PEF Members Ratify Revised Tentative Agreement, 3,496 Jobs Saved
ALBANY, NY (11/03/2011)(readMedia)-- By a count of 27,718 to 11,645, members of the New York State Public Employees Federation (PEF) ratified a revised four-year agreement with the state that averts significant layoffs.
The ratification of the new agreement saves the jobs of 3,496 PEF members and preserves the vital services our members provide.
The agreement preserves the pay-scale, the employment and the careers of PEF members. It maintains increments and salary-grade parity, longevity payments and co-pays for doctor visits at their current levels. It calls for no salary increases for years 2011, 2012 and 2013. A salary increase of 2 percent is included for 2014.
The new contract increases the share members will pay of their health insurance premiums, but includes changes to the productivity enhancement program which will allow members greater opportunity to use vacation time to offset health insurance costs. The new contract includes reimbursement for the 9 furlough days payable at the end of the agreement.
"More than 75 percent of our membership voted on the agreement," said PEF President Ken Brynien.
"Although this was a difficult decision for our members, it demonstrates they are willing to do their part to put New York state on a stable financial footing, as all New Yorkers should, and are helping to resolve a fiscal crisis for which they were not responsible.
"This agreement preserves our members' jobs and the services they provide. During this economic downturn, the state's citizens are more dependent on these vital services than ever, in the wake of the flooding earlier this year.
"We are certain the governor understands the sacrifice our members have agreed to accept, and recognizes the value PEF members and other public employees provide to the citizens of the state.
"We now call on the governor as part of his efforts to increase the efficiency of state government, to direct his attention to areas where PEF has highlighted cost savings. These areas include the elimination of wasteful contracting out and reducing the state's excessive authorities, commissions and public benefit corporations that make up the state's shadow government," Brynien said.
PEF is the state's second-largest state-employee union, representing 55,000 professional, scientific and technical (PS&T) employees and other public and private employees. The contract covers the state's PS&T employees.