When are 2023 scholarship applications due? 

 To the Editor:  Just checking on eligibility for a 2023 graduate, when can he apply for scholarship consideration? 

East Greenbush 

Editor’s Note:  The Communicator publishes information about union scholarships in its December and January combined issue.  Information also is available on the PEF website at https://www.pef.org/about/scholarships/.  Since some PEF regions and PEF divisions offer scholarships, you may want to contact your division and regional leaders to ask about their deadlines. 


Where’s my health care bonus? 

To the Editor:  COVID pay for people who worked and were never out (during the COVID lockdown) was promised by Gov. Hochul to state health care workers.  I do not see any action on it!      


Editor’s note:  Since late 2020, PEF was the only prominent New York State union advocating for COVID-19 hazard pay for all essential workers.  While the governor chose, instead, to offer a $3,000 “Healthcare Workforce Bonus” in her 2022-23 budget, we were able to expand the program’s eligibility to include members at all agencies who provided front-facing care for patients during the pandemic.  Eligible members will be notified directly by their agencies about when they will receive that bonus.  PEF will continue pushing for hazard pay for all members who supported the state’s pandemic response. 


Inflation crushing retirees’ pensions  

To the Editor:  Please try to have our pension increased as the inflation is very high now. 


Editor’s note:  PEF recognizes the pressure that inflation is putting on its retired members surviving on what are essentially fixed incomes.  However, state law forbids the union from negotiating on behalf of its retired members.  What PEF and PEF Retirees are educating state legislators and leaders about this hardship and encouraging them to find ways to alleviate it. 


Dentists should receive geographic pay 

To the Editor:  Please grant geographic pay to dentists.  We feel disrespected and disenfranchised because for years only MDs, RNs, LPNs, NPs and pharmacists have received it.  Why?  We took eight years of schooling, took our board exams, passed and have our degrees.  Please give this serious consideration. 



Raise pension COLAs or strike! 

To the Editor:  What can PEF do for NYS retirees?  How about a 50% lump sum payment from NYS to make up for the decades of false COLAs (cost of living adjustments), and then increase this year’s COLA to the real inflation rate? Or go on a statewide strike if the state refuses to do Justice. 


Editor’s note:  Under state law, the union is not allowed to negotiate on behalf of its retired members.  State labor law also forbids the union from striking. PEF and PEF Retirees are educating state legislators and leaders about this hardship and encouraging them to find ways to alleviate it.