Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Calling all PEF members!

If you're looking for an alternative to the tentative agreement - or even if you simply want to pause to evaluate the serious predicament we face - it is time to unite and work together.  Consider this:

The Public Employees Federation was founded to represent the professional, scientific and technical workers of New York State.  Our employment contract with the state ought to represent our interests. 
Soon you will receive a ballot asking for you to vote yes or no on a contract based upon the CSEA contract.

Please vote NO!  This contract is not in the best interest of PEF members!

"No layoffs" must mean NO LAYOFFS
(Proposed contract language in fact protects the governor's power to lay off PEF members.)

5 years is TOO LONG for this contract
(Economic and political circumstances will change.)

Dramatic increases in our health care costs amount to A PAY CUT, A GIVEBACK 
(All benefits amount to foregone wages.)

(To justify a proposed cut in retiree health benefits, we stand accused of living too long!)

The "furlough days" in fiscal year 2011-2012 are simply a GIVEBACK
(Biweekly compensation will be cut by nearly 4% for 13 pay periods to pay for the “furlough.”)

The givebacks in the contract have been presented as a trade-off, a way to prevent layoffs. But even if we ratify this contract, we will face the prospect of layoffs. Layoffs of PEF members are happening right now!

The Governor has given PEF and the other unions a false choice: givebacks or layoffs. To accept this false choice is to embrace concession bargaining at its worst.  If we accept this false choice, we negotiate against ourselves, against our own interests.  It is time to go back to the bargaining table.

In reality there is no reason to lay off New York's public servants in 2011 or 2012 or in the years to come. Decades of successive tax cuts for New York's millionaires and billionaires have trashed a once-progressive tax system and under-funded public service.  And as the tax burden has been shifted to the middle class and the working poor, essential services have been contracted out to private profiteers, to the further detriment of public welfare. We, the professional, scientific and technical workers of the State understand better than anyone the harm this has done the health and education, safety and environment of New York.  It is time for us to stand up and defend public service.

Join PEF Professionals Reclaiming Our Union Decisions: PEF PROUD.  We need to stand together to FIGHT EVERY LAYOFF while we demand a FAIR CONTRACT.

Email us: pefproud@gmail.com.  Print and share: Link to PDF version here.