All members of the UFT are being urged by the union’s leadership to sign nominating petitions to elect Tom Brown to a three-year term as a trustee on the Teachers’ Retirement System board.
Brown’s candidacy, recommended by the UFT Delegate Assembly on Feb. 5, follows the decision to retire by UFT Assistant Treasurer Mona Romain, who has been on the TRS board since 1998.
Nominating petitions for Brown are in all schools and must be returned no later than March 31. All regularly appointed school staff members and all paraprofessionals who have joined the Teachers’ Retirement System, including supervisors, may sign it.
Brown is strongly supported by the two other elected teacher-members of the board, UFT members Sandra March and Mel Aaronson, the union’s treasurer.
Romain’s retirement “is going to be a great loss to all of us and me personally,” said Aaronson. “Pension security is one of the most important fights we’re involved in and Mona has always been a solid voice of guidance on issues affecting millions of people.”
Brown, a longtime UFT pension consultant, received a solid endorsement from Romain.
“Tom Brown is smart, knowledgeable and has always worked tirelessly on behalf of the members,” Romain said. “He has that special quality of caring, which will serve him well in this position.”
Brown started as a Spanish teacher at IS 234 in Brooklyn in 1978 and subsequently served as chapter leader and delegate to the AFT and NYSUT conventions. He won a UFT Albert Lee Smallheiser Award for service to the union.
After serving as a part-time pension consultant for the UFT for 10 years, Brown became a special representative assigned to the Pension Department in 2007. He regularly visits schools to speak with members, both in groups and individually, about pensions, and he has conducted countless pension clinics and workshops.
Brown has led training programs for new pension consultants and is co-editor of the UFT’s pension newsletter, PensioNews. He also works closely with the Retired Teachers Chapter to advise its members on pension matters.
“Tom has been a vigilant guardian of our pension rights,” Aaronson said. “It is crucial that we elect him, particularly during these challenging times when public employee pension funds are under attack.”