Thursday, October 20, 2011

PROUD Congratulates The PEF Members Who Voted to Reject the First Tentative Agreement (TA) in PEF’s History

You thought for yourselves, stood up to a bully who wants to weaken NYS labor and gave strong encouragement to other NYS bargaining units and the labor movement.

We Voted “No” on the New TA And Urge You To Do The Same.

This TA includes no stronger layoff protection, the same health care increases, the same forced salary reductions this year and next and now eliminates all tuition voucher/reimbursement under Article 15.3 for all four years of the TA. When you evaluate this contract proposal and learn all the facts, we believe you will join us in casting you ballot based on the merits of this TA, not based on the bullying tactics of the Governor who is holding 3,496 PEF members hostage.

All PEF members must unite against the Governor’s bullying. His bullying tactic is layoffs. He is using 3,496 of our PEF brothers and sisters, including PEF leaders, as a bargaining chip to bully over 50,000 PEF members into ratifying a total concessionary TA. His actions include targeting our professional jobs that are supported by federal funds which will not result in a savings to the State. In fact, his actions may violate agreements with the federal government with regard to providing specific services to the citizens of New York and may also put agencies in a position to have to return federally allocated funds. In a 132.5 billion dollar budget, the Governor is willing to destroy the lives of 3,496 PEF members, their families and communities to realize 75 million in savings.

While some of our members and leaders believe that we have to give him anything he wants, we agree with members and leaders who say we must not allow him to terrorize our Union. Budget solutions are many and none of them involve layoffs. Two major solutions the Governor can implement immediately are to eliminate wasteful State contracts and to reverse course on his decision to reduce State tax revenue by lowering the tax rate on the wealthiest New Yorkers.

Instead of acting on these common sense solutions, the Governor has ordered the layoff of 3,496 professional, scientific and technical public employees at a time when he should be ensuring job retention and economic growth in our State. The number one issue facing our Country is JOBS, JOBS, JOBS!

Ratifying this new TA is not in the interest of the public and private sector unions of New York and elsewhere. It’s not in the interest of a viable middle class and it’s definitely not in the interest of the 99 percent of New Yorkers who work for a living. How we fare as a union in the future may depend on the decision we collectively make on this TA.

We urge you to separate the two issues- a fair contract and unnecessary layoffs. The PEF administration has been urged by many members to pursue legal action to stop the layoffs. PEF has not even tried to do so, nor have they implemented any other strategy to fight for our jobs.

We believe that when you read and consider this contract proposal carefully, and prepare to vote on the merits of the contract, you will conclude that this tentative agreement is, once again, not in the best interests of our union’s members or PEF’s future.


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