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October 25, 2023 | Volume 41. No. 8

Better Together in 2023 and beyond 

Another PEF Convention is in the books and this time we truly made history. The presidents of both our international parent unions, AFT and SEIU, addressed the delegation, as did the president of the New York State AFL-CIO. And that was just before lunch on day one! After lunch, our keynote speaker, National AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler, told delegates “this PEF family is the heart and soul and strength of the labor movement in New York State.” I could not agree more!  

In addition to recaps of those powerful speeches by labor leaders, this post-Convention issue of The Communicator features a summary of my State of the Union address, as well as snippets from annual Convention events such as the Health & Safety Breakfast, Nurses’ Luncheon, and Indo-American Committee Program. I heard from many delegates on the ground in Syracuse this year that the agenda was jam packed, just as it should be when more than 500 of New York’s most committed labor activists get together to conduct the business of their union! 

At the President’s Reception kicking off Convention, we received some very good news from New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli. The $3,000 bonus earned by members for ratifying the 2023-2026 PS&T Contract will be paid next month. Members on the administrative payroll will receive their bonus on Nov. 8, while members on the institutional payroll will get theirs on Nov. 16. This money is part of your regular paycheck and therefore taxable, so if you want to lower your taxable income by either signing up for or increasing your pre-tax contributions to the New York State Deferred Compensation Plan, please visit this page 

We spoke to more than 50 delegates in our Convention video studio about PEF’s ongoing efforts to reform Tier 6 of the New York State pension system. Last year we lowered the vesting period from 10 to 5 years and this year we’re pushing to standardize the employee pension contribution rate at 3% after 10 years of service. Those videos will become part of our campaign in the months ahead as we build toward the legislative session. Fixing Tier 6 is one of the best things we can do to make New York State a desirable employer. That’s exactly what Vice President Randi DiAntonio told State leaders earlier this month at a hearing held by the Senate’s Civil Service & Pension Committee. 

While the planning and execution of PEF’s annual Convention is demanding work, I always leave Convention energized and inspired by all the members of this union. This year we had nearly 100 new delegates attending their first Convention, and that is a clear sign of how strong and vital PEF is now and will be in the future. Thank you to all PEF members for the work you do both looking out for one another in this union and serving the citizens of New York. 

Wayne Spence Head Shot WAYNE SPENCE

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