Home » Media Center » The Communicator » The President’s Message – 2019 Oct

The President’s Message

 By Wayne Spence

Click here to watch contract video

Convention brings ‘We are union strong!’ to life

Wayne Spence, PEF President

We’ve all had a few weeks to reflect on PEF’s 41st annual convention, and I, for one, feel reinvigorated and ready to get to work on the important policy delegates laid out as a road map for our work in the coming year.

It was very gratifying to see the nearly 700 delegates so attentive and engaged in union business and that enthusiasm resulted in one of the most successful conventions PEF has ever held.  You can read about and see photos of the convention in this edition of The eCommunicator, on the PEF website and on PEF’s social media pages, but I’d like to recap some of the highlights here.

Perhaps the most gratifying moments of the convention occurred at lunchtime Tuesday, when hundreds of delegates took a “stroll” to the New York State Museum steps at the Empire State Plaza for group photos  that captured this year’s convention theme, We Are Union Strong.  The photos are an amazing testament to the pride and unity PEF members feel for their union, and I’m happy to say this feeling is growing day by day.

Delegates heard from many state legislators, as well as Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and Attorney General Leticia “Tish” James  about how much they value the work PEF members do for the New York state taxpayers. And American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President, Randi Weingarten, who was unable to be with us in person, felt it so important to let us know how proud she is of the work we are doing and how far PEF  has come as a union, that she spoke to the delegates via videoconference.

Delegates got an update on contract negotiations from PEF Contract Team Chair Darlene Williams, and showed their support for the team by signing oars  to pledge that they will not leave the team “up the creek without a paddle.”  It was another incredible unifying moment for the delegates.

This year, we offered members the opportunity to attend many informative workshops on topics ranging from member engagement and division finances to managing stress.

The delegates worked on resolutions, a constitutional amendment and federal and state legislative agendas.  I’m very proud of all we accomplished together!

I think it is evident that at this year’s convention, we brought our convention theme to life.  I am confident, if we live by these words, our success has no boundaries.  WE ARE UNION STRONG!

I am a proud memberThank you for all you do!

#RealVoice #RealRespect #RealProfessionals

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

CLICK HERE to view all stories featured in the Communicator!