PEF members reject contract
ALBANY For the first time in the 34-year history of the New York State Public Employees Federation (PEF), members voted to reject the tentative agreement negotiated with the state.
Nearly 70 percent of the membership voted, resulting in a "No" vote by a count of 19,629 to 16,906.
"PEF's ratification process is very democratic," said PEF President Ken Brynien.
"The decision to reject the tentative agreement was made by our rank-and-file members who clearly feel they are being asked to sacrifice more than others, particularly in light of the pending expiration of the state's millionaire's tax.
"We will ask the governor to direct his negotiators to immediately return to the bargaining table to work out an agreement which our members will ratify. We are calling on the governor to resist laying off thousands of our members as he has threatened and, instead, work with us to identify savings that would preserve the state's depleted workforce and services, especially during this economic downturn and in light of the recent flooding," said Brynien.
PEF is the state's second-largest state-employee union, representing 56,000 professional scientific and technical (PS&T) employees and other public and private employees. The contract covers the state's PS&T employees.
The Civil Service Employees Association, representing 66,000 state workers, approved a similar contract in June.