PEF’s PS&T contract team will continue to meet with state negotiators this week. To receive any breaking news, visit the PEF website and sign up to receive the Active Informed Member (AIM) bulletins.
PEF members are invited to attend a commemorative ceremony Thursday, April 28 in honor of Workers Memorial Day. The event will take place at PEF headquarters in Latham at 10 a.m. in the memorial garden.
PEF members at the state Department of Transportation also will hold a Workers Memorial Day event April 28 at 11 a.m. in front of the DOT building on Wolf Road in Albany. And the Capital District Area Labor Coalition will hold a ceremony at the New York State United Teachers headquarters in Latham at 12 noon.
Workers Memorial Day is observed around the world as an international day of remembrance and action for workers killed, disabled or injured while on the job.
The PEF Hispanic Committee is hosting a Cinco De Mayo celebration at the PEF Region 10 office, Friday, May 5 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The event will include food, beverages, music, and salsa demonstrations and lessons. The Region 10 office is located at 225 Broadway on the 14th floor in Manhattan. If you plan to attend, please RSVP to Pam at (212) 227-3132.
A tentative contract agreement was announced last week between Council 82 and the state of New York. The state offered PEF a similar proposal.
PEF President Ken Brynien said PEF has not accepted the state's initial offer because it would impose an unfair burden including long-term hardships on members and their families. The state's proposal would require an average PEF member to give up as much as $10,000 in salary and benefits every year of the contract. Additionally, the state made it clear that accepting these concessions would not ensure PEF members would not be laid off anyway.
PEF has a counter proposal on the table that would achieve the savings the state needs for this fiscal year. Brynien said the union is willing to accept short-term hardships for what may very well be a short-term fiscal crisis.
The Council 82 agreement does not set the groundwork for PEF’s continuing negotiations. It should be noted that the bargaining unit that agreed with the governor represents less than one percent of the state work force and is a very specialized unit that has been working without a contract since 2005.
PEF’s PS&T contract team met with state negotiators April 5. Negotiations between PEF and the state are ongoing. The state’s negotiators continue to seek significant cost shifts in health insurance, including increased premiums for PEF members and significantly higher co-pays, while demanding hard wage freezes.
PEF has offered a counter proposal that meets the budgetary needs of the state, as identified in the enacted state budget.
PEF leaders are asking members to remain patient and ready to support actions which may be necessary to assist in achieving a fair contract.
If you haven’t already, make sure to sign up for the Active Informed Member (AIM) bulletins and continue to check the PEF website for the most up-to-date information on negotiations.