Christopher Mabe, a Corrections Sergeant at the Lorain Correctional Institution and President of the Ohio Civil Service Employees Association [OCSEA], was recently elected to fill one of four seats on the Board of Trustees for the Ohio Public Employee Retirement System [OPERS].  OPERS provides retirement, disability and survivor benefits for more than 1 million public employees in Ohio and it’s Board of Trustees is responsible for the administration and management of OPERS.  Board members formulate policies and authorize the investments made with the system’s funds.   Mabe starts his four-year term in January.

A long-time critic of private prisons, Mabe said Thursday that his election fulfills a goal he set when he took the reigns at OCSEA to regain a seat for labor that will represent the voice of hard-working public employees. “I am humbly honored to have been elected as the state representative on the pension board and to bring the voice of labor back to the table once again,” Mabe said in prepared remarks. “Labor has a long tradition of advocating for sound fiscal policy regarding pension systems as well as for strong health care benefits that hard-working public employees have earned and deserve in their retirement years,” he said

As a leader who fought Senate Bill 5 and helped nullify Gov. John Kasich’s attacks on collective bargaining in 2011, Mabe said, “It’s important that state employees like yourself have the ability to retire with dignity and stability after their years of dedication and hard work. But, there are a lot of people, including anti-labor, anti-public employee politicians, who call our pension a ‘golden egg.’ They scapegoat public employees for the economic woes of the state and threaten to rob them of what’s rightfully theirs — including their hard-earned pension.”

“Rest assured, as a 25-year employee with the Ohio Dept. of Rehabilitation and Correction, I will fight night and day to protect our pensions so that you, me and the generations that follow us, can retire with dignity and security, too! Thank you for having the faith in me to be your voice.”

OPERS tabulated and certified votes to the Ohio Secretary of State on Oct. 6. A vacancy exists on the board due to Gov. John Kasich not appointing an Investment Expert.