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Letters to the Editor

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Praises PEF’s efforts to protect members

Amen (to unfair state treatment of PEF members during the pandemic).
(President) Wayne (Spence), you and the PEF staff have done a great job!

JOHN TIERNAN
Staten Island

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Looking for retroactive pay

How long will it be until we receive our retro wages?

JETTA INTELISANO
Waterford

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When are we getting retro money?

TINA PETERSON
Bronx

Editor’s Note:  The Office of the State Comptroller recently informed PEF that retroactive base-salary-increase pay in the November 4 paycheck for employees on the institutional payroll, and in the November 10 paycheck for those on the administrative payroll.

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Fix benefit snag in next contract

For the next set of contract negotiations we need to have our dental and vision benefits mirror our health benefits for our dependents, in that coverage should be automatic until they reach the end of age 25 as is with other state union workers.

We should not have to file a college attendance as a full-time student certification form each and every semester to keep their benefit current.  Even when we do file the certification, it never gets updated timely and dependents tend to have lapses in coverage.  Poll union members and they will tell you horror stories concerning such situations.

NIKITA ATHERTON
Brooklyn

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Delighted with contract, leadership votes

Congratulations, Wayne Spence.

I’m so happy the contract has been ratified and that you will be leading us for another three years!

ANN BENTZEN
Melrose

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Disgusted by tentative pact

Your tremendous team got us nothing, and now you are pushing for a yes vote, which is crap.  I know, why doesn’t PEF go buy some more masks made in China, as this is the quality of your work?

I’m a disgusted-beyond-words member.

DENISE BROWN
Herkimer

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May retirees vote on PEF contracts?

Do retirees vote on the contract?

PAULINE BURNES
Arkport

Editor’s note:  No.

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Move fast to resolve telecommuting

PEF might want to get moving on extending the existing (emergency) telecommuting arrangement quickly. Between the Delta (COVID-19) variant and Gov. Cuomo’s situation, things are going to get ugly.

JOSEPH CALANDRA
Saratoga Springs

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May members just work from home now?

May we work from home (full-time, five days a week), like every other company?

MELISSA CARRIERO
East Greenbush

Editor’s Note:  The new PS&T contract eliminates the four-day per pay period limitation.  However, it’s up to each state agency to decide how much work an employee may do from home, based on a reasonable accommodation.  Currently most agencies are allowing telecommuting a maximum of 50 percent of the time.  PEF strongly advocates for a robust state telecommuting policy.

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Retro pay eligibility questioned

I was a member of PEF from January 2019 until February 2021.  I am still employed at Roswell Park, however I’m now a member of CSEA-HRI.  Would I be eligible for the retroactive pay from April 1, 2019, until February 10, 2021, the timeframe I was a PEF member working without a contract?

JANINE MILLER
Buffalo

Editor’s Note:  Yes, you are eligible to receive retroactive pay if you worked as a member of the state’s PS&T bargaining unit after the 2016-19 contract expired, even if you are now no longer a state employee or in that bargaining unit.

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Wants Family Fun Day in NYS

Is there no place in this state for the family day?  Holding it out-of-state ranks with getting masks from China.

FAYE REES
Malta

Editor’s Note: Because of the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions transitioning, the Membership Benefits Program had very little time to plan for a Family Fun Day for this summer, and went with its event in New Jersey because it had been extremely popular in 2019 and because Six Flags announced it was reopening in time for the July 2021 event.  MBP may offer more family events in New York state in the future.

New York state was one of the first and hardest hit areas of the US affected by the pandemic, and masks were extremely difficult to obtain.  China was the major supplier of masks at that time, and PEF moved as quickly as possible to obtain masks for members who were not being supplied by the state with enough masks to protect them.  PEF always prefers to purchase products that are union made in the USA, but quickly protecting members from potentially deadly infection was a higher priority.

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Pre-screening fight was his idea

The COVID pre-screening fight was my idea that we fleshed out in one day with various emails among our PEF Division 240 steward council members (at the state Insurance Fund).

CHARLES TERMINI
Buffalo

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No hazardous-duty pay for heroes

So what happened to the hazard duty payment for the heroes in the contract?
It’s so sad that we’re worth zeroes!

JANICE THOMAS
Valley Stream

Editor’s Note: PEF continues to fight for hazard pay for essential workers. We are pushing for it again with the new administration and legislature.

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