I hope you all had a fun Fourth of July and took a moment to be thankful for my favorite freedom — the freedom of assembly, or as I like to call it, the freedom to organize! This Communicator update comes to you on the same day that ballots are being mailed for the ratification vote of the 2023-2026 PEF/State Tentative Agreement. Please look for a bright yellow ballot in your mailbox later this week or early next and send back your vote as soon as possible! If you don’t receive a ballot by July 14, call the American Arbitration Association at 1-800-529-5218 and one will be sent to you. All ballots must be received by AAA in New York City by 5 p.m. on July 27 in order to be counted on July 28.
To help you make your decision, we have a lot of information in this issue about the tentative agreement, including a look at the health and dental changes, the new Paid Parental Leave benefit, and a summary of the June 28 Telephone Town Hall. By now, you should have all received a hard copy of the agreement in the mail. If you did not, all the documents pertaining to the agreement — including answers to the Frequently Asked Questions we’ve heard as we travel across the State presenting the agreement — are available online, here.
A couple other stories worth pointing out this month: PEF’s efforts to secure compensation upgrades for dentists, nurse pracitioners, and physicians assistants paid off, thanks to the work of member activists and the PEF Organizing and Civil Service Enforcement/Research departments. These changes were needed to move those titles closer to salary equity with the private sector. As always, the goal is to make it easier to recruit and retain professionals who choose a career in public service.
Lastly, July is the start of another PEF Special Election, with 11 Executive Board seats to be filled. I hope some of you will choose to run for office. We profile one of our newest Executive Board members in this issue, Angela Reh, who represents members at the Greater Binghamton Health Center. Petitioning for the open seats begins on July 10 and you can find all the necessary information and documentation on our Elections page.
Finally, don’t miss this story on environmental educator and PEF member Marcus Rosten, who was featured in the PBS series “Nature” for his expertise about the ecology of the Niagara River. The diversity of titles that make up PEF never fails to amaze me. Congratulations to Marcus on his success.
As always, thank you for being a PEF member and for everything you do for your fellow New Yorkers.