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PEF Contract Information

Dear PEF Members,

As you may be aware, CSEA members recently voted to ratify a new contract with the State. Despite any rumors or misinformation, PEF staff experts have been examining each and every word of this and all other State bargaining units’ ratified contracts with regard to the first time ever negotiated “me too” side letter in PEF’s 2016-2019 collective bargaining agreement (CBA).

This “me too” clause was accomplished to protect each PEF member in the event that another State bargaining unit ratified overall increases to “direct compensation” in fiscal years 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 which exceed the increases to direct compensation contained in the 2016-2019 PEF ratified Agreement and would trigger only under that condition.

Direct Compensation shall include, but not be limited to:

  • negotiated general salary increases;
  • negotiated payments to specific sub-groups within a bargaining unit;
  • negotiated longevity payments;
  • negotiated location pay and other direct payments made by the employer to employees pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement.

The resolution of negotiations shall take into account the impact of any concessions or gains, including, but not limited to, health insurance, that are contained in the collective bargaining agreement used as justification by PEF to demand such reopening.

At this point, we believe that the “direct compensation” sections below will not trigger PEF’s “Me Too” provision, especially since our contract ends in fiscal year 2019 and the CSEA differences will be delivered to their membership after fiscal year 2019-2020 and 2020-2021, or after the current PEF contract has expired.

Keep in mind that although State negotiators will always cleverly seek negotiating tactics which will not activate any “me too” provisions, PEF negotiated two agreements that have:

  • NO give-backs;
  • NO health insurance increases;
  • Full retroactivity;
  • AND full net gains in the across-the-board percentage raises for the first time in our history.

CSEA Across the Board Increases – Since PEF’s “Me Too” provision only covers increases during the State’s 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 fiscal years (not PEF Contract years),  the CSEA across-the-board percentage increases do not trigger the PEF “Me Too” clause.

2016-17 – 2% increase to base salary – same as PEF

2017-18 – 2% increase to base salary – same as PEF

2018-19 – 2% increase to base salary – same as PEF

2019-20 – 2% increase to base salary – after fiscal year 2018-19

2020-21 – 2% increase the base salary – after fiscal year 2018-19

Longevities – Since PEF’s “Me Too” provision only covers increases during the State’s 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 fiscal years (not PEF Contract years), the longevity increases do not trigger the PEF “Me Too” clause.

After Fiscal Year 2018-19:

Effective April 1, 2019 – 5-10 year longevity increases to $1,500 (from $1,250)

Effective April 1, 2019 – 10 or more year longevity increases to $3,000 (from $2,500)

Effective April 1, 2020 – 15 or more year longevity in the amount of $4,500 (new)

Other CSEA Compensation – Two other compensation benefits that will not trigger the negotiated PEF “Me Too” clause because, as stated above, they occur after Fiscal Year 2018-19:

Longevity payments, including those for newly eligible employees, will not sunset in the event there is not a successor agreement in place.

Promotional percent increases to be based on the higher of present salary or job rate plus lump sum longevity payments.

CSEA Health Insurance – CSEA members will see cost-shifting through higher in-network copayments and the combined out-of-network deductible and coinsurance maximum.  According to their Agreement, these increases will not be implemented until 1/1/19. From reading the CSEA Agreement, CSEA did not negotiate a lower health insurance premium percentage, but rather once these higher cost-shifting changes are implemented, it will result in one Empire Plan “premium rate” for CSEA and a different premium rate for PEF (and any other bargaining units that have not agreed to these changes). The CSEA premium rate may be lower than the PEF premium rate due to the fact that CSEA members will now have higher out-of-pocket costs for covered services than PEF members during this time period.  The premium rates are set by the vendors and not negotiated. In contrast, the PEF ratified contract included absolutely no increases to PEF members for health insurance.

CSEA Continuous Hours of Work – CSEA Direct care employees in OMH and OPWDD will receive double time for mandatory OT for hours worked over 16 hours.  PEF does not currently have this benefit and it could be argued that it is direct compensation. However, in exchange CSEA agreed to a change that reduces the overtime rate calculation. The same reduced change in the overtime rate calculation was proposed to PEF during negotiations; however, it was seen as a concession and we clearly rejected it.  Additional PEF contract information can be found on the PEF website.

Note: These are provisions that are normally compared. However, we continue to review the entire Agreement and Pay Bill in detail.

With the instability in health care and the unclear direction emanating from Washington D.C., we can all be proud that PEF professional negotiators were able to navigate the tricky waters for you and your family’s advantage.  In accordance with an additional side letter, PEF has formed a committee and has already begun to discuss cost saving measures to reduce Empire Plan costs for future negotiations.

As you can see, you can be assured and proud that PEF negotiated two historical contracts that were both ratified with 95% in the affirmative. Both of these PEF contracts had absolutely no give-backs, no health insurance increases, full retroactivity and 100% net gains in the across-the-board percentage raises for the first time in our history.

In Solidarity,
Wayne Spence
President PEF