From RH Jones, February 13, 2013
Many of us who are Life Members and Committee Members of ORTA, OEA, OEA-R
have been ignored for years by the ultra conservative officials in power whom
have been more interested in selling us insurance than representing retired
teachers interests, especially those of us who have been retired the longest.
We had to go it alone to get Dennis Leone, PhD. elected on the STRS board.
Although Dr. Leone was a school superintendent, as an educator he is allowed to
be a member of ORTA (Ohio Retired Teachers Association); and therefore had a
right to be backed by his association's officials. After his election, he got
ORTA support only one time in a last minute plea by Bob Dengler to have a
support campaign to kill SB 5. If an ORTA member (such as Dr. Leone) by
popular majority vote, is elected to represent retired teachers on the Ohio STRS
board, the ORTA officials are bound by this majority vote to back that
member. They did not, unfortunately for all of us retired STRS members
whom ORTA claims to support.
Also, we had no legal, moral, or active support from our unions for our
battle to retain our constitutional right in regard to the promises made by our
employer at our time of retirement. Other states are, why not Ohio? Membership
is slipping in ORTA, OEA and OEA-R. Is it any wonder? The officials cannot just
sit back and enjoy their perks. They have to work for us, heart and
soul. Failure to do so will drive away membership and encourage those who want
to destroy public common education.
This is an age of electric communication. Therefore, Our union officials
need not ignore us members whom are actively online. Employed public school
teachers, who ignore what these unions are doing to their retired members, can
expect the same disregard after they retire.