Howard D. Lipoff, treasurer of the Fort Lee Education Association (FLEA), has started a three-year-term on the Board of Trustees of New Jersey’s Teachers’ Pension and Annuity Fund (TPAF). His first meeting was January 8th.
“I am very excited to begin my term on the board of trustees,” Lipoff said. “I feel that the pension fund is essential for the long term security of teachers in New Jersey. I will do my best to represent the hard working people who are members of the fund.”
Lipoff is one of three trustees elected from the TPAF membership. Of these three, Lipoff is the only one currently teaching; the other two are retirees.
Each member-trustee must work in or have retired from a different group of counties. Lipoff is from “Group A” which comprises Bergen, Essex, Hudson, and Union counties.
“We are pleased and honored to have our own FLEA representative elected to the pension board,” said FLEA President Bruna Caplabo. “This will give us more information about what is going on in Trenton.”
A third-grade special-education teacher at Fort Lee’s School #1, Lipoff has long been a critic of the state’s failure to adequately fund the pension system. He is currently chairman of the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) Pension Policy Committee. In his role as a member of NJEA’s Government Relations Committee, Lipoff has lobbied for budgets that include full payments to the pension system. He also criticized moves to weaken pension benefits to new members.
Lipoff started teaching in Fort Lee in 1997 and worked at the district’s high school for 14 years before being transferred to School #1 in 2011. This is his fifth year serving as FLEA’s treasurer. From 2005 to 2010, Lipoff was the vice president of FLEA.
The Fort Lee educator is also active with the union on the county level. He is an elected member of the Executive Committee of the Bergen County Education Association.
“I have been a strong believer in the need for unions all my adult life,” Lipoff said. “Unions are essential in providing rights to workers and, in the area of education, are the driving force for quality public schools.”