Reardon received 89 percent of the vote at NTEU’s 55th annual convention in Hollywood, Florida, in his bid to replace Colleen Kelley, who is retiring after spending the last 16 years on the job.
“I am committed to building on Colleen’s legacy and strengthening NTEU’s role as the voice of the federal workforce on Capitol Hill, at the agencies, in the media and in the courts,” Reardon said in a statement.
Jim Bailey will replace Reardon as national executive vice president. NTEU members elected Bailey today as well.
Reardon ascends to the job as national president with the recommendation of Kelley after spending the last two years as NTEU’s national executive vice president. He also served as chief operating executive for 11 years previously, where he was responsible for NTEU’s day-to-day operations including finance, technology and member services.
He has been a union member for the last 25 years and has led NTEU bargaining teams that have secured what the union says are “some of the best employee contracts anywhere in the federal government.”
Reardon also has played a strategic role, working closely with chapter leaders and members to advance NTEU’s objectives.
As for Bailey, he has also worked for NTEU throughout his professional career, starting as an assistant counsel in Chicago and Oakland, and later opened NTEU’s Denver field office, where he served as national counsel for 18 years.
In 2007, NTEU named Bailey the director of field operations.
Kelley gave her final state of NTEU address on Monday where she highlighted her accomplishments as the national president and a member of the union for more than 35 years.
Among her accomplishments is convincing the administration under President George W. Bush to create a flexible spending account health care benefit program for federal employees, ending the IRS’ program to privatize the collection of unpaid tax debts and improving law enforcement officers’ retirement benefits at the Customs and Border Protection directorate.
“Colleen has truly embodied the spirit and energy of organized labor in defending the rights and dignity of working men and women at a time of great challenges,” said House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) in a statement. “During her national presidency, federal employees were targeted for pay freezes, furloughs, and increased pension contributions, and NTEU fought back and raised awareness of the important role federal employees play in keeping our nation safe and growing our economy.”
A certified public accountant, Kelley joined the IRS as a revenue agent after graduating from Drexel University with an accounting degree. She later earned a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Pittsburgh. She worked in the Pittsburgh office as a revenue agent for 14 years.
Kelley became a union steward 35 years ago, and became president of NTEU Chapter 34, IRS Pittsburgh, in 1982. She moved to the union’s Washington headquarters in 1988 to serve as the membership director and later became NTEU’s second in command.