STRS Ohio Watchdogs

Chew on this!

Fedor Introduces Legislation to Restore COLA for Retired Teachers

“This bill fulfills a promise made to retirees’ years ago,” Fedor said. “With inflation at an all-time high, retirees living on a fixed income need this adjustment more than ever. Though this increase does not make up for all the money they have lost over the years, it is still the right thing to do.”

January 17, 2022
Senator Teresa Fedor has introduced
SB280: To amend section 3307.67 of the Revised Code regarding adjustments by the State Teachers Retirement Board to the cost-of-living adjustment. The Google sheet below lists Ohio's senators and their responses to SB280. Check back for updates.

SB280:To amend section 3307.67 of the Revised Code regarding adjustments by the State Teachers Retirement Board to the cost-of-living adjustment.

January 13, 2022
Active & Retired Teachers Collecting Signatures for 2022 STRS Ohio Board Elections

Active and retired teachers throughout Ohio are hosting nomination petition signing events for candidates for the STRS Ohio Retirement Board. Candidates must acquire 500 signatures to be placed on the ballot for the STRS Ohio Board elections in April 2022.

Upcoming Nomination Petition Signing Events

  • January 19, from 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM, at the Kings Mills McDonald’s, 5301 Kings Island Dr, Mason

  • January 20, from 11:00 AM-1:00 PM, Carlin Room, Reed Library, 167 E Main St, Ravenna

  • January 20, 2022, from 1:00pm - 5:00 PM, Stark Library Plain Community Branch, 1803 Schneider St. NE, Canton

  • January 22, 2022, from 10:00 AM -12:15 PM, Carlin Room, Reed Library, 167 E Main St, Ravenna

Print nomination petitions for 2022 STRS Ohio Retirement Board elections.

January 12, 2022

Fedor Introduces Legislation to Restore COLA for Ohio's Retired Teachers

Today, state Senator Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) introduced Senate Bill 280, which would reinstate the cost of living adjustment (COLA) for retirees in the State Teachers Retirement System (STRS).

“This bill fulfills a promise made to retirees’ years ago,” Fedor said. “With inflation at an all-time high, retirees living on a fixed income need this adjustment more than ever. Though this increase does not make up for all the money they have lost over the years, it is still the right thing to do.”

Long title: To amend section 3307.67 of the Revised Code regarding adjustments by the State Teachers Retirement Board to the cost-of-living adjustment.

Primary Sponsor: Senator Teresa Fedor:


Senator Kenny Yuko:

Senator Nickie Antonio:

Senator Hearcel Craig:

Senator Tina Maharath:

Senator Vernon Sykes:

Senator Cecil Thomas:

Senator Sandra Williams:

Click here to follow S.B.No. 280.

January 11, 2022
Facebook Pension Groups Are Doing Work Unions Should Be Doing To Protect Retirement Savings

By Edward Siedle

My experience this past year conducting a forensic investigation of the State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio on behalf of the 20,000 member-strong Ohio Retired Teachers Association has convinced me that Facebook groups can be a powerful force to combat looting of America’s pensions by Wall Street. In Ohio, two Facebook groups, Ohio STRS Members Only Forum (19,000 members) and the STRS Ohio Watchdogs (7,000 members) are vigilantly exposing gross mismanagement at the STRS Ohio pension identified in a forensic investigation I completed.

Click here to read this article online.

January 9, 2022

Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague: Ohio's Teachers Deserve an Explanation!

Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague has chosen not to reappoint Yoel Mayerfeld to the Board of the State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio. Treasurer Sprague's actions disappoint many STRS Ohio members who applauded Yoel Mayerfeld's efforts to hold the Neville Administration accountable.

Working with fellow Board Member Wade Steen, Mr. Mayerfeld was instrumental in exposing the granting of millions of dollars in performance bonuses to investment staff tied to faulty benchmarks. Mr. Mayerfeld served the Treasurer's Office well.

Members of the Ohio STRS Member Only Forum and the STRS Ohio Watchdogs demand that Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague make a public statement letting members know that he is aware of problems within the Neville Administration and is committed to working to resolve these problems.

Sign & share the petition!

January 8, 2022

UPDATE: Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague has appointed Scott Roulston to the STRS Ohio Retirement Board.

January 7, 2022

Save Yoel Mayerfeld's Seat on the STRS Ohio Retirement Board

Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague has informed Yoel Mayerfeld that he will not be reappointed to the STRS Ohio Retirement Board. Mayerfeld's term extends through Jan. 7, 2022.

Ohio's active and retired teachers want to know why Robert Sprague will not reappoint Yoel Mayerfeld to the STRS Ohio Retirement Board.

  • Yoel Mayerfeld and Wade Steen uncovered the fact that investment staff at STRS Ohio receive performance based incentives (PBI) regardless of their performance.

  • At the November 2021 STRS Ohio Board meeting, Yoel Mayerfeld seconded Rudy Fichtenbaum's motion to restore the COLA and reduce active teacher contributions.

  • At the November 2021 STRS Ohio Board meeting, Yoel Mayerfeld admonished other Board members for repeatedly interrupting Rudy Fichtenbaum's presentation regarding a proposed investment strategy.

What can you do to help?

*** Contact Jody Foltyn, Chief of Staff for Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague.

Tell Ms. Foltyn that you want Yoel Mayerfeld reappointed to the STRS Ohio Retirement Board.

Telephone: (614) 466-7665


*** Contact September Coyne, Deputy Director of Legal Affairs, Ohio Treasurer of State

Tell Ms. Coyne that you want Yoel Mayerfeld reappointed to the STRS Ohio Retirement Board.

Telephone: (614) 466-2191


December 29, 2021
2022 STRS Ohio Retirement Board Elections

Three seats on the STRS Ohio Retirement Board will become vacant in 2022: two contributing (active) seats and one retiree seat.

Candidates for those seats are now collecting signatures to be placed on the ballots for the elections in the spring of 2022.

Electronic copies of signed petitions are not acceptable. Hard copies only!

  1. Print the petition.

  2. Sign the petition.

  3. Deliver to the candidate(s) by hand or mail ASAP. Candidates must deliver nomination petitions to STRS Ohio by February 25, 2022

Only retired teachers can sign nomination petitions for retired candidates.

Only contributing (active) teachers can sign nomination petitions for contributing (active) teachers.

Retired teachers living out-of-state CAN sign nomination petitions.

Elizabeth Jones (Retired)


Mail signed petitions to Elizabeth Jones at 715 Castlegate Lane, Unit 301, Cincinnati, OH 45231.

Steven Foreman (Contributing/Active)


Mail signed petitions to Steven Foreman at 980 Eastward Circle, Zanesville, OH 43701.

Julie Sellers (Contributing/Active)


Mail signed petitions to Julie Sellers at Cincinnati Federation of Teachers, 2368 Victory Parkway, Suite 100, Cincinnati, OH 45206.

STRS Employer Contribution 12:9:21.pdf

December 9, 2021

Dear Elected Official

Read what is being said nationally about STRS Ohio, "To be honest, it's hard to even call this a "retirement" system at all. The system is functioning like a debt accumulation tool and a tax on teachers, with retirement benefits on the side." Here is another quote with national exposure, "Another way to say this is that the majority of the worst performing states are all non-Social Security states. Under Ohio's defined benefit pension plan, for example, teachers are not getting any employer provided retirement benefits at all."

Which Side Are You On.pdf

December 7, 2021
Which Side Are You On?
By Rudy Fichtenbaum

I have titled this post “Which Side Are You On?”, an old union song written in 1931 during the Harlan County Coal War by Florence Reece after the sheriff, hired by the coal companies, entered her house, and terrorized her and her children, looking for her husband, Sam, a union leader.

Our pension has a problem and It’s time for the Board to decide, “Which Side Are You On?”

Are you on the side of members or on the side of those who profit at members’ expense?

November 22, 2021

The Secret Is, 'Everybody Gets Rich Except the People Who Put Money In'

By Matthew Cunningham-Cook, Daily Poster

"Ohio could be the first place where the secrecy surrounding public pensions and their investments in risky, speculative and high-fee investment vehicles could be looked at in a serious way," said Ted Siedle, a former SEC attorney and longtime pension whistleblower.

Pointing out that pension funds across the country have routinely invoked "trade secrets" exemptions to deny the public information about investment performance and fees, Siedle said the actions taken by the state auditor and securities commissioner "could be the beginning of the end" of such secrecy — not just in Ohio, but nationwide.

As Siedle put it, "Ohio could be the first place where this secrecy is lifted."

Click here to read this article online.

CEO of Cliffwater Gets an F in Elementary School Arithmetic 11:22:2021.pdf

November 22, 2021
CEO of Cliffwater Gets an F in Elementary School Arithmetic

"It appears the CEO of the firm that advises STRS on alternative investments doesn’t understand basic arithmetic. Perhaps that explains why we lost $0.5 billion investing in Panda Energy and more importantly why our alternative investments can’t beat a real benchmark." - Rudy Fichtenbaum

November 19, 2021

NBC News NOW: Record Inflation is Making Things Difficult for Americans with Fixed Incomes.

NBC News correspondent Hallie Jackson talks to Ohio retired teacher Jan Stewart about the suspension of the COLA in 2017 by STRS Ohio and how the lack of a COLA is impacting her budget and her life.

Scroll down to read the accompanying story by Gretchen Morgenson, NBC Senior Financial Reporter.

“I keep a budget of everything I spend," said retired teacher Jan Stewart. "Now everything’s gone up. Through no fault of my own, I’m in this position.”

November 19, 2021

As Prices Soar, Cost-of-Living Increases for Pensions in Many States are Not Keeping Up

By Gretchen Morgenson
NBC News

Like many Americans, Jan Stewart is facing a new problem this fall: how to live on an income that stays the same while her cost of living skyrockets.

A retired elementary school teacher in Toledo, Ohio, Stewart receives a monthly check from the pension she paid into for 31 years. But the size of her checks, and those of 157,000 former Ohio teachers like her, does not rise even when basic costs of living do. Public pension recipients across the nation are in the same boat.

Click here to read this article online.

November 15, 2021

Open Letter to Ohio Legislators

Dear Ohio Legislators,

The Ohio Legislature Needs to Adjust the STRS Elected Board Seats.

There are 167,838 active teacher members in STRS and 157,418 retired teacher members in STRS. This breaks down to a ratio of 51.6% active members and 48.4% retired members.

Currently, retired teachers are only permitted to elect 2 elected Board members out of 7 seats. Even if retirees were granted an extra seat, being allowed to elect 3 trustees out of the 7; retirees would still be under-represented, but the parity would be less discriminatory than it is today.

This is the year to make the change because there are two active board seats up for election in the Spring of 2022. This only occurs once every 4 years, see §3307.06(A) . We seek your help in ending this inequity against Ohio's retired teachers.

Please take action by sponsoring, or supporting, legislation that will rectify this inequity before the election that takes place in the spring of 2022.

This letter has the full support of the Ohio Retired Teachers Association, the Ohio STRS Member Only Facebook Group and the STRS Ohio Watchdogs which represent over 45,000 members.

Thank you,

Dean Dennis
Founder, STRS Ohio Watchdogs
Legislative Liaison, ORTA

Dr. Robin Rayfield
Executive Director, ORTA

This letter was sent via email to all of Ohio's Legislators on November 15, 2021.

November 15, 2021
Private Equity’s Mighty Battle Against Public Pension Transparency

By Edward Siedle, Forbes Contributor

Pensions agreed not to ask PE managers to provide fund prospectuses to stakeholders and the PE firms happily agreed not to tell stakeholders the ugly truth about their business practices.

Read a private equity prospectus, offering memorandum, limited partnership or subscription agreement closely and you’ll quickly learn why these funds resist public scrutiny like vampires run from sunlight.

Click here to read this article online.

November 9, 2021
19,000 Retired Ohio Teachers Want Pension Prospectuses, Wall Street Wolves Say No Way

By Edward Siedle
Forbes Contributor

In Ohio and across the nation, prospectuses and other documents regarding public pension investments are being kept secret from government workers who had no say in selecting the investments for their pensions. Most closely guarded are the documents related to the highest-cost, highest-risk so-called “alternative” investments—information which is routinely provided to wealthy investors and industry insiders who, unlike government workers, can afford to lose a substantial portion of their savings in these funds.

Click here to read this article online.

STRS Ohio Retirement Board Election Manual 2022.pdf

November 1, 2021
Three Retirement Board Seats Up for Election in 2022

In spring 2022, STRS Ohio will hold an election for two contributing member seats and one retired teacher member seat on the State Teachers Retirement Board. Robert McFee and Jeffrey Rhodes currently hold the contributing member seats while Rita Walters holds the retired teacher member seat.

Those eligible for nomination for the contributing member seats are individuals presently contributing to STRS Ohio, those who have contributions on deposit with STRS Ohio and disability benefit recipients. Those eligible for nomination for the retired teacher member seat are Ohio residents who are current service retirement benefit recipients, including disability benefit recipients who have converted to service retirement under the Defined Benefit Plan. By law, STRS Ohio retirees employed in a position requiring them to make contributions to the system (commonly referred to as "reemployed retirees") are ineligible to serve as a member of the board.

Individuals interested in running for these seats can request petitions from STRS Ohio beginning on Nov. 1, 2021, by calling toll-free 888‑227‑7877. The deadline for returning petitions is Feb. 25, 2022. STRS Ohio members will receive their ballots and voting information in April; they will have through May 2 to cast their vote. The winners of the election will begin their four-year terms on the board on Sept. 1, 2022. Board members are not compensated for board service other than reimbursement for actual, necessary expenses.

October 29, 2021
Audit Set for Teachers' Pension

The State of Ohio
By Karen Kasler,
Ohio Statehouse News Bureau Chief

With inflation on the rise, more than 150,000 retired Ohio teachers have less money to spend because they’re not getting an annual cost of living adjustment.

And the decision to suspend that has sparked lawsuits and a special state audit into the teachers’ pension fund.

Guests: Ted Siedle and William Neville

October 27, 2021

Damschroder: Ohio Teachers Use Facebook to Force Pension Audit

By John Damschroder, Columnist

Fremont News Messenger

It’s hard to find a positive story about social media, but the thousands of retired Ohio teachers who’ve created two large and fast growing groups to monitor their retirement system — STRS Ohio Watchdogs and STRS Members Only — have produced an outcome that is hard to imagine without Facebook.

Because hundreds of these STRS monitors reacted within minutes to my suggestion they contact the Special Investigations Unit of the state auditor’s office, STRS confirmed a forensic audit was underway, during their board meeting last week.

As Facebook fights for redemption in the national media and during Congressional hearings, it would do well to tell the story of how it empowered Ohio teachers to literally force state government to do its job on oversight of their pension.

Read this story online.

October 22, 2021
Audit Set for Teachers' Pension Fund

Karen Kasler, Ohio Statehouse News Bureau Chief, talks about the special audit to be conducted by the Ohio Auditor of State's office. Click here to watch the video.

The State of Ohio is a weekly news program spotlighting the latest happenings at the Statehouse, in the Governor's office, at the Ohio Supreme Court and throughout the Buckeye State, hosted by the award-winning Karen Kasler.


October 20, 2021
Special Audit Planned into Ohio Teachers' Pension Fund

The Statehouse News Bureau | By Karen Kasler

The state auditor is planning a review of the pension fund for Ohio’s teachers. This comes as the board for the State Teachers Retirement System gets together for its monthly meeting Thursday.

A letter obtained by the Statehouse News Bureau says the auditor’s office is considering a special audit based on a report by Ted Siedle, who was hired by retired teachers questioning STRS’ stated fund performance and management fees.

Siedle, a former SEC asset management lawyer and head of a firm called Benchmark Financial Services, wrote a report that blasts STRS for lack of transparency and legislative oversight and mismanagement of billions he says could restore a cost of living adjustment suspended in 2017.

“One of the key problems that STRS has that they've lost the trust of their participants. Schoolteachers don't trust them anymore," Siedle said.

STRS blasted Siedle’s report as baseless and said it’s handed over 22,000 pages of documents, and has also said the pension fund has outperformed the market over the past decade.

STRS has confirmed the special audit and said it's cooperating with the auditor's office.

Read this article online.

October 7, 2021
Everyone Is Urging SEC To Stop Public Pension Mismanagement, Looting By Wall Street

By Edward Siedle, Contributor, Forbes

My investigation of the $90 billion-plus State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio commissioned by the 19,000 members of the Ohio Retired Teachers Association was completed in June. The damning preliminary findings have now been reported to Ohio legislators, regulators and law enforcement.

The report concluded the state pension had long abandoned transparency; legislative oversight of the pension had utterly failed; Wall Street had been permitted to pocket lavish fees without scrutiny; investment costs and performance may have been misrepresented; and failure to monitor conflicts may have undermined the integrity of the investment process, as billions that could have been used to pay retirement benefits promised to teachers have been squandered.

Read this article online.

September 23, 2021
STRS Fiscal Year Investment Costs Raise Questions of Credibility

By Dean Dennis, Founder
STRS Ohio Watchdogs

In the August 20, STRS eUPDATE, STRS stated the 2021 Fiscal Year (FY) Total Gross Returns were 29.28% and the Total Net Returns were 29.16% . This is, "after all management fees and costs, including carried interest and other fund expenses." This breaks down to investment costs of 12 basis points (bps). This was a good year, returns were near record highs, bonuses were paid and investment costs were low.

Investment costs were exceptionally low, and our Trustees should be skeptical.

STRS advertises they are one of the top tier premiere pension systems in the United States. They make this claim with the support of many of their paid consultants. One such consultant is CEM Benchmarking. CEM works with over 400 fund sponsors worldwide providing objective actionable benchmarking insight. A pension system would hire CEM to make sure pension costs are reasonable and provide value. CEM, using STRS's numbers, supports the STRS top-tier pension claim.

STRS members question the STRS claim. A top-tier pension system pays a COLA. STRS no longer pays one. A teacher who retired after 2013 has never seen a COLA. All retirees have gone at least 5 year without a COLA. The best pension systems don't rate last in the United States by providing the least value for employee contributions. This disconnect rallied STRS members to raise $75,000 of their own money to hire nationally renowned forensic auditor Edward Siedle of Benchmark Financial Services (BFS), to perform a forensic audit of STRS.

The money was well spent and identified many issues. Top among the issues was money being lost to Wall Street in fees, cost and carried interest. This was detailed in the BFS report titled, The High Cost of Secrecy. Shortly after the release of the Siedle report, STRS Ohio released their own report titled, STRS Ohio Response To Benchmark Financial Services (BFS) Report.

Unintended, the STRS Ohio Response to the BFS report raises red flags about the credibility of STRS Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 investment costs of only 12 (bps). Here's why.

In the STRS report, rebutting the BFS report, on pages 27 and 28, STRS defends their FY 2018 investment costs of 37 basis points. However, these costs were adjusted upwards by their own consultant, CEM Benchmarking, to 40.1 basis points. Making matters worse, the BFS report states STRS investment costs really are around 61.3 basis points and CEM states similar peer pension systems average investment costs are 54.5 basis points.

Clearly, if STRS investment costs were higher than the 54.5 bps average it would challenge their top-tier pension system reputation.

To reinforce their FY 2018 investment cost claim, STRS states in their BFS rebuttal that CEM "correctly reported our actual investment costs as $279.1 million or 36.9 basis points." Digging deeper, embedded in their investment cost claim defense, one of the reasons they were not 61.3 bps as stated by Siedle, or 40.1 bps, as adjusted by CEM, is because they didn't include carried interest arguing, "carried interest is not a fee." STRS held steadfast that their investment costs were 14.5 bps lower than their peers.

So with that, one controversy is now being replaced with another.

Here's why there is reason for skepticism; how can FY 2021 STRS investment costs only be 12 basis points and include carried interest? In 2018 investment costs, thought to be too low, were redacted by their own advisor, CEM. Without including carried interest, investment costs were stated as 36.9 basis points. In 2021, STRS states investment costs "after all management fees and costs, including carried interest and other fund expenses" are only 12 bps.

How is this credible?

Let's hope our Board Chair and other trustees find out and can offer an explanation.

September 12, 2021
Editorial: Report Finds STRS Didn’t Check Its Math

Editorial Board
Toledo Blade

“Surprise, surprise, surprise,” as TV character Gomer Pyle used to say.

That’s the only possible response to the news that the state’s teachers pension fund trashed the findings of an independent review of how the fund handles, or truthfully, mishandles, the monies with which they are entrusted.

The review was conducted by Ted Siedle on behalf of the Ohio Retired Teacher’s Association. Needless to say the review found problems — some of them already well-documented. Mr. Siedle is a former attorney for the Securities and Exchange Commission.

It doesn’t take a study to figure out that losing half a billion dollars on one investment alone shows a level of incompetence that must have taken a great deal of effort to achieve.

Click here to read the editorial online.

September 10, 2021
State Teachers Retirement System Of Ohio Resorts To Pension Theatre To Defend Costly Secretive Investments
By Edward Siedle, Contributor, Forbes

Fully two and a half months after my firm, Benchmark Financial Services released a report commissioned by the Ohio Retired Teachers Association entitled The High Cost of Secrecy: Preliminary Findings of Forensic Investigation of the State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio,” the staff of STRS finally prepared an analysis of the BFS report “for discussion at the STRS Board meeting” on August 19, 2021. This first in-person meeting of the pension board in over a year was open to the public and hundreds of angry Ohio retired school teachers showed up to let it be known they had lost confidence in pension managers.

“This was not a board response. To my knowledge, the board was never told staff was drafting such a response.” Newly-elected board member Dr. Rudy Fichtenbaum, an economist, said, “It appears to me to be neither an official response of the pension nor its board.”

I encourage anyone with an interest in public pensions generally, and Ohio’s public pensions specifically, to read the BFS Report, the so-called STRS Response, and the final BFS Response to STRS Staff, to gain an awareness of the troubling issues which are emerging related to the management of these severely underfunded funds. Come to your own conclusions about whether secrecy, pervasive conflicts of interest, abusive Wall Street business practices, hidden and excessive investment fees, and potential violations of law may be undermining the financial performance of these retirement funds. Whether you’re counting on public pensions for your retirement security or supporting them as a taxpayer, understand your money is at risk.

Click here to read Siedle's full article.

Scroll down to read The High Cost of Secrecy and other documents cited in Siedle's article.

September 8, 2021
Your State Pension Is Not Fully Protected Under Law

By Edward Siedle, Contributor, Forbes

State and local government pensions assure workers and retirees that they enjoy the same protections as the comprehensive federal law, ERISA provides to corporate participants. That’s simply not true. Don’t count on state law to protect your retirement security.

However, if pensioners globally take an active role in scrutinizing their pensions, asking probing questions, identifying irregularities, funding investigations through “crowdfunding” and sharing all they have uncovered with regulators and law enforcement, regulators and law enforcement will become more familiar with pension matters and more likely to make pension protection a priority.

Read the full article online.

September 8, 2021
Grendell & Plummer Introduce HB 14

Rep. Diane Grendell and Rep. Phil Plummer introduce Ohio House Bill 14.

Short title: Regards state retirement system duties, fees, and salaries

Long title: To amend section 145.11 and to enact sections 145.096, 145.117, 145.118, 742.117, 3307.155, 3309.151, and 5505.066 of the Revised Code regarding state retirement system fiduciary duties, Public Employees Retirement System management fees and employee pay, and creating the Committee on Pension Salaries and Fees.

Rep. Phil Plummer sits on the Board of the Ohio Retirement Study Council (ORSC).

Read Ohio House Bill 14.

September 6, 2021
Jim Provance: Ohio teachers pension fund rejects independent review's findings

Ohio's nearly $95 billion pension fund for teachers has pushed back against preliminary findings of an independent review funded by retirees that claims the system lacks transparency and has paid excessive fees and performance bonuses for investments that have “massively underperformed.”

Mr. Siedle was hired by the Ohio Retired Teachers’ Association, which had independently raised $75,000 to fund its own audit of STRS books and practices to see if what they'd been told about the fund's current and projected health are true.

A public records lawsuit will ask the Ohio Supreme Court to force the State Teachers Retirement System to release information that investment firms have claimed is proprietary or a trade secret.

Click here to read the full article online.

STRS: It's Our Money, Not Yours!

STRS is costing us billions by having an IRA (investment return assumption) that is significantly lower than what is actually earned. This has cost retirees their COLA and has forced active teachers to increase their employee contribution to 14% of their salary. In return, they work more years and receive less benefits. It's time to stop the madness and time to become proactive!

STRS: Restore Our Promised COLA!

It is only through a COLA that retired teachers can keep up with inflation. Many of Ohio's teachers work in rural areas and retire with very modest pensions. They rely heavily on their promised and earned COLA. The State Teacher Retirement System (STRS) and elected officials have broken their promises to Ohio's retirees and have placed an unfair burden on Ohio's current teachers.

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Teachers Attend STRS Ohio Retirement Board Meetings

During the pandemic, STRS Ohio Board meetings were held virtually. Members attended via webinar software but were not permitted to address the Board during Public Participation.

In-person meetings of the Board resumed on August 19th.

Many thanks to Ohio's teachers who have travelled to Columbus to attend the Board meetings!

Kathie Bracy's Blog

Kathie Bracy’s blog is a forum for Ohio educators, sharing thoughts regarding their health care and pension system, STRS Ohio. Kathie’s blog is a virtual repository of STRS Ohio history since 2003.

Many of the documents and articles featured in Kathie’s blog are contributed by John Curry. John manages a clearinghouse of emails, documents, and articles about STRS Ohio.

Visit Kathie Bracy’s Blog at

Ohio Retired Teachers Association (ORTA)

ORTA’S mission is to monitor, advocate for, and protect the pensions and benefits of its members. The Association shall encourage individuals to improve the social and economic changes and issues relevant to their retirement.

Click here to visit ORTA's website.

Meet the Leaders of Our Pack

John Bos is a retired teacher and administrator from Shawnee Public Schools. John is an advocate for quality affordable health care for retirees.

Kathie Bracy is a retired elementary teacher from Columbus Public Schools and the author of Kathie Bracy's Blog, a virtual repository of STRS history since 2003.

Bob Buerkle has been lobbying the Ohio Legislature on behalf of Ohio's teachers since 1982. Bob is a retired teacher from Cincinnati Public Schools.

Buddy the Bulldog is our mascot.

John Curry was a founding member of Concerned Ohio Retired Educators (CORE). John is a retired teacher from Wapakoneta City Schools.

Dean Dennis founded the STRS Ohio Watchdogs in January 2020. Dean serves on the Legislative Committee of ORTA. He is a retired teacher from the Cincinnati Public Schools.

Cindy Murphy is our webmaster and social media coordinator. Cindy is a retired educational media specialist from Cuyahoga Falls City Schools.

Robin Rayfied is the Executive Director of ORTA, the Ohio Retired Teachers Association. Robin is a retired teacher from Pike-Delta-York Local School District.

Julie Sellers is the President of the Cincinnati Federation of Teachers. Julie is a teacher for the Cincinnati Public Schools.

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