Thursday, May 19, 2022

Jan Stewart shares silence with the STRS Board 5/19/22

From Jan Stewart

May 19, 2022 

"You are most powerful when you are most silent. People never expect silence. They expect words, motion, defense, offense, back and forth. They expect to leap into the fray. They are ready, fists up, words hanging, leaping from their mouths. Silence? No!"
 Alison McGhee, All Rivers Flow To The Sea
Please join me in silence. *2 minutes.


Over the past few years, speakers have shared their concerns with you through extensive research, historical reflections, and personal stories of hardship. All have shared with the utmost passion, pleading to be heard. But all have fallen on deaf ears. Today, I chose to communicate differently. You weren't expecting MY silence. I am hoping that whatever the experience created in You, will be significant; that you heard what you never would have heard from MY words.

Thanks to Cindy Murphy we have a recording of the speeches presented to the STRS Board on May 19, 2022

Public Participation

STRS Ohio Board Meeting: May 19, 2022
  • Gerald Newsome
  • Robin Rayfield
  • Cathy Steinhauser
  • Suzanne Laird
  • Julie Sellers
  • Dean Dennis
  • Dan MacDonald
  • Jan Stewart
Listen here.

Cathy Steinhauser to STRS Board 5/19/22: Where is your shared sacrifice?

May 19, 2022

Cathy Steinhauser, 35 yrs., Satellite teacher w/Pickaway/Ross in the Circleville City School District - Family & Consumer Sciences.
I taught students to budget, cut expenses when needed, use credit/debit cards responsibly, cook at home to save money, job applications, career exploration, manage time and money, and problem solving to name a few units I instructed.
I am appalled at most of you for the poor example you are to the younger generations of teachers concerning money management. There are 2 board members, Mr. Steen and Dr. Rudy, that seem to be the only 2 who know the real definition of a Fiduciary:
"A person that acts on behalf of another person or persons, putting their client's interest ahead of their own, with a duty to preserve good faith and trust.  Being a fiduciary requires being bound both legally and ethically to act in other's best interests." You all exist…this Board and staff, to serve the teachers! Your job or mission is to see that the teachers are being taken care of to the best of your ability.  Your ability is sorely lacking and this status quo attitude will start to change soon with the addition of 3 new board members come Sept. 2022. 
You keep talking about how we have to "share the sacrifice" of what has happened over the past 15 yrs. but I don't see any action on behalf of the STRS staff.  It seems to me that you've done a lot of sacrificing of teacher's benefits such as reducing health insurance coverage, unfunded liabilities, increasing required yrs. of service, no COLA for years until you threw us a bone of a poor deal where most of us have to wait a year before we receive it and it's only a one time COLA.  In doing the math, you have caused at least a $30,000 lost in my income over the past 7 yrs. not to mention what you've done to other retired teachers.
When I taught my students and the topic was lack of money, we discussed ways to save money and cut expenses like stop charging items, things to refrain from buying, buying at thrift stores and garage sales, and buy only when on sale.  When schools experience a money shortage they cut staff (teachers, office admin, aides etc.), programs, field trips, budgets and more!! I am disgusted that you have the nerve to request a 6% raise in salaries (which comes from this 27th check issue) and a 5.5% raise in benefits for STRS staff!  WHERE IS YOUR "SHARED SACRIFICE"??  Seems to me that you've not sacrificed for years…maybe never. The amount of entitlement at STRS is astonishing! That needs to change because it's your turn now to freeze or better yet… eliminate your bonuses and freeze salaries. Teachers have been suffering for years from the poor investment decisions as well as decisions the STRS board has made along with what the government has done recently.  It seems like this salary/benefits raise is another jab at teachers to get the last laugh on us.  REMEMBER THE DEFINITION OF A FIDUCIARY!! 

Memorandum from ORTA to the STRS Board 5/19/22, presented by Dr. Robin Rayfield, Executive Director: STRS Roadmap to Reform

May 19, 2022

Suzanne Laird to STRS Board 5/19/22: What will your legacy be?

From Suzanne Laird

May 19, 2022
Good Morning, Members of My Board:
We are not here to gloat. 
Yes, the recent STRS election was a clear mandate from the educators of Ohio that change is required, but we need not wait until the new Board members are installed. The three out-going members still have time to redeem themselves, starting today. OEA's stranglehold has been broken: you are no longer beholden to them.
If you want to prove to your fellow teachers that you understand the referendum they've given you, all Board members purporting to represent educators can begin by standing up today, demanding transparency on the issues we have raised, time and time again.
Appointees: we understand this is just one of your many duties, and you are obliged to follow the directives of your respective bosses, but wouldn't they want you question the unacceptable practices witnessed here?
This month, thousands of Education majors are graduating from Ohio's colleges. Why would they risk staying to teach in a state where they are not certain of a decent retirement, affordable healthcare, and a COLA after 35 years of teaching?
The very profession of teaching is in jeopardy, in Ohio. I suspect that the Governor, the Treasurer, and certainly the Superintendent of Education would willingly support appointees who seek straight answers regarding the ONLY Ohio pension system unable to pay out permanent COLAs to its' beneficiaries.
What will your legacy as a Board be? Will you be the Board that is remembered for never questioning the rising costs and hidden fees? The Board that never fought to reduce the 14% that current and prospective teachers must contribute?
The Board that rubber stamped a bloated budget allowing raises and bonuses, while retirees wait for our one time COLA?
No, we're not here to gloat. We're here to challenge you ALL to do better for the teachers and students of Ohio.
What will your legacy be?

Julie Sellers to the STRS Board 5/19/22: As a newly elected Board member, I have not received any information from the STRS staff

From Julie Sellers

May 19, 2022

Julie Sellers, President, Cincinnati Federation of Teachers and newly elected STRS Board  member
Good morning, members of the Board,
I'm speaking today as a newly elected member of the Board. Since the election results were released [on May 7], I have not received any information from the STRS staff. During this transitional period it would be beneficial if we received the Board's informational packets to better prepare for when we take office. It would also be helpful if the handouts included charts printed in color.
As I am preparing, could someone please let me know where I can access the amount of fees that have been spent on private equity? I have not been able to find where that data is stored. I thank you in advance for your support so I can be better prepared.
Larry KehresMount Union Collge
Division III
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