Delegates to PEF’s convention in Niagara Falls approved two amendments to the PEF Constitution and dealt with a dozen proposed resolutions submitted by officers and members.
The first of the constitutional amendments simply removed references to “fee payers,” since that term was made obsolete by a ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court. The second amendment specifies that a stated cause for the action must be given when attempting to recall an elected union official.
The delegates approved seven of the 12 resolutions with no amendments, they amended and approved three more and the remaining two resolutions were ruled out of order.
The resolutions that were debated and approved as printed or as amended dealt with:
- Perfecting civil service and the merit system, which directs PEF’s Legislative and Civil Service Enforcement and Research departments to form a joint work group to analyze the current state civil service law, rules and practices that create the most difficulty for members to access fair and equitable hiring and promotional practices. The work group will survey members to identify the main obstacles and then report to the PEF Executive Board in the spring of 2023 with recommendations for legislative and political advocacy.
- Ending hostile workplaces, which directs the PEF Health & Safety, Legislative and Contract Administration departments to form a joint work group to discuss, evaluate and work on enforceable contractual or legal definitions and remedies to toxic encounters. These remedies should include the ability to file hostile workplace complaints and movement of such complaints to executive level labor-management meetings, as well as provide a means to quickly resolve issues for members who are in a hostile situation.
- Seeking to ensure Executive Board representation of all membership constituencies by directing the Constitution and Bylaws Committee in conjunction with the affected PEF division to review situations that arise when the creation of new agencies, appointing authorities, work locations or job titles between PEF’s triennial apportionments occur and members find themselves outside any defined board constituency. The committee should propose solutions to achieve board representation in such cases.
- Protecting the interests of PEF members and retirees if legislation to create a single-payer health care plan advances in the state Legislature. PEF would act to ensure such legislation “carved out” state and local government employee unions, or that it was accompanied by amending the State Constitution to expand existing provisions of Article 5, Section 7, which prohibit the diminution of pension benefits to include health insurance benefits.
- Eliminating restrictions on overtime for health care workers based on salary grade by securing changes via contract negotiations, civil service or legislative actions.
- Ensuring division inclusion of all individuals in PEF-represented jobs. This would involve identifying individuals with no PEF division and notifying the PEF Organizing department, which would work with the appropriate Executive Board representatives and PEF regional coordinator and the affected PEF members to either assign them to an existing division or help them form a new division.
- Specifying timeliness of electronically submitted or emailed resolutions, legislative agenda items and other items submitted for consideration at Convention by making them due at 11:59:59 p.m. Eastern time on the due date for such materials.
- Adopting the song “Solidarity Forever” as the anthem PEF shall play at the end of every PEF Convention.
- Engaging new members and leaders by considering school district calendars and avoiding important “markers” to the greatest extent possible when scheduling Executive Board meetings.
- Improving digitalization awareness and training by working collaboratively starting this year with PSI (Public Service International), AFT (American Federation of Teachers) LMAC and the PEF Training & Education department to train PEF labor-management teams and chairs to prepare for discussion of the use of digitalization in public employment.
Resolution 11 was ruled out of order for lack of a required fiscal impact statement. Resolution 12 was ruled out of order based on the body’s prior adoption of the Constitutional amendment on the same subject.