Wayne Spence Head Shot By WAYNE SPENCE

Colder days and early sunsets herald the holiday season in New York. No matter how you celebrate, I hope the spirit is one of thanks and solidarity.

We are always grateful for the hard work and dedication of our members, and it motivates us as we advocate locally, at the health and safety and labor management tables, and, of course, inside the halls of state government.

In this issue you’ll find coverage of a Town Hall meeting I convened on November 15 (you may listen to it, here, if you missed it), where I was joined by staff to update members on carried-over vacation accrual deadlines, the legislative agenda for 2024, and anti-union groups targeting our members. There are immediate steps you should take to protect your hard-earned accruals, so please read the story.

We continued to bring your needs to the forefront by attending this year’s Somos conference in Puerto Rico earlier this month, where we had the opportunity to discuss issues that impact all of us with New York politicians and labor leaders. PEF sponsored the Labor Breakfast on Saturday morning and I drove home how important it is that we Fix Tier 6 and Fund Our Future. Click here to watch a short video clip. From the applause, I can tell you, we were heard!

It’s never all just talk at Somos though. We also spent a day at the Escuela Santigo Iglesias Pantin school with AFT, raising a basketball hoop, revitalizing their landscape, and designing and painting a mural. PEF members are no strangers to giving back to the community – we do it every day on the job. Check out this issue’s photo gallery for plenty of pictures.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the murder of PEF member Judi Scanlon, a mental health intensive case manager from Buffalo who was killed by a patient while conducting a home visit just two days before Thanksgiving in 1998. A quarter century later, PEF and other advocacy groups representing healthcare workers are still calling for an end to workplace violence. Stay tuned over the coming months as we work toward safer worksites for all.

I wish you all a Thanksgiving filled with restorative time with family and friends and thank you, as always, for being a PEF member.

In Unity,

Wayne Spence
PEF President