October 4, 2016
By WNYLaborToday.com Editor-Publisher Tom Campbell
Rochester, NY – The New York State Public Employees Federation (PEF) held its 38th annual convention in Rochester this week, where 800 delegates listened to PEF President Wayne Spence, who highlighted the past year’s achievements of the Statewide Union’s 54,000 Members and focused a spotlight on PEF’s mission for the future.
PEF is the state’s largest White-Collar Union, representing Professional, Scientific and Technical Employees. PEF is also the second-largest State-Employee Union in all of New York.
The PEF Delegates also listened to a number of speakers, who ranged from Local and International Labor Leaders to New York’s top politicians who praised the work of State Employees. Speakers included New York State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento (Pictured Below/PEF Photos), American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten and Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Executive Vice President Heather Conroy.
PEF President Spence talked about April’s agreement on a one-year Professional, Scientific and Technical Services (PS&T) Union contract, which included a 2% raise for State Employees in the Bargaining Unit, retroactive to April 1st, 2015 when the previous PS&T contract expired.
“I am ‘really proud’ of the participation we had in the ratification vote for the retroactive contract. We had a (62%) participation rate and (97%) of those votes were ‘yes’ votes. Now, why is that important? It’s a ‘signal to the state’ that this Union is ‘strong’ and this Union is ‘united,’ and ‘gives us greater negotiating power’ at the bargaining table for our successor contract. Here’s something ‘you may not know’ Though you probably went to a Town Hall meeting in your region sometime over the past year, did you know that in the time period between February and June, we had over ninety town hall meetings? Yes, ninety! When I reported that to our internationals – AFT and SEIU – they were ‘blown away,’” he said.
Spence also spoke to the importance of communication, which he said “is the key to engaging the membership.” “We are ‘working hard to improve’ our communications and to bring PEF into the twenty-first century with technology,” he said. To read more click on the following link