PEF will move forward with plans to hold its annual convention this October in Niagara Falls, rather than hold it virtually. That was the decision of the PEF Executive Board at its August 26-27 meeting in Albany – the union’s first in-person board meeting since the pandemic took hold in early 2020.
The board initially voted at its previous quarterly meeting to go forward with the in-person convention, but the nationwide surge in COVID infections prompted some board members to say they are worried about the risk of bringing so many members together. Because the matter had been previously decided by the board, overturning that decision required two-thirds of the board to support the change. The support for a virtual convention did not reach that standard and, therefore, the Niagara Falls convention will move forward.
Because of unreliable air travel during the pandemic, the board decided to pay extra travel costs for convention delegates who are flying from the New York City area. They will arrive in Niagara Falls on the Saturday before the convention officially begins on Sunday, Oct. 24. Convention 2021 will run from Oct. 24-27.
Some board members asked if delegates could get single rooms, instead of sharing. The Convention Committee said yes, but delegates will have to pay for the additional cost. Delegates should request single rooms at the time of registration, using the email link provided. Delegates need to be aware that while Special Events staff will make every attempt to accommodate, housing in specific hotels cannot be guaranteed. It will also mean more hotels will be used and commute time between the hotels and the convention center may be longer. PEF Special Events will develop a bus plan if necessary.
Additional details will be communicated to convention delegates in the weeks ahead. Convention resolutions to be considered this year are already available in the Members-Only section of PEF.org when delegates sign in. If you don’t know your Membership ID Number (MIN), contact PEF at (518) 785-1900, ext. 308.