The important work of the State Teachers’ Retirement Board (STRB) cannot be overstated, as it administers teachers’ pension and retiree healthcare benefits. For decades, active and retired CEA members have served on the STRB in an effort to ensure the protection and smooth administration of these benefits, and this year, two retired teacher seats are up for re-election. The law provides for four active teacher members and two retired teacher members on the STRB, all of whom serve four-year terms.
Two retirees, Clare Barnett, who currently serves as Chair on the STRB, and Bill Myers, who served as an active member before retiring, are up for re-election. Both Clare and Bill were endorsed by CEA’s Retirement Commission and both active and retired teachers will have the opportunity to help re-elect them.
“Because so many retirees are running for these two STRB seats, it’s imperative that the most experienced, knowledgeable candidates are elected,” says CEA-Retired President William Murray. “Clare Barnett and Bill Myers were endorsed because they are in the best position to protect our pension and health insurance funds.”
Active teachers will receive an electronic ballot through the email address currently on file with the STRB, and retired teachers will receive a printed ballot in the mail. Both ballots will contain the names and biographies of the candidates, and votes must be cast/postmarked by February 24, 2023.
As part of its endorsement process, CEA’s Retirement Commission, composed of active and retired CEA members from across the state, interviewed the four CEA-Retired members running for the two open seats last fall. Candidates were asked to provide background information and were interviewed by the teachers on the commission. After a thorough discussion, the commission voted to endorse Clare Barnett and Bill Myers based on their many years of experience, expertise, and advocacy on behalf of Connecticut’s teachers. Two other CEA-Retired members who also are candidates, Rita McDougald-Campbell and Joseph Giaquinto, were interviewed but not endorsed and four other retirees who are not CEA-Retired members are also running. Effective January 19, Joseph Giaquinto has withdrawn from the election.
Clare has been an advocate for retired teachers and for ensuring the security of the teachers’ retirement and health funds for over 30 years. She is currently chair of the STRB. She spent 19 years on the Investment Advisory Council that advises the State Treasurer on the investments of the pension funds. She served on the Executive Committee and as president of the National Council on Teacher Retirement. She has presented at numerous state and national conferences and given testimony on teacher pension issues at the state and national level for over 20 years. Clare is a Waterbury native and worked for over 39 years as both a middle and high school teacher and administrator in Danbury, teaching history, government, and law.
Bill has devoted many years to protecting the pension and retiree healthcare system. He was elected to the STRB as an active teacher and served for 10 years, stepping down from the active seat when he retired. While on the STRB, he served on many subcommittees, including Healthcare, Audit, Appeals, and Personnel. He regularly testified on behalf of the STRB and CEA before the Appropriations Committee of the state legislature. He furthered his education on pension and healthcare issues by attending national pension trustee conferences at Harvard and Columbia and was a presenter at a conference at UC Berkeley. During his active teaching career he was a music teacher in South Windsor and also served as treasurer of the South Windsor Education Association for 20 years. He was a member of CEA’s Retirement Commission for most of those years, including several terms as the vice chair.
CEA urges you to vote for Clare and Bill so that the STRB and active and retired teachers continue to benefit from their years of expertise and advocacy.