Paycheck delay unfair to PEF members
ALBANY, NY (04/01/2020) (readMedia)-- The failure to pass a state budget by a March 30th payroll deadline left members of the New York State Public Employees Federation (PEF), many of whom are on the frontlines of coronavirus response efforts, facing a possible delay in receipt of their paychecks.
"Our members should not be pawns in this budget fight," said PEF President Wayne Spence at a press conference on the steps of the State Capitol Wednesday. "It is unfair for PEF members to be stuck in the middle as elected officials spar over whose fault it is that paychecks were not issued on payday. PEF members were not a day late showing up for the COVID-19 emergency. Their paychecks shouldn't be late either."
With 52,000 members in 4,000 titles, PEF's membership includes countless essential staff combatting the coronavirus at state hospitals and prisons; employees at the Department of Labor who are working tirelessly to process an avalanche of unemployment claims; and thousands of other state employees working from home.
"Our members are making sacrifices to keep New York state running," Spence said. "We've been fighting for adequate personal protective equipment, for telecommuting and for many other safeguards our members need to keep themselves and their families safe during this pandemic. We have been literally begging the state, our employer, for the protections we need. PEF members are essential workers in dangerous conditions and shouldn't have to beg for what is needed to keep themselves and their families safe." Spence added, " It only adds insult to injury that they can't get a paycheck."