February 2021 OEA Retirement Systems Update

OEA Endorses Correthers, Walters and Stein for STRS Board

Image: STRS Logo

When it comes to the oversight of retirement funds for Ohio’s teachers experience matters. The OEA Board of Directors has endorsed the candidacy of three current STRS Board members for re-election. Carol Correthers is running for re-election to an active member seat on the Board. Rita Walters and Robert Stein are seeking re-election as retiree representatives on the Board. They are all committed to acting in the best interest of all STRS members and ensuring that STRS is strong and stable for the long haul.

In early April, ballots will be sent to all STRS members. Active employees, those currently paying into STRS are eligible to vote in the election for the active member seat. STRS retirees, are eligible to vote in the election for the retiree seats. Below is information on OEA’s endorsed candidates.

Carol Correthers

Carol Correthers (active seat)
Carol Correthers is an intervention specialist with over 20 years of experience in the Lorain City Schools. She is active in her local association and a former member of the OEA Board of Directors. Correthers has served on the STRS Board since 2009. During this time, the funding level of the STRS pension plan has improved significantly. This makes the future benefit payments for active teachers more secure.

Rita Walters and Robert Stein (retiree seats)

Bob Stein
Rita Walters

Rita Walters retired with 35 years of experience as a classroom teacher with Switzerland of Ohio Schools. As an active teacher she also served as president of her local association and on the OEA Board of Directors for 12 years. Walters was elected to the STRS Board Ohio in 2017. Robert Stein is a retired teacher from Strongsville City Schools and was also a Praxis III assessor with the Ohio Department of Education. Stein has served on the STRS Board since 2009.

During their time on the STRS Board, the solvency of the STRS retiree health care program has vastly improved. Once, projected to run out of money in a few years, the health care plan is now over 100% funded. Additionally, STRS continues to be recognized as a premier public retirement system and the vast majority of retirees have favorable views of STRS.

Three SERS Board Members Re-Elected Without Opposition

Current SERS Board members Barbra Phillips, James Haller and Frank Weglarz were the only candidates to qualify for the ballot to be elected to the SERS Board of Trustees. Because there was only one candidate for each open seat, no election will be held. Barbra Phillips works for Ashland City Schools as a bus driver for disabled students and is president of OAPSE Local 233. She is serving her fourth term on the SERS Board and her candidacy was endorsed by OEA. James Haller is a custodial/maintenance worker with Lima City Schools serving his first term on the Board. Frank Weglarz retired from the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City Schools after 23 years of service. He is serving his second term on the Board and his candidacy was endorsed by OEA. New four-year terms on the Board will begin on July 1, 2021.

Additionally, James Rossler and Daniel Wilson were reappointed to the SERS Board for their fifth terms. Rossler is the Treasurer of the Rossford Exempted Village schools and was appointed to the SERS Board by the Speaker of the Ohio House and the President of the Ohio Senate. Wilson was re-appointed to the Board by Governor DeWine and serves as the Chief Financial Officer of the Mentor Exempted Village schools.

Action Required for OPERS Disability Recipients

Current OPERS disability benefit recipients are required to complete an annual statement on employment and earnings. This document was mailed in February and is a report of income from employment during the previous year. The statement must be completed even if there is no income to report. However, OPERS will waive the statement submission for those over age 70 as of December 31, 2019, who reside in a skilled nursing facility or are under legal guardianship.

The deadline for submission is April 15 and failure to do so will interrupt monthly OPERS disability payments and terminate health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) payments.

PDF Print LogoClick here to download a copy of this February 2021 Report to the OEA Board of Directors. Previous Retirement Systems Updates can be viewed under the Affiliate Resources tab on the OEA website.