More than 1,500 new members join PEF as activity level keeps expanding
By SHERRY HALBROOK
PEF members continue to express strong support for the union with many signing updated membership cards during September.
Not only are the updated membership cards continuing to roll in, but PEF divisions have been reaching out to new hires and non-members in PEF-represented bargaining units.
“More than 1,500 new members have joined PEF in the last month,” said Dan Carpenter, PEF’s associate director of Field Service Organizing (FSO), who added that FSO has been supporting these efforts at regional and division meetings all over the state.
Members also turned out for Labor Day parades and events throughout the state in September to show their pride in PEF and being part of the national labor movement.
PEF Regional Director of Field Service Organizing Nisha Banerjee was impressed by members’ enthusiasm and pleasure in participating in these events.
“The solidarity displayed by our members in coming together and standing alongside each other, especially at the West Indian and African American Day Parades, was an amazing demonstration of our strength and the diversity of our membership,” Banerjee said.
The NYS State Fair in Syracuse that began in late August and continued into very early September was another place where PEF members showed their support.
“The FSO participated at PEF’s fair booth for three days,” Carpenter said, “and membership cards were distributed at the booth throughout the fair. “More than 200 membership cards were turned it at the booth.”
Communication needs to be timely and clear to help members, both old and new, feel engaged and be active in the union. That’s why FSO is offering training to PEF leaders at all levels in how to use Google Forms to communicate quickly and efficiently with the members they represent.
“It’s easy to learn, and it is even easier when you have the chance to see how it works,” Carpenter said. “So, any PEF leaders at the division, regional or state level who want to learn how use Google Forms should just email me at *protected email* to let me know.”
In October, Carpenter said the FSO will help support the union’s political action efforts throughout the regions in contacting and mobilizing members to support and vote for PEF’s endorsed candidates in the November 6 general election.
And by November, PEF will begin reaching out to members for local meetings with the PS&T Contract Team to share hopes and needs for a new agreement to succeed the current contract that expires April 1, 2019. Those negotiations are expected to begin in early January.
That’s where all of this will start to really pay off, according to Michael Farrell, PEF’s FSO statewide director.
“Field Service Organizing is grateful for all of the hard work and participation of those dedicated member leaders and activists across the state who took part in Labor Day and other parades this season. As we face increased attacks from anti-union forces and simultaneously move closer to PS&T contract negotiations, it’s more important than ever for PEF members to exercise collective power and put the words ‘Stronger Together’ into action.”
“PEF is on the move,” said the union’s president, Wayne Spence. “This is a great time to be part of the action. I urge all PEF members to be in touch – talk to your steward and local leaders, check in with your regional field office, and watch for news and updates that are constantly being posted on our PEF website and social media. Find out what’s going on and get involved. This is your union and it always works better when you are part of the action.”