Wayne Spence Head Shot By WAYNE SPENCE

It has been a very busy spring for PEF!  State lawmakers concluded their work at the start of this month, and I’m pleased to report that PEF pushed through more than half a dozen bills that, if signed by the governor, will improve the working lives of our members.  You can read all about them here.  My sincere thanks to every member, active or retired, who took the time to write or call their legislators on behalf of PEF’s priorities, as well as the work of the Statewide Political Action Committee and PEF’s Legislative Department.

June 9 and 10, we held the quarterly meeting of our Executive Board in Albany, where nine new PEF leaders were sworn in to conduct the business of the union.  This issue includes a summary of that meeting.  Before that, I was joined by my fellow statewide officers on a tour of agencies and worksites in “downstate” New York – PEF regions 10, 11 and 12.  You can see a few photos in the gallery at the end of this issue.

The Statewide Leadership Tour continues this week with stops in PEF Region 5, located in New York’s Southern Tier.  We will update members on union wins during the legislative session and in the state budget.   We are committed to following up with leadership in each region to address the issues and concerns that were brought to our attention.

At these meetings, of course, many members ask about contract negotiations, which we anticipate beginning this fall.  Our current collective bargaining agreement runs through April 1, 2023.  Anyone with suggestions for the PEF Contract Team is invited to email ContractSuggestions2022@pef.org.

Lastly, a pair of features I recommend in this issue of The Communicator.  The first is a look at the critical work being done by the Joint Affirmative Action Advisory Committee, which helps members who feel they have been discriminated against on the job.  And the second highlights two PEF members who benefitted from the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program – one of them to the tune of almost $100,000!  I urge members who meet the criteria to apply and be as persistent as the members profiled.  It could literally change your financial future.

Thanks for reading and I hope you all have a relaxing start to the summer.  We will publish a July/August double issue of the Communicator next month.  Until then stay safe, and stay healthy.

In Unity,

Wayne Spence
PEF President