Retired teachers are not smiling as schools reopen this year. During our careers, teachers earned less than other occupations with the promise from the State Teachers Retirement System (STRS) that we would receive adequate retirement and an annual cost of living allowance. STRS has not kept its promise claiming they do not have available funds to meet its mandated payments.
Each year STRS cut teacher benefits while rewarding themselves with shameless pay raises and sham bonuses. As teachers prepare to return to school, they will pay more into the STRS system and be required to work more years before retirement eligibility, where they may be denied benefits promised to retirees.
STRS investment staff has earned huge bonuses yearly despite sharp declines in the investment portfolio. STRS board approved a six percent pay raise for employees and record-high bonuses of nearly $10 million to the investment staff. STRS board members seem to have turned their backs on teachers and retired teachers for whom they are working.