MANHATTAN – The American Arbitration Association today counted thousands of ballots from New York State Public Employees Federation (PEF) members who overwhelmingly voted in favor of a tentative one-year agreement with the state.

The tally was 30,882 in favor of the pact, out of the total of 31,903 ballots counted. The contract received a stunning 97 percent YES vote.

Now that the one-year agreement has been ratified, PEF members will receive a 2 percent retroactive raise before the end of summer.

“I thank all the members who voted “yes,” and for their important participation in this process,” said PEF President Wayne Spence. “This is a positive start for the union to continue negotiating for the longer-term successor agreement. I applaud the fine work accomplished by our contract team, and the fairness displayed by the members of the governor’s negotiating team. PEF is proud to have this pact ratified.”

PEF’s Contract Team Chair Jemma Marie-Hanson also acknowledged the approval from the membership.

“The contract team has worked very hard to negotiate an agreement that will benefit the membership. The favorable votes indicate this union is united and strong,” Marie-Hanson said.

Along with PEF members who work at state agencies and facilities, the agreement includes members employed at Roswell Park Cancer Institute and the Schools for the Deaf and Blind.

Other gains in the new pact include a 2 percent increase in funding for PEF/State joint committees, and an increase to $260 in the incentive for the Firearms Training and Safety Incentive Program. The over-40-hour compensation time program, which sunset July 1, 2015, will now be continued through June 30, 2017, which allows eligible employees to bank overtime in excess of 40 hours per week for payment at a later date.

PEF and the state continue to negotiate a longer-term successor agreement.

photosA RECORD-BREAKING YES! – PEF leaders take an active role as representatives from the American Arbitration Association in Manhattan tallied 31,903 ballots sent in by PEF members June 7. It was one of the largest voter turn-outs in PEF’s history with 97 percent of the members casting a “yes” vote for the one-year successor PS&T agreement, which is now ratified.
— Photos by Sametta Shaw Lipiec and Kevin Jones