May 17, 2011
State of Illinois Employees: Let Your Voice Be Heard
Master Sergeant and Local 700 Chief Union Steward Rob Fierstein is hoping to add another line to his already extensive resume. Fierstein is vying for a seat on the Illinois Pension Board, for which the elections are currently being held.
Employees working for the State of Illinois should have received a ballot in the mail, which needs to be received by the State Employees' Retirement System by May 31. Those who did not receive a ballot should contact SERS at (217) 785-7444.
"Rob is a dedicated and driven guy, not just within the Teamsters, but with everything he does," said John T. Coli, Local 700 Trustee. "It doesn't matter if he has the title of Master Sergeant, Chief Steward or dad – if Rob is doing something, he's doing it 100 percent."
Fierstein has been with the Illinois State Police for 23 years, a Master Sergeant for six years, a Teamster steward for almost three years and a Chief Union Steward for nearly a year. One of his main focuses as member of the state pension board would be to keep pensions secure.
"Pensions are one of the many benefits of working in public service," said Fierstein. "We're often taking the jobs others don't want and putting ourselves in harm's way to protect others. Wanting our full pension is not asking for something we don't deserve."
The 13-member state pension board is made up of one chairman, who by default is the state comptroller; six governor-appointed members; four elected members who are active state employees and two elected members who are retired. Fierstein will be running for the only spot up for election this year.
"It's important for the labor movement to have a voice on the pension board," said Becky Strzechowski, Local 700 Assistant Trustee. "We're thrilled that one of our own is running, but anyone involved with unions should be just as excited."
"Organized labor needs a voice on the pension board," said Fierstein. "For me, it's not enough to hear reassurance from someone else. I want to get in there and have a firsthand look at the situation."
Becky Strzechowski, President
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