|By Wayne Spence|
Contract, state budget top PEF ‘to do’ list
The PEF Legislative Department with its new director, Patrick Lyons, has been busy since Gov. Andrew Cuomo released his 2020-21 Executive Budget proposal parsing and analyzing the spending plan for its impact on PEF and its members. In fact, Patrick testified earlier this month at a joint Senate/Assembly Workforce Development hearing where he laid out the budget priorities identified by PEF’s Statewide Political Action Committee (SWPAC) and legislative staff.
We have several concerns with the budget as proposed. Not the least of which is the proposed loss of more than 1,000 state jobs, which means we are being asked to do even more with less. And we will again be fighting the expanded use of design-build for state projects. Our other budget priorities include opposing these proposals:
• Fast track closure of state facilities;
• Continued underutilization of state engineers;
• Continued funding cuts for SUNY’s public hospitals and Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center;
• Moving mentally ill and sex offenders into more “cost-effective” settings that do not provide appropriate level of care;
• Harmful proposals that affect retirees; and
• Giving away state jobs.
As president of this union, I will do what I’ve always done: Advocate for our members at every opportunity. And that brings me to another topic that is of utmost importance to us all – the status of contract negotiations.
The PEF Contract Team is working hard to negotiate a contract they can be proud to present to you, our members, for ratification. We all believe the governor and his negotiating team should recognize the value of the work done by you, the professional workers represented by PEF, and we will continue to push for a fair contract that reflects both the monetary gains and respect we all deserve.
We have a lot of work to do. What can you do to help us in our budget fight and to support the PEF Contract Team? It’s really quite simple.
• Check the PEF website and PEF social media pages often to make sure you are informed about upcoming meetings, events and issues facing PEF;
• Write a letter to your legislator about one of our budget priorities;
• Submit a letter to the editor to your local newspaper; and
• Re-commit to PEF.
PEF members, remember: Working together and speaking with one voice can only lead us to success. We Are Union Strong!
Thank you for all you do!
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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