The trustees of the New York City Teachers’ Retirement System voted on March 7 to divest its holdings in Russian securities in protest of the war against Ukraine launched by Vladimir Putin.
“We have to stand up for justice,” said UFT President Michael Mulgrew following the vote. “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is an attack on democracy. There must be consequences for this kind of offense against international peace.”
UFT Treasurer Debra Penny, the chair among the union’s three TRS members, said trustees would prudently carry out the divestiture to avoid absorbing significant financial losses and “to ensure the long-term stability of our pension system.”
Those holdings comprise a relatively small portion of the TRS portfolio: roughly $90 million in Russian securities out of $104 billion in investments.
Besides Penny and UFT colleagues Tom Brown and David Kazansky, the TRS board trustees are representatives of Mayor Adams, City Comptroller Brad Lander and the Department of Education.
As the Russian invasion headed into its second month, the mayor and the city comptroller announced on March 24 that all five city pension systems were divesting from Russian securities.