Citrus College worker is the only classified employee on the ballot

Michael Bilbrey is running to retain his seat on the California Public Employee Retirement System (CalPERS) Board of Administration. By re-electing Michael, California public employees will continue to have a strong voice on the board.

Bilbrey is a bookstore operations coordinator and Past President of Californa School Employees Association. With so much uncertainty surrounding public schools and a budget crisis that just will not go away, it’s vital for public employees to have stability in their jobs and in their lives. Michael Bilbrey provides stability on the CalPERS Board of Administration.

A ballot package will be mailed to your home address on September 1, 2017 and you can cast your ballot through October 2, 2017.

CalPERS is the nation’s largest public pension fund. Bilbrey has a long record of service and a vast array of experience that will be beneficial to CalPERS. Following is a Q&A designed to get you better acquainted with Bilbrey, his qualifications and his ideas to improve CalPERS.

Q: What experience do you have that makes you the top candidate for this position?

The at-large seat on the CalPERS Board of Administration should be held by someone who has a proven track record as a dedicated and dependable coalition builder. CalPERS members should be represented by an active listener who considers all sides before reaching a conclusion and who has experience working with diverse groups to achieve common goals. Besides possessing all of these qualities, I am also passionate about all the issues that affect public employees. My two years on the board have served me well in preparing to continue with my personal growth as a board member and to best serve those that I represent.


  • CalPERS Board of Administration
  • At Large Seat B
  • 2011-14 (served partial term 2 yr)
  • 2014-17 serving first full term
  • 2018-22 seeking reelection for the new term

CalPERS Committees Experience

  • Performance, Compensation and Talent Management, Chair (current)
  • Pension & Health Benefits, Vice Chair (current)
  • Board Governance (current)
  • Investment (current)
  • Finance & Administration (previous)
  • Risk & Audit (previous)

Other Leadership Experience

  • Member of the Committee on Workers' Capital, an international network for dialogue and action on the responsible investment of workers’ capital.
  • Member of the California Trustee Network
  • Member of the Harvard Trustee Leadership forum
  • Served as a statewide leader for classified school employees for more than 25 years.
  • Past President of the California School Employees Association (CSEA), representing more than 220,000 classified employees in California’s public schools, community colleges and local public agencies.
  • Served as CSEA Investment Committee Chair, managing a multi-million-dollar investment portfolio.
  • Holds a Certificate of Achievement in Public Pension Policy (CAPPP)
  • Holds an MBA degree and is trained in pension oversight and investment.
Q: Explain why being a classified school employee is an asset to being a candidate for the CalPERS board.

I have worked on behalf of classified employees for more than 25 years, helping to ensure that workers are treated fairly, listened to and respected. School employees make up one-third of the CalPERS fund membership, so they need a strong voice. All CalPERS members need their concerns heard and acted upon during these difficult times. Some believe classified school employees should not sit at the table because they cannot possibly be qualified. Some people underestimate the power and will that school employees possess to work hard and do what is right. We need to continue our strong tradition of service. I will remain a voice for all.

Q: What are some things you hope to accomplish when you are re-elected to the CalPERS board?

We need to protect and promote our defined benefit pensions. We must work to preserve and improve healthcare for all. CalPERS needs to continue to increase openness, transparency and encourage input from all members. I will remain accessible and listen to members to be sure we, as a board, meet the needs of our members.

Q: Is there anything about CalPERS that you would work to change when you are re-elected to its Board of Administration?

I want to be a catalyst to bring forward true and accurate information about the defined-benefit pension model. We have not done enough to provide the public with facts to help counter the lies and misconceptions that are spread by anti-worker politicians and the media.

We also have much work to do in the area of healthcare. We must get healthcare to affordable levels for our members. This will mean pushing our providers to lower costs through initiatives such as service bundling and wellness programs.

I hope to continue the progress made and to ensure everyone is involved in the healthcare decision-making process.