CALSTRS UNIONS FOR FOSSIL FUEL DIVESTMENT
CalSTRS is investing your retirement savings in the climate crisis.
The California State Teachers’ Retirement System provides over $15 billion to fossil fuel corporations that are building coal plants, oil pipelines and fracked gas wells.
That’s more than any other public teachers’ pension in the country.
CalSTRS is attempting to leverage our retirement savings to influence Big Oil. But these failed "shareholder engagement" efforts are not only ineffective—they're undermining climate action, and costing California teachers billions in returns.
Fossil fuel divestment is the responsible thing to do for our pension and our planet. For the last seven years, teachers and students have been building a powerful campaign to hold CalSTRS accountable for bankrolling the climate crisis.
Pass a divestment resolution in your local union
By default, our unions support CalSTRS' fossil fuel investments.
This means our representatives can help pass legislation that keeps Big Oil in power by keeping California's public pensions invested in oil, gas, and coal corporations. You can challenge the status quo by passing a divestment resolution in your local union.
A divestment resolution makes it easier for your chapter to:
- Speak out against CalSTRS bankrolling the climate crisis
- Endorse CalSTRS Board candidates who support fossil fuel divestment
- Sign on in support of fossil fuel divestment legislation like SB 1173
- Put pressure on CalSTRS directly to divest
1. Build a crew
Passing a divestment resolution is much easier with at least one person on board. A small team of 2-5 can work wonders.
2. Do your research
Figure out the structure of your local union. Who makes decisions—a representative council or an executive board? How do things get agendized?
Do a "power analysis" of the committee you're trying to impact. Who's on it? Who's in charge? Who's likely to be sympathetic, and who's likely to be opposed?
3. Prepare materials
It's helpful to have a one-pager ready with your main points for anyone who expresses interest.
You should also have a model resolution ready to go. Use our sample fossil fuel divestment resolution or write your own, with the style or format of resolutions that have already been passed by your local.
Have one-on-one discussions with the rank and file. Be sure to listen and let them air their concerns.
Once you've identified key supporters, ask them to speak in support of your resolution when it's up for a vote.
5. Make your case
The next step is to get on the agenda for a vote. Remember that it can take a long time and a bit of work to get a divestment resolution agendized.
Once you're on the agenda, make sure your supporters are committed to showing up, prepared to speak, and ready to support your resolution. Make sure you're ready with lots of good arguments, too!
When it's time to present, share your handout with everyone in the room. Encourage your supporters to speak in support of your resolution right away to set the right tone.
Join the CalSTRS Team
We're keeping the pressure on CalSTRS to divest from fossil fuels once and for all.
JOIN THE CAMPAIGN
Sign up for a 1:1 or just to stay informed about our work.
These twenty-six local chapters across California have passed fossil fuel divestment resolutions urging CalSTRS to protect their retirement savings from bankrolling Big Oil.
Learn the facts about the oil, gas, and coal corporations being sponsored by your retirement savings.
Share our one-page info sheet, "Now is the Time for CalSTRS to Divest."