We made 2017 a great year; Let’s make 2018 even better
The holiday season, filled with wonder, lights, music and smiling children’s faces has always been a time to share good tidings with family, friends and colleagues. In this spirit of reflection and celebration, I would like to thank you once again for the privilege and honor of serving you as the president of the Public Employees Federation.
The end of the year is a good time to look back on all we’ve accomplished together over the last 12 months, and we sure accomplished a lot! Let’s take a quick look at some of the highlights:
- Strong relationships with our state lawmakers resulted in the historic passage of the PEF Pay Bill, even before a state budget was in place. Never accomplished before, this action ensured you received your 2 percent pay increase as quickly as possible;
- PEF staff and local PEF leadership worked together to quickly rectify a pay issue at Roswell Park, averting a potential disaster and getting our members the pay they are entitled to receive;
- Twelve PEF bills were passed in either one or both houses of the Legislature;
- We launched a Go Public campaign featuring PEF members on billboards throughout New York State;
- A successful member-engagement campaign, known as the “Blizzard Blitz” resulted in one-on-one contact with thousands of PEF members;
- We hired an internal auditor to ensure the integrity of PEF finances;
- We successfully merged Regions 10 and 11 into one NYC Regional Office, saving PEF money while providing state-of-the-art office and conference space for our downstate members, as well as a mural depicting the 40-year history of PEF;
- Thousands of PEF members and their families enjoyed PEF Membership Benefit Program Family Fun Days around the state, affording members the opportunity to connect and learn about their union in fun environments;
- Summer worksite meetings in every PEF region were held to talk about privatization, civil service erosion and the potential for a NYS Constitutional Convention;
- Strong Labor Day solidarity across the state, including the presence of the popular PEF float in the NYC Labor Day parades;
- PEF nurses answered the call to volunteer their medical skills in hurricane ravaged Puerto Rico, providing lifesaving medical help to those in need; and
- A successful member engagement campaign involving a toolkit, signs, stickers, magnets, social media and collaboration with other unions and community groups soundly defeated a proposal for a NYS Constitutional Convention.
None of this would have been possible without your support, advocacy and participation in our union. We have many reasons to take enormous pride in what we accomplished together over the past 12 months. For this, and so much more, I say thank you.
I will close by saying that 2018 will surely be an impactful and decisive year for us, and for the labor movement as a whole. As we await the U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Janus v. AFSCME case, I ask you to rededicate yourself to your union and not be fooled by the misnomer “Right to Work,” which really means the “Right to Work for Less or Not At All.”
I offer you my sincerest thanks for all you do every day on the job and in your communities, and I extend my best wishes to you and your loved ones for a very happy, healthy and successful New Year.