"With all their faults, trade-unions have done more for humanity than any other organization of men that ever existed. They have done more for decency, for honesty, for education, for the betterment of the race, for the developing of character in man, than any other association of men."
-Clarence Darrow (1857-1938), U.S. lawyer, writer. The Railroad Trainman (Nov. 1909).
Being in a union means working together and pooling resources for the common good of the group resulting in:
- Having a contract with the employer. A contract protects your terms of employment from being unilaterally altered.
- Most union contracts and all of PEF's include what is called "just cause" protection. This protects our members from being disciplined or terminated unfairly.
- By pooling our resources (Membership dues) professional staff is retained to ensure that PEF members' rights under contract and law are protected.
How much does it cost?
Only 0.9% of salary. Simply put, no other union offers the level of services for the little dues that PEF does.
What voice could I have in the Union if I joined?
PEF is recognized as the most democratic union in the nation. Its members run PEF. All of PEF's elected leadership are members, elected by other members, who report to a membership elected Executive Board quarterly and a member elected delegate body annually. See our Constitution.
What do I get for that little dues?
Plenty. PEF represents employees working in New York State, only! We represent primarily professionals, scientific and technical employees in both private and public sectors. Despite the fact we are based in NYS we have a staffing structure comparable to many international unions. PEF employs over 130 full time staff stationed in 11 offices across New York State.
Just some of the staff services offered are:
30 professional field representatives who work full time for the members in defending their contractual rights and who assist them through the rest of the PEF structure. PEF's field representatives include nurses, attorneys, mental hygiene professionals, affirmative action experts, etc.
9 staff attorneys who represent our members free if the employer seeks to terminate them in the disciplinary process. They also fight in court matters of general interest to the membership.
4 Legislative Staff whose focus is squarely on the New York State political arena
2 Health Insurance experts.
6 Occupational Health & Safety experts.
4 Training and Education professional staff.
8 Civil Service Enforcement/Research/Budget-Policy professionals.
4 Contract Administration staff whose responsibility is the negotiations, interpretation and defending of contract language in particularly complex situations.
6 Public Relations staff who expertly deliver the PEF memberships’ message to the public.
Who is PEF interested in organizing?
PEF organizes groups of 50 or more professional, scientific and/or technical employees of any employer, private or public, in NYS. We are looking for members who share common values/concerns/vision with our current membership.
What if I am represented by a union and want to change to PEF?
If the union you are currently in is not affiliated with the AFL-CIO, PEF will consider organizing you. If you don’t know give us a call.