The trustees of the New York City Teachers’ Retirement System have voted to “prudently divest” from Russian securities “to ensure the long-term stability of our pension system.”
UFT President Michael Mulgrew said, “We have to stand up for justice. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is an attack on democracy. There must be consequences for this kind of offense against international peace.”
Mayor Eric Adams said:
“Freedom cannot be denied, here or anywhere. That’s why I stand in support of efforts to divest the city’s pension funds from Russian assets in light of the ongoing invasion of Ukraine — an unprovoked and unjustified war. This is not about penalizing the Russian people, but about holding President Putin and his government accountable for violating a nation’s sovereignty and inflicting widespread suffering on its people. Our administration is committed to standing with Ukrainians and refugees here and abroad while doing all we can to advance peace, in collaboration with the community and our federal partners.”
New York City Comptroller Brad Lander said:
“A vicious and unjust war continues to be waged on Ukraine, driving deaths, destruction and displacement of civilians. New Yorkers remain steadfast in solidarity with Ukrainians here in our city and abroad. The decision by the trustees of the Teachers’ Retirement System is another step forward as we work to hold the Putin regime and those who continue to fund it accountable, while safeguarding the assets of thousands of active members and beneficiaries.”
Debra Penny, chair of the UFT’s TRS members, said: “The trustees have voted — keeping in mind our commitment to our members to safeguard the system’s assets — to join the international movement to hold the Russian government responsible for its actions.”
The NYC Teachers’ Retirement System holds about $90 million in Russian securities out of the $104 billion total TRS portfolio.
THE UFT has three members on the TRS board — Debra Penny, Thomas Brown and David Kazansky. Mayor Adams, Comptroller Lander and the New York City Department of Education also have representatives on the board.