Head of national pension defense coalition is changing jobs
By Allen Jones
TEXPERS Communications Manager
Bailey Childers is leaving her executive director post at the National Public Pension Coalition, an organization that advocates for public employee defined benefit pension systems across the United States.
It’s been a hectic time for Childers during her three year tenor at the national nonprofit, which has partnered with TEXPERS in defense of defined benefits for police officers, firefighters and other public employees in Texas.
“Over the last few years, I’ve seen plenty of attacks on pensions,” she says.
In particular, she points to the Houston-based Laura and John Arnold Foundation’s work to push the dismantling of defined-benefit plans by switching them to less secure 401(k)-like defined-contribution and hybrid plans. The money the foundation has put into discrediting pensions for public employees has been plentiful, but it “hasn’t been successful,” Childers says.
“I think we’ve been really successful in showing why 401(k)s and hybrid plans are not the best for public workers,” she says.
The NPPC includes the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations; the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees; the American Federation of Teachers; the International Association of Fire Fighters; the National Education Association; the National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems; and Service Employees International Union. The coalition’s member organizations work together to promote defined-benefit retirement plans. More than securing retirement for public workers, defined benefit plans spur economic growth and help retain and recruit quality employees, Childers says.
The coalition formed in 2007 and represents teachers, nurses, police officers, firefighters and other public-sector employees. The organization publishes reports as well as maintains a blog and other social media channels on the benefits of public pensions.
Including her time with the coalition, Childers has worked in the labor market for almost 10 years. A lot of that time was spent on the defense. She hopes her new job as director of H&R Block’s state government relations’ division will allow her to be more proactive as she works to identify state legislative and regulatory actions that impact the tax preparation company.
“Childers was great to work with and will be missed,” says Max Patterson, TEXPERS’ executive director. “She had a lot of energy and was a pleasant person to be around. We wish her well and her new employers have gained a great employee.”
NPPC’s board of directors is currently searching for a new executive director. In addition to helping develop strategic national campaigns in support of defined-benefit retirement plans, the position includes oversight of staff, according to a job description.