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Dozens of volunteers from PEF and local American Federation of Teachers (AFT) unions throughout the country converged on Albany this week to take part in a week-long membership blitz to build PEF membership and unity.

PEF President Wayne Spence at podium talking to SED members on April 25, 2022
PEF President Wayne Spence speaks to Division 194 members at the State Education Department in Albany on April 25.

“It’s important to reach out to the people we represent, to provide updates about important issues such as the state budget and contract and hear from them about their ideas and concerns,” said PEF President Wayne Spence. “We want to make sure they understand how the union represents them and the many opportunities and benefits that it provides. The more involved and actively participating they are in PEF, the more effective we can be on their behalf.”

AFT encourages its local unions, of which PEF is one, to conduct these membership blitzes from time to time and to involve volunteers from other locals as well as their own. In Albany this week organizers from Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland and Montana have joined PEF leaders and staff for a “membership blitz” aimed at assessing PEF members. The hope is that some of them who are already active in PEF will choose to become leaders in the union, while others who may not be aware of the benefits of membership will sign up. The blitz is a combination of worksite visits across the capital region and direct door knocking at members’ homes.

Organizers sign in Division 194 members, who were treated to lunch and given some PEF merchandise for spending a few minutes learning about the union’s latest priorities on April 25.

“Stopping by your home to speak with you is an ideal opportunity to learn about you and answer your questions,” said PEF Director of Organizing Dan Carpenter. “We are hoping to visit more than 1,000 members of the Professional, Scientific & Technical (PS&T) unit this week, so don’t be surprised if you find us smiling at your door.”