Thursday, April 25, 2013

RH Jones: ORTA scores one, drops the ball on four

From RH Jones, April 23, 2013  
To all:  
Concerning the ORTA spring Quarterly, 2013, publication, they scored one time and dropped the ball four times.  
The lone point scored was the front page report that retired teachers donated 396,438 hours of community service to Ohio Communities. That is great PR for us as well as good for Ohio citizens in having this free service.
The first dropped ball was, in my opinion, subtly endorsing by cleverly placing excellent, clearly sharp, photos of OEA endorsed candidates McGreevy and Stein in the top two of the four photos. Under their photos were Leone and McIlwain in unfocused, not so good poses. They show McIlwain with her eyes closed! To be fair to all candidates they should have been placed alphabetically with Leone and McIlwain in the top two and McGreevy and Stein in the bottom two. All four photos should be of equal clarity.  
Second ball dropped was printing the poorly thought-out PR in the STRS article concerning a STRS Survey Result that, reportedly, 95% of STRS Ohio retirees have other income than their STRS pensions. This was done by a phone survey which are, reportedly, never accurate and are easily contested; and, any retiree income additional to the STRS pension is the business only of the retiree, the IRS, State and Local tax collectors. 
The third dropped ball is quarterly publication of “Where would we be if we didn’t live in Ohio” listing how happy folks are to be living somewhere else, other than Ohio. This was published in the face of many ORTA members email opposition. By not spending our Ohio pension checks in Ohio hurts the economy and that affects us all. Certainly, any American is free to live anywhere they what, but the ORTA telling how wonderful it is in other states, rather than telling how wonderful it is to retire here in our beautiful state, is a disservice to us all.  
Fourth, and losing the game ball, is ORTA failing to mention in the “Hot Topic” article that retirees need State Income Tax relief -- especially starting July when we will go without our simple COLA which will adversely affect retired teachers – those most affected are those who have been retired over 20-years. Inflation is running at 2.3% currently. Other states do not tax retired teachers and that is a factor that draws retired teachers to settle and spend in other states.  
Come on ORTA, let us start playing the game to improve the financial lot of retired teachers rather than mirroring the active teachers' OEA. Is ORTA a “rubber stamp”? I wonder.  
RHJ, Life Member ORTA
Larry KehresMount Union Collge
Division III
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