Let PEF help you advance your career
By Sherry Halbrook
PEF and the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations agreed in Article 15 of your 2016-19 PS&T Contract to set aside money and make provisions for you to get the education and training opportunities you need to develop your full potential in your profession.
“We recognize how important it is for our members to stay sharp and be well informed about advances in their fields and specialties,” said PEF President Wayne Spence. “And it benefits the state, too, to keep our members at the top of their game.”
The question now is, do you know what those opportunities are and how to take advantage of them?
You may already know you can take college courses and be reimbursed for that cost under the contract. But you don’t have to go back to college to benefit from the Public Service Workshop Program (PSWP) that offers workshops, at no charge to you, both online and in classrooms to help you stay current or advance in your field.
For example, four workshops are currently available online, and six are scheduled for classrooms in the Capital District in July. Many others are scheduled for six other areas of the state.
If you don’t find a workshop that meets your needs, you can request one that does. Your request will be considered by the Joint PEF and NYSGOER Professional Development Committee that is established in contract Article 15.
You can find information about PSWP and the workshops online at https://www.goer.ny.gov/Training_Development/PEF/PSWP/index.cfm. You may also use that site to suggest a workshop that is not currently offered. Sometimes a workshop may be held at your worksite if enough members at that location are interested and can benefit from it.
Some workshops have been designed to meet the specific needs of seven professional occupational groups — accounting/auditing, counseling, education, engineering, health care, information technology, and law/criminal justice.
Offerings include non-credit workshops and courses ranging from a half-day to several days in length that address a range of current needs and issues. While most workshops don’t have prerequisites, some do, so check the course description of the workshop you wish to take to determine if a prerequisite is required.
Most workshops are offered during the workday and your manager or supervisor is only allowed to deny you the paid time to attend if “the employee cannot be spared from the workplace due to operational needs.” Make sure your immediate supervisor approves your workshop attendance before registering on the Statewide Learning Management System (SLMS).
Every PS&T employee has an account and record with the SLMS that keeps track of their training.
When approved, time is granted for attendance at the workshop and for reasonable travel time to and from the workshop. Release time may not be used for workshops that are offered outside the employee’s normal working hours and does not include time to complete assignments or study outside the classroom.
Some courses may be targeted specifically to PEF employees in certain agencies and will be noted as such in the course description. If the number of applicants for a workshop exceeds allowed class size, PSWP will try to offer additional classes or schedule future workshops to meet the demand.
PEF training specialist Kim Loccisano said some workshops are especially popular. She cited the example of a workshop for aspiring leaders that finished June 20. Thirty people attended it, and 500 more are already approved and on a waiting list for future sessions.
These workshops can be very helpful to members whose professional license or certification requires them to take training to stay up-to-date on the latest information and advances in their field. Some workshops may carry various kinds of Continuing Education Units (CEUs) that may be used to satisfy professional licensure requirements. If CEUs are provided for completion of a workshop, its description on the list of offerings will include that information.
Workshops are non-credit and, therefore, no grade is assigned. Your attendance and completion of coursework status, however, will be recorded and available in your SLMS Learner History.
Workshops are held at facilities accessible to persons with disabilities unless otherwise noted in the course description. All reasonable efforts will be made to accommodate persons with disabilities, including instructional and classroom materials in alternate formats. Employees should contact their agency PSWP liaison to arrange reasonable accommodations if necessary. Each state agency has a liaison who is the agency’s primary contact and information resource for employees who wish to enroll in PSWP workshops.
In addition, liaisons work with agency managers to help identify training needs of PEF-represented members and M/C employees to guide the development of PSWP workshops to address those needs in alignment with agency goals. Large, decentralized agencies may have established a network of personnel at regional, facility, and worksite locations to assist the central office agency PSWP liaison.
Notify Loccisano if you are experiencing problems accessing a workshop or if you have other comments. Email her at gro.f1531752241ep@on1531752241asicc1531752241olk1531752241.
The PSWP program is administered by Rockefeller College at SUNY Albany.
Keep in mind, PEF also offers members workshops that are not provided through PSWP. For instance, PEF training specialist Tamara Carney conducts workshops on the Public Service (student) Loan Forgiveness Program and how to find out if you qualify. These workshops are usually offered in the evening or at lunch time and may be scheduled at or near your work location. You may reach her at gro.f1531752241ep@ye1531752241nract1531752241.
NOTICE: PEF is offering a Student Debt Clinic to members in Region 1. This training is being offered to provide members information regarding the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. We will cover the basics of the program and how to apply. Use this PEF resource to learn about the landscape of free and underused federal programs that help many student loan borrowers lower their monthly payments and, in some cases, even have their debt forgiven.This is not an investment course.
RSVP to gro.f1531752241ep@ye1531752241lhtae1531752241BnaeL1531752241cMS1531752241. Reservations will be taken on a first come, first served basis due to limited seats.
July 25, 2018, 5pm – 7pm at WNYDDSO Fredonia Day Hab Located at 258 E. Main Street, Fredonia, NY 14063