Welcome and Lunch
In Fred's absence, Vice President Janet Simross brought the meeting to order, welcoming everyone and opening with words and moment of silence for Fred and his family, due to the tragic death of his wife Kay in a recent auto accident. Janet then led us in singing America the Beautiful and The Pledge of Allegiance and Innvocation Prayer.
A delicious buffet lunch was then served by the church cooking staff. Following lunch Janet had everyone applaud the lunch staff for their efforts.
Eileen McNally introduced our speaker for the day, current ORTA President Dave Gynn. Dave explained that Eileen had been our area Trustee, but LCRTA no longer qualifies to have that by the wonderful volunteering that we teachers are known for, every time you volunteer you are in essence "voting" for the kind of community you want. He urged us all to keep track of our volunteering, and try to do just a little more than we did last year. Also, be sure to report your hours so they can be collected by our chapter, as ORTA combines the volunteer hours from all chapters and then converts these services to equivilant pay of about $21/hr.--over $10 million for all of our hours!
Retired teachers certainly contribute a lot!
Dave also shared that the new legislation has just been passed for the 5 Ohio Public Employment systems. No others alterations could take place while the current changes were in legislation for the past 3 years. This year there was bipartisan support for the legislation. Future retirees will have to pay more and will work longer in order to sustain a system of defined benefits. Our 3% COLA will NOT be given next year, and then reduced to 2% after that time. COLA is in control of STRS and can make changes when necessary.
ORTA and STRS have worked together well for about 65 years. They both want adequate health care for all. Healthcare has always been provided, and they want to continue to do so, but it is not a guarantee through the legislature. They continue to negotiate with several different companies to offer the best possibilities.
Remember, if you do leave STRS Healthcare, you can not come back to the system.
Recent questions have been brought up about changes with doctors and hospitals in-and-out of network and their co-pay options. Dave mentioned that there are several meetings to address these new healthcare changes-Oct.25 & Nov.9 in Columbus--but Eileen will check on these for everyone, as she thinks the meetings may already been filled. Dave stated that if we have enough interest, a representative may be able to come to Newark for a meeting to address our concerns.
Secretary's report: Linda Leffel reminded all to look on the LCRTA website to read the minutes from the last meeting, and address any changes/additions to Eileen or Linda.
Treasurer's Report: Sharon Koppert shared we currently have $1,355 in our Checking;
$$3,332 in our Savings Account; and $1,504 in our Scholarship fund.
Membership: Mary reported that some have paid next year's dues today and encouraged all to get dues in at our December meeting. We also welcomed 2 new members today-Gail & Carl Dufford.
Informative Committee: Judy urged all to check for any prescription changes for the next year.
Public Relations: Eileen announced that she is again organizing another Pre-Retirement gathering for active teachers in April 2013 due to all the legislative changes. She will be asking for volunteers to help with refreshments, etc.
David Green reported that many area community groups are supporting the Transportation Initiative to obtain a fixed bus route system for Licking County.
Janet shared that we are so pleased with our latest Scholarship winner. Gabrielle sent us a letter and picture letting us know how she is doing at college, and will continue to send us updates. We really enjoy her keeping us updated on her progress! Janet asked Linda to send her a note sharing our appreciation.
The ORTA Recipe book is for sale: $10/ea. or 2/$15.
New slate of LCRTA Officers were presented:
President: Sandy Holcombe Vice President: Janet Simross
Treasurer: Sharon Koppert Secretary: Linda Leffel
No other nominations came from the group. It was proposed that we unanimously accept the entire slate of officers. Eileen McNally made a motion and Wanda Marshall seconded and all approved the slate as presented.
It was discussed that we change our committees in our by-laws to combine the Legislative and Public Relations groups for more convenience. It was felt that ORTA wants both committees to remain. It was proposed that we table this issue for further discussion. Eileen made the motion, seconded by Jim Brooks; all agreed.
Sandy Holcombe thanked everyone for the "Baby Pantry" items, which are in great need. Her church, Wright Memorial, serves with this only official emergency pantry for babies, and they currently served 138 families.
Bob Tharp announced that he had many items to share from the Licking County Historical Society and the Licking County Historical Alliance group.
Our next meeting will be our Holiday gathering at Central Christian Church on Wednesday, December 12th. Food item will be Peanyt Butter. Licking County Barbershop Singers will entertain.
Motion to adjourn was made by Ken Bagent, seconded by Bob Palagi.