An impressive 20 percent of the PEF membership responded to the recent contract survey, sharing their top concerns and priorities for negotiations.
“We usually expect 10 to 15 percent of members to respond,” said Contract Team Chair and PEF Vice President Darlene Williams. “We were extremely pleased to have 20 percent, that’s 9,604 members, respond. The Contract Team has been working hard, meeting regularly since March, and has been carefully reviewing member input. Surveys like this are crucial.”
Raises and maintenance of health benefits are top economic priorities, followed by improving the dental benefit, improving longevities, and increasing the downstate and mid-Hudson adjustments.
Topping the non-economic priorities was work-life balance.
“The message is clear that people want work-life balance,” Williams said. “Telecommuting and increasing the availability of Alternative Work Schedules were among the high-priority non-economic items.”
The membership also wants the Contract Team to tackle the issue of inability to use vacation time, a huge priority for nurses, but of concern to all under-staffed and overworked agencies.
“Our goal is to bring back an agreement that is enthusiastically supported by members because it’s the members’ contract,” Williams said. “We are armed with terrific member engagement and feedback, and we know our priorities.”
Members are encouraged to keep the input coming.
“We need you to continue to share your thoughts and needs. Suggestions sent to the Contract2022Suggestions@pef.org email are vital tools for the team to use when formulating proposals for negotiations,” Williams said. “We also need to stand together, so when we ask you to wear a button, T-shirt or to display flyers, please take part and encourage your coworkers to do the same.
“When we have a strong, united voice, we do the best,” she said.
Negotiations will continue in December and January.