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Union Protests Cuts to Retired School Employee Pensions at Statehouse

photo of pension protesters
JO INGLES
/
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Unions representing retired school employees are putting pressure om Ohio lawmakers not to freeze or cut cost-of-living allowances in their pensions.

About 200 members of the Ohio Association of Public School Employees marched at the Statehouse telling state lawmakers to keep their hands off pensions.

A Republican-backed bill would allow cuts to cost-of-living increases to the pensions of members of the School Employees Retirement System, which includes cafeteria workers, secretaries and custodians. Reductions to or elimination of the cost-of-living adjustment in public pensions has been proposed as a way to save money and keep those pension plans solid. 

The board of the much larger pension plan representing teachers, the State Teachers Retirement System recently voted to freeze cost-of-living increases for five years.

Five years ago, lawmakers adopted a major overhaul that affected all five of Ohio's public pension plans by requiring employees to work longer and making cuts in benefits.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment. Jo started her career in Louisville, Kentucky in the mid 80’s when she helped produce a televised presidential debate for ABC News, worked for a creative services company and served as a general assignment report for a commercial radio station. In 1989, she returned back to her native Ohio to work at the WOSU Stations in Columbus where she began a long resume in public radio.