The American Federation of Teachers-Oregon (AFT-Oregon) and the Oregon State Conference of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP-Oregon) announced their official endorsement of Divest Oregon. They join a diverse coalition representing workers, environmentalists, public sector employees, and people of faith, who are all urging the Oregon Treasury to disclose current fossil fuel holdings and divest from the fossil fuel sector. Together, AFT-Oregon and AAUP-Oregon represent over 20,000 workers across the state, including thousands of PERS members.
AFT-Oregon leadership offered this statement on the Divest Oregon campaign: “As a union we are doing what we can to reduce fossil fuel investments that cause our climate emergency. This effort will convince our state to stop supporting fossil fuel companies with our PERS dollars!”
Leaders in both unions are outspoken advocates for the retirement security of public employees. They are also leading the way in promoting sustainability and clean energy investments. The Oregon Treasury remains invested in fossil fuels despite financial risk that could harm returns for public employees. Most of the Treasury’s holdings are in the $90 billion Oregon Public Employee Retirement Fund (PERS), which the Treasury manages.
“Research has shown that green investments are showing a greater return and the Oregon Investment Council must work to increase the value of its portfolio,” said a member of AFT-Oregon.
The message is clear: on decisions that impact their retirement security, PERS members do not want the Oregon Treasury taking a risk.