MTA-endorsed candidates running for MTRS posts

Dennis NaughtonDennis Naughton Jacqueline GorrieJacqueline Gorrie

Two MTA-endorsed candidates — Jacqueline Gorrie and Dennis Naughton — are running for seats on the Massachusetts Teachers’ Retirement Board.

Two of the board’s seven members are elected to four-year terms by the members of the Massachusetts Teachers' Retirement System. There are three candidates for the two seats.

Mail ballots — which are being sent to active and retired teachers who are members of the MTRS — should be returned with a postmark no later than Dec. 5 to ensure they will be received and counted on time.

For the first time, the MTRS is also permitting electronic voting. MTRS members may vote online by entering the unique code that arrives with each mailed ballot. Instructions for online voting are included in the mailing.

The MTRS, the largest of the Commonwealth’s 104 contributory retirement systems, provides retirement, disability and survivor benefits to Massachusetts teachers, administrators and their families.

MTA President Barbara Madeloni said it is crucial that MTA members who are eligible to participate in the election do so.

Gorrie and Naughton, both MTA/NEA Retired members, “have shown decades of commitment to public education, their local associations and the MTA,” Madeloni said. “They will bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to a board that has a huge impact on the lives of educators. I urge you to take the time right now to vote.”

Naughton, who taught in the Millis Public Schools for 36 years before retiring, is running for re-election. He served as president of the Millis Teachers Association for 19 years and has been a member of both the MTA Board and the MTA Executive Committee. He has been a member of the MTRB since 2011 and was chosen by his fellow MTRB members to serve as a trustee on the Pension Reserves Investment Management Board.

At the NEA Representative Assembly in July, Naughton proposed an amendment requiring the NEA to oppose efforts to replace defined-benefit retirement plans with mandatory defined-contribution plans, which shift investment risk and fees to individual teachers. The amendment passed overwhelmingly.

“I am only too aware of the unfair attacks on teacher benefits that have been taking place across the country — including right here in Massachusetts,” Naughton said. “I am committed not only to defending our existing defined-benefit retirement system, but also to increasing the dollar amount upon which our cost-of-living adjustment is calculated.”

Gorrie has been a member of both the MTA Board of Directors and the NEA Board, and she has served on and chaired numerous committees at both levels. She is currently a Statewide Retired District Director on the MTA Board.

Gorrie retired after 36 years of teaching kindergarten in Taunton. During that time, she served the Taunton Education Association in numerous capacities, including 10 years as president and many years as vice president/grievance chair, secretary and building representative. She served on many negotiating teams and currently serves as the retired member on the TEA Executive Board.

Gorrie said she would be honored to represent her fellow educators on the MTRS Board.

“Educators must define the future of our profession” she said. “Working to protect our pensions and benefits only reinforces my belief that educators should feel supported as they enter our profession, be respected as they grow in our profession, and be treated with dignity as they retire from our profession.”