November 4, 2021 — PEF Secretary-Treasurer Joe Donahue, in his annual report to PEF convention delegates, said the union is in a strong financial position.

The COVID-19 pandemic shutdown saved the union considerable expense by curtailing in-person meetings and travel and the closing of headquarters and regional offices.  PEF ended its 2020-21 fiscal year with an increase in net assets of $5.5 million.

However, Donahue also noted that the state hiring freeze that drove job vacancies to 5,000 had a negative affect on PEF membership and a 2 percent decline in dues income.

Donahue urged delegates and local PEF officers and stewards to promptly reach out to new state hires and invite them to join the union now that the hiring freeze has been lifted by Gov. Kathy Hochul.

During discussion of the secretary-treasurer’s report, President Wayne Spence said the union was able to pay for the renovations of its headquarters building with cash, rather than borrowing the money.

The secretary-treasurer provided graphics such as pie charts and graphs to help delegates better understand the union’s expenses and revenues for the past fiscal year.

Donahue, who took office August 1 of this year, said he will continue to advocate for financial integrity and responsibility, while also continuing to communicate those efforts to the membership.

“Of course, communication should be a two-way street. I have always believed that open, respectful, communication is a cornerstone in any relationship,” he said in his written report.  “Building on that, working together is also very important to accomplishing one’s goals. Teamwork and cooperation create a synergy, which can exponentially increase the ability to affect a successful outcome of any endeavor. To that end, I would like to thank (former) Secretary-Treasurer (Kay Alison) Wilkie, Director of Finance Ray Brown, MIS Director Joe Cocci, Special Events Director Kim Partridge, and my executive assistant, Janay Anderson, for sharing their insight, knowledge, and camaraderie, during my transition to my new position. They, as well as all the other PEF staff and members of the executive team, have been an invaluable asset as I navigate my new responsibilities. I am confident that going forward we are destined to continue the good works that the Spence Administration has inspired.”