Wayne Spence Head Shot By WAYNE SPENCE

From New York City to Buffalo, PEF members took to the streets to celebrate Labor Day this year. Regions 1, 3, 4 and 7 each participated in parades on Labor Day itself, Sept. 4, followed by the Capital District Area Labor Federation’s annual parade in Albany on Sept. 8 and the New York City parade on Sept. 9. We have lots of photos from the parades in this issue and will share a video from the New York City parade on PEF social media soon. I also received a call from Governor Hochul on Labor Day, expressing her thanks to all PEF members for the work you do to deliver public services to the people of New York. 

The governor signed a handful of bills into law this month that PEF lobbied for and which we hope will help ease the recruitment and retention problems all state agencies are facing. Continuing to grow the State workforce remains a PEF priority as we assemble the Federal and State Legislative Agendas, to be approved by delegates at the annual Convention next month in Syracuse. 

Syracuse, of course, is the site of the annual New York State Fair, where dozens of PEF leaders, members, and retirees, staffed the union’s booth and greeted thousands of New Yorkers who stopped by the PEF booth. In this issue, we focus on PEF members at the myriad agencies who have booths of their own at the Fair, educating visitors about the critical work they do for New Yorkers. Thank you to everyone who made this year’s Fair such a success. 

Here in Albany, we are preparing for the quarterly meeting of the PEF Executive Board next week. Civil Service Commissioner Timothy Hogues will address the board, as will State Senator Robert Jackson, who chairs the Civil Service and Pensions Committee. We are also planning a lunchtime rally at the State Capitol for Sept. 21 to bring attention to a problem I know many PEF members experience firsthand — toxic work environments. The ranks of middle management in New York State are filled with bad managers who are not creating the culture of respect that Gov. Hochul promised when she took office.

A couple other stories of note in this issue: If you live in the capital region or even if you visit now and again, be sure to check out the Kate Mullany House in Troy, N.Y. Mullany was a labor leader in the late 19th century who played a critical role organizing laundry workers. PEF is proud to have played a small part in helping the labor history there come alive. 

And finally, my congratulations to the winners of this year’s Joseph Scacalossi PEF Scholarships. These young women and men make their union families proud, and we can’t wait to see how they contribute to the world in the years ahead. 

In Unity, 

Wayne Spence
PEF President