Working together for a better state budget for PEF
Our efforts to build relationships with other unions, state legislators and the governor’s office, along with the tremendous effort by PEF members to write letters, and to make phone calls and in-person visits to local legislators has resulted in some very solid and important wins for PEF in the 2019-2020 budget.
Together we were able to ensure inclusion of some of our priorities and the elimination of harmful language in the newly enacted budget plan:
- Expanded provisions to protect the right to organize and collectively bargain by prohibiting the dissemination of personal addresses, home phone numbers, cell phone numbers or personal email addresses of any state or local government employee, expanding Janus protections to provide new safeguards for public sector unions and extends Janus protections to all local governments in New York state guaranteeing the right to organize and collectively bargain;
- Restored a subsidy of $102.6 million to Roswell Park Cancer Institute;
- Eliminated language that would have allowed the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to enter into P3 agreements with private entities for the maintenance of state-owned educational or recreational facilities;
- Prevented an attempt to expand design-build language, and;
- Prevented a proposal that would have allowed circumvention of the merit and fitness system to allow someone that did not receive a competitive class appointment to be promoted into the competitive class.
None of these important goals would have been reached without your participation and the strong relationships we have been able to build. However, even with these successes we are extremely disappointed that the Legislature went along with the governor with these inclusions in the budget:
- Closing “up to” three (3) Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) facilities with only 90 days notice;
- No subsidies for any of the SUNY hospitals, and;
- And although it did not make the final cut, PEF was able to insert cost/benefit analysis legislation into the budget language and continued fighting for it until the last possible moment.
Complete budget wrap-up here: http://www.pef.org/blog/2019/04/01/2019-20-nys-budget-final-update
Now, that a budget is in place, we are turning our attention to the rest of the legislative session. We’ll be identifying PEF’s legislative priorities shortly and will be counting on you to continue your tremendous advocacy work to help ensure that PEF’s voice is heard.
Watch for emails, and check the PEF website and social media pages for information on how to become involved with our legislative advocacy and fight for the issues that are important to you, your family, your community and your union.
I also want to take a moment to remind everyone that your PEF contract team is hard at work negotiating for a good contract for the membership. On Tuesday, April 9th, please wear a PEF sticker or button, and dress in black if you can, to support the PEF team, which will be in negotiations on that day. Let’s show the team and the Governor that we are indeed 54,746 strong! SEE CONTRACT STORY AND FLYER HERE.
Membership cards are ALWAYS available online at https://apps.pef.org/join-pef.html, or you can request one through your steward, council leader or regional coordinator.