Thursday, May 24, 2018

Ohio STRS Member Only Forum

When you open the link below, for the Ohio STRS Member Only Forum, you will see that teachers are showing up at the STRS Board Meetings to demand that STRS restore our COLA. 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/OhioSTRSMemberOnlyForum/

The next STRS Board Meeting is on June 21, 2018. 

Arrive by 10:00 on the 6th floor. 
Wear a black shirt. 

Please continue to circulate our petition. Ohio legislators are now getting a push notice from Change.org for every one hundred signatures. We should not support any legislator that does not correct this injustice. Salaries and bonuses at STRS should be frozen by the Ohio Legislature until our COLA is returned. 

Please sign and share our petition: restoreourcola.com

Monday, May 21, 2018

Show your support for our COLA

The next meeting of the Retirement Board is on June 21, 2018.

Show your support for our COLA.

Arrive by 10:00 am on the 6th floor.
Wear a black shirt.

Please continue to circulate our petition. Ohio legislators are now getting a push notice from Change.org for every one hundred signatures. We should not support any legislator who does not correct this injustice. Salaries and bonuses at STRS should be frozen by the Ohio Legislature until our COLA is returned.


Sign and share our petition at:  RestoreOurCOLA.com


Join the Ohio STRS Member Only Forum Facebook group to stay informed about our campaign to restore our COLA.



Teachers at the STRS Ohio Retirement Board meeting on May 17, 2018


Wednesday, May 16, 2018

STRS Rewards Employees While Retirees Go Without COLA

STRS has seen fit to give annual performance bonuses to 94 employees. Believe it or not, 37 of these employees received bonuses of over $100,000 and 8 employees received annual bonuses of over a quarter of a million dollars. All this was in addition to their annual salaries. Could STRS see fit to give us our annual simple COLA? Of course not. The message STRS sends to us is, "let them eat cake." Ohio's Legislature needs to intervene and send a message to STRS.

We should all demand that the STRS Board, and our legislators, freeze all STRS salaries and suspend all STRS bonuses until STRS restores our COLA. This will certainly be brought up at the May 17th, STRS Board Meeting when the public is invited to speak. It is our contributions that are paying for their large bonuses.

STRS has created this problem. Keep in mind, STRS has always earned over 8% for every 30 year funding period on their investments. They created this paper shortfall by claiming they are only going to earn 7.45% going forward. This downward projected caused our COLA to be suspended; but not their bonuses. Incidentally, STRS earned 14.29% last year.

Please sign and share our petition at restoreourcola.com.

Dean Dennis
May 16, 2018



Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Petition: Respect Ohio's Retired Teachers, Restore Their Promised COLA

Teachers in Ohio were always promised a simple Cost-of-Living-Adjustment (COLA) upon retirement. It is only through a COLA that  retired teachers can keep up with inflation. Many of Ohio's teachers teach in rural areas and retire with very modest pensions. They rely heavily on their promised and earned COLA. The State Teacher Retirement System (STRS) has broken their promise to Ohio's retirees. 
Currently, the COLA is suspended for all retired teachers indefinitely. STRS stated they will not review their actions until May of 2022. There isn't any promise the COLA for retired teachers will ever be reinstated again. The Ohio Legislature must intervene. Taking away a promised benefit after teachers have retired is wrong and arguably in violation of Ohio law (see Article II, Section 28). 
The Ohio State Teacher Retirement System (STRS) is not a broken system, far from it. STRS is in good financial condition having 77 billion dollars for investment purposes. In fact, STRS is a 75% fully funded system. STRS Ohio does well, consistently averaging over 8% returns on their investments for each and every 30 year rolling funding period. Additionally, STRS Ohio has a revenue stream.  They receive 14% from every active teacher's paycheck with an additional 14% match from the teacher's employer; thereby receiving a whopping 28% in contributions off every teacher's salary. STRS is so well off that they can afford to provide numerous large annual bonuses of over $100,000 plus to their large investment staff. This is in addition to their six-figure salaries.
 In the years 2013 through 2017, STRS took actions to further enrich themselves. During these years STRS decreased and froze retired teachers simple COLA for what will effectively amount to 8 years of COLA losses. STRS also sought to make active teachers work 5 additional years in order to receive a full pension. Current Ohio teachers will now have to be 60 years of age, or older, and work at least 35 years for a full pension. As if this wasn't enough, STRS  took action to withhold their COLA for the first 5 years of their retirement. However, they reserved the right to never pay current teachers a COLA!
Ohio's Legislature needs to intervene to restore the promised COLA under Ohio's Defined Benefit Plan. Ohio's Legislature needs to freeze all STRS salaries and suspend all STRS bonuses until the COLA is restored and retirees are made whole. 

TEACHERS, support legislators who support us!

Click here to sign the petition.