11/08 Quicknote
 

 

BUDGET CRUNCH

I’m sure you all know by now that the State faces a 2.5 billion dollar budget deficit this fiscal year and a 12.5 billion dollar shortfall next year.  The Governor has made a number of proposals to close this gap.  Among his proposals was a demand that the State Employee Unions, including PEF, reopen our contracts.  Specifically he wants us to give up our 3% increase scheduled for April, 2009, he wants to lag our pay by another week, and he wants us to pay more for our health insurance.  However, he can not impose these give-backs without our consent and, as of now, PEF stands firmly against any reopening of our contract.  He has also called for an increase in health insurance costs for retired State workers.  This unfortunately can be done without Union approval. 

 

The Governor has also stated that he does not expect there to be layoffs of State Workers.  This may change, although it is doubtful that clinical workers, such as Nurses, would be layed-off..  I will keep you informed of what is happening.

 

BENEFIT FAIR

An employee benefit fair will be held Thursday November 20th in the Student Center gym.  Representatives from PEF Membership Benefits as well as vendors from Banks, Financial firms, etc. will be in attendance with information on programs and benefits that are available to PEF members and State Workers.   The fair will be open from10am – 3pm.  PEF Membership benefits will have information on disability and life insurance, travel, discount movie and amusement park tickets, as well as a number of other benefits that are available to us.

 

SAVE THE DATE – PEF HOLIDAY PARTY

PEF Division 198’s annual holiday party will be held on December 12th from 6 – 10pm.  Again this year the party will be held in Sodexho Court in the back of the cafeteria.  As always we will have good food and music for our members.  This year I will again be Scrooge and restrict the party to PEF members and their immediate family (with the small amount of money I’m given to run our Union local we cannot afford to feed the entire hospital.)  Please try and join us as we celebrate the holidays.

 

PEF POLITICS

On Election Day PEF had its best day ever as over 95% of PEF endorsed candidates won their elections.  Statewide, hundreds of PEF members volunteered on campaigns and the Union gave thousands of dollars to help endorsed candidates. (Please note that members’ dues money is never used for elections – the separate, voluntary PEF COPE fund is used for political contributions.)  Locally, we were able to fill buses on 2 Saturdays that left from Downstate and traveled to Pennsylvania so members could campaign for Obama.  Other Downstate members manned phone banks and went door to door for both national and local candidates.  I want to especially thank Corina Florece Ruiz for organizing our efforts at Downstate and I want to thank all of our members who gave their time and energy to help elect worker-friendly candidates

 

 

BENEFIT FAIR                              11/20/08               10 AM – 3 PM

PEF NURSES’ CONFERENCE     12/2/08                 registration ends 11/26

HOLIDAY PARTY                          12/12/08.                  6 – 10 PM

 

PLEASE REMEMBER TO GIVE TO THE SEFA CAMPAIGN.  IN THESE HARD ECONOMIC TIMES YOUR DONATIONS ARE NEEDED MORE THEN EVER