State, PEF budgets share E. Board spotlight
By MEGHAN ALLEN and
At its meeting February 5 and 6 in Albany, the PEF Executive Board adopted a
budget for 2009-10.
The board members voted to give PEF President Ken Brynien their full support for
his efforts to resist the governor’s proposals that the union should give up the
2009 pay raise and make other concessions.
Brynien explained the budget-related
Training Day —
An all-day steward training session held in
Poughkeepsie Saturday, April 25, is well attended. Participants learned all
the training modules including: Role of a Steward; Know Your Contract;
Discipline and Discharge; Understanding the Grievance Procedure; and
Mobilization. — Photo by Bill Noonan
demands the governor had made on
PEF and other state-employee unions and reported PEF’s response to each of
them. Brynien listed the actions PEF had taken, so far, in response to those
Brynien said he had discussed the issues with all the legislators,
participated in a number of public hearings, given testimony, held press
conferences and continued to participate on the state Office of Children and
Family Services (OCFS) task force. Brynien said he had met with Dean Skelos,
the minority leader of the Senate, who said he supported PEF fully. The
president said he was trying to arrange meetings with the other state
Brynien added PEF had held rallies, placed newspaper ads and was successful
in getting several letters to the editors printed in various newspapers. He
showed one of PEF’s new TV spots.
Board member Jeff Janiszewski, who represents members at the state
Department of Economic Development (DED) said the governor’s Executive
Budget proposal would abolish the DED and the NYS Science, Technology, and
Innovation Foundation. He asked for as much support from other board members
as possible in fighting this budget proposal.
Board member Susan Kent said she was concerned the state School for the
Blind might be turned over to a public-benefit corporation. Brynien said
letters had been drafted and were going out to members of the state Board of
Regents urging them not to privatize the school.
In response to a question, Brynien said he had just testified at a
legislative hearing the day before that contractors received automatic 5
percent raises, but the governor didn’t want to touch them.
Brynien said the governor had taken action on a few of PEF’s recommendations
such as an expanded bottle-deposit bill.
Asked if the state legislators were taking a 3 percent pay cut, Brynien said
he hadn’t heard of it.
PEF Secretary-Treasurer Arlea Igoe presented her 2009-10 budget proposal for
the union. She said the American Federation of Teachers, a PEF affiliate,
would contribute $125,000 to PEF’s fight against the state budget cuts.
However, AFT also has increased its dues. Following a report by the PEF
Budget Committee and discussion, the budget was adopted.
Mid-year amendments to the 2008-09 PEF budget were proposed and adopted, as
was the quarterly financial report.
After debate, the board approved an amended reimbursement policy and travel
voucher for use at the 2009 convention.
Igoe reported defibrillators had been installed in PEF’s downstate field
offices and staff were being trained to use them.
At the request of Vice President Joe Fox, PEF conventions chair, board
members suggested and discussed possible sites for future PEF conventions.
Atlantic City was discussed but failed to get enough board members’ support.
Board members generally preferred sites within New York state.
The board approved sending a proposed amendment to the PEF constitution and
bylaws to the 2009 convention delegates for ratification. The amendment
would create a separate board seat to represent members at the state Higher
Education Services Corporation.
A second proposed constitutional amendment that would give PEF’s statewide
officers, trustees and Executive Board members the additional duties and
authority of stewards was referred to the PEF Divisions Committee.
A proposal to create a new Executive Board seat to represent members of PEF
Division 311 was defeated.
PEF committees and offices
Proposed rules for PEF’s triennial elections were debated, amended and
Janette Clark was sworn in to represent members at Taconic Developmental
Disabilities Services Office on the board until the term expires July 31.
The board approved the appointments of Bill Crotty, Harry Leighton and
Albert King to fill vacancies on the PEF Triennial Elections Committee.
Kevin Kallin was appointed to fill a vacancy on the Political Action
Minor revisions to the PEF Division 196 constitution were approved.
A proposal to make it easier to revise division newsletter policies was
The board approved both the general session and the executive session
minutes of the November 13 meeting.