Former CSEA President Rob Feckner won re-election to the CalPERS Board of Administration in mid-May, ensuring that his strong voice for classified employees will continue to be a guiding force for the public pension system. With his re-election campaign already in full swing, Feckner was declared the winner when no opponents filed to run against him.
The 10-term president of the nation’s largest public pension system will now serve on the CalPERS Board through early 2019. CSEA members came out in full force to support Feckner’s campaign. While candidates are required to submit a petition with 250 signatures from current CalPERS members, Feckner delivered more than 6,500 signatures upon filing for re-election.
We caught up with Feckner and talked about his re-election, the outpouring of support from CSEA members and his vision for CalPERS.
Q. How does it feel to be re-elected unopposed to the CalPERS Board?
A. A great weight has been lifted. It is an honor to continue to represent the school members of the CalPERS system. In winning unopposed, I know that I am actually doing a good job or that no one else wants the headache. I presume, like with many things, the answer lies somewhere in between.
Q. CSEA members lined up to support your re-election campaign. What does it mean to you to have the full faith and support of our members?
A. To have garnered more than 6,500 signatures in a relatively quiet campaign period speaks volumes of the power and tenacity of CSEA members and staff. It was so heartwarming and humbling at the same time to deliver a box of that many signatures to the elections office.
Q. What can you tell our members about the current state of CalPERS?
A. CalPERS is doing quite well. Currently hovering at the $290-billion level—the highest the fund has ever been in its 82-year history—your retirement fund is healthy and your board is committed to making sure it stays that way.
Q. What is your vision for CalPERS for the next four years?
A. I’m focused on continuing to work out the kinks in our information technology system, shortening the waiting times for all customer service needs, and keeping us on strong financial footing while speaking truth to negative media campaigns.
Q. What would you like to say to CSEA members for their continued support of you and Association President Michael Bilbrey on the CalPERS Board of Administration?
A. First of all, let me express my gratitude. Thank you for your support, for your positive comments, for the work you do for our children and most importantly, for being you! Please remember, both Michael and I are available to come and speak to you and your members, whether that be your chapter, region, Area or Retiree Council. As long as our schedules allow, we appreciate the opportunity to educate others with current and accurate information about CalPERS. I can be reached anytime at Rob_Feckner@calpers.ca.gov. Many members have commented to me that they sent me an email and never heard back. I have not had a CSEA email address since last August when I left the CSEA Board, so please use this one to contact me.