PEF members ratify new contract

ALBANY, NY (07/27/2021) (readMedia)-- Public Employees Federation (PEF) members turned out in force to ratify the 2019-2023 PS&T collective bargaining agreement, with 56 percent of the PEF membership (28,000 members) voting. Ninety-six percent of those members voted in favor of the recently negotiated agreement.

"Despite an unprecedented pandemic and with New York on 'pause,' the contract team worked tirelessly to defend the rights of members and to bring to the table the best possible agreement during these trying times," said PEF President Wayne Spence. "We gained annual salary increases, increased performance awards, improved dental and vision benefits, the return of the Productivity Enhancement Program, and provisions to revise telecommuting policies to provide a more robust program."

The 2 percent base salary increases are in line with other public sector union contracts and are retroactive to April 2019.

"Since the spring of 2020, states have faced staggering economic hardships," said Spence. "We are pleased New York saw the value of our membership and agreed to annual base salary increases. PEF members were on the frontlines of this pandemic and the whole state rallied behind them to flatten the curve. Heroes don't deserve zeroes and the PEF Contract Team delivered on that."

The new contract makes no changes to the employee share of healthcare premiums. In addition, the contract eliminates the four-days-per-pay-period telecommuting restriction and requires all state agencies to develop and implement a telecommuting policy within nine months of ratification.

The four-year deal covers the time period from April 2, 2019, to April 1, 2023.

"The high approval of this agreement demonstrates that our members are practical, but we all agree that our members deserve more," Spence said.

PEF is New York's second-largest employee union, representing 50,000 professional, scientific and technical state workers in more than 4,000 titles.