PSERS election comes at critical time
Published October 2009 Voice
This fall’s election for the Pennsylvania Public School Employees’ Retirement System Board of Trustees is a crucial one for PSEA members.
Pat Tozer is completing her first term representing the non-certified contributors to PSERS. This membership category covers members of the PSERS system who do not hold certificates from the Department of Education and includes such disparate groups as higher education employees, school administrators, social workers, and education support professionals. Tozer is running for re-election to a three-year term.
For more than 25 years, Tozer has been involved in PSEA. She served ESPs as their representative on the NEA and the PSEA Boards of Directors. In addition, Tozer served on the Board of the PSEA Health & Welfare Trust.
In 2006, Tozer ran for the PSERS Board and won election in statewide balloting. She was named Chair of the Appeals/Member Services Committee. This committee has jurisdiction over the administration of rights and benefits of PSERS members and customer service issues.
According to PSERS Chair Mel Vogler, “Pat has done a magnificent job as Chair of the Appeals/Member Services Committee. Some of our greatest challenges come with our Education Support Professionals, many of whom tend to be hired at an older age, work fewer years or, due to insufficient hours, do not get full service credit for each year they work. Pat understands their concerns and looks out for their interests, as well as the certified members, to make sure everyone is treated fairly.”
Tozer faces opposition in this election from George Longridge, the business manager and tax collector for Elizabethtown Area School District. Longridge is a school administrator who does not hold membership in PSEA.
On November 4, PSERS will mail ballots to fill this seat on the PSERS Board. The ballot should promptly be completed and returned by December 2.
Dawn Bandle, the ESP Region President and representative on the PSEA Board of Directors, urges all non-certified members to keep an eye out for the ballot and vote for Pat Tozer.
“This is an important election; we need to return Pat Tozer to the PSERS Board,” Bandle said. “It would be a shame for us to lose the position. I know Pat will have the sensitivity to the rights and concerns of our members.
“Unfortunately, ESPs tend to vote in low numbers in PSERS elections. So we intend to do everything possible to encourage a strong vote this year,” Bandle said.
PSEA member Glen Galante is up for re-election to his position on the PSERS Board but has no challenger.