Facebook groups organized by public pension participants are increasingly doing the work unions should, exposing looting and mismanagement.
By Edward Siedle Jan. 9, 2024
My experience in 2021, conducting a forensic investigation of the $90 billion State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio on behalf of the 20,000 member-strong Ohio Retirement for Teachers Association, convinced me that Facebook groups organized by pension participants can be a powerful force to combat looting of America’s public pensions by Wall Street and corrupt politicians.
In Ohio, two Facebook groups, Ohio STRS Members Only Forum (36,000 members) and the STRS Ohio Watchdogs (14,000 members) are vigilantly working to expose gross mismanagement at the STRS Ohio pension, as well as pushing for reform at the combative, highly secretive fund.
According to Dean Dennis, President of ORTA, “Traditional unions are supported by active teachers and focus on their issues. The problems at STRS Ohio are broader because they also effect retired teachers’ COLAs and the general public, including taxpayers. However, we are well-aware that active teachers are working longer and receiving less for their contributions. I would encourage teachers nationally who are concerned about their retirement security to take action on their own—like we did—and not rely upon unions to watch over their pensions.”