COLA will become part of the agenda at future STRS board meetings. Will your organization continue to display this silence and loyal adherence to the wishes of the OEA's defense of active educators or will you speak out in defense of further COLA cuts to the retirees...the group that your organization is supposed to represent? Ann....it's time to either fish or cut bait. That 88%/35 years phase-out can and should be implemented just as quickly as was the COLA phase-out. After all....our system is called the State Teachers Retirement System, not the State Active Teachers Benefits System.
P.S. Ann, while you're at it, you might consult with officials of the Ohio Highway Patrol Retirement System to see how their compassion led to NOT cutting the COLAS of some of their oldest and poorest retirees....something that your organization could have and should have done for our retirees, but didn't.