By KAY ALISON WILKIE
Due to the commitment of the overwhelming numbers of PEF members that are staying UNION STRONG to support our union, and to the Spence/Wilkie Administration’s dedication to ethical and honest stewardship of YOUR dues, we have the resources vital to PEF’s future. Proof: we ended the 2018-19 fiscal year with $1.8M net income.
These resources ensure effective, sustainable operations. Our exceptionally talented PEF Finance Department staff, armed with updated software, is generating more accurate, timely and useful reports. At last, PEF can accomplish long overdue repairs and capital improvements to our headquarters and IT infrastructure. Work is underway: we are installing keyscan door controls to improve security, have hired a construction management firm to assist with building improvements, and will be issuing RFPs for IT upgrades shortly.
Crucially, our successful financial planning fuels our strategic goals, to:
- sustain and expand membership through engagement and communication;
- secure and enforce a great contract, as you all deserve;
- assist members confronting employment concerns and civil service erosion;
- fight privatization and make the case for quality public services;
- create workplaces free of bigotry and discrimination, and
- empower our political agenda to advance PEF’s values and interests.
Prioritizing membership engagement, I was most grateful to be part of the PEF Divisions and Finance team meeting with many dedicated leaders and activists throughout NYS from March through May during the recent round of Regional Leadership Conferences – in Regions 1-5 in Ithaca, Region 12 in Montauk, Regions 6 & 7 in Vernon Downs and Region 8 in Saratoga Springs. We provided customized trainings to purchase card and checkbook divisions, provided orientations to new divisional and regional financial management guidance policies, and discussed improvements to our information shared with divisions via email rather than snail mail, such as quarterly reports including more detailed membership data, and bank statements emailed monthly. Additional trainings are being planned later this year for Regions 9, 10 and 11.
Updating our systems and data dissemination into the 21st century would not be possible without the brilliant insights of our MIS (Membership Information Services) team. Our effective outreach to leaders at divisional meetings throughout the state has been facilitated by close collaboration with PEF Field Service Organizing. Such collective efforts have led to dramatically improving results that we can all celebrate. Divisions that are now “in good standing” have surged to 73 percent; while 11 percent are “improving,” and only 15 percent remain “not in good standing” as of May 6.
In my future columns, I expect to proclaim even more progress, but for now I must highlight that Kimberly Partridge has returned to PEF as the director of special events, leading a reinvigorated team effort for the convention, Executive Board meetings and other events!
Thanks, as always, for your commitment to PEF, our shared union values, and winning the future together!