June 20, 2016:
This has been an historical year of wins for PEF legislation with a number of "firsts" for us to celebrate. It has been quite some time since Senator's and Assemblyperson's in New York State have responded to PEF's request to address issues effecting our worksite's. Our re-established relationships within the Legislature has paid dividends for our members in all titles and you can be proud of your voice in Albany.
Please take the time to review this years legislative session. Although the session only runs from January thru June, we must take into consideration that January thru April are tied up with the budget battle and legislative session is typically on Monday's and Tuesday's. This left twenty-seven (27) days for PEF legislative staff to accomplish such a large amount of legislation.
After vetoing this bill two times in recent years, the Veterans Buyback Bill was signed into law by Governor Cuomo. This law will allow honorably discharged service members with five years of existing public pension credit to purchase three years of credit for their military service. Current state law allows veterans who served in only certain conflicts to purchase pension credits.
Passed by the Assembly, this bill establishes minimum direct care nurse to patient ratios in health care facilities.
Provides for the 2% increase in PS&T contract, as agreed upon. Upon ratification of the collective bargaining agreement, PEF legislative staff analyzed and had this bill introduced and passed through the Senate and Assembly in record time.
In previous years there was a struggle in having the legislature introduce the PEF Cost-benefit analysis for New York State personal service contracts legislation. This year, we not only had sponsors in both the Senate and Assembly, our legislative department was able to secure passage in the Assembly. This legislation would require a cost benefit analysis for any contract $750,000 or more and requires an in-depth business plan by agency and a review by the Comptroller.
This bill that would require legislative approval before the closure of certain Office of Mental Health, Office for People with Developmental Disabilities or Office for Children and Family Services facilities and institutions and was passed in the Senate.
Passed in both the Senate and the Assembly, this bill would allow parole officers to have salary and medical expenses covered if injured on the job, similar to other statewide law enforcement officers and now awaits Governor Cuomo's signature
This historic legislation passed the Senate and would establish a task force to examine and evaluate the operations of the justice center and our members complaints of heavy handed investigations.
In accordance with a 2015 PEF Constitutional mandate, this legislation would require a payment by the state for certain costs associated with the psychiatric examination of defendants to determine mental fitness.
This bill would require that certain job duties performed by Parole Officers can only be performed by Parole Officers. Passed in the Senate and Assembly.
Both the Senate and Assembly passed this PEF bill that would establish a hospital supplemental reimbursement rate for enhanced safety net hospitals.
The bill would require safety net hospitals be public hospitals that are federally designated as critical access or sole community hospitals.
Too often, we contact legislators only when we oppose legislation, with that being said, I would encourage each of you to contact the legislator's that sponsored PEF legislation (above) and thank them for addressing our concerns. If you need contact information for the Assembly. If you need contact information for the Senate.
I want to thank each and every one of you who wrote letters, sent emails, made phone calls and voted in the recent contract ratification vote. New York State legislators now know that PEF is a real force and one political voice. These successes are proof that when we work together, we can make great things happen.
In Harmony,Wayne Spence
June 2, 2016:
The deadline is quickly approaching to mail in your contract ratification ballot. Ballots must be received by June 6th. Mail in your ballot today to make your vote count. A strong voter turnout shows PEF unity and means strength at the bargaining table!
May 24, 2016:
Thank you to the many PEF members who have already voted and mailed in their contract ratification ballot. If you have not done so, please take a moment to mark your ballot and drop it in the mail. Ballots are due back to AAA in NYC by Monday, June 6th. A strong voter turnout strengthens PEF at the bargaining table for future negotiations.
If you have not received your ballot, please call AAA at 800-529-5218 ASAP and a replacement ballot will be sent to you.
United We Bargain, Divided We Beg.
In Harmony,Wayne Spence
May 12, 2016:
In response to questions about health insurance in the 2015-16 Tentative Agreement, we've revised the Contract FAQ's to clear up any confusion. Please see below:
As noted in the recently mailed Communicator Special Edition, the 2015-2016 Tentative Agreement includes a 2% across the board wage increase, increases in funding levels for committees and programs, and no changes in health benefits. As noted in the gains and tradeoffs chart in the Communicator, there are some changes to the contract language to remove obsolete and expired language which is no longer in effect. We have heard that some people are concerned that the deletion of the obsolete language will result in increases or changes in health benefits. This is unequivocally not true. Please see the revised FAQs for an explanation as to why removal of the old language in the new tentative agreement results in no changes to your health benefits.
Q: Are there changes in the level of health benefits (e.g., types of coverage) in the 2015-2016 tentative agreement?
A: No. The tentative agreement does not make any changes to your health insurance coverages.
Q: Are there changes in the costs of health benefits (e.g., employee premium contributions, copays, deductibles, etc) in the 2015-2016 tentative agreement?
A: No. The tentative agreement does not change the costs of PEF members' health benefits. It does not reduce the amount the state contributes to the cost of that health insurance, it does not change the Empire Plan combined annual deductible, or any other cost sharing, including copays, under the Empire Plan. Empire Plan enrollees' out-of-pocket costs are not going to increase as a result of implementing the tentative agreement. These are the same costs that were made effective by the 2011-2015 PS&T Contract.
April 25, 2016:
Reminder. Wednesday is the PEF Div 211 General membership meeting. Noon, Room 137, Lunch will be provided. Members of PEF staff will be on hand to answer questions about the upcoming contract and the need to vote! Please call RMABB at 486-5876 or Jim Parker at 474-3320, or Nicole Cox at 408-2856 to RSVP. More Informatoin
April 11, 2016:
I'm writing to you today with great news about PEF contract negotiations. We have come to terms with the Governor and his team on a one year agreement, retroactive to April 1, 2015, that provides 2% across the board salary increases for the PEF membership.
This unprecedented one year retroactive agreement is thanks to the hard work, professionalism and expertise of the PEF contract team, and the leadership of team chair Region 11 coordinator Jemma Marie-Hanson and chief negotiator Mark Richard. All exhibited patience, professionalism and expertise at the negotiating table.Our work is not done however. Now, the contract team goes back to the negotiating table to iron out the remaining issues, like health insurance, job security and salary increments for the remaining years of a new agreement.
Ratification timeline and other details are still being worked out and we'll get that information to you as soon as it is available.
Remember: UNITED WE BARGAIN, DIVIDED WE BEG
In Unity, Wayne Spence
Reminder. Wednesday is the PEF Div 211 General membership meeting. Noon, Room 137, Lunch will be provided. Members of PEF staff will be on hand to answer questions about the upcoming contract and the need to vote! Please call RMABB at 486-5876 or Jim Parker at 474-3320, or Nicole Cox at 408-2856 to RSVP.
April 1, 2016:
Bi-Annual Membership Meeting. Wednesday April 27th 12pm. Room 137. Lunch will be provided. You must charge accruals if you remain past 12:30. You must pre-register to attend. Register by calling: Ralph Mabb 486-5876, Jim Parker 474-3320 or Nicole Cox 408-2856
March 14, 2016:
Please take the time to fill out the following survey.
February 26, 2016:
December 4, 2015:
PEF and GOER recently negotiated a Memorandum of Understanding that provides $2.25 million for a tuition reimbursement program for 2016. This agreement and these funds will allow PEF members to continue to access tuition benefits while we continue to negotiate the successor agreement to the contract that expired in April. We understand the importance of continuity for those currently pursuing additional education, and we are pleased that we can provide some measure of assistance even as we continue our negotiations.
PEF will soon meet with the State to discuss the details of implementing this benefit. As more details are available, we will post them on the PEF Website.
On December 2nd, PEF and New York State reached agreement on a memorandum of understanding that restores the Productivity Enhancement Program (PEP) for 2016. We are working with the State to expedite implementation of the program, but the MOU provides that the benefit will be retroactive so participants will receive the full annual benefit. As soon as more detail is available, we will post it on pef.org.
November 16, 2015:
In the past several weeks, we have heard concerns from many of you about the expiration of the Productivity Enhancement Program (PEP). We know this is a valuable benefit important to our members and appreciate the hardship that can occur when the program ends.
I want to let you know that while PEF has historically deferred discussions on extending PEP to be included in contract negotiations, we are now looking to begin these discussions separately from contract talks. To that end, I have formally requested that the Governor's Office of Employee Relations (GOER) begin discussions with PEF about extending The PEP program immediately. I will keep you updated on our progress of resolving this issue that is so important to so many of our members.
In solidarity, Wayne Spence PEF President
October 26, 2015:
Thank you for your participation in PEF's 37th annual convention. You made history! Without a doubt, the 2015 convention was the most successful PEF convention in more than a decade.
Let me recap:
So, when you report back to your members about your time at the Convention, I hope you will represent the proceedings in an optimistic way. Yes, we heard and talked at length about impending challenges. But, I am so invigorated and proud of the unity you displayed that I am more confident than ever that we are on the right track not only for a good contract, but to beat back threats to our union.
I thank you once again for the terrific work we accomplished together. PEF Members: GET YOUR UNION ON!
UNITED WE BARGAIN, DIVIDED WE BEG
September 23, 2015:
Bi-Annual Membership Meeting:
Wednesday October 28th 12pm, Room 137. Lunch wiil be provided. You must charge accruals if you remain past 12:30. You must pre-register to attend. Register by calling: Ralph Mabb: 486-5876, Jim Parker: 474-3320.
September 21, 2015:
The Membership Benefits Trustees are pleased to announce that the Higher Education Incentive Program (HEIP) tuition reimbursement pilot program will be extended for the Fall, 2015 semester. The program provides active PEF members with tuition reimbursement of up to $600 for one job- or career-related, successfully completed post secondary course at an accredited college or university. In addition to extending the program, deadlines for past applications and for Fall 2015, registrations have been added to the pilot program as follows:
Fall 2015 Semester
October 31, 2015: Fall Application Deadline
Members MUST apply online by midnight, October 31, 2015, to be accepted for Fall 2015. Requests submitted after midnight, October 31, 2015, will not be accepted.
February 15, 2016: Fall Supporting Documentation Deadline
All supporting documentation for Fall 2015 MUST be received by midnight, February 15, 2016, to be accepted for reimbursement. No documentation will be accepted after this date.
Fall 2014, Spring 2015, and Summer 2015 Semesters
September 30, 2015: Reimbursement Request Deadline
All requests for reimbursement, and all required supporting documentation, MUST be received by midnight, September 30, 2015, to be considered. No exceptions permitted.
The HEIP program was initially introduced for the Fall, 2014 semester to help bridge the gap left when the State refused to restart the PS&T tuition program. The program has issued 1,754 reimbursement payments for courses ($998,971) and books ($75,056.02) to date. The Board will reevaluate the program at the end of 2015 to determine if MBP is fiscally able to sustain this pilot program.
Three promotional emails were developed to communicate the program extension and new deadlines:
The program extension and new deadlines have also been announced in the The Source - the PEF MBP enewsletter, The Communicator, and on the MBP website.
September 9, 2015:
Programs and Events:
August 14, 2015:
Recent Division 211 Activities:
May 26, 2015:
DiNapoli: State Pension Fund Reaches Record High of $183.5 Billion:
Earns 7.16 Percent Return on Investments in State Fiscal Year 2015
New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced that the New York State Common Retirement Fund (Fund) reached a record estimated value of $183.5 billion as of the close of the state fiscal year on March 31, 2015.
"The Fund performed well over the past year despite the challenges in the market," DiNapoli said. "We achieved a solid return on investments in the midst of global volatility thanks to our talented investment staff and our diversified asset allocation."
The Fund is the third-largest public pension fund in the country and remains one of the nation's best-managed and best-funded pension plans. The New York State and Local Retirement System provides retirement security to more than one million active state and local government employees, retirees and their beneficiaries. Over the last 20 years, 80 percent of benefits have been funded from investment returns. Employer and employee contributions cover the remainder of the benefits cost and are determined by investment results over a multi-year period along with numerous other actuarial assumptions, including wage growth, inflation, age of retirement and mortality. The Fund's long-term expected rate of return is 7.5 percent. Strong returns in recent years have resulted in back to back consecutive reductions in employer contributions in fiscal years 2014-2015 and 2015-2016.
May 6, 2015:
Contract Talks Continue:Formal talks for the PS&T contract between PEF and the Governor's Office of Employee Relations (GOER) are continuing today, May 5th and Wednesday 6th.
The initial meeting on April 15th was very productive. The PEF contract team presented its conceptual proposals and the sides agreed on dates for future negotiating sessions.
As negotiations continue, PEF will continue to keep members updated through the PEF website and via our social media channels, Facebook and Twitter.
Also, sign up on the PEF website to Become A Contract Activist.
As we negotiate our next contract, your personal professional stories will assist us at the bargaining table to illustrate the challenges our members face and the value we provide to the citizens of New York State.
April 6, 2015:
Annual Membership Meeting:Friday May 22nd 12pm Room 137. A Pizza Lunch & Giveaways will be provided. You must charge accruals if you remain past 12:30. You must pre-register to attend. Register by calling: Ralph Mabb 486-5876 or Jim Parker 474-3320.