The Productivity Enhancement Program is a valuable benefit that we know is important to the members, and we understand and appreciate the hardship that can occur when the program ends.

When the PEF Contract expired as it did on April 1, 2015, the vast majority of the terms and conditions of the Agreement continue in full effect until a new agreement is negotiated with the State. Typically these benefits do not carry a specific year or date. For example, eligible employees will continue to receive their performance advance (sometimes called increments or steps) even with no new agreement in place. Other benefits carry specific dates, and unless otherwise specified, they end at the expiration of the Agreement. Unfortunately, PEP is one of those programs, and the language in the contract specifies that it will be available for calendar years 2012-2015.

You should be aware that over many rounds of negotiations it has always an important goal of PEF to avoid negotiating sunsets of new benefits where possible and to negotiate sunsets of existing benefits out of the agreement when ever possible.

While PEF bargained several significant improvements to the PEP program in the 2011 agreement, the State would not agree to our proposal to eliminate the expiration dates of the program. In the end, PEF had to make a decision to accept the program with the sunset or to not have the program at all. The 2015 contract team is aware of the difficulties caused by the elimination of this benefit, and they will try, once again, to eliminate the sunset date in our current negotiations with the State.