Home » Media Center » The Communicator » July-August 2019 Letters to the Editor


Nostalgic for PEF’s print magazine

To the Editor:

Rest in peace, The Communicator, for you are no longer what you used to be.  In fact, you are a shadow of your former robust self: a place, a presence, present to all members in a tangible way, laying on coffee tables, on desks, even in bathrooms – immune and impregnable to dismissive clicks of the “delete” button that now so easily send you into oblivion.

I tried hard to save you, even personally exhorting President Wayne Spence on the Captain JP tour boat two years ago, but the prospect of saving a few dollars trumped the larger lesson that I tried to make: that print publications have “latency,”  something that “e-newsletters,” no matter how fancy or well-produced, can never have.  Their half-lives are far longer than that of their electronic cousins, simply because they are so much harder to get rid of.   Just when you thought it was gone, that issue from three months ago turns up again – hidden under a couch cushion – and able to be read again.

Few will read this epilogue, but you, the proud print edition, still live on somewhere.


Editor’s note: The PEF Executive Board voted to switch The Communicator from print and online to an all digital publication to save an estimated $140,000 annually.

Member wants to help PEF

To the Editor:

As an hourly employee for the state Labor Department, I wholeheartedly agree that action on PEF’s contract needs to happen. If there is something I could do that would help you with these efforts, please let me know.


Editor’s note:  Thanks for offering to help PEF win a strong and fair new PS&T contract!

 The union has enjoyed a tremendous amount of support from members in the Members in Black and #Fridays campaigns and it provides a real boost to the contract team because the state can readily see that its PS&T employees are unified in backing the team’s positions at the bargaining table.  Continue to watch the PEF website and social media pages for information about any new campaigns.

Wants seniors’ fitness program

 To the Editor:

How about PEF advocating to add Silver Sneakers to our health insurance? A lot of insurance policies have it.  We don’t.


Editor’s note:  Silver Sneakers is a fitness program for seniors that’s included with many Medicare Advantage plans. The Empire Plan is a comprehensive plan that does not include a wellness component, so it doesn’t include Silver Sneakers.

 Some of the HMOs offer Silver Sneakers to retirees enrolled in their Medicare Advantage plans. PEF has no control over it, nor does the union have authority to negotiate benefits for retirees.

Why don’t scientists get their approved promotions?

 To the Editor:

Are you aware that many PEF scientific employees at the state Health Department, Wadsworth Center have had their promotions approved by the peer review board, but have not received those promotions, even though it has been more than two to three years for some?

Can this be addressed?


Editor’s note: PEF has been aware of this troubling issue for several years and has been working diligently through the joint labor-management process at DOH, as well as with state legislators to try to relieve these delays.  The union has been told the Health Department cannot implement the promotions until the state Division of Budget approves them.

What happened to nursing legislation?

To the Editor:

What I don’t see in the June issue of The Communicatoris news about any legislation on nursing issues, such as penalties for mandatory overtime, safe staffing for all fields of nursing, safer working conditions and, of course, pay equity.


Editor’s note: The 2019-20 NYS Budget includes funding for the state Health Department to study how enhanced staffing levels affect patient safety. PEF helped get the Legislature to add a provision requiring that employee organizations be included in the study group and that it conclude the study and issue its report by December 31, 2019.

In addition, some bills that affect smaller groups of nurses were passed. PEF will continue its fight for passage of major legislation to address the urgent needs of nurses throughout the state.

For more detailed information on state legislation of interest to PEF see the related article in this issue of The Communicatorand a full report on the PEF website.

Send letters to:
The Communicator
c/o NYS-PEF, P.O. Box 12414,
Albany, N.Y. 12212-2414
or email to: gro.f1627765394ep@ro1627765394tacin1627765394ummoc1627765394eht1627765394

Table of Contents –
July-August 2019