Union rally to end toxic work environments and expose bullying

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PEF is rallying to stop bullying and reject toxic leadership.

ALBANY, NY (09/15/2023) (readMedia)-- The Public Employees Federation (PEF) will hold a rally from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. on Sept. 21 at the New York State Capitol in Albany to shed light on the toxic environments many state workers face, from bullying, to harassment, to discrimination against union members.

"We can't allow this behavior to continue," said PEF President Wayne Spence. "We as a union are going to start calling out ineffective managers who engage in this type of behavior. No one should have to go to work and feel unsafe or be harassed. Enough is enough!"

At the rally, PEF will share examples from members of abuses they've faced on the job when working for a bully, such as repeated and unreasonable actions intended to intimidate, humiliate, undermine, or degrade them.

"PEF members are sick and tired of being disrespected and demeaned by bullying managers who aren't heeding Gov. Hochul's directive to make New York 'the most worker-friendly state!" Spence said. "There are many managers that bully PEF members and that's not OK. We are letting the governor know we are tired of the bullying and don't want to work in these toxic environments."

The union successfully drafted legislation last session that was passed by the Assembly Majority to address workplace bullying and abusive conduct through education and training. PEF will continue to push the legislation in 2024 and call on the state to create uniform standards to define bullying and abusive conduct in the workplace.

"The state has regulated sexual harassment, but not other unacceptable activities," Spence said.

PEF members work in more than 3,000 different titles in every state agency, including nurses, social workers, doctors, engineers, counselors, parole officers, lawyers, IT specialists, teachers, habilitation specialists, therapists, and many more.