MOUNT GILEAD — Dr. Robin Rayfield, Executive Director of the Ohio Retired Teachers Association, spoke to the Morrow County Retired Teachers at their luncheon meeting June 1 at Trinity UM Church.
Dr. Rayfield reported on his and ORTA’s efforts to achieve restoration of a cost of living adjustment (COLA) for retired teachers which was discontinued in 2012.
Though ORTA has offered several plans the State Teachers Retirement System (STRS) refuses to restore a COLA until the pension system is 100 percent funded. This would require increased contributions by both employers and active teachers which the Ohio Education Association (OEA) opposes.
Dr. Rayfield urged MCRTA members to attend STRS board meetings and express their opinions. A Facebook Forum has filed a class action lawsuit on the issue.
Dr. Rayfield also said this is the second year of ORTA’s strategic plan which divided the state into five regions rather than 12 districts. Morrow County is part of the Central Region.
President Pat Maxwell presided for the business meeting and welcomed members and a guest, Nancy Hale.
Past president Bonnie Hildebrand reported on the successful results of the teacher grants offered to county teachers by MCRTA for the first time this year.
Committee reports included: Legislative chairman Lindsay Kohlenburg urged members to follow her lead in lobbying on critical issues and to contact our representatives at the state and national levels. Linda Ruehrmund said good things are happening at Seniors on Center with new activities including the forming of a Senior Choir. Angie Hamilton appealed for Red Cross volunteers and for donations of coffee for the “Java for GI’s” program.
Mary Kay Meyers was thanked for decorating the tables in a butterfly theme. Pat Rinehart’s black raspberry pie was auctioned with proceeds benefiting the Teacher Grant Fund.
Upcoming events include: Executive Board meeting, Aug.19, 10:30 a.m. at Edison UM church; Central Region Leadership Conference, Aug 21, ORTA office; fall luncheon, Oct. 7, Trinity UMC, noon.