TIAA-CREF is being urged by retirement plan participants of New York State United Teachers to modify the TIAA-CREF Social Choice Equity fund to screen companies for labor and human rights practices, Richard Iannuzzi, NYSUT president, said in an interview. The Representative Assembly of the New York State United Teachers, a federation of unions, has adopted a resolution calling on TIAA-CREF to add the new screening.
Only NYSUTs higher-education members about 100,000 of 600,000 members participate in TIAA-CREF funds, Mr. Iannuzzi said. The other 500,000 NYSUT members high school and elementary-level teachers belong to the $94 billion New York State Teachers Retirement System, Albany. Mr. Iannuzzi said the NYSUT hasnt considered a similar social responsible investment proposal for the state teachers system.
Mr. Iannuzzi said the NYSUT hasnt heard a response yet from TIAA-CREF in regard to the resolution.
Chad Peterson, TIAA-CREF director-media relations, said in a statement, Our program incorporates three core strategies: screening, shareholder advocacy and community investing. TIAA-CREF offers clients comprehensively screened funds: our CREF Social Choice Account and Social Choice Equity mutual fund use two layers of screening that take into account a wide range of factors including environmental impact, human rights, community impact and governance criteria.