October 18, 2021 — The October issue of The Communicator arrives less than a week before about 500 delegates gather in Niagara Falls for PEF’s 43rd Annual Convention. We will publish again in November to update all members about the decisions that are made at Convention 2021.
In this issue, I’d just like to point out a couple stories, starting with the cover image – a rally PEF Division 236 organized outside Rikers Island on October 7. More than 100 parole officers from around the state attended to make their voices heard about one of the worst laws that came out of the last New York State legislative session – so-called “Less is More” parole reform. PEF lobbied hard against its passage and now that it is law we won’t stop pointing out its flaws and pushing for amendments to mitigate its harmful effects. I’d like to thank Council Leader Gina Lopez and Assistant Council Leader Gabriela Franklyn for their advocacy. The Rikers rally is not the last time we’ll be speaking out as a union on this issue. Another rally is being organized in Western New York later this year and we will share details as soon as it is planned.
The issue impacting most PEF members, of course, is the various vaccine and testing mandates imposed by New York State on its workforce. A second mandate went into effect last week and affects the majority of members. You’ll find a summary of a Telephone Town Hall we held about that mandate in this issue, and I encourage all impacted members to know their rights when it comes to these mandates. Members subject to the Sept. 27 healthcare worker mandates should see this Fact Sheet. And members subject to the Oct. 12 mandate should see this Fact Sheet.
Another new story worth pointing out in this issue – PEF VP Randi DiAntonio’s presentation at a SEIU webinar about “New York State Fund Our Future.” With the launch of the new PEF.org, the Fund Our Future website is also up and running and I encourage you to check it out and see how you can get involved in the campaign. We’ll be using those three words to brand many of our efforts in the year ahead – from mobilization to legislative lobbying to political activism. The campaign will grow in strength as the number of committed members grows and I look forward to working with you to spotlight the critical services PEF members perform every day to keep New York State running.
Thank you for all that you do and please continue to stay safe.