Questions timing of negotiations 

To the Editor:  Contract negotiations in November, right after an election, is worthless.  I’ve been asking for months to begin in the summer, when CSEA negotiated.  Immediately after an election is the WORST possible time to negotiate.  There’s no incentive for Gov. Hochul to make concessions as there’s a long time until the next election. As usual, CSEA is two steps ahead of PEF, and now PEF members will get shafted. Again. 

ED FISCHER
Liverpool, NY  

Editor’s Note:  The PEF 2019-2023 contract with the state does not expire until April 1, 2023.  It is for a different duration than the CSEA contract.  While the grass may appear to look greener on the other side of the fence, the contract PEF negotiates is tailored to best meet the overall and specific needs of its members.   


Sees convention as extravagance 

To the Editor:  Who is paying for this conference (2022 Annual PEF Convention)?  It can’t be held locally?  I hope this isn’t what my union dues are paying for.  I need dental coverage, not some big pooh pah in Niagara Falls. How does one justify that kind of conference?  Have we forgotten COVID so soon?  

LYNN DRAISS
Slingerlands 

Editor’s Note:  The PEF Constitution requires that the union hold an annual convention, and it is paid for by members’ dues. Delegates at the convention are the highest decision-making body in PEF and must complete the business of the union. They consider changes to PEF policies and vote on federal and state legislative agendas, in addition to attending valuable workshops and training sessions to help them better advocate for PEF members. Conventions are held in different locations throughout the state because members work in every part of New York.  In 2020, at the height of the pandemic and lockdown, the convention had to be held virtually.  In 2023 and 2024, the PEF Executive Board has voted to hold the Convention in Syracuse.  


Show me the money! 

To the Editor:  There isn’t a word in a recent eCommunicator Plus about the hundreds of hours of unpaid overtime that we worked during the COVID-19 (lockdown).  Why are you still not doing anything about it?  No, we haven’t forgotten. 

BRIAN DeSTEFANIS Jr.
Utica 

Editor’s Note:  Any member who is ordered to work overtime and does not get paid for doing it should file a contract grievance. Please contact your PEF field representative. That said, many members may still feel that even the temporary rate of two-and-a-half times regular pay that PEF negotiated for its front-line members who worked COVID overtime does not fairly compensate them for the personal risks to their health that they incurred during the pandemic.  That’s why PEF has argued for hazard pay for any member deemed “essential” during the pandemic and will continue to do so. As PEF President Wayne Spence stated at the union’s convention in October, the union continues to work on this issue and has not forgotten the serious risks and sacrifices its members made.