This Communicator update comes to you during what I hope is the final week of State budget negotiations. Your PEF team has been in close contact with the governor’s office and leaders of both houses making sure that as they continue to inch toward a deal they are never in danger of missing payroll. PEF has pushed for our priorities every step of the way, culminating in an event this month where we unfurled a vinyl reprint of our Fund Our Future petition down dozens of steps in the well of the Legislative Office Building. If you missed it, check out the video we posted on PEF Facebook. Forty-two feet long and 52 inches wide, the petition contained the names of nearly 10,000 New Yorkers who signed it in solidarity with our campaign.
A week prior to that event the PEF Executive Board held its first quarterly meeting of 2023 in Syracuse. I was proud to swear in six new Executive Board members at the start of the meeting and hope that many of you will consider getting involved in your union. Whether you start as a steward or want to represent a broader constituency, there are many opportunities for you to have a direct impact on the working conditions you and your colleagues experience. Petitions are now available for the next Special Election. Be sure to check the PEF Elections page for openings and instructions.
I know many of you read The Communicator for the monthly contract updates and we have included one here, following the latest negotiating sessions with the State on April 13 and 14. The PEF Contract Team tells me they are making steady progress, but would like the State to pick up the pace. As negotiations continue, keep an eye on your personal e-mail and PEF social media for ways you can show your solidarity and project the union strength we’ll need to secure a fair contract. If the union does not have your personal email on file or if it has changed, please visit this page.
Finally, a tip of my PEF hat to Fire Protection Specialist James Galu, who was honored by the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services’ Office of Fire Prevention and Control for his heroism last August helping rescue the driver of a submerged vehicle in Fishkill, N.Y. On or off the job, PEF members do amazing things!
As always, thank you for all that you do.