The budget is a mixed blessing for PEF members and the New Yorkers we serve.
We share the disappointment of many that revenue flows in the wrong direction in this budget.
New York’s banks did not need millions in new tax cuts, New York’s wealthiest families did not need new estate tax cuts.
Every dollar lost to a bank bailout diminishes revenues and the quality of services state employees can provide to our fellow residents.
We are assessing the positive legislative responses on PEF members’ concerns. These victories reflect the combined efforts of PEF members and legislative staff who worked together to lobby legislators in district offices and in Albany.
We applaud the decision to make safe patient handling the law in New York – it will protect patients when they’re at their most vulnerable, keep health care workers safe and on-the-job and save institutions money. Everyone wins under this agreement.
With that gap in patient care closed, it is now time to address safe nurse-to-patient staffing ratios for every hospital in this state. That change will make New York’s health care industry a national model for patients, nurses and employers.
We applaud the rejection of the attempt to consolidate state labs. These labs are not suitable for consolidation because of the nature of their individual assignments and duties, and some agencies, like the Department of Agriculture and Markets, already have state-of-the-art labs.
We applaud the rejection of for-profit hospitals in our state. They would weaken our public
hospital system and put patients at the mercy of corporations that put profits before patients.
We applaud the rejection of changes to the Nurse Practice Act, which would have put patients at risk by not using professional Registered Nurses to administer medications.
We applaud the retention of highly-skilled teachers in Office of Children and Family Services facilities, and the decision to not send some of our state’s most difficult juvenile offenders into NYC not-for-profit facilities.
We applaud the rejection of attempts to circumvent Civil Service Law by flooding state agencies with Information Technology contractors.
We applaud rejection of proposals to use consultants, rather that professional state employees, to design, build and inspect projects.
We extend our thanks to all the legislators who stood together for public services and public employees in the face of political pressure.