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The President’s Message

 By Wayne Spence

PEF Members Deserve a Fair Contract!

Wayne Spence, PEF President

As spring begins to bloom across our great state and vaccines reach more and more people, I hope members have the opportunity to safely reunite with family and friends.

Your union has a reunion of its own this month, as we return to the bargaining table on April 27 in our effort to secure the fair and just contract you all deserve. We have a story in this issue summarizing our major demands as talks begin: Across-the-board raises with retroactivity, hazard pay, longevity, an improved dental plan and telecommuting. In the weeks and months ahead, we’ll be communicating frequently with you to make sure you’re up to date on the progress of the negotiations. I know I can count on you to mobilize when required. At this stage, we’d love to hear from you about your job and why it’s so vital to your fellow New Yorkers. Nothing will help us secure a great contract more than the collective voices of our members, who the governor has so often hailed as heroes throughout the pandemic. You can visit this page to update your contact information and record a brief video telling us who you are and what you do for New York. We won’t use any of it without your permission, of course, but it will help us identify members who can help us make our case that PEF members truly are the engine that keeps New York running.

I hope you’ve also seen the video campaign that is underway on PEF social media, in which we use Gov. Cuomo’s own words at his public press conferences to support our fight for a contract. Time and time again he hailed the state’s essential workers as heroes. Now it’s time to recognize and reward you for your heroism. Please like and share and amplify this message so the executive chamber hears us all loud and clear: PEF Members Deserve a Fair Contract!

Finally, I’d like to take a moment to thank you all for your activism during the budget negotiations this year. You sent 22,000 letters to lawmakers about our budget priorities and your actions made a difference. We were able to prevent the closures of Rockland Children’s Psychiatric Center, the OCFS youth facilities in Brentwood and Goshen, the privatization of the Office of Information Technology, unilateral cuts to retiree health insurance and the mergers of OASAS and OMH and IBR and the NYS Psychiatric Institute. Despite all that, I am extremely disappointed that lawmakers did not recognize the efforts of state workers with any sort of hazard pay. I’ve written to both Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins and Speaker Carl Heastie to let them know that we won’t stop fighting for what you deserve.

Thank you for all that you do and please continue to stay safe.

In Unity,

Wayne Spence
PEF President

I am a proud memberThank you for all you do!

#RealVoice #RealRespect #RealProfessionals

Membership cards are ALWAYS available online at http://www.pef.org/join-pef, or you can request one through your steward, council leader or regional coordinator.

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