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Official Publication of the New York State Public Employees Federation, AFL-CIO February 2015
Advocating for a Fair Budget
Sign up for Labor on the Move - See Back Cover • Convention Delegate Information - See Page 28
from members
career ladder?
To the Editor:
I am responding to a letter about
no advancement opportunities
for nurse practitioners that was
published in the November 2014
issue of The Communicator.
The writer incorrectly stated
pharmacists have two levels
(pharmacist 1 and pharmacist
2). This has not been the case
since September 1, 2005, when
these titles were abolished. All
pharmacists are now in the same
title of “pharmacist.”
Please clarify this so others are
not misled and the writer of that
letter will know members in other
PS&T titles are in the same boat.
West Seneca
Editors Note: Although the previous
pharmacist 1-2 title series (It was actually
pharmacist 1-4) no longer exists, there is
a current pharmacist career ladder, which
may be viewed on the state’s Civil Service
Career Mobility Office website at (http:// /gotit/
titleinfo.cfm?jobcode=6303100&nu =05#).
Let’s archive
To the Editor:history
To the Editor:
Archiving the history of PEF is
important. The history of the union should
be recorded for members and scholars.
PEF needs to establish an archives so
that our valuable history is not lost. Most
of the PEF activists who participated in
organizing PEF in 1978 and 1979 are now
retired. Some have died.
This is the time for a PEF archives
to gather the history of organizing PEF,
including ephemera, as well as conducting
an oral history of the PEF pioneers.
New York
Editor’s Note: PEF is considering how
to retain the union’s history for the long
term. Meanwhile, PEF is reviewing material
for its historical significance. PEF also has a
facility dedicated to storing and categorizing
the union’s rich history.
Email your ideas, comments to
[email protected]
of struggle: labor history
Sons of Vulcan, forerunner of the United Steelworkers
The first union contract in American
history was ratified when the Sons of
Vulcan ended its strike February 13,
1865. It was quite a feat during a time
when workers in Pittsburgh, mostly
immigrants from England, Scotland and
Wales, knew they were skilled craftsmen
and demanded wage rates tied to market
This union consisted of men who
were adept at puddling, the process
of stirring pig iron with iron bars and
exposing it to the air to burn off the
carbon in the iron. This was the first
process that created steel. The puddlers
had to rely on their experience, physical
strength and skill, as injuries occurred
working with boiling molten metal.
When the Civil War began, the Sons
of Vulcan had power. Their work was
vital to the war effort. In June, 1864,
when the Civil War was coming to an
end, employers attempted to cut wages.
The union responded with a nationwide
strike of its members that lasted eight
The Sons of Vulcan had expanded,
and with new members in eight other
states, including New York, they were
able to pull off a strike.
The locals, which were called forges,
came about after Miles Humphreys
took the helm of the Iron City Forge of
the Sons of Vulcan. He was the “grand
master” and created an office for a
“grand vulcan,” or vice president.
In the beginning, the new union
did little to help as membership
was kept secret in fear of physical
retaliation. This forge resolved
Page 2 — The Communicator February 2015
to commit itself to craft unionism,
merger was on the horizon for the Sons
accepting only puddlers as members.
of Vulcan.
By August 1865, the City Forge
The Associated Brotherhood of Iron
membership had tripled. The following
and Steel Heaters, Rollers and Roughers
year, the national Sons of Vulcan began
was formed. Another union, the Iron and
employing paid organizers across the
Steel Roll Hands of the United States
east coast. That effort resulted in 36
also emerged.
active forges with 1,514 members in
After three years of negotiations,
the three unions met in Pittsburgh
The union’s strike policy was
December 7, 1875, and drafted a
inconsistent, lacked union solidarity and constitution and bylaws. They met
separately August 2 and adopted the
strikes were easily broken by employers.
resolution for amalgamation.
Financial support for the strikers came
In 1876, the three unions merged as
from fellow forge members, not the
the Amalgamated Association of Iron
national union. This led to the collapse
and Steel Workers – the forerunner of
of 11 local unions in 1867 and 16 more
the United Steelworkers.
in 1868. The union was down to 600
The Sons of Vulcan provided 85
percent of the new union’s membership
In 1870, the national Sons of Vulcan
and dominated the organization
instituted a new policy where all
for much of its early history. Its
workers in a local forge were required to
membership was almost exclusive to the
walk off the job if a strike was approved.
iron industry, as steelmaking was still in
The union provided funding. These
its infancy.
changes significantly improved the
union’s stability, and
membership rose
“Puddler” C
ourtesy of N
to more than 3,300
ational Pho
to Company
Library of C
ong ress.
within 83 forges in
12 states by 1873.
The union saw a
membership decline
of approximately 25
percent after the
Panic of 1873, but
by 1876, the Sons
of Vulcan was the
strongest labor
union in the U.S.
Other steel
unions were being
organized across the country and a
PEF Information Line: 1-800-553-2445
The COMMUNICATOR February 2015
The official publication of NYS Public Employees Federation, AFL-CIO
www.The •
Volume 32, No. 1 February 2014 (0745-6514)
The Official Publication of the New York State
Public Employees Federation, AFL-CIO,
1168-70 Troy-Schenectady Rd., Latham, NY 12110-1006.
The Communicator is published monthly, except for January and
August, for members of the New York State Public Employees
Federation. Periodical postage paid at Latham, NY and additional
mailing offices.
Postmaster: Send address changes to:
Editor, PEF Communicator
1168-70 Troy-Schenectady Road,
P.O. Box 12414 Albany, NY 12212-2414
Phone 518-785-1900, ext. 221
Letters Policy: The Communicator welcomes letters to the
editor about union issues and events relevant to PEF’s diverse
membership. All letters are subject to editing for space, fairness
and good taste. Please type your letters, keep them brief (up
to 250 words), and include your name and phone number for
Send letters to:
The Communicator,
PEF, P.O. Box 12414, Albany, N.Y. 12212-2414
or e-mail to: [email protected]
of contents
Ideas From Members: Letters To The Editor.................................. 2
Roots Of Struggle: Labor History. . ...................................................... 2
People’s State Of The State.. ................................................................ 4
Battle Over Flu Masks............................................................................ 4 Kent Testifies...........................5
PEF Testifies Against Design-Build Program.. .................................. 5
Trustees Report....................................................................................... 6
PEF Fights GOER Over Unit Determinations.................................... 6
President’s Message.............................................................................. 7
Members Join Education Picket.......................................................... 7
Meet PEF’s Contract Team.. .................................................................. 8
Executive Board Approves Staff Contract..................................... 11
PEF Mourns Former Regional Coordinator.................................... 13
Retirees In Action.................................................................................. 14 Meet The Team......................8
PEF Supports Spinal Cord Society.................................................... 15
Parolee Families Receive Holiday Gifts. . .......................................... 16
PEF Donates To Needy Children........................................................ 18
Shadowing A Parole Officer................................................................20
Fight For Parity Continues For Parole Officers.. ...........................21
PS&T Contract Benefits.. .....................................................................22
Elections Underway To Fill PEF Vacancies......................................22
Volunteers Make Hunger Appeal A Success.................................25
Federal Bill Of Rights............................................................................25 Holiday Cheer.......................16
Justice Arrives In Death Of Assaulted Nurse...............................27
PEF Convention Delegate Information.............................................28
Members Ask For Leave Donations.................................................32
PEF Testifies On Single-Payer Health Care Program.. .................32
New Education Requirements For Social Workers.. ....................33
Communication Notes..........................................................................33
Fond Farewells. . ......................................................................................34
Labor On The Move...............................................................................40
A Day With A PO.................20
Officers of PEF
Susan M. Kent President
Carlos J. Garcia Secretary-Treasurer
Wayne Bayer, Wayne Spence, Barbara Ulmer Vice Presidents
Kevin Hintz, Bonnie Wood, John Prince, Peter Banks,
Jeanette St. Mary,James Moffitt, Nikki Brate, Vivian Street,
Sheik Nabijohn, Jemma Hanson, Regional Coordinators
Ronald Brown, Kenneth Johnson, Maureen Kellman, Trustees
PEF Regional Field Offices
1 Buffalo 1-800-462-1462
2 Elmira/Hornell 1-800-724-5001
3 Rochester 1-800-724-5003
4 Syracuse 1-800-724-5004
5 Binghamton 1-800-724-4998
6 Utica 1-800-724-5005
7 Malone 1-888-498-8532
8 Albany 1-800-342-4306
9 Poughkeepsie 1-800-548-4870
10 Manhattan/Bronx 1-800-522-8700
11 Brooklyn/Queens/Staten Island1-866-897-9775
12 Long Island 1-800-832-5284
Metro NY Labor
Download the free app to
scan this QR code to view
The Communicator online
Cover illustration by Mario Bruni, Sr. Graphic Designer
The Communicator Staff
Scott Morlock Executive Editor
Sherry Halbrook Editor
Mario Bruni Senior Graphic Designer
Deborah A. Miles Reporter/Writer
Paul R. Seeger Junior Graphic Artist
Paul Murphy Secretary/Typesetter
Kathi Blinn Advertising Account Executive
Advertising in this publication does not represent an
endorsement by PEF or its members. Members wishing to
change their mailing address may call 800-342-4306, ext. 221.
PEF is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers,
AFL-CIO and Services Employees International Union.
The Communicator February 2015 — Page 3
Wages, public services, education dominate
the 25th People’s State of the State
Story and photo by DEBORAH A. MILES
With the sun shining and temperatures
hovering around the 30 degree mark,
labor leaders, clergy members, antipoverty activists and New Yorkers for
fiscal fairness gathered for the 25th annual
People’s State of the State message at the
steps of the state Capitol in Albany.
It was the day before Gov. Andrew
Cuomo delivered his State of the State
address, and a tradition for political
activists to publically air their concerns.
In front of several TV station cameras
and reporters, PEF President Susan M.
Kent said, “Tomorrow, in the governor’s
state budget recommendations, we want
to see money our members brought into
the state and the services they provide be
included in the budget.”
Kent echoed some of the concerns
raised by other speakers.
“We need a $15-an-hour minimum
wage. People who are working and people
who aspire to work need to have a livable
wage,” Kent said. “We need single-payer
health care for all New Yorkers.
“New York needs to be the state that
leads the rest. And we need to have
money in the Executive Budget to address
poverty and education. I am calling on the
governor and Legislature to make sure the
final budget includes resources and vital
services for all our citizens. We also need
to make sure there is money in the final
state budget to provide quality services
for the most vulnerable individuals in
PEF members
and leaders
chant at the
People’s State
of the State in
Albany January
20. Shown are
Doug Williams,
PEF President
Susan M. Kent,
VP Barbara
Ulmer, Mario Chiarello and Secretary-Treasurer Carlos J. Garcia.
the state, health care for all and optimal
education for every child of every economic
The crowd of fewer than 50 people
roared after Kent spoke, chanting “Raise
the Wage.”
Mark Dunlea, executive director of
Hunger Action Network of New York State
and coordinator of the event, said, “Twenty
years after former Gov. Mario Cuomo’s
‘Decade of the Child,’ millions of New
York’s children live in poverty, especially
in upstate New York. Three decades
after Hunger Action Network was formed
in response to the budget cuts under
trickledown economics, New York leads the
country in income disparity.
“At least $1.5 billion of the so-called $5
billion state windfall needs to go to jobs
that are guaranteed to our most vulnerable
– the poor, those on public assistance, the
unemployed, people of color, and those
who have been incarcerated. Clear goals
for hiring these individuals should be
part of the state’s economic development
funding,” Dunlea said.
Sara Niccoli, executive director of the
NYS Labor-Religion Coalition, also received
rousing cheers from the crowd.
“The People’s State of the State is a
picture of low-wage part-time jobs, cuts
to schools and social services, and being
buried neck-deep in property taxes, rent,
student loans and high-interest credit
cards. The majority are barely getting
by. Voters and taxpayers are not looking
for lip-service legislation, but real fixes,”
Niccoli said.
Kent added that the union, as in the
past, would have a strong presence during
the legislative session and will continue
to fight for fairness, and especially for
the needed public services that every
community deserves.
PEF continues battle against mandatory flu masks
Most health care workers, including
PEF-represented nurses, are required to
wear a flu mask if they did not receive a
flu vaccine while working in areas where
patients or residents may be present.
PEF argued the regulation in state
Supreme Court in late 2014, but acting
Supreme Court Judge Judith A. Hard said
the regulation was not unreasonable.
Yet in November, the state Department
of Health (DOH) amended the regulation
to require wearing a flu mask only when
patients or residents are “typically”
“Although the regulation did not
previously, and does not now, provide
any further definition, this appears to be
a narrowing of the locations where mask
wear is required for certain health care
professionals,” said PEF associate counsel
Page 4 — The Communicator February 2015
Jessica Caggiano.
The amended regulation also states
speech-therapy personnel may remove
the mask when “modeling speech” or
communicate with individuals who lipread.
Caggiano said the DOH amendments
directly address several of the arguments
PEF made in the litigation before the
Supreme Court.
PEF is currently in the process of
appealing the Supreme Court’s decision
and is evaluating how the DOH changes
will affect its appeal. It is in the process of
filing a record on appeal and a brief to the
Third Appellate Division.
The DOH made other changes to the flu
mask regulation. One was the definition
of “patient or resident” to include most
individuals who receive health care
services, such as overnight residents
and hospice patients. The other involves
sufficient documentation for a person who
received a flu shot. The amendment also
clarified the language saying masks should
be provided “at no cost to personnel,”
instead of “free of charge.”
“These amendments make the rule more
reasonable and less stringent,” Caggiano
said. “But DOH’s amendment may weaken
PEF’s argument that the regulation is
arbitrary and capricious, by making its
own regulation more reasonable.”
For now, PEF-represented heath care
workers must adhere to the regulations,
and wear the flu masks, if unvaccinated,
during the flu season. In 2014, DOH
Commissioner Howard Zucker declared the
end of the flu season to be June 5. He has
not set a date yet for the end of the 2015
PEF Information Line: 1-800-553-2445
Testimony calls for the expiration of the designbuild contracting program
Story and Photos by
A major area of concern for PEF is
how the state is moving forward with its
design-build method of construction,
which currently gives the green light for
contractors to design, build and inspect
contracted construction.
PEF President Susan M. Kent raised
these concerns when she delivered a
powerful testimony before the state
Assembly Standing Committee in
December, and urged lawmakers to take a
cautious approach when deciding future
funding for the design-build program.
“New York state can save real money
and get greater value out of the dwindling
transportation dollars by doing more
engineering work in-house and decreasing
its reliance on costly consultants,” Kent
testified. “PEF urges the Legislature to cast
a critical eye toward design-build. Now
is the perfect time to pump the brakes
and take a more cautious
Kent explained to
Assembly Member
David Gantt, chair
of the Committee on
Transportation, that designbuild reduces competition
because fewer companies
are capable of performing
both functions. She said
design-build projects are
inspected by consultants
contracts. That firm uses a former DOT
hired by the builder and that results in less assistant commissioner as its lead expert,
independent oversight of the project.
paying him more than $300 per hour, or in
The design-build mythology comes from
excess of $600,000 a year.
data derived from a 2006 Federal Highway
“My members throughout the state
Administration report on design-build
want you to know the best way to rebuild
New York state’s infrastructure is
“This report is flawed,” Kent
with public employees overseeing,
said. “The most noteworthy flaw
designing and inspecting the
is the report was based on the
projects. Right now, who is
perceptions of the participants,
benefiting from design-build?
not on empirical data, and
Are local, small construction
New York state was not
companies benefiting? No. Many
included as one of the seven
of the projects, which are in the
Department of Transportation
works or proposed, are going to
(DOT) participants.
out-of-state or mega companies.
“Unfortunately, advocates of
This is not helping our local companies.
design-build have cherry-picked certain
This is not helping our youth,” Kent said.
aspects of this report and now design-build
Another area Kent emphasized was
appears to magically save money all the
public-private partnerships. She described
time. Our data proves consultant engineers that concept as “more snake oil with
cost approximately 87 percent more than
magical qualities and a ploy to evade the
in-house engineers. The average cost of
state’s debt cap while burdening future
a DOT engineer is near $60 per hour,
generations with financial obligations.”
including benefits. Yet DOT has hired a
Kent also addressed the shrinking state
consulting firm to oversee design-build
“DOT staffing levels are at historic lows.
PEF-represented engineering positions
have been reduced by almost 19 percent
since 2008 and more than 31 percent since
2000. The most cost-effective element in
infrastructure spending is being reduced.
This makes no sense,” Kent said.
Bill Holthausen, a civil engineer and
PEF Executive Board member, joined Kent
at the hearing and also answered questions
fielded by Gantt. He reiterated the need
for more staffing, and the importance of
having professional state engineers do the
overseeing and inspecting of the projects.
Gantt invited Kent to meet with him to
further discuss the design-build project
and to move forward with her suggestion
to form an independent commission to
analyze and compare how state workers
are the best qualified and the state’s mostcost effective resource for design-build
relations department that appeared in the December 2014 edition of City & State.
The Communicator February 2015 — Page 5
Maintain standards of well run PEF divisions
By PEF Trustees RON BROWN,
Among the ways the trustees of PEF
work to protect the interests of the
members of the union is by conducting
audits at the state, regional and local
This does not relieve PEF regions
or divisions of their responsibility to
regularly audit their own finances and
report their findings to their members
and to the secretary-treasurer of PEF.
Neither does our review of the
finances of the statewide union relieve
its responsibility to submit its financial
records to the scrutiny of independent
auditors annually and to report their
findings to the membership.
When we, as trustees, review the
finances and operation of a division,
for instance, we report our concerns
and recommendations first to the PEF
secretary-treasurer and then to the
steward council of that division.
Among the many things we
want to find are:
• Timely, fair elections of
stewards and officers;
• Evidence that elected
stewards and officers are familiar with
their division’s constitution and are
complying with their duties under it;
• Timely council and membership
• Full and accurate records and
minutes of meetings, including agendas,
member attendance and any other
pertinent documentation;
• Preparation and adoption of annual
division budgets;
• Timely submission of accurate
and complete financial reports at those
• Timely approval of expenditures
and financial decisions by the council or
• The filing and approval by the
members of accurate and timely minutes
of meetings;
• Reports by the secretary to the
treasurer of all motions approved by the
members regarding division finances;
• Timely appointment of a division
audit committee;
• Timely and accurate reports to the
membership by the audit committee;
• Timely, accurate and full records,
including detailed receipts, of all
financial transactions;
• Timely, accurate and fully detailed
vouchers and their review and approval
by the division;
• Timely and full explanations of
expenditures (including but not limited
to gift cards, charitable donations and
membership dues in labor organizations,
whether conducted by check, purchase
card or cash transactions);
• Appropriateness of expenditures as
related to the activities of the division;
• Timely reports on the appointment
and activities of division committees.
We hope it will be helpful for our
union’s members and leaders at all
levels to know the expectations and
standards for the proper operation of
our union.
We should all take the time to read
our constitutions and bylaws and refer
to them whenever in doubt of how to
In addition, please feel free to ask
us, as your trustees, about issues of
concern to you or your general questions
about union operations. You may email
us at [email protected], [email protected]
and [email protected]
PEF fights state’s effort to back out of agreement
placing M/C positions in PS&T unit
The state and PEF are engaging in an ongoing battle as to
whether specific titles should be designated management/
confidential or belong in the PS&T bargaining unit.
In settlement of a 2010 unit determination petition filed by
PEF, the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations (GOER) agreed
to place 256 management/confidential positions in the PS&T
bargaining unit.
Twice a year, PEF may submit unit-determination petitions
seeking to place appropriate new positions in the PS&T unit, and
once during a contract term PEF may petition to move existing
titles. Moving titles into PEF is called an open petition. It is a
lengthy process and is routinely resolved by mutual agreement.
PEF and GOER settled the 2010 open petition, which included
other pending petitions. The Public Employment Relations Board
(PERB) director officially made an interim decision and placed
these positions in the PS&T bargaining unit.
After the interim decision was announced, GOER said it had
made a mistake and wanted to keep the titles as managementconfidential. The titles are in different agencies and include
budgeting analysts, environmental engineers, administrative
assistants and even a principal psychologist.
“So far, GOER has not been successful in vacating the
agreement,” said PEF General Counsel Lisa King. “It lost before
the PERB director and PERB itself. Most recently, acting Albany
Supreme Court Justice Francis Collins denied GOER’s request to
withdraw from the agreement.”
In early January, GOER appealed the Supreme Court’s
decision to the Appellate Division, Third Department. King said
the appeals process is lengthy and a decision should be made
later this year by the Appellate Court.
In a related case, the state has the ability to file an employer
petition to transfer PEF titles into management-confidential
positions. This may be done once during a contract period. In
previous years and on rare occasions, the state has done so,
and it selected only a few titles for very specific reasons. But
in December, the state filed a new unit determination petition
requesting 2,500 positions, including the 256, be classified as
PEF was notified in late December PERB will not process
GOER’s request until GOER provides a statement for each
individual position and how the job duties form the basis for a
managerial or confidential status.
PEF President Susan M. Kent said the union is pleased with
PERB’s quick action.
“To comply with PERB’s rules, GOER has to, once again,
notify all the 2,500 affected members. If a new application is
filed, it would be different from the first one and PEF would take
the position that members need to be notified again. This shows
PERB is firm in holding GOER to the employer’s application
requirement and must contain more than a mere conclusory
statement that positions, which have been in PEF for decades,
should now be management-confidential.
“Be assured, we stand ready to fight for these positions that we
strongly believe belong in PEF,” Kent said.
For updates on the unit determination issue, visit the PEF
website and PEF’s Facebook and Twitter pages.
Page 6 — The Communicator February 2015
PEF Information Line: 1-800-553-2445
We must work together to clear
state budget, contract hurdles
the Civil Service
In his combined
State of the State
and Executive
Budget message,
the governor spoke
about the billions of
dollars in settlement
funds the state has
received and how
he has earmarked
the money. PEF
members were
directly responsible for bringing that
$5.4 billion to New York.
We believe the governor and the
Legislature should recognize the value
of the work done by the professional
workers represented by PEF in securing
the settlement by ensuring
funds from the windfall
are reinvested, in part, in
state agencies to maintain
and improve public
services in all New York
communities. We will fight
the expansion of “DesignBuild” with every tool we
have. Design-Build, using
one contractor to design,
build and inspect a project, is just
bad public policy and we’ll be working
hard with our union partners to fight
the expansion of Design-Build. These
are just some of the issues we will be
dealing with this budget season.
Moving forward from budget fights
to contract negotiations, it will be more
important than ever for us to maximize
the clout of our union membership.
We have included in this issue of The
Communicator profiles of our contract
team members so you can get to know
the PEF folks who are working very
hard with just one goal in mind: getting
the contract we deserve.
I will continue to do what I’ve always
done, and that is advocating for our
members and speaking out on issues
important to you at every opportunity.
For your part, it’s
simple. Get
involved and
stay involved.
together and
speaking with
one voice can
only lead us
to success!
Presidents Message
Last year was a challenging year
for PEF in many ways and I thank
you for your effort, energy, resilience
and commitment to your union. We
start this new year together with
clarity, determination and a renewed
commitment to work together for a fair
budget and for the contract we deserve.
I want to let you know we have some
real problems with Gov. Cuomo’s state
2015-16 budget proposal. First, it
includes no funding increases for state
agencies. With agency budgets remaining
flat, understaffing will continue and
needed public services in communities
will decline.
At the same time, he is talking about
adding temporary workers in both the
Department of Health and the Office of
Information Technology Services. We
must continue to show there is no need
to bring in temporary workers under the
guise of “special skills,” as our members
can do those jobs and should be doing
those jobs. While the nature of work
can change, that should not be used
as justification for the state to bring in
temporary workers, which only serves
to threaten our members’ job security,
impede job advancement and undermine
NEW YEAR’S EVE ACTIVISTS — PEF President Susan M. Kent
and other union leaders join educators from around the state
outside the The Executive Mansion on New Year’s Eve to stand
together against attacks on public education and teachers. The
demonstration coincided with the governor’s annual New Year’s
Eve open house. — Photos by Paul Seeger
The Communicator February 2015 — Page 7
Meet PEF’s PS&T Contract Team
As time runs out on the 2011-15
PS&T contract that expires April 1, the
union’s team for negotiating a successor
agreement is completing its training and
developing its bargaining demands and
The team is also reviewing how the
existing contract language has been
interpreted and is reviewing problems and
issues raised by members.
“I am very proud of this contract
team, its members and our professional
negotiators. I am confident in their ability
to negotiate a fair agreement that will
preserve and advance the rights and needs
of our members,” said PEF President
Susan M. Kent.
Lead negotiators
PEF’s directors of labor relations and
contract administration are the chief
negotiators for the union and bring many
years of experience and training to that
role. The team also will be assisted by
highly experienced staff from those and
other departments as needed.
• Jim Hair is PEF director of labor
relations. He joined
PEF staff as a field
representative after 12
years of service with
the state where he
led the PEF division
at Capital District
Psychiatric Center. He
brings many years of
experience, activism
and leadership
with locals of the
International Union
of Electrical Workers, the Civil Service
Employees Association, and the United
Steelworkers, as well as PEF.
Hair has 20 years of experience as a
PEF field representative and has been
director of labor relations since 2012.
“I’ve always been a union man,” Hair
said. “I’ve always represented workers.”
• Elizabeth Hough is PEF’s director
of contract
administration where
she is responsible
for central
administration of
the PS&T contract
and for contract
negotiations, along
with the PEF director
of labor relations.
Hough is an
Page 8 — The Communicator February 2015
attorney with 30 years of experience
serving on contract negotiating teams for
PEF and other unions, including locals
of the United Steelworkers, United Auto
Workers and the Hotel Employees and
Restaurant Employees.
She has 20 years experience in PEF’s
Contract Administration Department and
has been deeply involved in every round of
PS&T Unit negotiations since 1995. (The
current PS&T contract that expires April 1,
2015, is the fifth such agreement.)
Hough also is involved in negotiations of
contracts for bargaining units of non-state
workers represented by PEF.
Contract team members
The 17 members of the team also bring
a broad array of experience and insights to
the process. PEF members of the contract
team are:
• Wayne Bayer is a PEF vice
president and an environmental program
specialist 2 at the
state Department
of Environmental
Conservation in
A longtime labor
activist in PEF Region
8, he is a steward
of PEF Division 169
in Region 8. He is a
member of the PEF
Executive Council and
Executive Board. He
chairs PEF’s Political Action Committee
and serves on the Political Action Advisory
on Executive Committee.
Bayer has been a state employee for
approximately 34 years.
As an executive assistant to PEF’s
second president, Betty Hoke, Bayer
worked with the PS&T Contract Team
during her administration.
“As a shop steward, I primarily
focused on certain contract articles
for representing members and their
grievances. Now, I’m also getting an indepth appreciation of the contract directly
relevant to the institutional employees and
parole officers,” Bayer said.
“I feel it’s not only important to take
care of longtime PS&T employees in this
contract, but also the newer and future
Bayer said the working standards,
wages and benefits in contracts such as
PEF’s are important to all workers because
they influence these standards in the
competitive labor market.
“Unions and workers’ rights have
been under attack and demonized by
opportunistic politicians and the news
media,” Bayer said. “We in the labor
movement are, in practice, ‘the People’s
Defense Department.’”
• Doug Begent is a teaching and
research center nurse 3, at NYS Stony
Brook University
Hospital on Long
Island in Region
12. With 33 years
of state service, he
is a member of the
PEF Executive Board
and a steward and
member mobilizer
in PEF Division
225. He serves on
the PS&T Contract
Article 44 Committee on Nursing and
Institutional Issues and also serves on the
PEF and SUNY Joint Labor-Management
Begent said he is stimulated by the
challenge of serving on the contract team
and feels he brings a good understanding
of the needs of nurses and health care
workers, particularly at Stony Brook and
downstate regions, to the negotiations.
• Ron Brown is a PEF trustee and
works as a dairy
products specialist
1 at the state
Department of
Agriculture and
Markets in Utica,
PEF Region 6. He
is assistant council
leader and a steward
of PEF Division
275 and serves on
the PEF Executive
Council, Executive
Board, Political Action Committee and the
joint labor-management committee at his
With 32 years of state service, Brown
said, “I was excited to have the opportunity
to serve on our PS&T Contract Team. We
have a lot of smart
people on our team.”
• Christopher
Buman is a labor
services representative
(program specialist)
trainee 2, disabled
veterans outreach, for
the Labor Department
in PEF Region 1,
western New York.
PEF Information Line: 1-800-553-2445
He is a steward and the council leader of
PEF Division 221 and a member of the PEF
Veterans Committee. With two years of
state service, he has already been a council
leader for a year. A former Marine, he is a
disabled veteran.
Buman’s experience as a former
temporary hourly worker in the PS&T
Unit, brings an additional dimension of
understanding and insights to the team.
• Cathy Coty is a teacher 4 at Marcy
Correctional Facility in PEF Region 6.
She is a member of the PEF Executive
Board and member
of Division 375.
She has served in
every position at the
local level during
her service at the
state Department
of Corrections
and Community
Coty also serves
on the PEF LaborManagement Committee. Coty has 25 years
of state service and began her PEF activism
almost as soon as she became a member.
Coty describes herself as a
“no-nonsense kind of person,” who was
encouraged by other PEF members on the
statewide labor-management committee
to accept the invitation to serve on the
contract team.
• Amy DeMarco is a research scientist 2
at the state Health Department in Albany.
With 10 years of state service, she is a
member of the PEF
Executive Board, and
a steward in Division
205. She serves on
the PS&T Contract
Article 19 Joint
Committee on Parking
and on the Joint
Committee at DOH.
“I felt really proud
and honored when
they asked me to join
the contract team,” DeMarco said. “It’s an
opportunity to express my commitment to
my fellow workers in the most important
way. I will not take collective bargaining
for granted. I want to ‘pay it forward’ for all
of our members the way our parents and
grandparents have done for us.”
• Steve Geyer is an engineer in charge
at the state Transportation Department
in PEF Region 8. He has 29 years of
state service. Geyer serves on the PEF
Executive Board and is council leader and
a steward of Division
172. He also is a
member of the Joint
Committee at DOT.
Geyer said he
wants to help the
contract team “achieve
a contract that is fair
and equitable and that
represents the hard
work, dedication and
professionalism put
forth by our members on a daily basis. I
am also here to ensure my DOT brothers
and sisters have a voice in this negotiation
• Kenneth Johnson is a claims services
representative 1 at the state Insurance
Fund (SIF) in New
York City, PEF Region
10, where he has
worked for the last 28
years. He is a trustee
of PEF and a steward
and the council leader
of Division 240.
Johnson serves on
the PEF Executive
Board and Executive
Council, the Political
Action Advisory Committee, the Political
Action Committee, the SIF Joint LaborManagement Committee and the PEFGOER Joint Health and Safety Committee.
“When I was asked to serve on the
contract team, I jumped on it,” Johnson
said. “I’ve been told I’m a voice of reason
and a good negotiator. There’s a level of
calm you must have, a level of focus and
direction that comes with having a plan to
achieve what we set out to do. I definitely
want to get an equitable agreement.”
• Maureen Kellman, who chairs the
PS&T Contract Team, is an associate
actuary for the state Department of
Financial Services in
New York City.
A PEF Region 10
member with 24 years
of state service, she
is a PEF trustee and
serves on the PEF
Executive Board and
Executive Council.
She is a steward of
Division 260. She also
serves on the PEF
Women’s Committee.
“I felt honored to be asked to chair our
contract team,” Kellman said. “As a
rule, I’m a humble, but fearless person.
I feel my greatest strengths are that I’m
level-headed, and a good tactician and
• Mike Kinley is a supervising
professional conduct investigator at
the state Education
Department (SED) in
Albany, PEF Region
8. He is a member
of the PEF Executive
Board and a steward
and the council leader
of Division 349. In
addition, he was a
member of the 2014
PEF Convention
Credentials Committee
and serves on the PEF
Ethics Committee and the PEF Divisions
Kinley has 32 years of state service,
split between SED and the Department of
Corrections and Community Supervision.
“I’m looking at this being my last state
contract before I retire,” Kinley said. “I feel
this is something I must do. My experience
might be valuable to the team. It’s not just
about getting the money for members, but
also in trying to strengthen things in the
contract to help employees in the future.
“We need to show governors now and
in the future they can’t always expect
employees to give and never take anything
back. There’s a certain tipping point. There
has to be more substance than just a pat
on the back.”
• Prakash Lal is an information
technology specialist 4 at the state Office
of Information Technology Services in the
Capital District, PEF
Region 8.
He was a
delegate to the 2014
PEF Convention,
representing PEF
Division 357. He
has 16 years of state
service, beginning at
the state Insurance
Fund, moving to the
Office of Mental Health
and then to the Office
for Technology which has morphed into the
Office of Information Technology Services.
Lal said he is “happy to be on the contract
team and to have this opportunity to get
something good for our members.”
(Continued on next page)
The Communicator February 2015 — Page 9
(Continued from previous page)
• Victor Antonio (Tony) Perez is
a parole revocation specialist 1 at the
state Department
of Corrections and
Community Services
in New York City, PEF
Region 10. He has 25
years of state service
and is a member of
the PEF Executive
Board. He is PEF
chair of the Joint
Committee at DOCCS.
He is a steward and
the council leader of PEF Division 236.
He also is a vice president of the Hispanic
Committee of PEF.
Perez said he has always liked to
work behind the scenes to resolve issues
and organize members. He hopes the
contract negotiations will provide another
opportunity to address issues and improve
working conditions for PEF members
in parole services and throughout state
• Barbara Rock is a community mental
health nurse at Buffalo Psychiatric Center
in PEF Region 1. She
is a member of the
PEF Executive Board
and a steward and
the council leader of
PEF Division 180. She
chairs the PEF Nurses
Committee. She was
a member of the
2014 PEF Convention
Rock, who has 35
years of state service,
said she has reached a point in her career
where it is easier for her to take on the
responsibility of serving on the team than
it would be for younger members with
family obligations.
“I think the younger and future
members and leaders of PEF need strong
representation,” Rock said.
• Ron Sampath is a child protective
services specialist 2 at the state Office of
Children and Family
Services in the Capital
District, PEF Region
8. He is a member
of the PEF Executive
Board and a steward
and the council leader
of Division 234. He
also is a member of
the joint Health and
Safety Committee.
Sampath, who said
he grew up in “a labor
Page 10 — The Communicator February 2015
family” has 12 years of state service and
has been active in PEF for most of that
“I followed the negotiation of our
current PS&T contract as closely as I
could, and I am very impressed with the
knowledge PEF staff are bringing us of how
the state has responded to our issues in
the past negotiations,” Sampath said.
• Sametta Shaw-Lipiec is a physical
therapy assistant 2 at the Central New
York Developmental
Disabilities Services
Office in PEF Region
6. With 18 years of
state service, she has
been active in the
union about five years
and serves on the PEF
Executive Board. She
also is a steward and
the council leader
of Division 189, and
serves on the Joint
Labor-Management Committee at her
Shaw-Lipiec said she felt both privileged
and a bit nervous when she was chosen
to serve on the contract team and try
to represent 54,000 workers at 50 state
agencies and in 2,000 job titles.
“I’m impressed by the diversity of our
team both regionally and in terms of job
titles,” she said.
• Vivian Street is a developmental
disabilities program specialist 2 at Hudson
Valley Developmental
Disabilities Services
Office in PEF Region 9
where she is the PEF
regional coordinator.
Street also is a
steward of Division
276 and she
serves on the PEF
Executive Council,
the Joint PEF-NYS
Governor’s Office of
Employee Relations
Committee on Special
Assignments, the Joint Labor-Management
Committee at the state Office for People
with Developmental Disabilities, the PEF
Political Action Committee, the PEF Special
Assignment to Duty Pay Committee and
the PEF Special Elections Committee.
After 38 years of state service and
taking an active role in the union from
its early years, Street said she sees her
service on the contract team “as a final,
parting gift in terms of what I can do for
PEF members.”
Street said, “I commend the PEF
members on my team at Rockland
Community Support and the PEF Region
9 staff who are all stepping up to help
me there because they understand and
appreciate the importance of what I’m
doing here.”
• Barbara Ulmer is a PEF vice president
and a tax technician 2, corporations at the
state Department of
Taxation and Finance
in PEF Region 8.
Ulmer has nearly 30
years of state service,
including time at the
Thruway Authority
and at SED, before
moving to Taxation
and Finance.
Ulmer serves on
the PEF Executive
Board and is a steward of Division 190.
She chairs the PEF Convention Committee
and the PEF Women’s Committee.
As convention chair, Ulmer has
experience negotiating contracts with
“I’m eager to get the negotiations
started,” Ulmer said. “I’m optimistic we can
get a good agreement for our members.
The state’s in a different financial position
than it was four years ago. We’ve ‘paid
our dues,’ and we also have a very good
negotiating team, so I’m optimistic.”
If you have not already submitted
your comments or concerns about the
contract, send them to [email protected] All comments will be submitted
to the contract team for its review and
Coming To A Region Near You!
The PS&T Contract team —
Uniting together to fight for the contract we deserve!
PEF Members: Stay informed about the PS&T Contract negotiations!
PEF Information Line: 1-800-553-2445
PEF Board holds December meeting
The PEF Executive Board dealt with
several important issues at its
meeting December 4 and 5 in
Before the meeting agenda
was adopted, the board
debated the president’s and
secretary-treasurer’s decision to allow its
proceedings to be video recorded by PEF
staff for posting on the members-only
section of the union’s website. The board
voted to not allow such recordings.
Following a debate held in executive
(private) session, the board voted 95-0
to approve a four-year contract with PEF
staff, who are represented by United
Steelworkers Local 9265. The agreement,
which had already been ratified by the
employees, is from July 1, 2011, when the
previous contract expired, through June
30, 2015.
The pact, which affects more than 100
employees at 13 PEF offices throughout the
state, provides across-the-board pay raises
of: 0.5 percent for the 2011-12 and 201213 contract years; 1 percent for 2013-14
and 2 percent for 2014-15. This broke
PEF’s previous pattern of mirroring the
state contract with regard to across-theboard raises.
Other provisions include maintaining no
premium contribution from staff for health
insurance, but slight increases for co-pays
and quantity limits for some prescription
Also, the pay scale for field
representatives is increased, and they must
now provide a broader scope of services for
PEF members.
Additionally, processes and procedures
for mileage reporting were agreed to for
staff who receive car allowances.
In a public statement after the
meeting, PEF President Susan M. Kent
acknowledged the contributions from the
members of both negotiating teams, saying
both sides worked diligently during this
lengthy process.
“The Executive Board overwhelmingly
agrees this is a fair contract between PEF
and USW,” Kent said. “As the president of
a union, I am proud of this contract which
recognizes the value of the USW staff while
giving PEF the accountability we need for
our members.
“As PEF prepares to negotiate with the
state in 2015, this agreement also serves
as an example that employees can be
valued in any economic climate, as this
contract covers a time period during which
PEF members were offered zeroes in their
NEW E BOARD MEMBERS – New members of the PEF Executive Board take the
oath of office at the board’s December meeting in Albany. They are Barrington Scott,
Kashani Ratnayake, Tony Nuciforo, Nick Diehl and Kay Wilkie. — Photo by Sherry Halbrook
contract. This administration is pleased to
finalize this pact with USW and is devoted
to fighting for the contract PEF-represented
members deserve,” Kent said.
USW Local 9265 President Bob
Beckwith said, “While negotiations were
long and difficult, it was the solidarity
demonstrated by USW members that led
to a fair contract. This allows us to move
forward to continue to fight for the rights,
benefits and safety of PEF members.”
In an unusual departure from PEF
history, the board chose to not act on an
adjustment to pay and benefits for the
union’s management/confidential staff,
leaving an inequity among the PEF staff in
terms of pay and benefits.
Organizing new members
The president outlined many important
issues with which the union is dealing,
including some that threaten the jobs of
PEF members. Privatization and increased
contracting with private organizations
for state services continues to be a major
threat, Kent said.
One way, PEF can counter this
challenge, she said, is by organizing the
employees of those private organizations
and bringing them into PEF.
“We’ve been looking at some groups of
employees who want to be part of PEF,”
Kent said. “The workers want better
education and training, and they want dueprocess protections. I ask your support for
organizing these workers.”
One board member said she wanted
to help the workers, but feared they
would take away the jobs of current PEF
Kent said the union will fight to protect
the jobs of its current members.
“It’s a far better position if PEF
represents workers in non-state settings as
well,” Kent said. “If we are all one union,
we can speak with one voice.”
After hearing the details of one of these
organizing efforts from PEF Director of
Organizing Joel LeFevre and one of his
staff, and debating the issue, the board
members voted unanimously to support
the project.
More information about this campaign
will be made public when the effort is more
PEF Secretary-Treasurer Carlos
J. Garcia told the board members
that currently PEF is representing
approximately 3,000 bargaining unit
members who have not signed and
submitted PEF membership cards.
“You should be asking new employees to
join PEF,” he said.
Fighting for members
Kent reported on testimony she was
giving at legislative hearings, media
interviews and efforts to alert New York’s
representatives in Washington about
threats to New York state services.
The president said she is focusing
attention and resources on exposing the
pitfalls of using design-build contracts for
highway, bridge and other government
construction projects. Instead of relying
on state employees, this process invites
“mega” contractors to submit a single bid
on doing every part of a public project
from initial design, engineering, and
architecture, to the construction and
inspection. The process, she said, shuts
out both state employees and local, small
companies and often gives the work to
out-of-state businesses. It also greatly
reduces state oversight and accountability.
Contrary to what design-build supporters
(Continued on next page)
The Communicator February 2015 — Page 11
(Continued from previous page)
may say, Kent said it can
end up costing New York
taxpayers more.
“We are using every tool
in our arsenal to fight this
threat,” Kent said.
She also talked about
how cuts in federal funding are threatening
jobs at the state Labor Department (DOL)
and other state agencies. After her meeting
with his staff, Sen. Charles Schumer
helped head off some layoffs at the DOL,
“but now there is a new threat.”
Kent said she also has helped PEF
leaders at the state Office for People with
Developmental Disabilities press that
agency to do more to help PS&T employees
who are being displaced by the closing of
some facilities and programs.
“Each state agency needs to be
pressured with regard to starting the ARTL
(Agency Reduction Transfer List) process
earlier,” Kent said. “It should be used
as soon as possible.” She cited specific
problems at O.D. Heck Developmental
Center in Schenectady where employees
received letters from the facility about job
placements, but the facility’s commitment
to that notification is now in question.
“We must be hand-in-glove on all
of these issues. We can’t work alone.
Everybody needs to know what’s going on,”
she said.
Kent encouraged board members
and PEF divisions whose members are
experiencing problems with the state’s new
Justice Center to work with their PEF field
The president said PEF is closely
monitoring civil service issues relating to
the state’s “Fellows” program.
While the union cannot expect to win
every battle, she said, it does intend
to fight for fairness and to protect its
members and the public services they
“We must be a militant, purpose-driven
union,” Kent urged. “We cannot gauge
what we do by saying, ‘If we’re not sure
we’re going to win, we’re not going to do it.’
Union work is never done. We must work
together to build internal union strength.”
She also reported that Dr. Fred Hyde,
who was paid by the American Federation
of Teachers to provide strategies for solving
Downstate Medical Center’s financial
issues, is now helping PEF members at
Eastern Niagara Hospital in Lockport who
are in contract negotiations with that
facility. Preserving employees’ definedbenefit pensions is a major sticking point,
she said.
In addition, Kent reported on contract
negotiations for PEF members who work
Page 12 — The Communicator February 2015
for Alleghany County where management
proposed dramatic shifts in health care
“All of the resources of this union will
be put to work on behalf of our smaller
and larger bargaining units in contract
talks,” Kent said.
When a board member reported a state
agency is not backfilling vacancies until
it has gone through a “certain number
of lean management exercises,” and the
agency is using that process to create more
opportunities for giving the work to private
contractors, Kent urged PEF leaders
to bring such issues to their PEF field
representatives and “put it on your labormanagement committee agendas.”
A regional coordinator said he sees
agencies increasing workload and using
that as an excuse to hire more contractors
if state employees can’t keep up.
Appeal to ethics ruling
The board heard evidence and then
debated an appeal to a ruling by a PEF
ethics hearing panel relating to the use of
a PEF purchase card by the council leader
of a PEF division. The same individual also
serves on the Executive Board and as a
regional political action committee chair.
The hearing panel had ordered the
council leader to reimburse PEF for any
charges to the card that could not be
sufficiently substantiated as legitimate
division expenses as she had been
instructed to do by the secretary-treasurer
six months earlier.
The legitimacy of some charges was
difficult to verify because, when the use
of PEF purchase cards was introduced
in 2009, PEF did not institute a policy
requiring detailed receipts for purchases
made with the cards.
The board heard testimony from the
council leader and from members of the
affected division, and then debated how to
address the issue. The board voted 80-19
to find the council leader, Debbie Lee,
guilty of violating provision 10 of the PEF
Code of Ethics which states:
“10. No elected official shall
engage in corrupt or unethical
practices by taking money,
books, records or other property
belonging to PEF or its divisions.
The unauthorized destruction;
alteration; or mutilation of records,
vouchers, or receipts will constitute
a violation of this code.”
The board banned Lee from PEF
membership for a minimum of three years.
After that, she may petition the board for
permission to rejoin the union.
Kent said the American Federation
of Teachers, which is one of PEF’s two
international union affiliates, has agreed to
conduct a forensic audit of these division
financial records.
Financial protections
The responsibility for protecting the
integrity of division finances starts with
the members and stewards of those
divisions, PEF Secretary-Treasurer Carlos
J. Garcia said.
Garcia announced he was notifying all
officers of PEF divisions and other PEF
officials they must retain detailed receipts
for all expenditures of union monies. He
emphasized how important it is for PEF
divisions and regions to comply with all of
the financial reports, record-keeping and
audit requirements of the union and of
federal labor law and regulations.
Garcia said a division’s steward council
is responsible for auditing the division’s
financial records and submitting those
audit reports to PEF.
“We’ve received audits from 166 of
PEF’s 223 divisions. That’s 74.4 percent
compliance,” he reported.
Garcia said, effective January 15,
he will completely eliminate the use
of purchase cards by PEF divisions
and require them to use checks for
their financial transactions. The PEF
constitution requires the signatures of two
officers for each expenditure.
Some board members said it is difficult
to recruit members to hold division office
and to serve on division committees.
They also said it can be difficult for
PEF divisions to get the two required
signatures if the divisions cover members
in most or all of the state and the officers
whose signatures are required live and
work hundreds of miles apart. They
also reported their PEF division checks
are sometimes rejected by merchants
because the division’s address and contact
information are not printed on the checks.
In a response to a request that he defer
eliminating the use of purchase cards until
better controls could be instituted, Garcia
said, “We have internal controls, but
people are not in compliance.
“In addition, there is no way to comply
with the constitutional requirement of a
two-person sign-off prior to expending
funds with a PEF bank card.”
The board then approved a motion to
delay Garcia’s intended elimination of the
bank cards until he is able to do research
to determine if the card could be continued
while still maintaining constitutional
The board approved a request from
Garcia that it reimburse Region 9
Coordinator Vivian Street for two days of
accrued leave she lost while doing PEF
PEF Information Line: 1-800-553-2445
PEF mourns longtime Reg. 9 leader Neila Cardus
Many PEF members and retirees were
shocked and saddened in late January
to learn of the death of former Region 9
Coordinator Cornelia E. (Neila) Cardus.
Cardus, 66, died peacefully at her
home in Millbrook January 24. She is
survived by her son Michael Cardus and
his wife and children, who live in Buffalo,
and by her daughter Alyssa Cardus, of
A founding member of PEF, she retired
in the fall of 2009 from the regional
coordinator post she had held for 24
years. She retired from state service after
32 years working for the state Office of
Mental Retardation and Developmental
Disabilities (now called the Office for
People with Developmental Disabilities),
at Wassaic Developmental Center (now
the Taconic Developmental Disabilities
Services Office), where she was council
leader of PEF division 248 and was
elected to the PEF Executive Board before
becoming regional coordinator.
Cardus’ dynamic style and passion
for the union, for Region 9 members and
for the public they serve made a strong
impression on many people.
“She did a good job, which was attested
to by all of the times she was re-elected.
Neila always wanted the best for her
region and for the people in her region,”
recalled PEF’s third president, Rand
Condell. “We didn’t always agree, but
disagreement was fine with her. There was
never any malice involved.”
“Neila’s the one who got me involved
business, because the state would not
allow her to claim employee organizational
leave for that time.
Division election appeals
The board also heard an appeal to the
decision of the PEF Divisions Committee
in the election of a division council leader.
The nominating petitions of one of the two
candidates were rejected because they were
submitted through the regional PEF office
rather than directly to PEF headquarters
as required. The PEF Divisions Committee
found the candidate should have been told
her petitions were invalid so she could
submit others.
The committee ruled the office of council
leader should be vacated and the election
should be run again. The council leader
who had been seated as the only certified
candidate, appealed that decision to the
Executive Board.
During the board’s discussion,
in PEF,” said Vivian
Street, who has been
Region 9 coordinator
since Cardus retired.
“She also got me
involved in the Black
Caucus of PEF and
the PEF Women’s
Committee. She
introduced me to
a broader union
perspective beyond my
“Neila was totally committed to
PEF,” Street said. “She was such a good
advocate and cared so much about the
members. She would go to great lengths
and would do whatever she had to do to
support the cause and the union.”
Former PEF Executive Board member
and now a Region 9 field representative,
Ron Greene became a close friend to Neila
and her family. Now an ordained minister,
he conducted the memorial service for
Neila’s husband, Jim, when he died
several years ago.
Greene said he was working for the
NYS Division for Youth (now the Office
for Children and Family Services) at its
Highland Center when federal funding for
it was threatened and the DFY announced
it would close the center.
“I led a letter-writing campaign to save
the facility,” Greene said, “and when Neila
heard about it, she said, ‘Who is this guy?
We’ve got to get him involved in PEF!’
“I was just a member doing what I had
to do,” Greene said, “but Neila got me to
run for council leader of PEF Division 270,
then for the Executive Board and then
she convinced me to become the Region
9 Political Action Committee chair. That’s
how she could draw you in over a period
of years and just keep getting you more
Greene gave Cardus high marks for
her skill in building support for PEF and
its issues in the state Legislature and in
“When it came to working with
politicians, Neila was the best. President
Bill Clinton is the only person I ever saw
who was better than Neila at working a
room full of politicians. She would go up
to every person and know them by name
and start talking to them about things
important to them. She really knew how to
bring people together.”
Sara Dempsey is another PEF Region
9 field representative and she, too, credits
Cardus for changing her life.
“I started out as a secretary from a
temp agency,” Dempsey said. “Neila is
the one who gave me the idea that I could
become a field rep. She fought for me to
get this position. She was amazing and
a real force to be reckoned with. She
had a firm handle on every situation she
encountered. I learned so much from her.
I learned how to do this job and how to
really care about the people I serve. She
saw something in me, I didn’t even see in
myself until she brought it out in me.
“Above all, Neila loved her family and
her members. I will miss her.”
information was provided that there is no
process in place to notify candidates during
the election period who have submitted an
invalid petition.
The board voted to order a new election.
In a separate appeal regarding steward
elections in Division 373, the board
overturned the Division Committee’s
decision. The election will be held again.
members for each seat. The information
was supplied to them and they filed a
petition requesting the opportunity to
caucus and do the apportionment again.
The delegates caucused again October
1, the final day of the convention. The
apportionment published in the DecemberJanuary issue of The Communicator with
the rules for the 2015 triennial elections
was the result of the second caucus.
That apportionment was challenged by a
board member from Taxation and Finance
in Region 8.
After hearing from witnesses and
debating the issue, the board voted to
uphold the first apportionment.
However, Kent said that decision
created a “constitutional crisis” because
the PEF constitution specifically states the
delegates must decide how to apportion
representation of members, not the
Executive Board.
Board apportionment
The board debated how to deal with
an issue regarding how constituencies
were apportioned at the PEF convention
for Executive Board representation of
members at the state Department of
Taxation and Finance. The delegates from
that agency caucused Monday, September
29, to apportion their board seats.
However, the next day (Tuesday), several
of the delegates went to PEF statewide
officers and protested that they were
denied information about the number of
The Communicator February 2015 — Page 13
A message from PEF Retirees President Jim Carr
in action
Watch out for dirty, dark-of-night deals
As I reflect on the past year and
contemplate this new year, I think of
Faith Hallock, the founder and first
president of our PEF Retirees Chapter
2 in Elmira and the Southern Tier. She
was not only the founder of Chapter 2,
she was a true activist who fought for
the rights of women, workers and senior
citizens. Faith gave integrity to the word
activist because she was an effective one
who always had sincere intentions and
knew how to get results.
Some of you “old timers” may
remember Faith because she was the
first woman parole officer in the state
and she was never shy about speaking
her mind. I remember one time when
I was PEF Region 2 coordinator and
we were holding our legislative
reception. Faith pulled me aside and
gave me some blunt advice that still
rings true today. She said, “You’ve
got to watch these bastards because
they will pass a bill in the dark of
night to screw you over!”
Her words rang in my years as I
read about the 201415 federal budget that
passed and contains
a lot of non-budgetrelated policy riders
done mostly in the
dark of night behind
closed doors. The
Kline-Miller amendment
to the Consolidated
Further Continuing
Appropriations Act of
2015 is one of them. It allows the firstever cuts to vested pension benefits.
A publication of the AARP (American
Association of Retired People) warns:
“Secret Attack Holds Consequences
for Over 100,000 Retirees – New York
Pension Cuts? What’s at stake in
Congress’ Backroom Pension Deal?”
This move is really a hit to New
Yorkers already living on very modest
incomes. In some cases, retirees in
New York could see their combined
Social Security and pension income
slashed by 21 percent.
Elections have consequences and we
are beginning to see them in the terrible
non-budget-related riders stuffed into
the federal budget bills. The political
rhetoric is meant to pit young against
old, private worker against public
worker, union worker against non-union
worker. We need to stand together and
demand a secure, dignified retirement
for all!
May my mentor and friend Faith rest
in peace knowing I am still watching the
[email protected]*#*#*s and need your help to try to
keep them honest.
Retiring or Retired?
Join PEF Retirees now!
Membership equals benefits.
Contact PEF Retirees
at 800-342-4306, x289
or [email protected]
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Page 14 — The Communicator February 2015
PEF Information Line: 1-800-553-2445
Action appreciates PEF’s backing
PEF was among the supporters of
the 30th Annual Spinal Cord Society’s
celebration held in Albany in late October.
Approximately 130 people attended the
event including PEF President Susan M.
Kent who is a member of the Honorary
The Capital District Chapter of the
Spinal Cord Society is comprised of
volunteers who work together to help
strengthen the research fund and find a
Paul Richter, chairman of special events
for the society, said a spinal cord injury
affects a person for a lifetime.
“This has been a neglected area of
research,” Richter said. “Many
CARRof the
injuries are sustained by people age 17 to
30, and they are paralyzed for life. They
have diving and motorcycle accidents,
but the majority of spinal cord injuries
are caused by motor vehicle accidents.
Often their injuries affect internal organs.
Currently, there is no known cure for
spinal cord injury paralysis.”
“This event, which PEF has been a
part of for 30 years, is a very unique and
rewarding experience,” Kent said. “Along
A message from PEF Retirees President Jim Carr
Retirees headline to go here
HOPING FOR A CURE – PEF Vice President Wayne Bayer, President Susan M.
Kent, Paul Richter, Vice President Barbara Ulmer, Secretary-Treasurer Carlos J.
Garcia and Gustavo Santos pose for a photo at the Annual Spinal Cord Society’s
— Photo by Paulsen Photography
with the supporters of the society, those
affected by spinal cord injuries also attend.
It is a way for people with similar injuries
to connect, and for us to realize how much
more awareness is needed.”
Richter said the society is thankful for
PEF’s long-time support and its loyalty.
— Deborah A. Miles
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The Communicator February 2015 — Page 15
10 The Communicator February 2015
PEF HotLine 800-553-2445
Parole officers make holidays brighter for deserving
parolee families
The conference room at PEF
headquarters in Latham was transformed
into a Santa’s workshop December 13.
More than a dozen volunteers, mainly
parole officers, came together to wrap
hundreds of gifts for nine parolee families.
They each received food baskets, and
toys, games, cloths, linens, even table-top
Christmas trees.
PEF President Susan M. Kent said this
24-year tradition illustrates how PEFrepresented parole officers are an example
of how dedicated PEF members are to
their communities. “This annual event has a significant
and positive effect on the recipients,” Kent
said. “It shows how encouragement and
support can help make a difference in
someone’s life. It also is a shining example
of how members use their own time to
enhance their public service.”
Walter Jones, a parolee who was invited
to pick up gifts for his six grandchildren
who live with him, was overwhelmed.
“This is really incredible,” Jones said.
“Without this, the children wouldn’t have
much of a Christmas. I was told you have
to stay strong and have faith. This is an
answer to a prayer.”
HAPPY HOLIDAYS — Children and
family members of deserving parolees
receive gifts wrapped by parole
officers and other volunteers at PEF
HQ. (Above) One parolee explained his
delight to a FOX TV reporter.
— Photos by Deborah A. Miles
Susan Jeffords,
a parole revocation
specialist and the
event’s organizer,
added, “It makes a
big difference when
someone is trying to
succeed at a new life,
and receives kindness
from others. This
event helps deserving parolees and their
families realize people care and want to
help them succeed in turning their
lives around.”
The gifts, toys and cash contributions
were made by PEF, parole officers, Albany
County’s Public Defender’s Office and
Alternative Defenders Office, Kindlon,
Shanks and Associates, and staff from
the state Department of Corrections and
Community Supervision.
— Deborah A. Miles
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The Communicator February 2015 — Page 17
PEF Vice President Barbara
Ulmer and PEF retiree Oji
Reed present a check to
St. Margaret’s Center in
Albany. The event coincided
with a run by a state
motorcycle club, comprised
of parole and police officers,
called the Renegade Pigs
of New York. Santa also
visited the children at St.
— Photos by Scott Morlock
• Local unions must elect their officers by secretballot; international union and intermediate bodies
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members or by delegates chosen by
secret ballot.
• International unions must hold
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intermediate bodies every four years,
and local unions every three years.
• Unions must comply with a
candidate’s request to distribute campaign
material to members at the candidate’s own
expense and must also refrain from discriminating
against any candidate with respect to the use of
membership lists. Candidates have the right to inspect
a list containing the names and addresses of
members subject to a union security agreement within
30 days prior to the election.
• A member in good standing has the right to
nominate candidates, to be a candidate subject to
reasonable qualifications uniformly imposed, to hold
office, and to support and vote for the candidates of
the member’s choice.
• Unions must mail a notice of election to every
member at the member’s last-known home address at
least 15 days prior to the election.
• A member whose dues have been withheld by
an employer may not be declared ineligible to vote or
to be a candidate for office by reason of alleged delay
or default in the payment of dues.
• Unions must conduct regular
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and preserve all election records for
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• Union and employer funds may
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• Union members who have exhausted internal
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The Communicator December 2014 - January 2015 — Page 9
PEF Information Line: 1-800-553-2445
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February 2015 The Communicator 13
Shadowing a parole officer
Danger lurks behind ever
Story and Photos By
On a rainy and foggy mid-December
night, a dimly lit street in Troy became
the backdrop for a highly organized
pursuit of a parolee who had absconded.
Red lights glared off the wet street as six
state parole officers and three Troy police
officers entered an old row house to serve
a warrant and arrest the parolee.
Parole Officer Jess Premo was part of
the action.
“It’s a good thing we had so many
officers there,” Premo said. “There is less
chance of something going wrong. We had
our body armor on and our guns drawn,
but we were able to take the parolee into
custody without incident.”
Premo is one of the younger POs
working out of the Albany office. He’s been
there eight years and has always been
drawn to law enforcement. He doesn’t fit
the old stereotype image of a big, burly,
tough guy. Instead, he is tall, slender and
has piercing steel-blue eyes. He dresses
casually in jeans and a jacket, and is
straightforward and polite. But he has the
grit to deal with very nasty felons.
He credits his fellow POs, and said
more women are on the force and do an
outstanding job.
The next morning
Less than 12 hours after capturing the
absconder, Premo was knocking on a door
in another section of Troy to check on a
sex offender, “Tim.” His apartment was
dark, small and uncluttered. The aroma
of a freshly brewed pot of coffee filled the
air as Premo’s eyes scanned the kitchen,
looking for anything inappropriate such
as a pornography magazine or evidence
of drugs. He checked the inside of the
refrigerator and looked on top. There was
nothing, but Tim had colored his all-gray
hair to dark brown.
Premo takes out his cell phone and tells
Tim to stand still while he takes a photo to
update his file.
Tim cooperates and poses for a mug
shot. He knows the drill without being
asked. He stands for a front-view shot, and
then turns sideways.
Still standing with his arms crossed in
front of his chest, Tim starts talking.
“Officer Premo was there to pick me
when up when I was released from prison
around three years ago. He has helped me
in many ways. He has been my mentor
and guide. He keeps me in check. I realize
my freedom and what it takes to stay out
here. I’m walking the line.
“I’ve had a couple of hiccups when I
was unsure of things. But I can always
call and Officer Premo tells me what I can’t
do and can do. He doesn’t let me get away
with anything. He questions me. He’ll give
me all the rope I need to hang myself.”
Tim laughs. “I have learned from him and
others like him to become a better person.
That’s why we need role models to help us
build better values and morals.”
Premo leaves and walks up an old
squeaky wooden partially winding
staircase and taps on the glass window of
another apartment door. “Norman” opens
it and looks surprised. The partially bald
and overweight man backs up allowing his
PO to enter and scan the room. Norman
has been out of prison for 13 months and
unable to find a job. Along with being a
sex offender, his age and arthritic medical
condition play a role in his unemployment
“It’s tough coming out of prison. When I
felt frustrated and wanted to beat my head
against the wall, I’d call Officer Premo and
tell him I am having a tough week. And he
stopped in to see me to make sure I’m OK.
He helps me in a whole bunch of ways. He
went online to find my brother who had
passed away,” Norman said.
Premo gives the small living area a final
check and tells Norman to keep looking for
a job. He looks this parolee straight in the
eye and says, “I’ll be back.”
Sudden violence
Parole officers don’t have a standard
daily routine. They often mentally plan
their day, but when parolees are involved,
anything can happen.
Early in December, Premo was catching
up on detailed and extensive paperwork
every parole officer must do. Inside the
Albany parole office, one of his parolees
tested positive for drugs. He resisted arrest
and lunged into the walls. It took multiple
POs to take the parolee down to the
ground to prevent further injury to him or
the staff. Dents mark the walls where the
incident took place.
A few months prior, another parolee
attempted to escape custody and a couple
of the POs suffered torn ligaments in their
shoulders and fingers from the brawl.
Incidents such as these do occur, but
not every day. Approximately 50 parole
officers work in the Albany office, and
meet with parolees on a regular basis.
The waiting room is filled to capacity with
parolees from 11 counties. Approximately
150 to 200 are questioned and urinetested on the day when they are required
to report.
Special cases
Many POs have more than 100 cases,
as the PO workforce has dwindled from
1,000 to fewer than 800. Premo supervises
16 of the state’s 2,300 parolees who were
Page 20 — The Communicator February 2015
PEF Information Line: 1-800-553-2445
ry door
convicted of sex crimes.
“I have a reduced caseload because the
ones I have are more intense and require
more supervision. They have committed
multiple and all kinds of sex offenses. They
are in a SIST (Strict Intensive Supervision
and Treatment) program. Their supervision
could last a lifetime,” he said.
Some of the parolees Premo supervises
must wear a GPS ankle bracelet. They have
his cell phone number and don’t hesitate
to call. On the way to a private sex-offender
counseling agency, a parolee calls Premo
and asks if he can go to the park to bird
watch. Premo listens as the man explains
there has been a sighting of a rare bird in
his neighborhood. Premo tells him he can’t
Another parolee calls and asks
permission to visit his family for the
Christmas holiday. This one is more
complicated, and Premo tells the man a
plan must be arranged to make sure his
nieces and nephew are never alone with
Arriving at the counseling agency,
Premo is greeted with a smile from Sheri
Roberts, a therapist. His parolees are
required to attend sessions there. Roberts
gives him an update. She protects their
confidentiality by using their initials.
“I’ve been told E.W. is staying overnight
at his girlfriend’s house,” Roberts says,
knowing that is off-limits.
Premo adds that fact to his list, as he
takes notes to document every call, tip,
visit and problem for his reports.
“Most people don’t realize the many
facets of our job,” Premo said. “We work
closely with the police department and
several community organizations. We are
involved with re-entry programs to help
parolees find housing and transportation
as well as placing them in treatment
programs. When we take someone into
custody, we are involved with the hearing
“There are many personal rewards
when you make a difference in someone’s
life. But it is dangerous work and,
unfortunately, parole officers do not have
IN THE FIELD — PO Jess Premo enters
a residence and photographs a paroled
sex offender who dyed his hair.
the same health benefits as other lawenforcement officers.
“The state should realize when we do
our job, we are saving the state money.
Compare the cost of having a felon being
supervised in the community to what it
costs to keep him in jail,” Premo said.
The state Department of Corrections
and Community Supervision issued a
recidivism report in November that stated
9 percent of ex-offenders released in 2010
were sent back to prison based on a new
felony conviction within three years of their
release. That figure is a record low since
monitoring started in 1985, and the report
credits the work of parole officers.
Premo said, “The main thing is to keep
the community safe and prevent another
victim. It’s a cool job. I’m happy to do it.”
PEF continues parity fight for parole officers
While state legislators
prepare to address
hundreds of bills in 2015,
PEF is also revving up its
campaign to bring equity to
parole officers.
In previous years,
hundreds of parole officers lobbied for
legislation that would make just a part of
their benefits equal to those of other lawenforcement officers.
“One of our issues is the right to receive
full-disability compensation when injured
on the job. Presently, parole officers receive
only 60 percent of disability compensation,
while other law-enforcement personnel
receive 100 percent,” said PEF Division
236 Council Leader Tony Perez. “POs put
their lives on the line every day, and we
work arm-in-arm with all law-enforcement
agencies. It is simply reasonable and fair
to expect the same compensation when
doing the same work and receiving the
same injuries in the line of duty.
“We also will continue our lobbying
efforts for the heart-presumption disability
benefit, since parole officers are not
allowed to enter service with any type
of heart condition. We are working on
a new improved bill to introduce to the
Legislature,” Perez added.
In 2014, PEF parole officers from
across the state successfully lobbied the
Legislature. The Parole Officer Parity Bill
was only one vote short of unanimous
support. But it was vetoed by Gov.
Andrew Cuomo.
PEF President Susan M. Kent said
the union is also continuing to challenge
the creation of the offender rehabilitation
coordinator (ORC) title. The position is a
result of the state merging a corrections
counselor with a facility parole officer,
titles which PEF has argued and testified
are separate jobs. The union also filed a
petition to have the title rescinded.
State Supreme Court Justice Richard J.
McNally Jr. dismissed the initial petition in
Kent said PEF appealed McNally’s
decision to the Supreme Court Appellate
Division, Third Department, in midSeptember and is waiting for a decision. — Deborah A. Miles
The Communicator February 2015 — Page 21
contract benefits
Getting paid or not when you are on-call
When Mother Nature or just life’s
circumstances prevent people from going
to work, others are required to be on
standby. Sometimes, questions arise on
whether you are eligible to receive oncall pay.
Article 31 of the PS&T Agreement
deals with standby/on-call pay and
recall assignments.
PEF members in grades 22 and below
are entitled to standby on-call pay if
management requires you to remain
on-call. Some professionals may assume
they are required to remain on-call, but
that doesn’t necessarily mean you are
entitled to on-call pay.
Employees must ask the manager
of their facility or agency if they
are required to remain on-call, and
the manager’s answer is the
determining factor.
“The critical question to ask
your manager is if you will be
subject to discipline if you fail to
answer a work call during offhours,” said Paula Hennessy,
PEF director of health and
safety, training and education.
“If you chose not to answer the phone
or an email, you are not on-call and
not eligible for
standby pay. If
you are required
to answer the
phone and may
be required to
return to work as
a result of that
call, you are oncall and eligible for
standby pay.”
has the right
to decide when
on-call duty is
necessary. But if you
are required to answer the
phone during off-hours and return
to work, management must give you
standby pay. If it does not, an Article 31
grievance should be filed.
PEF members who work from home
are entitled to receive overtime pay.
“Some of our members have asked
if they leave home and return to work,
whether at a worksite or in the field, if
they are entitled to receive a minimum
of a half-day of recall pay,” Hennessy
said. “Article 31 provides a half-day of
recall pay in addition to standby pay.
If management
refuses to pay,
and depending on
the circumstances,
you must file an
Article 7 or Article 31
Hennessy also
said if members are
mandated to perform
off-hour duties or
return to work, and
you refuse, you may
face possible disciplinary
action for insubordination.
If you are overtime eligible
and perform work from
home, you are entitled to
receive overtime pay for the time
actually spent working from home. If
you are required to leave home and
return to work, you are entitled to
receive recall pay.
For more information, contact your
council leader or field representative.
Three mid-term vacancies filled; elections underway
to fill nine more, including two regional coordinators
Jeanette St. Mary has
been elected PEF Region
6 coordinator and Joseph
Chisholm, Leonard
White, Karin Harris,
Ralph Mabb III and
Santhosh Thomas
have been elected to the
PEF Executive Board.
No balloting was
required because
they were the
only petitioners submitting certified
nominations for those posts. They will
serve the remainder of those terms,
which expire July 31, 2015. Chisholm
and White were elected in the 2014
fourth quarter special elections to fill
mid-term vacancies.
Chisholm was elected to fill Board
Seat 20, which represents certain
members at the state Department of
Corrections and Community Supervision
at Attica, Wende, Gowanda, Collins,
Lakeview and Wyoming correctional
White was elected to Seat 410, which
Page 22 — The Communicator February 2015
represents PEF Region 12 members
at Pilgrim Psychiatric Center on Long
Harris, Mabb and Thomas were
elected in 2015 first quarter special
Harris fills Board Seat 295, which
represents members at Mohawk Valley
Psychiatric Center (excluding McPike
ATC), Mohawk Valley Psychiatric Center
for Children and Youth, Central New
York Psychiatric Center and certain
members at the state Office of Mental
Health main office.
Mabb fills Seat 420, which represents
members at the State Department of
Motor Vehicles.
Thomas was elected to Seat 335. It
represents PEF Region 9 members at
Rockland Psychiatric Center, Rockland
Psychiatric Center for Children and
Youth, and the Nathan S. Kline Institute
for Psychiatric Research.
Because more than one nominee was
certified as a candidate to fill each of
the mid-term vacancies in the regional
coordinator posts for PEF Region 7
and PEF Region 12 and for Executive
Board Seat 500 in the 2015 first quarter
special elections, balloting will be
The Region 7 coordinator serves
members working in Clinton, Essex,
Franklin and St. Lawrence counties,
and the Region 12 coordinator serves
members working in Nassau and Suffolk
Sharon Lamb and Edward Snow Jr.
are running for Region 7 coordinator,
and Eugene Deal and Nora Geiser
are the candidates for Region 12
Peter Rea and Melvin Romeyn
Jr. are running for Board Seat 500,
which represents members at the state
Transportation Department’s Region 1
Ballots will be mailed to PEF
members in those constituencies
February 5 by the American Arbitration
Association for return by February 26.
Ballots will be counted by AAA February
No further special elections will
be held until after the PEF Triennial
Elections conclude later this year.
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additional information, contact the PEF Membership Benefits Program.
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Page 24 — The Communicator February 2015
PEF Information Line: 1-800-553-2445
A WORTHY TRADITION – PEF members and retirees volunteer at Albany’s Crossgates Mall to raise money for the 30th
annual Holiday Hunger Appeal on December 14. Shown are Ron Vero, Diane Kenific, Ron Sampath and Bob Harms. A total
of $1,469 was raised that day, including a $500 donation from both PEF Retirees and PEF Region 8.
— Photo by Andrea Coton
Federal Bill of Rights and Election Labor
Management Reporting and Disclosure Act
Title I – Bill of Rights of Union
• Union members have equal rights
to nominate candidates for union office,
vote in union elections, and participate in
union meetings. They may also meet with
other members and express any opinions.
• Unions may impose assessments
and raise dues only by democratic
procedures. • Unions must afford members a full
and fair hearing of charges against them.
• Unions must inform their members
about the provisions of the Labor
Management Reporting and Disclosure
Act (LMRDA).
• Members may enforce Title I rights
through a private suit against the union,
but may be required to exhaust internal
union remedies for up to four months
before filing suit.
• Union members and nonunion
employees may receive and inspect
collective-bargaining agreements. This
right may be enforced by the individual or
by the U.S. secretary of labor.
Title IV – Elections
• Local unions must elect their officers
by secret ballot; international union
and intermediate bodies must elect
their officers by secret-ballot vote of
the members or by delegates chosen by
secret ballot.
• International unions must hold
elections at least every five years,
intermediate bodies every four
years, and local unions every
three years.
• Unions must comply
with a candidate’s
request to distribute
campaign material
to members at the
candidate’s own expense
and must also refrain from
discriminating against any
candidate with respect to the
use of membership lists. Candidates
have the right to inspect a list containing
the names and addresses of members
subject to a union security agreement
within 30 days prior to the election.
• A member in good standing has
the right to nominate candidates, to
be a candidate subject to reasonable
qualifications uniformly imposed, to hold
office, and to support and vote for the
candidates of the member’s choice.
• Unions must mail a notice of election
to every member at the member’s lastknown home address at least 15 days
prior to the election.
• A member whose dues have been
withheld by an employer may not be
declared ineligible to vote or to be a
candidate for office by reason of alleged
delay or default in the payment of dues.
• Unions must conduct regular
elections of officers in accordance
with their constitution and
bylaws and preserve all
election records for one
• Union and employer
funds may not be used
to promote the candidacy
of any candidate. Union
funds may be utilized for
expenses necessary for the
conduct of an election.
• Union members may hold
a secret-ballot vote to remove from
office an elected local union official guilty
of serious misconduct if the secretary
of labor finds the union constitution
and bylaws do not provide adequate
procedures for such a removal.
• Union members who have exhausted
internal union election remedies or who
have invoked such remedies without
obtaining a final decision within three
calendar months after their invocation
may file a complaint with the secretary
within one calendar month thereafter.
• The secretary of labor has authority
to file suit in a federal district court to set
aside an invalid election and to request
the court to order a new election under
the supervision of the secretary and in
accordance with Title IV.
The Communicator February 2015 — Page 25
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Page 26 — The Communicator February 2015
PEF Information Line: 1-800-553-2445
Justice arrives in death of assaulted nurse
The Kingsboro Psychiatric Center in
Brooklyn was the site of a brutal attack on
a PEF-represented nurse on January 31,
2011. Her name was Elenita Congco. She
died in her home five months later.
Shortly after the attack, Congco talked
about that morning when a 23-year old
patient, with martial arts training and
a history of severe psychiatric issues,
climbed on her back. He choked her with
one hand and beat her with the other. At
first, she thought she had died. The only
thing she recalled was not being able to
open her eyes, but Congco heard the sound
of people’s voices saying, “Oh my God,
oh my God, where is all the blood coming
from?” It took nine people to remove the
While recuperating from a concussion,
herniated cervical disc and contusions
throughout her body, Congco spoke
about the aftermath. She wanted to be an
advocate for violence prevention and said,
“Something must be done. Someone could
get killed in there. It could have been me.”
The attacker was arrested for a
misdemeanor. Congco and her only child,
a son who is an airline pilot, spent the next
couple of months in court, with people
from the district attorney’s (DA) office,
lawyers, and from PEF.
PEF helped her
navigate through the
workers’ compensation
system. The incident
was hard-wired into
her soul and every day
it became harder for
Congco to resume the
life she had before the
attack. Post traumatic
stress disorder (PTSD) took over, and she
was afraid to leave her apartment. Afraid
the attacker would see her and kill her.
Congco lived alone. She needed
medication, but the PTSD prevented her
from getting it. She died. Her son found
her body when he returned from a flight to
check on her.
Now, more than two years later, the
case has come to a close. The coroner’s
office said her death was not a result of the
attack. But the Brooklyn district attorney’s
office realized if Congco had not been
attacked, she would still be alive. The DA
upgraded the misdemeanor charge to a
felony, as PEF had advocated for the DA
to comply with the Nurse Felony Law. Her
son also won the death claim from workers’
“Justice, sometimes and unfortunately,
is slow,” said PEF President Susan M.
Kent. “This union continues to fight to
protect all its members. It is a felony
to assault an on-duty nurse, and PEF
fought hard to make that law a reality.
But violence against nurses is still underreported and some criminal justice
authorities are unaware of the law’s
“Everyone was shocked, appalled and
saddened as to what happened to Ms.
Congco, the incident itself and the terrible
aftermath. We cannot let this happen
Josephine Whitehead, a psychiatric
nurse at Kingsboro and friend to Congco,
said she has been missed.
“I am still very sorry about what
happened to Elenita. It happened so
fast,” Whitehead said. “It is as if she
was sacrificed for us, so there could be
changes in the law. Mentally ill patients are
unpredictable, and violence still occurs.”
If you would like assistance upgrading
your facility’s violence prevention plan,
or need direction on what to do when an
incident occurs in your workplace, contact
the PEF Health and Safety, Training and
Education Department at [email protected] If you need information about the
Nurse Felony Law, contact [email protected]
TOP LOSERS – Four Region 8
PEF members were recognized
by the region’s Women’s
Program in December as winners
of a weightloss competition. Shown are
Millah Musungu, Anna Quackenbush, Valerie Temple
and Kim Appler.
– Photos by Sherry Halbrook
The Communicator February 2015 — Page 27
Syracuse, New York • October 18-21, 2015
The number of delegates allotted on the following pages may be increased based on
counts as of March 5, 2015 Official numbers of delegates allotted will be available on
the website under Divisions/Elections.
1. In order to be nominated, you must be a dues-paying PEF
member as of March 5, 2015. You must obtain the signatures of five
(5) other dues-paying PEF members from the specific constituency.
Dues-paying PEF members signing a petition must also be a
member as of March 5, 2015.
2. All nominating petitions will require the signature, printed
name, and correct member ID number. Member ID number
consists of up to the first four letters of your first name and up
to the first four letters of your last name AS THEY APPEAR ON
YOUR PAYCHECK and the five digits of your home zip code.
3. The accuracy of the information required in the petition is the
sole responsibility of the person being nominated.
4. A nominee may not sign his/her own petition.
5. A member may sign only one (1) petition.
6. Nominating petition forms will be available at all Local PEF
Offices on March 11, 2015, at 9:00 AM. Petitions can be mailed to
you or picked up and will be posted by 12:00 noon on PEF’s web
site. Faxing is not allowed. Only members submitting a petition
have the right to appeal.
7. Only official nominating petitions may be used to gather
signatures. Although reproductions of the official form may be
used, the Committee will accept only those forms containing
original signatures. Reproduced (photocopy, FAX, etc.) signatures
will be deemed invalid.
8. All petitions must be received by 5:00 PM on April 10, 2015.
Petitions must be returned either by hand delivery or United States
Mail as follows:
Hand delivered:
To the Local PEF Office – During regular business hours 9:00 AM to
5:00 PM Monday through Friday, petitions will be accepted at the
Local PEF Offices. The Local PEF Offices cannot receive petitions
outside of regular business hours. The deliverer will receive a
receipt that is signed, date and time stamped.
To PEF Headquarters – During regular business hours 9:00 AM to
5:00 PM Monday through Friday only the Divisions Department
may immediately provide a receipt that is signed, date and time
stamped. Otherwise the petitions can be deposited in the secured
Drop Box in the lobby of PEF Headquarters. The petitions will
be collected on a daily basis and signed, date and time stamped
receipts will be sent to the candidates later.
Mailed – All mailed petitions must be sent to:
NYS Public Employees Federation
c/o the Divisions Department
P.O. Box 12414, Albany, New York 12212-2414.
Mailed petitions must be received no later than 5:00 pm on April
10, 2015. Received means “in hand, not mailed or postmarked.”
Faxed petitions will not be accepted.
If regular mail is used, please allow ample time for mailing.
If certified mail is used, a return receipt may be requested,
although this is not required. Please note that certified mail
sometimes takes longer than regular mail.
Postal failures or inadequacies are a matter between the
individual submitting the petitions and the post office. Delivery
delays and/or failures are not grounds for appeal. Allow five days
or more for mailing, to be safe.
Petitioning results will not be given out over the phone. All
petitioners will receive a letter by April 26, 2015 announcing the
outcome of the petitioning process. Executive Board Members,
Council Leaders and Labor Management Chairs will be notified
via the email address PEF has on file of a listing of the petitioning
results for their area.
9. Where the number of valid nominees is equal to or less than the
number of authorized constituency delegates, no election will be
required. Nominees will be so notified.
10. No PEF or employer resources (staff, office equipment, etc.)
may be used for electioneering, and no PEF dues money shall
be expended for this purpose. This includes PEF headquarters,
regional offices and local divisions or councils.
11. No person shall use the PEF logo or letterhead on any written
or printed material for campaign or endorsement purposes in any
PEF election.
12. Division newsletters may not endorse or contain material that
appears to endorse any candidate for delegate.
13. In addition to the above rules, the PEF Code of Ethics will
apply to all election activities, which is found in the PEF policy
14. Failure to meet any of the above requirements or deadlines is
not appealable.
1. No PEF or employer resources (staff, office, equipment, etc.)
may be used for electioneering, and no PEF dues money shall
be expended for this purpose. This includes PEF Headquarters,
Regional Offices and Local Divisions or Councils.
2. No person shall use the PEF logo or letterhead on any written
or printed material for campaign or endorsement purposes in any
PEF election.
Page 28 — The Communicator February 2015
3. Division newsletters may not endorse, or contain material that
appears to endorse, any candidate for delegate.
4. In addition to the above rules, the PEF Code of Ethics will
apply to all election activities, which is found in the PEF policy
A. Appeals to the Delegate Elections Committee
1. Any current PEF member who believes he/she is aggrieved
PEF Information Line: 1-800-553-2445
2015 Convention Delegate Information
by anyone’s alleged violation of the Delegate Election rules or any
alleged misapplication or misinterpretation of the PEF Constitution
or any PEF policy or procedure concerning Delegate Elections and
has filed a petition during the regular election period, may appeal
such to the Delegate Elections Committee.
a. There shall be a time limit of fifteen (15) calendar days
following the close of petitioning or end of balloting for filing
appeals to the Delegate Elections Committee.
2. The appeal shall be submitted on a Delegate Elections
Appeal Form and filed with the Delegate Elections Committee in
person or by mail at PEF Headquarters. The appeal shall contain
a concise, factual statement of the facts of the alleged violation,
misinterpretation or misapplication. Upon receipt of the appeal,
the Delegate Elections Committee shall notify, in writing, persons
as may be deemed appropriate, of the appeal. Such persons shall
then have 10 working days from notification of the appeal to make
a written response to the Committee.
3. The Delegate Elections Committee shall conduct an
investigation of the appeal, if appropriate, and shall use its best
efforts to render a decision in writing within 30 calendar days of
receipt of the appeal.
B. Appeals to the Credentials Committee
1. The Delegate Election Committee’s decision may be appealed
to the Credentials Committee to be heard on the Sunday evening
prior to the start of the Convention except if a petition was not
filed during the regular election period. The appeal shall be filed
in writing with PEF’s Secretary/Treasurer, delivered in person or
by mail, within 15 calendar days following the date of the written
decision of the committee.
5. For Those Constituencies Requiring Elections:
a. Ballots will be mailed on May 1, 2015.
b. Completed ballots must be returned to the PEF post office
box in Albany, NY as printed on the nominating petition, by 5:00
p.m. on May 22, 2015.
c. The ballot count will commence on May 27, 2015 at PEF
Headquarters in Albany, NY.
d. Those wishing to observe their election count must notify
the Delegate Election Committee by May 22, 2015.
e. Ties will be broken by the following method:
Each candidate’s name will be placed in a container, and a random
drawing will take place.
f. Ballot results will not be given out over the phone.
Candidates will be notified by June 7, 2015 as to the outcome of the
balloting process. Executive Board Members, Council Leaders and
Labor Management Chairs will be notified via the email address
PEF has on file of a listing of the ballot results for their area. A full
listing of the convention delegates will be pubished on the PEF
Website by June 6, 2015 and published in the July-August issue of
The Communicator. Alternate delegates will be identified by rank as
established by order of vote tally.
6. If a delegate leaves his or her constituency between the closing
date for nominations and the starting date of the convention, the
following rules apply:
a. If the move was due to an involuntary transfer or a layoff
within the PS&T unit, the delegate may attend the convention.
b. If the move was due to a voluntary transfer or promotion
within the PS&T unit, the delegate may not attend the convention.
If an elected alternate is available, they will be notified.
c. If a delegate leaves his/her constituency due to retirement
or resignation, the delegate may not attend the convention.
d. If a delegate has been off a current payroll (not paying
union dues) for more than three (3) months, the delegate may not
attend the convention.
7. If any delegate is unable to attend the convention for any
reason, including, but not limited to the above situations, written
notification must be received by the Delegate Elections Committee,
at PEF Headquarters in Albany, New York, by September 15, 2015,
in order to allow sufficient time to notify any available alternate
there may be, to attend the convention in their place.
The 2015 PEF Convention will be held Sunday, October 18,
through Wednesday, October 21, 2015, in Syracuse, New York.
Delegate representation to the Convention shall be assigned
on a one member/one vote basis with one delegate per fifty (50)
regular members or major fraction thereof. Representation for the
Convention shall be based on the number of regular members
paying dues as of the first pay period in March preceeding the
Apportionment is based on the size and geographic
breakdown of the department as described in PEF’s Constitution.
If there are too few members in an election district, the Committee
in consultation with the Executive Board member will combine the
district with another district of common interest.
If you are interested in running as a delegate from your
department, review the delegate apportionment list and locate
your Agency’s Name, Delegate Constituency Number and Agency
Code Number. Directly across from the name will be the type of
apportionment identified for your work site. Nominating petitions,
rules and timetables will be available to each PEF member March
11, 2015, and can be obtained by contacting your local PEF Office.
Note: Each “Delegate Constituency #” in the first column, denotes
a separate election district.
Syracuse, New York • October 18-21, 2015
The Communicator February 2015 — Page 29
2015 Convention Delegate Information
Type of
# of
100 00640 State Ins Fund
Reg. 1
Reg. 2 & 3
Reg. 4
Reg. 5
Reg. 8
Reg. 9
Reg. 10
Reg. 12
108 01890/ Comm Supervision Reg. 1,2,3,&5
109 10870
Reg. 4,6,7
Reg. 8
Reg. 9
Reg. 10
Reg. 11 & 12
374 01110 Off Info Tech Serv Reg. 1-7 375 01110 Off Info Tech Serv Reg. 8 376 01110 Off Info Tech Serv Reg. 9-124
114 01030 Ex Alc Bev Con Statewide Reg. 1-9
116 01050/ Ex Off Gen Serv 01077 Homeland Security Reg. 1-7
117 01050/ Ex Off Gen Serv
Reg. 8 01077 Homeland Security Reg. 8
118 01050/ Ex Off Gen Serv
01077 Homeland Security Reg. 9-12
119 01060/ Ex State Police
01070 Ex Mil Navl Aff
120 01080 Ex Hsg&Cmty Rnl Reg. 2-8 121 Reg. 1,9-12
122 01090/ Ex Div Human Rt
Reg. 1-12
01360/ Ex Council Arts
01370/ Ex Off of Aging
01510 Ex Racng&
Wgrg Bd 123 01120/ Ex Cons Prot Bd
01400/ Ex Crime Victim
01540/ Ex Elections Bd
21110/ Off Reg Mgt Ast
124 01190 Ex Veterans Aff
01131 Veteran Ed Asst
125 01300 Ex Adiron Park
130 01490/ Ex Crmnl Jst Sv
01530/ Ex Corr Comm
01060 Ex State Police
01620/ Off Prev Dom Vi
131 01570/ Adv For Disable
01580/ Council on Chil
01590/ Qual Care Ment
132 (02000/ Audit Control
Reg. 1,2, 5&6
00650 Insur Fund A&C)
Reg. 3-6
Reg. 8
135 Reg. 9-124
373 21065 SW Fin Servs (SFS)
136 03000/ Law
Reg. 1-9 03020/ Medicaid Fraud
Reg. 1-9
137 03000/ Law
Reg. 10-13
03020/ Medicaid Fraud
Reg. 10-13
Agricul Markets
13937000Dept of Fin Serv (DFS) Reg. 1-9
140 37000 Dept of Fin Serv
Reg. 10-12
141 08000 Civil Service
and Div. 250
142 09000/ Envir Cons M/O
DEC Reg. 0 - 09180 ENV Cons Lag PR D.169A,B,C
143 DEC Reg. 1 - D.385 144 DEC Reg. 2 - D.169D
145 DEC Reg. 3 - D.169E
146 DEC Reg. 4 - D.169F
147 DEC Reg. 5 - D.169G
148 DEC Reg. 6 - D.169H
149 DEC Reg. 7 - D.169I 150 DEC Reg. 8 - D.169J
151 DEC Reg. 9 - D.169K
152 10000 Cor Attica 2
Page 30 — The Communicator February 2015
Type of
# of
153 10010 Cor Auburn
154 10020 Cor Clinton
155 10030 Cor Watertown 1
156 10040 Cor Great Meadw 1
157 10050/ Cor Fishkill (D.310) 3
158 10060 Cor Wallkill
159 10070 Cor Sing Sing
160 10080 Cor Green Haven 2
161 10090 Cor Albion
162 10100 Cor Eastern NY
163 10110 Cor Elmira Cntr
164 10120/ Cor Bedfrd Hill (D.353)
165 10130 Cor Coxsackie
166 10140 Cor Woodbourne
168 10160 Corrl Srvcs M/O
170 10630 Cor Southport
172 10270 Cor Hudson
174 10230 Cor Adirondack
10510 CorMoriah
175 10240/ Cor Dwnstst (D.296) 1
176 10250 Cor Taconic
180 10290 Cor Otisville
182 10320/ Cor Edgecombe
10360/ Cor Lincoln Fac
10500 Cor NYC Ctl Adm
183 10350 Cor Ogdensburg
184 10370 Cor Five Points
185 10390 Cor Mohawk 3
186 10430 Cor Wende
188 10450 Cor Gowanda
189 10460 Cor Groveland
190 10470 Cor Collins
191 10480 Cor Mid-State
192 10490 Cor Marcy
194 10530 Cor Franklin
195 10540 Cor Altona
196 10550 Cor Cayuga
197 10560 Cor Bare Hill
198 10570 Cor Riverview
199 10580 Cor Cape Vincent 1
200 10600 Cor Lakeview
201 10610 Cor Ulster
203 10640 Cor Orleans
204 10650 Cor Washington
205 10660 Cor Wyoming
206 10670 Cor Greene
207 10680 Cor Shawangunk 1
208 10690 Cor Sullivan
209 10800 Cor Livingston
10300 CorRoch Fac
210 10810 Cor Gouverneur
211 10820 Cor Willard DTC
212 10840 Cor Upstate
213 10850 Cor Hale Creek
216 11000/ Educ Main Off Reg.8
11010 Ed Special
217 11000 ACCES - Upstate (D.230) 2
(D.230) Reg. 9 1
219 ACCES (VESID) Dwnst (D.376) 4
Reg. 10-12
220 ACCES (VESID) Buffalo (D.215) 1
Reg. 1
221 ACCES (VESID) Rochester (D.372) 1
Reg. 3
222 SED Dwnst & 3
OPD S/W - (D.349)
223 11100 Ed Hgr Ed Srvcs
224 11000/ Educ Main Off
11260 Ed Batavia Blind
225 11270 Ed Rome Deaf
226 12000/ Health Main Off
Reg. 1 2
Type of
# of
227 12200
Reg. 2&3
228 Reg. 4-7, not
Saranac Lake or Herkimer
229 Reg. 8 and Saranac Lake,
Reg. 9
Reg. 10
Reg. 12
295 12000/ 12200
Div. 191G
233 12010 Roswell Park
234 12030 H Helen Hayes
235 12120/ H Vet Home Oxford 2
12180/ H Vet Home Batavia
385 12150/ H Vet Home St. Albans
384 12190 H Vet Home Montrose
238 14010 Wkrs Comp Board Reg. 8 5
239 Reg 1-7, 9-12 4
240 14020 Labor
Reg. 1 (D.221) 4
Reg. 2& 3
Reg. 4
Reg. 5
Reg. 6 (D.217) 1
Reg. 7 (D.273) 1
Reg. 8
Reg. 9
249 Labor D.245
252 14020 Labor
Reg. 12 (D.200) 3
253 16000 Public Service
Reg. 10 1
254 Rest of State
255 17000 Trans Main Of
256 17010 Tr Albany Reg 1
(D.258) 5
257 17020 Tr Utica Reg 2
258 17030 Tr Syracs Reg 3
259 17040 Tr Roch Reg 4
260 17050 Tr Bufflo Reg 5
261 17060 Tr Hornel Reg 6
262 17070 Tr Wtrtn Reg 7
and Div 247 (51420)
263 17080 Tr Pghkps Reg 8
264 17090 Tr Bing Reg 9
265 17100 Tr Hapaug Reg 10 7
266 17110 Tr Long Isl City Reg 11
381 17000 NY Metro Transp
Reg. 10 1
267 19000/ State
19010 State Dept Lag
268 20010 Tax & Finance
Reg. 1 3
Reg. 2&3
270 Reg. 4-7 2
271 20010/ Tax Finance
Reg. 8 11
20020/ Tax & Fin Lag
20030 Div Tax Appeals
D190 Stwrd const. A thru G, Q & R
391 D190 Stwrd const H,I J,K
392 D190 Stwrd const L, M, N, O & P
272 20010 Tax Finance
Reg. 9 2
Reg.11 (D.406) 5
Reg.11 (D.290) 2
Reg.13 (D.341) 1
278 20050 Lottery Div
279 22000 Economic Dev
55630 NYSTAR
280 23000 Motor Vehicles
Reg. 1-7 1
Reg. 8
282 Reg. 9-11
Reg. 12
284 25000 Off Child. Fam Sv. Reg. 1-4 3
Reg. 5, 6, & 7
287 DFY Albany+27000 (D.302)Reg.8
288 Goshen Secure
(D.193)1 1
290 Highland
(D.270) 1
Mid Hudson
Reg.10,11,12 3
293 25000 OCFS (D.234)
393 27000 OTDA
PEF Information Line: 1-800-553-2445
2015 Convention Delegate Information
Type of
# of
(D.191 H,I,J,M) 3
(D.337&264) 2
303 27000 OTDA Albany (D.409) 3
304 Manhattan
(D.192) 5
307 Glendale (D.399) 5
308 28050/ SU Stony Brook
28058/ SU Stony Brook PR
28200/ SU Col Westbury
28390/ SU Tech Frmgdal
28570/ SU Maritime Col
28580 SU Col Optomtry
309 28100 SUNY HSC Bklyn 14
28108 HSC Bklyn PR
28010/ SU Albany
28020/ SU Binghamton
28030/ SU Buffalo
28040/ SU Buffalo Spec
28150/ SU Col Brockport
28160/ SU Col Buffalo
28180/ SU Col Fredonia
28190/ SU Col Geneseo
28210/ SU Col New Paltz
28220/ SU Col Oneonta
28240/ SU Col Platsbrg
28250/ SU Col Potsdam
28260/ SU Purchase
28270/ SUNY Col Techno
28280/ SU Empire S Col
28360/ SU Tech Canton
28370/ SU Tech Cobskil
28380/ SU Tech Delhi
28400/ SU Tech Morsvil
28650 SU Administratn
310 28110/ SUNY HSC Syr
28118/ HSC Syr Hosp PR
28170/ SU Col Cortland
28230/ SU Col Oswego
28550 SU Env Sci&Frst
28350/ SU Tech Alfred
312 490--/ All Parks and Recs. S/W
Type of
# of
491--/ 492--/
01510/ ExRacing&WgrBd (D.305)
313 50000 MH Main Off
(D.392A only)
314 50000 MH Main Off
(all other work sites excluding
D. 392A)
315 50010/ MH Bing Psy Ctr
50731 Bington Child S
316 50020/ MH Kngbr Py Ct
50520 Bklyn Children
317 50030 MH Buflo Psy Ct
318 50390 MH Cntrl NY P C
Reg. 1-5,8,10-12
377 50800 NYC Childrens Ct 320 50080 MH Manhatn P Ct 321 50100 MH Midltn Psy C
50170 MH Rockland PC items in
Sullivan & Orange County
322 50110/ MH Roch Psy Ctr 50743 MH Roch. Child Serv.
323 50120/ MH St Law Psy C 50570 St Law Child Sv
53500 OASAS Trmt. Ctrs. Reg.
324 50150 MH Creedmr P Ct
325 50390 MH Cntrl NY P C
Reg. 9
326 50170 MH Rockland P C not items in Sullivan
& Orange County
327 50180 MH Psych Inst
328 50190/ MH Hutchings PC 50738 Hutchs Child Sv.
329 50200 MH Pilgrim P Ct
330 50210/ MH Mhwk Val P C 50540 Mhk Vly C Yth
331 50310 MH Bronx Psy Ct 332 50340 MH Nat Kln Inst
333 50350 MH Krby Psy Cnt 334 50390 MH Cntrl NY P C (D.344 only)
335 50440 MH Mid Hdsn P C
336 50500/ So Beach Chld S
50790 MH S Beach Cntr
Type of
# of
337 50510 MH Wash Hts Un 338 50550/ Elmira Child Sv
50920 MH Elmira Psy C
339 50590 Cap Dst C You
50980 MH Cap Dst P Ct
340 50810 W NY Ch Psy Ctr 341 50850 MH Sag PC C Yth 342 50850 MH Rck PC C Yth 346 51000/ OPWDD Main Off (all D.257)6
50390 MH Central NY
PC Reg
347 51000/ OPWDD Main Off (D.167) 51330 Western NY DDSO (D.167)
J. N. Adams
349 51350 Long Island DDSO (D.209)
350 51210 Hudson Valley DDSO
351 51240 Central NY DDSO (D.304)Reg.4
353 51250 Taconic DDSO
(D.248) 354 51270 Staten Island DDSO (D.280)
355 51290 Capital District DDSO
356 51380 Brooklyn DDSO
(D.244) 357 51420 Sunmount DDSO (D.242)
358 51430 Ins Res Dev Dis
359 51450 Metro NY DDSO
360 Manhattan
(D.292) 361 51470 Bernard Fineson
DDSO (D.207)
365 Newark
(D.246) 366 51940 Broome DDSO
(D.197) 367 53500 OASAS Trmt Ctrs (D.311) 53500 OASAS Trmt Ctrs (Reg.2-5,8)
369 53000 OASAS Main Off
(D.265) 370 53000 OASAS Main Off
(D.314) 371 53500 OASAS Trmt Ctrs (Reg.9-12)
372 51940 Val Ridge CIT (D.403)
99003 NDRI St & Adm Ser
401 99002 Alb Hsng Author
403 99004 Albany Co Prob
404 99005 NYS Canal Corp.
405 99006 Eastern Niagara Hosp. (Lockport Hosp.)
407 99008 Allegany County
Submission of resolutions, legislative agenda items
• The deadline for submitting resolutions and suggested legislative agenda items for presentation to the 2015 PEF
Convention is July 3, 2015, by 5:00 p.m. or postmarked by July 3, 2015, AND received by July 10, 2014.
• Per convention policy, “No resolution received by PEF will be printed for the consideration of the delegates if it lacks a
fiscal impact statement.”
• Please send all 2015 RESOLUTIONS, typewritten, and in the established format to:
NYS Public Employees Federation
c/o the Secretary-Treasurer’s Office
P.O. Box 12414
Albany, NY 12212-2414
• You also may send resolutions electronically (Word document) in the established format. Emails must be sent to
[email protected] To confirm receipt, or for assistance regarding resolution format, please contact the Office of the PEF
Secretary-Treasurer at the previously stated email address or at 800-342-4306, ext. 226.
• Please send all suggestions for the 2015 PEF LEGISLATIVE AGENDA to:
PEF Legislative Department
c/o PEF Vice President Wayne Bayer
90 State Street, Suite 1029
Albany, NY 12207-1811
• You may also send suggestions for the PEF federal and state legislative agendas electronically (Word document) by emailing
them to [email protected] To confirm receipt, please contact Danielle Thomson at the previously stated email address or at
800-724-4997, ext. 201.
Division Convention Stipend – All divisions will pay the same convention stipend to all delegates from their division.
The Communicator February 2015 — Page 31
donation needed
Ailing members need your leave donations
The following PEF members have
reported a need for leave donations:
• Susan Bell is a vocational
rehabilitation counselor for the state
Education Department in White Plains.
She has continuing medical issues.
To donate leave, call the SED human
relations office at 518-474-5215.
• Derelaine (Dee) Benton-Smith is a
nurse 1 at SUNY Buffalo Student Health
Services. She has primary sclerosing
cholangitis and needs a liver transplant.
To donate leave, call Tammi Blajszczak
at 716-829-5940 or email her at [email protected]
• Jessica Brown is a nurse 1 at
SUNY Upstate Medical Center in
Syracuse. She is confined to bed rest
for the remainder of her pregnancy. To
donate leave, contact Linda Mazzone in
human resources at the hospital. Her
number is 315-464-4943.
• Karen Corbin is an education
finance specialist 2 at the state
Education Department in Albany. She
is being treated for complications to
intestinal surgery. To donate leave,
contact the SED personnel office at
• Sarah Davies is an environmental
educator 1 at the state Department of
Environmental Conservation (DEC) in
Albany. She is being treated for breast
cancer. To donate leave, contact Lorie
Bellegard in the DEC personnel office at
• Charlene Fogarty is a medical care
representative at the NYS Insurance
Fund in Albany. She is recovering
from surgery on a broken ankle.
To donate leave, contact Debbie
Gimondo in human resources at
• William Gaudette is an information
technology specialist 1 at the state
Office of Children and Family Services.
He is undergoing a series of surgeries for
his back. To donate leave to him,
call the agency’s benefits unit at
• Lori Grabowski is a teaching
and research center nurse 2 at SUNY
Upstate Medica center in Syracuse.
She is being treated for lymphoma. To
donate leave, contact Linda Mazzone in
human resources at the hospital. Her
number is 315-464-4943.
• Mary Jackson is an offender
rehabilitation coordinator at Sing Sing
Correctional Facility. A cancer survivor,
she has chronic respiratory and other
medical issues and needs several
surgeries. To donate leave, call the
facility at 914-941-0108, ext. 3600.
• Adrienne Kulak is a community
mental health nurse at Hutchings
Psychiatric Center in Syracuse. She is
being treated for multiple myeloma. To
donate leave, call Wendy Willm at
315-426-3600 in the personnel
department at Hutchings.
• Theresa Lacey is an alcohol and
substance abuse treatment program
assistant at Sing Sing Correctional
Facility. She is being treated for several
medical issues. To donate leave, call
the facility at 914-941-0108, extension
• Jim Mextorf is a program
technology analyst 3 at the state Office
of Information Technology Services.
Following severe complications to
diabetes, he has had several surgeries
and he needs a kidney transplant. To
donate leave, call his personnel office at
518-473-0398 or email
[email protected]
• Christine (Chrissy) Osuchowski
is a teaching and research center nurse
1 at SUNY Upstate Medical Center in
Syracuse. She has been confined to bed
rest for the remaining months of her
pregnancy. To donate leave, contact
Linda Mazzone in human resources at
the hospital. Her number is
• Cheryl Staines is an associate
medical facilities auditor at the state
Office of the Medicaid Inspector General.
She is undergoing cancer treatment. To
donate leave, call Sarah Macintosh at
• Kristen Trapalis is an offender
rehabilitation coordinator at Greene
Correctional Facility. She is being
treated for recurring cancer. To donate
leave, contact Sherry McGinnis in the
facility’s personnel office at
• Bill Wiemers is a teacher 4 at Sing
Sing Correctional Facility. He has a
debilitating autoimmune disease that
reduces his ability to work on a regular
basis. To donate leave, call the facility at
914-941-0108, extension 3600.
The rules for making and receiving
leave donations are set forth in a
memorandum of understanding
included in the PS&T Contract. For
more information, check the Contract
Resource Center on the PEF website or
refer to your contract.
If you, or a PEF member you know,
needs leave donations because of a
medical or urgent family situation,
you may contact The Communicator to
request publication of that need.
You may send requests to
[email protected], or call
800-342-4306, ext. 271. Be sure to
provide your contact information.
Susan M. Kent listens to Richard N.
Gottfried, chair of the state Assembly
Health Committee, after testifying
on single-payer health care. Kent told
the panel PEF has long supported a
single-payer health care system for
all and said, “ It is the only effective
solution that will solve the health
care crisis union members face
at the bargaining table and that
we face collectively as a society.”
The testimony took place at the
Legislative Office Building in Albany
January 13.
— Photos by Deborah A. Miles
Page 32 — The Communicator February 2015
PEF Information Line: 1-800-553-2445
Does the end ever justify the means?
as trustworthy and honorable when
communicating – regardless of the
outcome – they must kick old Niccolo to
the proverbial curb.
Communication is power. Studies
of communication ethics emphasize
the capacity of interactions to be either
destructive or to create a positive (no one
is harmed) result.
How we communicate is a choice. It
should be a thoughtful, deliberate choice
that takes not only our personal goals,
but the need to preserve relationships
(maintain respect) into account. We all
know this as the “Golden Rule.”
Most faiths including Christianity,
Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism,
Bahaism and others embrace that
concept of “Do unto others, as you would
want them to do unto you.” Humanists
also believe in treating people the way
you wish to be treated and working for
the common good of society. Regardless
of where a person finds their moral
compass, actions do speak louder than
words. The “means” we use will be how
people perceive us.
And to that point, 18th century
German philosopher Immanuel
Kant advises, “Act in such a way
that you treat humanity, whether
in your own person or in the
person of any other, never merely
as a means to an end, but always
at the same time as an end.”
You might think, “Everyone does it. So,
Lately, I’ve seen some really poor
what’s so bad?”
public behaviors by folk attempting to
Well, let’s consider that little thing
accomplish something by any means,
called ethics. Former U.S. Supreme
no matter how offensive or divisive their
Court Justice Potter Stewart said,
behavior actually is. It made me think,
“Ethics knows the difference between
“Does behavior affect how a message is
what you have a right to do and what is
perceived?” Clearly, it
right to do.” There lies
the challenge.
Sixteenth century
Those who have
Italian diplomat,
studied philosophy
Niccolo Machiavelli
and ethics know about
espoused, “the end
justifies the means.”
This theory states that
He lived in a time
a person’s action, no
when politicians rose
matter how wrong, to
to power through
achieve a successful
dirty tricks (sound familiar?).
outcome is always OK.
Machiavelli’s rationale allows a person
In other words, the success of
to employ any action – even those that
the action (consequence) outweighs
are unethical and immoral – to get what
the morality of the method. It’s the
they want. Today, 500 years after his
quintessential example of “the end
book “The Prince” was published, this
justifies the means” or the “win at any
rationale continues to be demonstrated
cost” premise.
in many areas of public and private
An opposing philosophy, deontological
ethics, judges the rightness or
Those who embrace this credo may
wrongness of a person’s actions, rather
claim they are working for the greater
than the success or failure of the
good, when it soon becomes clear that
attempt. As filmmaker Spike Lee might
they are working solely for their own
ask, did they “do the right thing”?
advantage and interest.
The battle between “ends” and
They easily use communication that
“means” has raged since time began,
bends the rules and the truth to justify
but when I think about the role of
self-serving behavior. But is the message
PEF leaders, the choice seems crystal
being received positively or negatively?
clear. If leaders want to be identified
Master, clinical licensed social workers must
meet new continuing education requirements
If you are a licensed master social
worker (LMSW) or licensed clinical social
worker (LCSW), you will be affected by
the state’s new continuing education
requirements that took effect January 1 of
this year.
You are now required to complete 36
hours of acceptable, formal continuing
education during each three-year
registration period.
The full outline of the state education
requirements, as well as a listing of
approved course topics and providers, are
available online at the state Education
Department Office of the Professions
website at
On the website, select Social Worker and
then Continuing Education.
Both classroom and online training are
deemed acceptable in securing credits, but
only accredited providers may be used to
obtain continuing education credit units
PEF is working through the PS&T
Contract Article 15 Joint Committee on
Professional Development and the Public
Service Workshop Program (PSWP) to
provide regional workshops to social
workers through the SED sanctioned
providers. These workshops will offer
CEUs at no cost to PEF members. The
location and time of the workshops will be
announced when they become available at Select course offerings.
Meanwhile, the Workshop and Seminar
Reimbursement (WSR) Program, offered
through Article 15, is a valuable funding
resource for obtaining needed credits. You
may apply for reimbursement of up to
1,000 per fiscal year for non-college-credit
bearing courses, workshops, and seminars.
For the full guidelines and the application
go to the Governor’s Office of Employee
Relations website at and
select training and development, then
select PEF.
PEF members also may access the PEF
Membership Benefits Program’s Higher
Education Incentive Program (HEIP). It
will reimburse individual PEF members,
in good standing, for tuition of up to $600
for one job- or career-related, successfully
completed post-secondary course at
an accredited college or university for
the Spring 2015 Semester. It also gives
compensation for books/materials needed
for the course. The complete guidelines and
application are available online at
For more information, you may contact
the PEF Training and Education, Health
and Safety Department at 800-342-4306,
ext. 254.
The Communicator February 2015 — Page 33
CommFeb2015 40pages:Layout 1
11:25 AM
Page 30
Fond farewells
PEF’s gratitude and best wishes go
out to the following members who are
• Dori Baldwin, PEF Division 179,
state Office of General Services;
• June Beckford, PEF Division 205,
state Health Department;
• James Caputo, PEF Division 190,
state Department of Taxation and
• Mariamma Chacko, PEF Division
241, Creedmoor Psychiatric Center;
• Esther Delgado, PEF Division 296,
Downstate Correctional Facility;
• Susan Drumgould, PEF Division
248, Taconic Developmental Disabilities
Services Office;
• Mary Hanny, PEF Division 235,
Rockland Psychiatric Center;
• Dr. Alan Jaffe, PEF Division 241,
Creedmoor Psychiatric Center;
• Denise Kelly, PEF Division
357, state Office of Information
Technology Services;
• Dr. Gemma Marcelo,
PEF Division 241, Creedmoor
Psychiatric Center;
• Kenneth Mas, PEF Division
321, state Department of Public Service;
• Constance McCarthy, PEF
Division 234, state Office of Temporary
and Disability Assistance;
• Dr. Nasreen Mirza, PEF Division
244, Brooklyn Developmental
Disabilities Services Office;
• Steven Oakden, PEF Division 357,
state Office of Information Technology
• Scott Reichert, PEF Division
341, state Department of Taxation and
• Kevin Richard-Morrow, PEF
Division 357, state Office of Information
Technology Services;
• George Simon, PEF Division 339,
state Department of Motor Vehicles;
• Madelyn Sperduto, PEF Division
241, Creedmoor Psychiatric Center;
• Cynthia Sykes, PEF Division 250,
Kingsboro Psychiatric Center;
• Donald Terry, PEF Division 284,
state Transportation Department;
• Celine Tholany, PEF Division 296,
Mid-Hudson Psychiatric Center;
• William Vick Sr., PEF Division
190, state Department of Taxation
and Finance;
• Maureen Wetter, PEF Division
190, state Department of Taxation and
Finance; and
• Gary Zirpoli, PEF Division 190,
state Department of Taxation and
Are you or PEF members you know
retiring? Please send information for this
column to [email protected]
– Sherry Halbrook
3() 0(0%(5 (;&/86,9( %(1(),7
Page 34 — The Communicator February 2015
Page 30 — The Communicator February 2015
PEF Information Line: 1-800-553-2445
PEF Information Line: 1-800-553-2445
Advertise in the publication that reaches top professional public employees.
For Information contact Kathi Blinn at 518-785-1900 or 800-342-4306 X276 Email: [email protected]
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The Communicator February 2015 — Page 35
Advertise in the publication that reaches top professional public employees.
PEF Professional Directory ● PEF Professional Directory
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Call 518-869-7167
GHI Participating Practice
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Lynn Audiology & Hearing
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Dr. Susan Boggia
Dr. Cara Bedore
Expert in advanced technology and
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pediatric & adult evaluations
➤ digital hearing aids & repairs
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Center for Better Hearing
318 Ridge Street ● Glens Falls, NY 12801
We accept Empire Plan & most insurances
30 Matthews St., Suite 307
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Page 36 — The Communicator February 2015
The publication that reaches the top
professional NYS public employees
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Astoria, NY
Nassau CountySuffolk County
400 West Main Street
(631) 422-6066
111 Smithtown Bypass
(631) 724-0900
3601 Hempstead Tpke
(516) 579-7577
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(516) 798-3300
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· Hearing evaluations & Consultations
· Digital Hearing Aids Sales & Service
· Programming of digital hearing instruments for increased
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· No out of pocket expense for
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John E. Kenul
28 - 56A 41st St., Astoria, NY
Valley Stream
417 West Merrick Road
(516) 568-0448
East Suffolk Dental, P.C.
1149 Old Country Road
(631) 369-7400
Mitchell Brookstone, D.D.S.
1228 Wantagh Avenue, Wantagh
(516) 826-1666
Schreiber & Kahn, D.D.S.
28 N. Merrick Avenue, Merrick
(516) 378-1033
146 Newbridge Road, Hicksville
(516) 932-6200
Complete dentistry all on premises.
Participating PEF Dentist — We accept the dental schedule of
payment as payment in full for all covered procedures.
Family Care Program
PEF Participating Dentist Since 1980
Dr. Laura Brodsky
Comprehensive Hearing
Advanced Technology
Digital Hearing Aids
Hi Fidelity Custom
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(518) 783-3110, Ex. 3004
Accepting All Major Insurances
Including Nys Empire Plan
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Delmar Health Center
250 Delaware Avenue, Delmar
ITHACA ● HORSEHEADS (607) 271-9783
NANUET (845) 623-5020
PHYS I C I ANS , P . C .
NEW WINDSOR ● MONROE (845) 567-6347
Capital Region Health Park
711 Troy-Schenectady Road, Latham
(Northway Exit 6)
YONKERS ● YORKTOWN (914) 968-7555
Hearing Centers
You Won’t Believe How Far Digital Hearing Aids Have Come
The Communicator February 2015 — Page 37
Take advantange of all of the benefits available to you as a dues
Buffalo Sabres
MARCH 20 • 7PM
Buffalo, NY
Online on
MARCH 13 • 8PM
Higher Education Incentive Program
(HEIP) Tuition Reimbursement
Tickets: $51
Rochester Broadway Theatre
Rochester, NY
Pilot program for
Fall 2014 AND Spring 2015 semesters
Albany Devils
MARCH 22 • 3PM
• Up to $600 for one job or career related course
• Up to $75 textbook reimbursement
Visit us online to get the program guidelines.
Albany, NY
APRIL 15 • 7PM
Tickets: $80
Eugene O’Neill Theatre
New York, NY
2 for 1 Cruise Fare with Free Airfare*
Plus PrePaid Gratuities, unlimited Internet
and up to $200 Shipboard Credit.
Book by March 31, 2015 • Travel March 5–April 11, 2015
*Discounted cruise fares and airfares are based on availability.
Extra amenities are based on categories booked.
3 Nights at Disney with
Park Tickets for just $899
518) 782-9045
(800) 767-1840
1168-70 Troy-Schenectady Rd,
Latham, NY
Hours: M-F 9am–5pm
email: [email protected]
Family of three* can enjoy 3 nights at
Disney’s All Star Music Resort with 2-day theme park tickets
for just $899 most Sunday through Thursday nights.
Book by March 28, 2015
Travel is good for most dates between April 12–May 21 and May 25–28, 2015
*Family of three based on 2 adults and 1 child (3-9). Other resorts are available.
Offer excludes 3-bedroom villa and campsites.
For more details and availability contact PEF Travel.
JULY 19 • 5PM
Tickets: $64.50 and includes dinner
Westchester Broadway Theatre
Elmsford, NY
Please update your address
and contact information with
your payroll department so you
are kept apprised of important
benefit communication.
1168-70 Troy-Schenectady Road | PO Box 12414 | Latham | NY | 12414
Page 38 — The Communicator February 2015
PEF Information Line: 1-800-553-2445
paying PEF member or PEF retiree through PEF Membership Benefits Program.
For a full list of available benefits visit Membership Benefits at
Bousquet Ski Area Pittsfield, MA
Adult Good Any Day
Jr. (6-12) Good Any Day
Catamount Ski Resort Hillsdale, NY
Gore Mountain North Creek, NY Adult Good Any Day
Teen (13-19)/Sr. (65-69)
Jr. (7-12) Good Any Day
Bromley Mountain Ski Resort
Manchester Center, VT
NEW! Greek Peak Mountain Resort
Good Any Day
Cortland, NY3 hr. Tubing$20
Holiday Mountain Monticello, NY
Good Any Day
$25 $20
Hunter Mountain
Hunter, NYMidweek$44
Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort Good Any Day
Hancock, MA7 hr.Twilight (3-10pm)$30
Killington Resort e-ticket ONLY Good Any Day $69
Present your PEF ID Card at the following resorts to
Killington, VT
receive a discount.
Kissing Bridge Weekend $40
If you need a PEF ID card call PEF Membership Benefits
Glenwood, NY
Midweek $25
Program at (518) 785-1900 or (800) 342-4306 ext. 243,
8 Hr Flex $46
NEW! Mount Southington
option 1 or e-mail request to [email protected]
Glenwood, NY
Oak Mountain Ski Resort
Speculator, NY - $10 off regular rates when you show
your PEF ID card at the ticket window. Oak Mountain has
a Ski and Snowboard School, accessible by snowmobile, 22
trails, 1 quad chairlift, 2 t-bars, 22 park features, 4 lanes of
snow tubing and miles of snowshoeing.
Maple Ski Ridge
Schenectady, NY - Buy one get one FREE Tuesday, ski/
snowboard pass. Hours of operation 3-9pm. Visit for new information and specials.
This offer is NOT valid for tubing. Scheduled to open Dec.
15. Last day this discount can be used is March 1, 2015.
Plattekill Mountain
Roxbury, NY - $10 off full-day full-price adult lift ticket
when you present your PEF ID card. Not valid during
resort holiday periods 12/26/14-1/3/15, 1/17-1/19/15,
2/14-2/16/15. Limit one per person.
Please check the website for an up-to-date list of PEF ID
card discounts.
*PEF members can purchase up to 10 tickets per ski resort, per winter season
at the PEF member price. Membership and discount rates subject to change
without notice.
For a complete list of restrictions visit us online.
Night Flex $24
Mount Sunapee Ski Resort Good Any Day
Newbury, NH
e-ticket ONLY
Mountain Creek Ski Resort Weekend/Holiday
e-ticket ONLY Midweek/Twilight
Vernon, NJ
$50.99 $41
$35.99 $29
e-ticket ONLY
Killington, VT
Good Any Day
Ski Butternut Great Barrington, MA
Most Weekends/Holiday
Ski Shawnee
e-ticket ONLY
Shawnee-on-Delaware, PA Weekend/Holiday
Tubing: 4 Hr Wkd/Hol.
Stratton Mountain Adult $64
Stratton, VTJr. (7-17)$52
Swain Ski Center Swain, NY Good Any Day
Whiteface Mountain Adult Weekend/Holiday
Wilmington, NYAdult Midweek$45
Jr. (7-12)$44
Sr. (65-69)
Windham Mountain Ski Resort Weekend/Holiday
Windham, NY Midweek$48
Indicates e-ticket available.
Tickets must be purchased through PEF Membership Benefits Program. *PEF members may purchase up to 10 tickets per season at the
PEF Member Price. **Up to an additional 10 tickets can be purchased at the Discount Price. Visit our eStore for details on each resort
and ticket. Operating schedules are subject to change at any time. Please check the specific resort website for operation schedule.
(800) 342-4306 | (518) 785-1900 ext. 243 | [email protected]
The Communicator February 2015 — Page 39
Sign Up Now!
Go to
Coming To A Region Near You!
The PS&T Contract team —
Uniting together to fight for
the contract we deserve!
The Kent/Garcia administration is looking forward to
membership contract meetings to find out what issues are
important to you. Meet the PS&T Contract team, see page 8
of this issue.
These meetings also are an opportunity to meet with
members of the 2015 PS&T contract team and get answers
to your questions about the negotiation process.
When a schedule is confirmed, it will be posted on the PEF website, PEF’s Facebook page,
Twitter and the weekly PEF Information Line at 800-553-2445.
PEF Members:
Stay informed about the 2015 PS&T Contract negotiations! • • •
The union that cares for the community
New York State
Public Employees Federation,
Representing 54,000 professional, scientific and technical employees
Susan M. Kent
Carlos J. Garcia