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Suzanne Laird to STRS Board: Do more, with less, until the crisis is over

Suzanne Laird, a retired Ohio teacher, is a regular speaker at STRS Ohio Retirement Board meetings. Here is the speech she made during Public Participation on October 19, 2023.


Good Morning, Members of MY Board:

Last October, I came before you to ask, “What is more scary in Ohio than STRS?”

Active teachers tricked into working longer for less; retired teachers tricked in losing their COLAs.

What has changed, since then?

Well, since last October, we’ve uncovered MORE waste, more scary “tricks”:


A concierge staff to cater to the entitled employees’ every whim, to the tune of over one million dollars! Average salary: $61,000! Do you know how many years and levels of education it takes the average Ohio teacher to attain $61,000?!

This ridiculously over-staffed organization employs too many administrative assistants to count, each one, again, earning more than some teachers earn in their final years teaching Ohio’s students!

We have repeatedly insisted that you freeze all hiring until our financial crisis is over, yet you insist upon continuing to hire extraneous people. What the hell is a “talent acquisition representative” anyway?!

Is it someone, like our new resident Spin Doctor, Mr. Minnich, hired in addition to Mr. Treneff, to waste our money producing more propaganda?

You’re not tricking anyone anymore.

Last October, I called them bloodsuckers, and I must employ the word again: the investment bloodsuckers, on their sugar-high, must be slashed, and the bonuses curtailed.

No more raises, no new hires in any department.

You must do what every educator in Ohio does: do more, with less, until the crisis is over.


Again, I’ll say, I’m frightened. Frightened that no one on this Board has the guts to cut expenses from that budget. Some Board members still appear to be zombies, bobbing their heads like apples, approving the bloated budget every year.


I’m begging, not for treats, but for what I and all Ohio teachers deserve: a secure and stable retirement.

I am begging you to stop acting like zombies: speak up and stop the bleeding.




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