Wayne Spence Head Shot By WAYNE SPENCE

This is an update to the July/August Communicator before the summer gives way to fall and our September issue is published after Labor Day.  PEF will have a presence across New York at various Labor Day parades and I hope as many of you as possible can participate! We’re bringing back a PEF float for the New York City parade on September 9 and I can’t wait to demonstrate PEF’s power as we march up Fifth Avenue.

Some of the marchers will be from the first class of the PEF Emerging Leaders Institute, which took place for three days earlier this month at union headquarters in Latham. My thanks to the participants, staff, and trainers from AFT who successfully launched the initiative. The inaugural class will now work with PEF leaders and staff to create and complete a project that builds PEF’s strength in their local communities, agencies or within the union. We will share their projects in future issues of The Communicator.

Two timely items to point out in this Communicator update: It’s back to school time, and the AFL-CIO is out with its annual list of products made-in-the-USA by unionized workers. Whenever you can, I encourage you to support these companies who are friendly to the labor movement. September 1 also marks the start of a Modified Open Enrollment period at PEF Membership Benefits. Active members can enroll or change their short-term or long-term disability plans or their group life insurance during this time.

The New York State Fair kicks off next week and I hope many of you are planning to visit. The year-round planning of the fair is handled, in part, by PEF members, who talked to us about their roles in pulling off one of the State’s marquee annual events.  The PEF booth will be located in the Center of Progress building again this year if you want to stop by, say hi, and pick up some PEF merchandise. I know the staff, members and retirees working the booth will be happy to see you!

Finally, as I’m sure most of you already know, eligible members in the PS&T unit will soon be paid the first of the annual 3% raises secured by the just-ratified union contract. See this story for the complete payroll bulletin from the Comptroller.  This is just the first of the financial benefits you earned in the contract, and we will certainly keep you posted as the others, like the $3,000 ratification bonus and the $400 dental stipend, are scheduled for payment.

As always, thanks for everything you do for this union and for your fellow citizens of New York.  I wish you all a happy and safe Labor Day.

In Unity,
Wayne Spence