Friday, August 12, 2022

Robin Rayfield: A Call to Action to all members of STRS

From Robin Rayfield, Executive Director

The Ohio Retired Teachers Association
From the August 12, 2022 ORTA Newsletter
STRS News & Call to Action!
The STRS board did not meet in July; however, there are a few items to remind you about June’s meeting and what is on the docket for August. In June, the current board voted to allow the current Chair of the STRS Board to negotiate an extension of Executive Director Bill Neville’s contract. The amendment included several noteworthy items:
•  Mr. Neville’s contract was extended for an additional year (through 2027). This resulted in Mr. Neville’s contract being a 7-year deal. Keep in mind that no other executive director of an Ohio public pension has such a deal. In fact, the other executive directors in Ohio’s public pension systems are ‘at will’ employees. They do not have ‘contracts’’ but work at the pleasure of the boards.
•  Mr. Neville was granted a $9,000 raise for each of the next two years. Not bad work if you can get it!
•  Remember, this compensation package does not include any of his additional perks such as annuities, car allowance, travel allowance, or other perks he receives. 
The board also approved ‘an extra pay’ for all STRS employees. The 27th pay was put in place as there is an extra week in the normal twenty-six pays per year. As teachers we all remember the ‘skip week’ that came around every 7 to 10 years where we all went 3 weeks between pays. This 27th pay amounts to an additional 3.8% pay increase for STRS employees. On top of that STRS employees will receive an 3% increase in base pay. Nearly 7% pay increases in 1 year!
The board, after being soundly rejected by the members in the May election ‘flipped off’ the members of STRS (both active and retirees) and provided STRS leadership with this ‘golden parachute’ as they leave the board. It is clear that STRS management does not want to see change. They want to continue to hold on to the status quo of receiving lavish pay raises, despite the continued failure to provide promised benefits.
Finally, as we look towards August’s meeting, the PBI (bonus) payments are set to be voted on in August. No doubt, the board will seek to provide our investment staff with huge bonus payments. Hopefully, the outgoing board will not approve these bonus payments. ORTA encourages our membership to call or email STRS board members before the meeting on August 18th with a message to NOT approve these outrageous bonus payments. A list of email addresses are provided below.
Robert McFee 
Jeffery Rhodes 
Arthur Lard 
Carol Correthers 
Dale Price 
Rita Walters 
Rudy Fichtenbaum 
Claudia Herrington 
Scott Hunt 
Wade Steen 
Scott Roulston 
Larry KehresMount Union Collge
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