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Telecommuting agreement extended

PEF has negotiated an extension of the temporary emergency agreement with the state regarding telecommuting, which was set to expire at the end of last year. It is now extended to April 2, 2021.

The agreement between PEF and the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations (GOER) extends the program date in section VIII of the Statewide Telecommuting Pilot Program Agreement until the close of business April 2, 2021.

“We are very glad that we’ve been able to obtain this extension,” PEF President Wayne Spence said, “but it doesn’t necessarily mean that every agency is choosing to participate or will properly use telecommuting as a way to keep our members safe during this second wave of the coronavirus.

“I urge each local PEF leader to make an official request, either through the labor-management or joint health and safety process, that your agency fully utilize the now extended telecommuting option.

“Our members have proven throughout this pandemic that many services to New York can be accomplished via telecommuting,” Spence said. “Forcing PEF members back into clustered workplaces demonstrates the disconnect between the governor’s public statements and state agency management’s interpretation of those statements. Failing to take full advantage of the telecommuting option can put the workforce and local communities at further and needless risk from this unrelenting, aggressive virus, and we all know that must stop.”

Sherry Halbrook