Teacher Unions for Divestment

Teachers unions are key players in the fight for CalSTRS divestment

CalSTRS beneficiaries are represented by two large unions - California Teachers Association and California Federation of Teachers as well as a few small independent unions. These unions have the ear of the pensions and of many state legislators. 

Why Fossil Fuel Divestment?

Fossil fuel companies pollute our communities. Wells, refineries, and pipelines cause cancer and asthma to the majority POC communities who live nearby. They are a primary driver of climate change and the fires which devastate California. And fossil fuel companies continually lie about their responsibility and even covered up climate change in the 80’s. It is time that the blame for climate change falls directly on the shoulders of the companies profiting from the destruction of our and our students' safety and futures. We can do this by taking our money out of destructive fossil fuels and calling attention to their manipulation.

The California State Teachers’ Retirement System invests over $15 billion in 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.

Who Supports Fossil Fuel Divestment?


Currently California Federation of Teachers, Faculty Association of California Community Colleges, and 21 California Teachers Association locals support divestment.

Who Supports Fossil Fuel Divestment?

Pass a divestment resolution in your local union

A divestment resolution makes it easier for your chapter to:

  • Move CTA Statewide to 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. Engage Executive Board

Together bring proposed resolution to the local Executive Board for a vote.

4. Pass Resolution

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.

5. Share Resolution

Send copies of adopted resolution to your CTA State Council Delegates, CTA Statewide, CalSTRS (board@calstrs.com), and FFCA (info@fossilfreeca.org).

6. Celebrate Victory

Don't forget to thank your supporters and CELEBRATE your victory!

Join the CalSTRS Team

We're keeping the pressure on CalSTRS to divest from fossil fuels once and for all.


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These twenty-six teachers' organizations 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."