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Cincinnati teachers travel to capital, demand retirement benefits

Posted: 11:50 AM, Jun 21, 2018
Updated: 2018-06-21 17:29:53Z

CINCINNATI -- Dozens of teachers and retired teachers traveled to the capital Thursday morning to fight for their retirement benefits.

Teachers like Roger Peebles, who spent 31 years teaching for Cincinnati Public Schools, want officials to know they won’t tolerate the loss of their cost-of living adjustments (COLA). 

"We're not going to tolerate anything they do with our money, and we're going to protest and keep protesting until they give us that money back,” Peebles said. 

State Teachers Retirement System trustees voted last year to suspend the cost of living allowance, impacting 490,000 teachers and retirees, The Dayton Daily News reported. 

Peebles is also concerned about cuts to his healthcare. 

"I just had 3 heart surgeries,” Peebels said. “I can't go back to work, so I need an extra pay increase every year."

Liz Jones said she taught at CPS for 36 years so she could serve the city’s children and their families. Now, she worries cuts will impact the next generation of educators. 

"If I'm a 22-year-old going into the profession and I'm thinking about, ‘I have to work until I'm 60.5,’ just consider if you are a kindergarten teacher and you're running behind 5-year-olds at 60,” Jones said. You may not have the energy to do that.”

Trustees will review the matter in 2022, but there is no certainty that the allowance will return. The system is Ohio’s second largest public pension fund, The Dayton Daily News reported.