Wayne Spence Head Shot By Wayne Spence

It’s hard to believe, but 2022 is almost over. It’s been a year of great accomplishments for PEF, but I’ll spare you the full litany of the union’s accomplishments until our year-end issue in a month.  For now, I’m looking forward to giving thanks with family and friends and hope every PEF member can get away from work for a day or two to do the same.

The theme of this issue is pretty clear from the cover – our strong union deserves a strong contract!  The PEF Contract Team, some of whom we introduce in these pages, has already had an introductory meeting with the State and scheduled two more meetings next month.  You responded in force to our contract survey and the team will advocate for the priorities that members told them mattered most: Fair and increased compensation, an improved dental benefit, and telecommuting and alternative work schedules, to name just a few.

Another story I don’t want you to miss is about 55 Hanson Place, a state office building in Brooklyn housing members from several agencies.  Members banded together to raise myriad health and safety issues throughout the building – from replacing windows in the dead of winter, to inadequate emergency evacuation plans, to dust and debris from ongoing construction. My hat goes off to everyone involved.  It’s a great example of unionism at its best.

November is also Public Employees Recognition Month and in that spirit we’re spotlighting two PEF leaders for the work they do.  Margaret Dobbins and Scarlett Ahmed are both members of the Executive Board and leaders at Hutchings Psychiatric Center and the Department of Labor, respectively.  Both devote a lot of time to this union and serve as examples for emerging leaders to follow.  If you want us to spotlight PEF leaders at your worksite, please get in touch via Communicator@pef.org.  I love meeting PEF members as I travel the state and I’m sure readers of The Communicator would also love to get to know more of their fellow PEF members as well.

Thanks for reading and I wish you all a healthy and happy start to the holiday season.

In Unity,
Wayne Spence