The best way to reject layoffs is to vote against the tentative agreement.
Governor Cuomo has threatened to lay off 3,496 PEF members. He has shown that he has no respect for us as public employees and no regard for the plight of our families.
The threatened layoffs are as disgusting and outrageous as they are unnecessary. The threatened layoffs carry a personally vicious intent. And each one belongs exclusively to Gov. Cuomo.
Only Cuomo has the power to order these layoffs. PEF does not hire for the state and PEF does not fire for the state.
Remember the old hockey chant? If you don't, it goes like this: "IT'S ALL HIS FAULT! ALL CUOMO'S FAULT!" (We need to explain this to everyone!)
Cuomo ordered the layoffs for reasons that have NOTHING to do with fiscal necessity. Cuomo ordered layoffs of people who provide essential services, not because their functions were redundant. Cuomo ordered the layoffs entirely and totally for a wooden-headed political ploy.
Stupid as the day is long, Cuomo's layoffs came down like a corporate campaign in which the ends justified the means. The means lacked any semblance of responsible governance. The ends were to terrorize PEF members into giving up huge contract concessions.
For an added measure of spite against us, the Governor insisted upon contract protection for himself to order more layoffs!
The Governor ordered layoffs of "targeted titles" (ah, that apt hunting metaphor) that were exclusively PEF members. The 3,496 individuals were chosen hastily, over a few hours. The number of people "targeted" was derived from a political calculation about the names and numbers needed to swing the vote that defeated the first tentative agreement.
Taking up the cause of official bullying, some agencies deliberately targeted PEF activists and prominent PEF leaders. Some agencies used the layoffs to hurry along privatization schemes already in the works. Some agencies simply picked titles, willy-nilly, where the least senior person could not "bump" (displace) a worker who belonged to another union. No effort was made to preserve essential public services. The point of the layoffs was to terrorize PEF.
The best way to stand up against the Governor's bullying is to vote NO again. If we vote NO again, despite his latest threats, Cuomo will have to continue to negotiate. And we will continue working under our present contract thanks to the Triborough Amendment. (If we vote YES he will have no reason to negotiate with us for four years.)
We must fight the Governor's plans to privatize and downsize essential public services. Concessions won't save jobs. Voting NO again will make us even stronger in this fight. In addition we must work to put our entire bargaining unit in the strongest possible position for all future negotiations.
Negotiations with Cuomo remain underway right now. Just turn on the TV and watch him tell us what our union must do -- TV is where he negotiates with us. If we ratify this contract we will concede that we can be terrorized, bamboozled and set up to be broken.
The whole world is watching, particularly our sisters and brothers in New York's unions. Let's stand up for ourselves and give them a reason to join us against the outrageous, unnecessary actions of the Governor.
Vote NO to reject the Governor's abuse and to show our union strength. WE SHALL NOT BE MOVED!!