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The Official Publication of the NYS Public Employees Federation www.thecommunicator.org September 2008



You Said It

WCB ignoring

eligible lists

To the Editor:

Why hasnʼt

PEF said

anything about

the state



Board disregarding civil service test results

and eligible lists in making promotions to

the position of senior workersʼ

compensation referee

No one has ever been promoted from

the civil service list to that position. All

promotions to that job title have been

made through lateral transfers.

If PEF is not going to say anything, or if

nothing can be done, it would be better for

PEF to recommend the civil service written

test no longer be given.



Editor’s Note: For at least six years,

PEF has supported state legislation to

prohibit transfers in the face of an eligible

list. This year, the bill number is

S.4821/A.8138. However, it continues to

be opposed by another public-employee

union that contends such transfers expand

its members’ career opportunities. The bill

has never been passed by both houses in

the same year. This year, it was passed by

the state Assembly, but not by the Senate.

PEF also has objected through the

labor-management forum.

Appreciate what

Republicans do

To the Editor:

I feel compelled to respond to the letter

titled “Appreciate what progressives do”

published in your

July-August issue.

Decades before

liberals adopted

environmentalism, it

was a Republican

who created the U.S.

Forestry Service, the

national park system

and began the

nationʼs greatest

effort at conservation and wildlife

protection. Teddy Roosevelt also was

famous for busting up monopolies and

beginning labor reform.

It was another Republican who created

the Environmental Protection Agency and

the Council on Environmental Quality. Yes,

it was Richard Nixon. He also was the

strongest proponent of the Clean Water

Act and Clean Air Act and signed those

two pieces of historic legislation into law.

What about recent liberals President

Bill Clinton came to Washington with one

of the worst environmental records of any

governor. Arkansasʼ water quality was

nearly the worst in the country. Although

Clinton and Vice President Al Gore

complain about climate change, what did

they do about it during their eight years in

office Did they sign the Kyoto Accords


Pressure from environmental groups

halted Clinton in his tracks when he

attempted to get rid of the Council on

Environmental Quality.

When Gore campaigned for president

in his private jet, he proposed a federal tax

that would bring the price of a gallon of

gas to $5. He said the tax was to fund

environmental endeavors in the U.S. and


The leftʼs “no-drill policy” is one of its

most elitist efforts. Those who are most

burdened by it are the working poor, who

can ill afford to change to a hybrid vehicle

and who usually drive old, fuel-inefficient


But do those progressives care No,

because they value animals more than the

poor masses.



You Said It:

Letters to the Editor





Division 169 members from

the White Plains state

Department of Environmental

Conservation office gather

June 13 to dedicate a tree and

memorial to Chris

Vidhyarkorn, a co-worker who

was killed in Iraq during his

tour of duty on September 29,

2007.Vidhyarkorn’s family,

DEC Commissioner Pete

Grannis and Regional Director

Willie Janeway also attended.

The memorial was organized

by Todd Ghiosay.

— Photo by Patrick Ferracane

Page 2 —The Communicator September 2008 PEF Information Line: 1-800-553-2445

ON THE COVER — PEF prepares for

possible fall state budget battles.

Graphic by Mario A. Bruni.


Volume 25, No. 7 September 2008 (0745-6514)

The Official Publication of the New York State Public Employees

Federation, AFL-CIO, 1168-70 Troy-Schenectady Road, 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. 277.

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 verification.

Send letters to:

The Communicator, PEF, P.O. Box 12414,

Albany, N.Y. 12212-2414

or email to: thecommunicator@pef.org

Officers of PEF

Kenneth Brynien President

Arlea J. Igoe Secretary-Treasurer

Patricia Baker, Joe Fox, Lou Matrazzo

Vice Presidents

Kevin Hintz, Dan Connors, Frank Besser,

Donald Kehoskie, Mary Twitchell,

Robert Varano, William A. Crotty, Tom

Comanzo, Neila Cardus, Vernetta Chesimard,

Jemma Hanson, Doris “Dee” Dodson

Regional Coordinators

Robert H. Reynolds, Olubiyi Sehindemi,

Julio Munoz Trustees

PEF Regional Field Offices

Reg. 1 Buffalo 1-800-462-1462

Reg. 2 Elmira/Hornell 1-800-724-5001

Reg. 3 Rochester 1-800-724-5003

Reg. 4 Syracuse 1-800-724-5004

Reg. 5 Binghamton 1-800-724-4998

Reg. 6 Utica 1-800-724-5005

Reg. 7 Malone 1-888-498-8532

Reg. 8 Albany 1-800-342-4306

Reg. 9 Poughkeepsie 1-800-548-4870

Reg. 10 Manhattan/Bronx 1-800-522-8700

Reg. 11 Brooklyn/Queens/Staten Island 1-866-897-9775

Reg. 12 Long Island 1-800-832-5284

The Communicator Staff

Stephen Chamberlain Managing Editor

Darcy Wells Editor-In-Chief

Sherry Halbrook Editor

Mario A. Bruni Graphic Artist

Deborah A. Miles Reporter/Writer

Barbara Valenti Jr. 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 1-800-342-4306, ext. 221.

PEF is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers,

AFL-CIO & Services Employees International Union.

Metro NY








Hero’s tribute . . . . . . . . .2

State salaries online . . . .8

PEF backs work force . . . .8

CDPC nurse assaulted . .10

OCFS violence guidebook 10

PS&T Contract . . . . . . .11


You Said It . . . . . . . . . . .2

President’s Message . . . .7

Legislative Action . . . . . . .7

Health Notes . . . . . . . .12

Member Mobilization . . .13

Retirees in Action . . . . .16

Member Highlights . . . .19

Membership Benefits . . .26

Squeezing 9-5


Trial by wildfire


State budget

belt tightening 9

Reporting/Disclosure Act16

DOCS conference . . . . .18

E Board vacancies . . . . .20

PEF “Going Green” . . . . .21

Member killed . . . . . . . .22

Join COPE . . . . . . . . . .28

Read it online



www.pef.org The Communicator September 2008 — Page 3

Obama tops PEF endorsements


The PEF Executive Board voted

overwhelmingly at its July meeting to

endorse Barack Obama for president of

the United States.

Obama has been a strong supporter of

labor and was previously endorsed by

PEF’s international affiliates, the

American Federation of Teachers (AFT)

and the Service Employees International

Union (SEIU).

“We are confident Barack Obama will

be a strong advocate for the hard-working

men and women of this country,” said

PEF President Ken Brynien.

“As a senator, Obama has

demonstrated his support for a more open

and accountable government, working

families and civil rights — all issues

important to our members.

“Sen. Obama has consistently

supported federal programs that provide

critical funding to New York state. These

federal funds ensure our members can

continue to provide the vital services on

which New Yorkers rely,” Brynien said.

PEF previously endorsed New York

Sen. Hillary Clinton for president and

hundreds of members turned out to

support her as she sought to win

primaries in New York, New Hampshire

and Pennsylvania. Although Clinton won

those primaries she came up short in total

delegate support heading into the

Democratic convention and bowed out of

the race, asking her supporters to back


LEARNING — PEF Retirees members

Sue and Don Przybyl and Dave Claydon

take notes at July political training.

— Photo by Jim Adsit


“Our members are seasoned, skillful,

energetic activists who are ready to get out

and campaign for the leaders and issues

that matter to us,” said PEF Vice

President Joe Fox, who chairs PEF’s

political action efforts. “We count on them

to volunteer and work hard for Obama

and many other candidates PEF has

endorsed in

congressional and

state legislative races.

“As public

employees, we are

keenly aware of what

a tremendous effect

legislation, leadership

and public policy can

have on our lives, and

those of our families

and communities as

well,” Fox added. “We

know far too much is

at stake here to stand

back and be silent.

This is the time when

every voice and every

vote counts the


PEF Legislative

Director Brian

Curran said many

more congressional seats are being

hotly contested this year.

“As always, PEF has endorsed

candidates from both parties based on

the candidates’ individual voting

records, positions, effectiveness and

willingness to support our issues,” Fox


PEF regional political action

committees (PACs) interviewed candidates

running to represent those regions in the

state Legislature or Congress. PEF’s

statewide PAC considered the

recommendations of the regional PACs

and made its own recommendations to

the PEF Executive Board, which made the


While candidates were weighed on their

own merits, the board also considered

broader political strategies, especially

where partisan voting has played a role in

crucial votes, such as in Congress.

“We have to recognize lawmakers are

under tremendous pressure to vote with

their parties,” Fox said, “and the majority

party leaders control the committees and

which bills can reach the floor for a vote.

“It’s important to have that power in

the hands of people who value public

service and who appreciate the rights and

needs of working Americans and their

families,” Fox said. “It’s a lot to consider,

so we put a big effort into making the best

endorsements we can on behalf of our


It’s now up to PEF members,

he said, to push

Obama and the other


candidates over the


“Some of the

candidates are facing

tough primary battles

September 9 and

need help

immediately,” Curran

said. “Please make

sure you are

registered to vote and

go to the polls on

election day. If you

must be out of town

on primary or election

day, get and submit

an absentee ballot.


contact your regional

PEF office and let them know you are

ready to volunteer. That could mean

phoning voters, taking election

materials door-to-door, preparing

mailings, posting campaign signs,

handing out campaign literature,

supporting candidates at rallies,

Page 4 —The Communicator September 2008 PEF Information Line: 1-800-553-2445

for national, state offices

hosting meet-and-greets for candidates or

any number of other tasks that are part of

the hard work that makes our democracy


“Personal effort makes a deep

impression on most candidates,” Curran

said. “They rarely forget the people who

knocked themselves out to help get them


SHARPER SKILLS — Participants are

down to business at a workshop for

political activists offered by PEF Retirees

at its July statewide meeting in Albany.

Shown seated (clockwise) are: Hiram

Eberlein, Rose Lencin,Theresa Maher,

Lucretia Buccolo and Ed Alfonsin.

Standing at right is Long Island Chapter

President Mary Reid.

— Photo by Jim Adsit

In compliance with federal election law, this material is

paid for by the New York State Public Employees

Federation — Committee on Political Education (COPE),

a separate, segregated fund at PO Box 12414, Albany,

NY 12212; phone: 518 785-1900; and was not authorized

by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

PEF Executive Board endorses candidates in ’08 races

The PEF Executive Board has

endorsed the political candidates

reported here for the November 4

General Election. In some districts no

candidates were endorsed, as noted


The endorsements are based on

interviews and reviews of individual

candidates’ voting records and

qualifications, followed by

recommendations from PEF’s regional

and statewide political action


All candidates listed below were

endorsed. Parties are listed in their

ballot order.

PEF will review its endorsements

following the September 9 primaries,

and may add or replace some

endorsements accordingly.

Candidates whose names are printed

entirely in UPPERCASE are NOT


Endorsed candidates facing primary

elections are indicated in boldface along

with the party involved. Those printed

both in UPPERCASE and boldface are

non-incumbents facing primaries.

Information provided here is based

on filings certified August 7 by the NYS

Board of Elections.


President – BARACK OBAMA, D-W

Vice President – Not available


1st C.D. – Timothy Bishop, D-I-W

2nd C.D. – Steven J. Israel, D-I-W

3rd C.D. – No endorsement at this time

4th C.D. – Carolyn McCarthy, D-I-W

5th C.D. – Gary L. Ackerman, D-I-W

6th C.D. – Gregory W. Meeks, D

7th C.D. – Joseph Crowley, D-W

8th C.D. – Jerrold L. Nadler, D-W

9th C.D. – Anthony D. Weiner, D-W

10th C.D. – Edolphus Towns, D

11th C.D. – Yvette D. Clarke, D-W

12th C.D. – Nydia M. Velazquez, D-W


14th C.D. – Carolyn B. Maloney, D-W

15th C.D. – Charles B. Rangel, D-W

16th C.D. – Jose E. Serrano, D-W

17th C.D. – Eliot L. Engel, D-I-W

18th C.D. – Nita M. Lowey, D-W

19th C.D. – John Hall, D-I-W

20th C.D. – Kirsten E. Gillibrand,D-W

21st C.D. – PAUL D. TONKO, D-W

22nd C.D. – Maurice D. Hinchey, D-I-W

23rd C.D. – John M. McHugh, R-I-C

24th C.D. – Michael A. Arcuri, D-W


26th C.D. – No endorsement at this time

27th C.D. – Brian Higgins, D-W

28th C.D. – Louise M. Slaughter, D-I-W

29th C.D. – ERIC J. J. MASSA, D-W


1st S.D. – Kenneth P. LaValle, R-I-C

2nd S.D. – John J. Flanagan, R-I-C

3rd S.D. – Caesar Trunzo, R-I-C

4th S.D. – Owen H. Johnson, R-I-C

5th S.D. – Carl L. Marcellino, R-I-C

6th S.D. – Kemp Hannon, R-I-C

7th S.D. – Craig M. Johnson, D-W

8th S.D. – Charles J. Fuschillo Jr., R-I-C

9th S.D. – Dean G. Skelos, R-I-C

10th S.D. – Shirley L. Huntley, D-W

11th S.D. – Frank Padavan, R-I-C

12th S.D. – George Onorato, D


14th S.D. – Malcolm A. Smith, D-W

15th S.D. – Serphin R. Maltese, R-I-C

16th S.D. – Toby Ann Stavisky, D-W

17th S.D. – Martin Malave-Dilan, D

18th S.D. – Velmanette Montgomery,D-W

19th S.D. – John L. Sampson, D-W

20th S.D. – Eric L. Adams, D-W

21st S.D. – Kevin S. Parker, D-W

22nd S.D. – Martin J. Golden, R-I-C

23rd S.D. – Diane J. Savino, D-W

24th S.D. – Andrew J. Lanza, R-I-C

25th S.D. – Martin Connor, D

(Continued on Page 6)

www.pef.org The Communicator September 2008 — Page 5


(Continued from Page 5)

26th S.D. – Liz Krueger, D-W

27th S.D. – Carl Kruger, D

28th S.D. – Jose M. Serrano, D-W

29th S.D. – Thomas K. Duane, D-W

30th S.D. – Bill Perkins, D-W

31st S.D. – Eric Schneiderman, D-W

32nd S.D. – Ruben Diaz Sr, D-R

33rd S.D. – No endorsement at this time

34th S.D. – Jeffrey D. Klein, D-I-W

35th S.D. – No endorsement at this time

36th S.D. – Ruth H. Thompson, D-W

37th S.D. – Suzi Oppenheimer, D-W

38th S.D. – Thomas P. Morahan, R-I-C-W

39th S.D. – William J. Larkin Jr, R-I-C

40th S.D. – Vincent L. Leibell III, R-I-C

41st S.D. – Stephen M. Saland, R-I-C

42nd S.D. – John J. Bonacic, R-I-C

43rd S.D. – No endorsement at this time

44th S.D. – Hugh T. Farley, R-I-C

45th S.D. – Elizabeth O’C. Little, R-I-C

46th S.D. – Neil D. Breslin, D

47th S.D. – Joseph A. Griffo, R-I-C

48th S.D. – Darrel J. Aubertine, D-W

49th S.D. – David J. Valesky, D-W

50th S.D. – John A. DeFrancisco, R-I-C

51st S.D. – James L. Seward, R-I-C

52nd S.D. – Thomas W. Libous, R-I-C

53rd S.D. – George H. Winner Jr., R-I-C

54th S.D. – Michael F. Nozzolio, R-I-C

55th S.D. – Jim Alesi, R-I-C

56th S.D. – Joseph E. Robach, R-I-C

57th S.D. – Catherine M. Young, R-I-C

58th S.D. – William T. Stachowski, D-C-W

59th S.D. – Dale M. Volker, R-I-C

60th S.D. – Antoine Thompson, D-W

61st S.D. – No endorsement at this time

62nd S.D. – George D. Maziarz, R-I-C


1st A.D. – Marc S. Alessi, D-I-W

2nd A.D. – Fred W. Thiele Jr., R-I-C-W

3rd A.D. – Patricia A. Eddington, D-I-W

4th A.D. – Steven Englebright, D-I-W

5th A.D. – Ginny Fields, D-I

6th A.D. – Philip R. Ramos, D-I-W

7th A.D. – No endorsement at this time

8th A.D. – Philip M. Boyle, R-I-C

9th A.D. – Andrew P. Raia, R-I-C

10th A.D. – James D. Conte, R-I-C

11th A.D. – Robert K. Sweeney, D-I-W

12th A.D. – Joseph S. Saladino, R-I-C-W

13th A.D. – Charles D. Lavine, D-I-W

14th A.D. – Robert D. Barra, R-I-C-W

15th A.D. – Rob Walker, R-I-C-W

16th A.D. – Michelle E. Schimel, D-I-W

17th A.D. – Thomas McKevitt, R-I-C

18th A.D. – Earlene Hooper, D-I

19th A.D. – David G. McDonough, R-I-C-W

20th A.D. – Harvey Weisenberg, D-I-W

21st A.D. – Thomas Alfano, R-I-C-W

22nd A.D. – Ellen Young, D-I-W

23rd A.D. – Audrey Pheffer, D-W

24th A.D. – Mark S. Weprin, D-W

25th A.D. – Rory I. Lancman, D-W

26th A.D. – Ann Margaret E. Carrozza, D-W

27th A.D. – Nettie Mayersohn, D

28th A.D. – Andrew D. Hevesi, D-W

29th A.D. – William Scarborough, D-W

30th A.D. – Margaret M. Markey, D

31st A.D. – Michele R. Titus, D-W

32nd A.D. – Vivian E. Cook, D-W

33rd A.D. – Barbara M. Clark, D-W


35th A.D. – Jeffrion L. Aubry, D

36th A.D. – Michael N. Gianaris, D-W

37th A.D. – Catherine T. Nolan, D

38th A.D. – Anthony S. Seminerio, D-R-I-C

39th A.D. – Jose R. Peralta D-W

40th A.D. – No endorsement at this time

41st A.D. – Helene E. Weinstein, D-W

42nd A.D. – Rhoda S. Jacobs, D

43rd A.D. – Karim Camara, D-W

44th A.D. – James F. Brennan, D-W

45th A.D. – Steven Cymbrowitz, D-R-W

46th A.D. – Alec Brook-Krasny, D-W

47th A.D. – William Colton, D-W

48th A.D. – Dov Hikind, D-R

49th A.D. – Peter J. Abbate Jr, D-W

50th A.D. – Joseph R. Lentol, D

51st A.D. – Felix W. Ortiz, D-W

52nd A.D. – Joan L. Millman, D-W

53rd A.D. – Vito J. Lopez, D

54th A.D. – Darryl C. Towns, D-W

55th A.D. – William F. Boyland Jr, D-W

56th A.D. – Annette M. Robinson, D

57th A.D. – Hakeem S. Jeffries, D-W

58th A.D. – N. Nick Perry, D-W

59th A.D. – Alan N. Maisel, D

60th A.D. – D. Janele Hyer-Spencer, D-I-W

61st A.D. – Matthew J. Titone, D-W

62nd A.D. – Lou Tobacco, R-I-C

63rd A.D. – Michael J. Cusick, D-I-C-W

64th A.D. – Sheldon Silver, D-W

65th A.D. – Micah Z. Kellner, D-W

66th A.D. – Deborah J. Glick, D-W

67th A.D. – Linda B. Rosenthal, D-W

68th A.D. – Adam Clayton Powell, D

69th A.D. – Daniel J. O’Donnell, D

70th A.D. – Keith L. T, Wright, D-W

71st A.D. – Herman D. Farrell Jr, D

72nd A.D. – Adriano Espaillat, D-W

73rd A.D. – Jonathan L. Bing, D-W

74th A.D. – Brian P. Kavanagh, D-W

75th A.D. – Richard N. Gottfried, D-W

76th A.D. – Peter M. Rivera, D-W

77th A.D. – Aurelia Greene, D-W

78th A.D. – Jose Rivera, D

79th A.D. – Michael A. Benjamin, D-W

80th A.D. – Naomi Rivera, D

81st A.D. – Jeffrey Dinowitz, D-W

82nd A.D. – Michael R. Benedetto, D-W

83rd A.D. – Carl E. Heastie, D-W

84th A.D. – Carmen E. Arroyo, D

85th A.D. – Ruben Diaz Jr, D-W

86th A.D. – No endorsement at this time

87th A.D. – J. Gary Pretlow, D-I

88th A.D. – Amy R. Paulin, D-I-W

89th A.D. – Adam T. Bradley, D-I-W

90th A.D. – Sandra R. Galef, D-I

91st A.D. – George S. Latimer, D-I-W

92nd A.D. – Richard L. Brodsky, D-W

93rd A.D. – Mike Spano, D-C-W

94th A.D. – Kenneth P. Zebrowski, D-I-C-W

95th A.D. – Ellen C. Jaffee, D-I-W

96th A.D. – Nancy Calhoun, R-C

97th A.D. – Ann G. Rabbitt, R-I-C

98th A.D. – Aileen M. Gunther, D-I-C

99th A.D. – No endorsement at this time

100th A.D. – Tom Kirwan, R-I-C

101st A.D. – Kevin A. Cahill, D-W

102nd A.D. – Joel M. Miller, R-I-C

103rd A.D. – Marcus J. Molinaro, R-I-C

104th A.D. – John McEneny, D-I


106th A.D. – Ronald J. Canestrari, D-I-W

107th A.D. – Clifford W. Crouch, R-I

108th A.D. – Timothy P. Gordon, D-I-W

109th A.D. – Robert P. Reilly, D-I-W

110th A.D. – James N. Tedisco, R-I-C

111th A.D. – Bill Magee, D

112th A.D. – IAN MC GAUGHEY, D-I-W

113th A.D. – Teresa R. Sayward, R-I

114th A.D. – Janet L. Duprey, R-I-C

115th A.D. – David R. Townsend Jr, R-W

116th A.D. – RoAnn M. Destito, D-W

117th A.D. – Marc W. Butler, R-I-C


119th A.D. – Joan K. Christensen, D-I-W

120th A.D. – William B. Magnarelli, D-I-W

121st A.D. – Albert A. Stirpe, Jr, D-W

122nd A.D. – Dede Scozzafava, R-I-W

123rd A.D. – Gary D. Finch, R-I-C

124th A.D. – William A. Barclay, R-I-C

125th A.D. – Barbara S. Lifton, D-W

126th A.D. – Donna A. Lupardo, D-W

127th A.D. – Peter D. Lopez, R-I-C

128th A.D. – Robert C. Oaks, R-C

129th A.D. – No endorsement at this time

130th A.D. – Joe Errigo, R-I-C

131st A.D. – Susan V. John, D-W

132nd A.D. – Joseph D. Morrelle, D-I

133rd A.D. – David F. Gantt, D

134th A.D. – Bill Reilich, R-I-C

135th A.D. – David R. Koon, D-W

136th A.D. – James G. Bacalles, R-I-C

137th A.D. – Thomas F. O’Mara, R-I-C

138th A.D. – Francine DelMonte, D-W

139th A.D. – Stephen M. Hawley, R-I-C

140th A.D. – No endorsement at this time

141st A.D. – Crystal D. Peoples, D

142nd A.D. – Michael W. Cole, R

143rd A.D. – No endorsement at this time

144th A.D. – Sam Hoyt, D-I-W

145th A.D. – Mark J. Schroeder, D-I-C-W

146th A.D. – Jack Quinn, R-I-C-W

147th A.D. – Daniel J. Burling, R-I-C

148th A.D. – James P. Hayes, R-I-C

149th A.D. – Joseph M. Giglio, R-I-C

150th A.D. – William L. Parment, D-I

Page 6 —The Communicator September 2008 PEF Information Line: 1-800-553-2445

PEF: ‘Cut waste not workers’


For most of us, summer is a time for

relaxation, picnics, barbecues, and


However, in the weeks following the

Independence Day holiday, the governor

set off his own fireworks. His dire

predictions of the state’s fiscal condition,

increasingly urgent warnings on the

be, not only in terms of the

emotional costs to those

threatened by layoff, but in

terms of the costs to state

services and to the state’s

economic recovery by

taking money out of the

economy just when it is

needed the most.

• $200 million through bulk

purchasing of prescription drugs; and

• $25 million this year, and at least

$100 million in each subsequent year, by

passing the “bigger, better bottle bill.”

Enhanced opportunities for

telecommuting and flexible work

schedules would save even more.

These are just some of the many steps

state’s revenue shortfall, and his calls for I have met with the

that can and should be taken before

additional cuts in the budget for state governor and his staff and BRYNIEN budget cuts that affect our members’ job

operations sent shock waves through the

state work force.

News reports have even raised the

prospect of layoffs of state workers –a

predictable knee-jerk reaction to the

state’s fiscal crisis by anti-public-sector


The job security of our members is

PEF’s top priority. We have worked to

educate the state’s leaders on how

damaging cuts to the state work force can

have identified more than $1 billion in

potential savings and revenue that is

achievable if leaders have the political will

to make the necessary changes.

These options include savings of:

• $500-$750 million annually by

targeting more than $3 billion in wasteful


• $150 million (the equivalent of 2,500

state employees) by reducing overtime

and actually hiring more employees;

security and the services our members

provide are even considered.

No doubt, we all will be asked to

sacrifice, but we will not be victims.

As the leader of our union, I promise

you PEF will do whatever it takes to

preserve your job security.

We will take our message to the

streets, if necessary, to make sure it’s

heard loud and clear:

“Cut the waste, not the workers!”

Governor signs laws protecting

nurses, military, WTC responders


Recently, Gov. David

Paterson signed six more

PEF-supported bills into

law. He vetoed three

PATERSON others.

Topping the list of signed bills are one

restricting mandatory overtime for nurses

(See related article this page), a bill

making permanent agency-fee provisions

of the state Taylor Law, and a bill that

enhances eligibility of public employees

for benefits under the World Trade Center

Disability Law.

Other bills he signed include:

• S.1608/A.1206A – This requires a

registered nurse, qualified in operating

At last.

After a decade of lobbying lawmakers,

gathering statistics to prove a point, and

praying that something would change to

improve patient safety, it has.

Gov. David Paterson signed the

mandatory overtime bill into law August

13. And PEF leaders were relieved the

battle to get this law on the books is


“The governor came through with his

promise to sign the bill,” said PEF

President Ken Brynien. “New York has

now joined the ranks of other enlightened

room nursing, shall be present in the OR

as the “circulating nurse” (responsible for

the patient’s safety) for the duration of the

procedure. This law takes effect October


• S7792/A10381 – This provides

members of the U.S. armed forces and

reserves with the opportunity to take a

special “make-up” civil service exam if

they miss taking or applying to take the

regular exam because of military service.

This law takes effect immediately; and

• S.7791/A.10486 – This increases

employment opportunities for veterans

with disabilities. This bill takes effect


Vetoed by the governor were:

states that realize the caliber of care for a

patient rises when a nurse or other health

care provider isn’t forced to work double

or triple shifts.

“This action also will bring back more

nurses to the work force. It is a

triumphant day for all of New York,”

Brynien said.

“I was confident the governor would

sign the bill once it got to his desk

because of his commitment,” said PEF

Region 12 Coordinator Dee Dodson, chair

of the PEF Nurses’ Committee. I look

forward to things changing, and I’m

• S.6652/A.9892 which would have

required the state to assign the least

senior employee in the job title when an

employee is to be involuntarily moved to a

work location in a non-contiguous


• S.6533A/A.9511A which would have

required school committees on special

education to provide information to the

parents of blind and deaf children about

the services offered by the state schools

for the blind and for the deaf; and

• S.6778/A.10553 which would have

extended the maximum leave from 12 to

18 months for state employees injured on

the job.

Finally, a Mandatory Overtime Law

grateful we have a governor who

understands the need for this legislation.”

Hospitals and other health care

facilities will have until July 1, 2009, to

put a plan together to stop mandatory

overtime. The law does contain some

exceptions for certain emergency


Brynien said credit should go to the

sponsors of the bill, Sen. Thomas

Morahan and Assembly Member Aileen

Gunther, who took the lead in working out

the details of the bill.

— Deborah A. Miles

President’s Message

Legislative Action

www.pef.org The Communicator September 2008 — Page 7

PEF backs state work force,

offers solutions to recession


Gov. David Paterson held a news

conference July 29 to officially announce

the state of New York was in a recession.

With a constant eye on the state’s fiscal

condition, PEF jumped right in to address

the economic downturn.

The mobilization department sprung

into high gear, making sure the union‘s

communication network was above par,

while PEF leaders scrutinized the budget.

Paterson placed the deficit for next year

at $6.4 billion.

“In the beginning of May, our budget

director projected our New York state deficit

over the next three years at $21.5 billion –

that was a record. But things have

changed. That number has now erupted to

$26.2 billion – a staggering 22 percent

increase in less than 90 days,” Paterson


The governor ordered an immediate

hiring freeze and told state agencies to

reduce spending by $630 million in the

current fiscal year, a roughly 7 percent

reduction in state agency spending beyond

the 3.35 percent reduction he called for in


“PEF understands there will be

hardships for the citizens of New York as a

result of the economic downturn, but the

state work force or state services should

not bear a disproportionate amount of the

burden,” said PEF President Ken Brynien.

“State agency budgets already have been

cut by a half-billion dollars, just as steps

were being taken to restore the state’s

ability to provide services to its citizens.

There needs to be a balance between cost

cutting and adding revenue,” Brynien said.

Offering alternatives

The governor said he would welcome

creative solutions during this harsh

economic time. Brynien met with the

governor in August and expressed PEF’s


With state agencies already being asked

to see where they can trim services,

Brynien said PEF

strongly opposes

cuts to the state

work force that

could result in layoffs, and will take

whatever action is necessary to preserve

the job security of PEF members and the

services they provide.

“One alternative previously suggested by

Joseph Stiglitz — the noted economist and

2001 Nobel Prize winner in economics – is

to safeguard our work force by placing a

temporary surcharge on the wealthiest New

Yorkers,” Brynien said. “People in New York

whose incomes exceed a half-million dollars

pay only 6.5 percent of their income in

state and local taxes. The rest of the

taxpayers pay 12 percent. By temporarily

raising taxes on millionaires, the state

would generate up to $3.75 billion a year.”

Another way to raise revenue is to enact

New York’s Returnable Container Act, more

commonly known as the “bigger, better

bottle bill,” which could raise $25 million

this year, and $100 million in following


Cutting costs

A way to reduce costs without adversely

affecting state services is to reduce the use

of consultants, especially where the same

work can be performed by state employees.

“The state could save between $500 and

$750 million annually,” Brynien said.

“The state also spent more than $518

million last year on overtime. If the state

hired more



instead of

paying overtime, it could save $150 million

a year.”

And Brynien said the state could save

$200 million annually by using combined

purchasing for all state-funded health care


“This would allow the state to use its

purchasing power to negotiate lower prices

from the drug companies and cut costs for,

not only the state, but for local

governments, too,” Brynien said.

“We hope to work creatively and wisely

with the governor. But we may have to

reach a new level of union power by coming

together to confront what may happen

during this economic downturn,” Brynien

said. “Members should stay informed and

be ready to protect their jobs.”

Web site posts state salaries, creates frenzy among work force


It’s a gray area, indeed. On one hand, New

Yorkers want more government

transparency. On the other, many

taxpayers who are also state workers are

up in arms over the public posting of

263,000 salaries of state employees saying

it violates their privacy.

The Web site run by the Empire Center

of the Manhattan Institute put up the

state’s payroll information July 31,

resulting in thousands of visitors to the

SeeThroughNY site.

There is also a link to public

employees’ salaries on the Albany Times

Union Web site. And since it’s been out

there, PEF has been flooded with calls by

members who want their names and

salaries removed from the list.

“Unfortunately, state employees’

payroll information is a matter of public

record,” said PEF President Ken Brynien.

The payroll information was provided

to the Empire Center through the Office of

the state Comptroller as a result of a

Freedom of Information Law (FOIL)


Under FOIL, as a general matter, all

records of a state agency are available,

unless a certain exception applies. One

exception is under the Public Officers Law

where disclosure would result in an

“unwarranted invasion of privacy.”

However, salaries and work locations of

state employees have been found by the

courts to be available to the public.

“The disclosure of this information

and the ease of access to the information

has ramifications regarding the personal

safety of the individuals in the database,”

Brynien said. “At least one instance was

brought to our attention where a coworker

of a member was living in a shelter

for battered women and her estranged

husband was able to identify her work

location through the Web site and is now

stalking her at her work site.

“We continue to explore options

regarding this and if our members have a

legitimate concern regarding this invasion

of their personal privacy.”

Members can explain their concerns to

the Empire Center by calling (518) 434-

3100 or the Manhattan Institute at (212)


Page 8 —The Communicator September 2008 PEF Information Line: 1-800-553-2445

Paterson to agencies: Suck it in


If you work for New York state, you

can expect to feel the pinch of the state’s

fiscal belt-tightening.

If your co-workers leave their jobs,

they may not be replaced and you may be

left with a sizeable share of their work.

And if you expected any new equipment

or projects in your department, don’t hold

your breath.

The governor asked all state agencies

to come up with plans to cut their

budgeted spending by 3.35 percent this

year to help head off a big budget

shortfall expected next year. As soon as

those plans were approved, he told them

to chop another 7 percent. And then he

directed them to start prioritizing all

programs with an eye to possibly

eliminating any new ones and those least

related to their “core” missions.

According to PEF’s chief budget

analyst and director of civil service

enforcement, Tom Cetrino, a review of all

of the agencies’ approved plans for

cutting their spending under the new

“Program to Eliminate the Gap (PEG)”


Most agencies started to meet their

ever-deepening savings targets by strictly

controlling the filling of their vacancies

during the fiscal year as well as reducing

their travel, equipment, contract, leasing,

and supply expenses. Some agencies

have also permanently eliminated some of

their vacant positions.

No one is sure where it will stop.

Devil’s in the details

Among the first agency plans to raise

serious concerns for PEF members was

the cost-cutting effort at the state

Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB),

where PEF represents judges, senior

claims staff and senior hearing reporters.

Responding to the original call for

saving 3.35 percent, the WCB said it

would not refill positions as they become

vacant. It also planned to close 11

customer service centers.

It’s that plan to close the service

centers, which are mainly used for claims

hearings and appeals, and to not refill

vacancies that set off alarm bells among

PEF members.

They worry they

will have much

longer commutes to

work or be forced to

relocate – leaving

them to deal with

higher gas prices or

selling their homes

in a depressed real estate market. They

also will have to pick up the slack for the

people who leave and are not replaced.

And injured workers from many state

agencies could face longer travel to

hearings and slower processing of claims.

The one bright spot in this plan was

the WCB’s decision to save money by

bringing some information technology

work back in-house that it has been

giving to contractors. The agency wants

to hire a total of 40 people, currently

working as IT consultants, to work as

state employees. This hiring would be

absorbed by reprogramming 40 existing

vacancies in other titles.

However, even that’s on shaky ground

after the governor ordered another 7

percent spending cut and a halt to hiring

and new programs.

PEF is working at the labormanagement

level to address these issues

Federal cuts hurt too

The agencies are also getting hit with

some federal budget cuts that could affect

PEF members.

For instance, more than 100 of the

approximately 700 filled positions at the

Division of Criminal Justice Services

(DCJS) are federally funded through

Byrne grants that have been drastically

reduced. DCJS told PEF

it would try to support

as many of those

positions as possible by

using money left over

from prior Byrne grants.

However, that might be

undercut by the faltering

state funding.

This is another issue PEF is trying to

address through labor-management and

by working with New York’s elected

representatives in Albany and


Check it out

If you are looking for more details

about how the state and federal budget

cutting might affect your agency, you can

get much of that information online.

All of the state agencies’ approved

plans to cut spending are being posted by

the state Division of Budget as soon as

they are approved on its Web site at


DOB has said it also will post

quarterly updates on how the agencies

are doing in meeting their goals.

www.pef.org The Communicator September 2008 — Page 9

Guidebook protects members at youth facilities


Richard Graham, a PEF registered

nurse who works at the Capital District

Psychiatric Center (CDPC) in Albany, was

punched in the nose July 23 by a patient

who is a repeat assaulter.

The patient was arrested and taken to

jail August 1 for breaking his probation,

but initially got away with fracturing

Graham’s nose.

Because of PEF’s relationship with the

Albany County district attorney’s office,

which was spearheaded last year by PEF

Vice President Pat Baker, the union was

able to act quickly.

The incident happened when Graham,

who was on break, heard a ruckus and

walked into an area where a client was

literally throwing a clothes dryer and

threatening to kill a mental health therapy

aide (TA).

“The nurse administrator and charge

nurse were trying to talk him down, along

with some TAs. I stepped in. Then I made

the mistake of glancing at another

employee to get a signal, because the

patient was out-of-control and dangerous.

When I looked back, there was a fist

coming at me. There wasn’t enough time

to duck. He hit me squarely on the nose,”

Graham said.

After the patient was restrained,

Graham said, “Fortunately for me,


PEF has produced a Know Your Rights

guidebook for members at state

Office of Children and

Family Services (OCFS)

facilities who are assaulted

or falsely accused of child


Know Your Rights is

being distributed at

membership meetings and is

available at all OCFS facilities.

“Victims of workplace

violence are often traumatized,”

said Sharon Merulla, PEF labor

management co-chair at OCFS.

“With the increased violence at

some OCFS facilities, it is

especially important the union

educate members on what to do

when they are attacked by a youth

or falsely charged with child


The booklet gives members a step-bystep

approach to seek medical treatment,

report the incident to law

enforcement, properly

document what happened,

navigate workers’

compensation, (if

necessary), and prevent

future assaults.

The booklet also

provides guidance for

investigations of child

abuse and

maltreatment reports,

which have been on

the rise

“It’s unfortunate

our members even

need the booklet,”

Merulla said.

“The fact is, OCFS

Commissioner Gladys Carrion is

pushing through her agenda of reform

without the input of the professionals who

work in the facilities. It’s giving kids the

PEF instrumental in aiding victim

Albany DA addresses assault on CDPC nurse

someone from ASAP (Assaulted Staff

Action Program) was on the scene. She

looked at me, saw me bleeding, and told

me to leave.”

Graham sought medical attention. A

physician also evaluated the patient who

made the assault.

“If the doctor had said this person was

experiencing a psychotic episode, I might

not have filed charges. It was determined

he was not psychotic at the time of the

assault,” Graham said.

Insult to injury

The CDPC safety department called the

Albany Police Department. To add insult to

injury, when the police arrived, Graham

said, “They were negative right from the

beginning. The first thing they said: ‘I hope

you know we are not taking this guy out of


“The officers didn’t ask any questions

about the blood on my shirt. They didn’t

ask to view the video that showed the

assault. There was a lack of investigative

quality on the officers’ part,” said Graham,

who also has a criminal justice degree.

“They wrote the incident up as a

violation, mere harassment.”

PEF steps in

After getting documentation that his

nose was broken, which is an assault

upper hand to manipulate the system and

file false claims,” Merulla said.

Her PEF labor-management co-chair

Steve Redler, agreed.

“We are meeting with state lawmakers,

judges and local district attorneys to

educate them on what’s happening at our

facilities and we’re developing a network of

council leaders and stewards to improve

communication,” Redler said.

“The guidebook will help in that

process,” he added.

PEF President Ken Brynien met with

Carrion in August to again discuss

increased violence and child abuse


“Our concerns seem to be falling on

deaf ears,” Brynien said.

“This commissioner is more focused on

moving kids to community programs that

already have failed too many kids. The

immediate focus should be on creating a

safe environment for the employees and


and not a violation, Graham went back to

the police department to have the charge

upgraded. He was routed back and forth

to various locations and departments.

“I went through a real round robin for

something that should have been cut and

dried right from the beginning,” Graham


“PEF made things easier and was a

great help.”

According to PEF Director of

Occupational Health and Safety

Jonathan Rosen, “Assistant District

Attorney Mark Harris contacted the

police commander who ensured the

criminal charges against the patient were

upgraded and also called Graham to

apologize for the mishandling of the


“Harris also contacted the Probation

Department which ultimately led to the

arrest of the patient who assaulted

Graham.” Rosen said.

“When you are a victim, things should

happen right away, but sometimes they

don’t,” Graham said. “When you have

been in a situation where an injury rises

to the level of an assault, don’t give up

the fight for your rights as a victim.

“PEF has shown me there are avenues

and channels to take.”

Page 10 —The Communicator September 2008 PEF Information Line: 1-800-553-2445

NY lags in statewide directive on compressed workweek

Working 9-5 may become a thing of the past


The term “going green” encompasses a

lot more than finding ways to be

environmentally correct. For those who

take advantage of a compressed workweek

or telecommuting, it’s a change of life

compared to the nine-to-five routine.

For example, Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman

Jr imposed a four-day workweek on

approximately 17,000 state employees at

the beginning of August. While Utah is the

first state to make the four-day workweek

mandatory with a 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. shift,

other states are following suit.

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson has

ordered state agencies to adopt a policy

for telecommuting and alternative work

schedules. And high gasoline prices have

prompted states such as Michigan,

Kentucky and South Carolina to conserve

on gasoline and energy by implementing

or expanding alternative work

arrangements at their state agencies.

What about New York

PEF President Ken Brynien said the

PS&T contract has offered the compressed

workweek for 30 years.

“It’s up to each agency to develop a

plan through labor-management,”

Brynien said. “But, unlike Utah, New York

must provide taxpayers with the same

services if the compressed workweek is


For more than 600 PEF members who

work at the state Department of Taxation

and Finance, working a four-day week or

telecommuting has already become a way

of life. But at other agencies, such as the

state Department of Environmental

Conservation (DEC), management isn’t

getting the message that green is the way

to go.

DEC program stagnant

Ironically, DEC was one of the first to

have a pilot program for a compressed

workweek in 2001, according to Karl

Berger, a PEF Executive Board member

and citizen participation specialist 2.

“The program was judged a success

pretty much across-the-board,” Berger

said. “We’ve been trying to get

management to expand it. It’s been on

our labor-management agenda for years.

We would like to see it being offered to all

employees, depending on operational


Less than 200 of DEC’s 3,700

employees are taking advantage of the

compressed workweek, because only

those who enrolled in the pilot program

are eligible. Berger said it is the number

one issue brought to PEF stewards.

“With the skyrocketing cost of gas,

more members ask stewards every day

about the status of the program, as well

as telecommuting and flexible time

scheduling,” he said. “The compressed

workweek is probably the most popular,

desired employee program here and we’ve

been working to get it expanded for years.

We are hopeful management will be more


Executive directive needed

“We know the state is concerned,

because it took the NYS-Ride pilot

program from the last PS&T agreement to

a statewide program in the new contract,”

Berger said. “The state is showing it is

getting ready to emphasize the need to

provide relief to employees and to seek

more creative commuting options.”

“We are in an energy crisis, and the

best thing to do which is immediate and

effective is energy conservation,” said

Lawrence D’Arco, an environmental

program specialist in PEF Division 169.

“The other changes necessary to

improve the environment and economy

will take years to implement. Compressed

pay periods could be done within

months. It would mean one day less

every two weeks for people to commute,”

D’Arco said. “There would be savings in

gas to members and reduction in

pollution. It’s a quality-of-life issue that

affects everybody.

“The governor should take the lead,”

he added.

PEF Director of Labor Relations Roger

Scales said PEF submitted “a whole host

of proposals” during bargaining about the

compressed workweek that were rejected.

He noted the agreement has always

included a section on compressed


“We are dealing with a different

governor now, and he may have a

different approach. The compressed

workweek is now a national issue,”

Scales said.

Brynien is also raising this issue with

Gov. David Paterson.

“We believe the governor needs to

step-up and direct agencies to get

involved as other governors have done,”

Brynien said. “This is an important issue

that needs aggressive yet fair guidelines

that will bring

forth a common

good throughout

the state.”

New look to the

PS&T contract book

Members in the PS&T bargaining unit should be receiving

their 2007-2011 Agreement very soon.

You will notice the format is different than the previous

contract books. In addition to the change in the size of the

booklet (which was due in part to binding capabilities), the

print size is increased to make the text easier to read.

The new contract also includes a new subject matter index that

includes cross-references in the text of the contract and related side letters. The index

adds 16 pages to the agreement and is designed to empower members, stewards and

leaders by allowing them to find quickly any subject or article.

The contracts will be mailed out later this month. Call the weekly PEF Information

Line to find out when they are in the mail, or check the PEF Web site.

— Deborah A. Miles

www.pef.org The Communicator September 2008 — Page 11

Health Notes

Enroll in ’09 Flex Spending now to save $$


If you are in the PS&T unit, the Flex

Spending Account is a program

negotiated by PEF and the state to help

you save money on your taxes.

The program has two benefits – the

Health Care Spending Account

(HCSAccount) and the Dependent Care



(DCAAccount) –

that help you pay

for health care or

dependent care

with pre-tax

dollars. And the

state may help you pay for

your dependent care.

Even if you enrolled last year for 2008,

you must enroll again now – between

September 22 and November 14, 2008 – if

you want to participate in 2009. However,

if you experience a qualifying event, such

as marriage or childbirth, you may be

allowed to enroll or change your level of

contributions later.

Go to www.flexspend.state.ny.us or

call 1-800-358-7202 to enroll. Enrollment

is voluntary. Savings vary.

You may not pay directly for eligible

expenses from these accounts. You must

pay the expenses first and then submit

claims for reimbursement from your

flexible spending account.

How HCSAccount works

If eligible, you may authorize any

amount from $100 to $4,000 annually in

pre-tax dollars be withheld from your pay

and set aside in a

special HCSAccount.

You can then

reimburse yourself

by check or direct

deposit from that

account for out-ofpocket


dental, vision, or hearing costs

not reimbursed by health insurance.

By law, you must lose any money left

in the account at the end of the year, so

carefully estimate your annual out-ofpocket

health care costs and be

conservative in setting your biweekly

contribution amount.

Examples of allowable costs are:

prescription drug copayments, dental

implants, and orthodontia fees paid to

non-participating providers, deductibles,

laser eye surgery, contact lenses and

certain over-the-counter drugs and

supplies. For a list of these items, go

online to www.flexspend.state.ny.us.

How DCAAccount works

If you pay someone to care for your

child, elderly parent, or disabled spouse

while you work, you may set aside up to

$5,000 in pre-tax salary through payroll

deduction to reimburse yourself for these


Expenses eligible for DCAAccount

reimbursement include child care

expenses (up to age 13), summer day

camp, before/after school programs,

adult day care, home aide, and

housekeeper or cook if they also provide

custodial care.

The state will contribute up to $800 to

your 2009 DCAAccount. How much it

contributes depends on your annual

salary. The less you earn, the more the

state will contribute.

The 2009 employer contribution rates


• $800 for salaries up to $30,000;

• $700 for $30,001 to $40,000;

• $600 for $40,001 to $50,000;

• $500 for $50,001 to $60,000;

• $400 for $60,001 to $70,000;

• $300 for more than $70,000.

If you have additional questions, e-

mail them to fsa@goer.state.ny.us.

Get help managing chronic illnesses


If you are covered by the Empire Plan

and you or any of your covered

dependents suffer from a chronic medical

or mental health condition, you may take

advantage of a free disease management

(DM) program.

The program will help you take a

central role in managing your care and

avoid more serious problems.

Currently, DM programs – including

three new ones that began July 1 – are

offered for: asthma; cardiovascular/

coronary artery disease; chronic kidney

disease; congestive heart failure; chronic

obstructive pulmonary disease;

depression; attention deficit hyperactivity

disorder (ADHD); eating disorders

(anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating);

diabetes; and sleep apnea. All of the DM

programs provide education and support,

are confidential, and use nationallyrecognized

clinical practice guidelines and


ValueOptions, the company that

manages mental health and substance

abuse services for the Empire Plan, is

offering two of the new DM programs.

The ADHD Identification and

Management Program includes:

• A free, confidential screening tool

that you can access online, or request by


• Information about ADHD symptoms

and treatment; and

• Help assessing treatment options

and coordinating care among treatment


The Eating Disorders Management

Program includes:

• Information about eating disorder

symptoms and treatment;

• Free eating attitude survey that can

be taken online;

• Help assessing treatment options

and coordinating

care among


providers; and

• Intensive

care management

services for people with

more severe symptoms.

For more information about these

mental health DM programs, visit

www.ValueOptions.com online or call the

Empire Plan at 1-877-7NYSHIP and select

“Option 3” for ValueOptions.

United HealthCare, through its

partner, OptumHealth, is offering the DM

program for individuals with chronic

kidney disease.

If you or your covered dependent (the

Empire Plan must be your primary

insurance) have chronic kidney disease,

you may be invited to participate in the

Kidney Resource Services Program. This

program is designed to identify patients

early in their course of treatment and

provide interventions to delay the

progression of the disease.

Participants will be offered educational

materials and other services to help

manage their kidney disease. Also, you

may be contacted by a registered

nurse in conjunction with this


For more information, call

the Empire Plan at 1-877-7-

NYSHIP and choose “Option 5”

for the Empire Plan NurseLine.

Page 12 —The Communicator September 2008 PEF Information Line: 1-800-553-2445

PEF helps bring unionism to Colorado


Mobilizing PEF members to fight for

better contracts or government

accountability is one thing. Going to

Colorado to inform and educate state

workers about the benefits of joining a

stronger union is something else.

State workers in Colorado are

represented by CAPE-SEIU (Colorado

Association of Public Employees-Service

Employees International Union), AFT

(American Federation of Teachers), and

AFSCME (American Federation of State,

County and Municipal Employees.) Their

goal was to merge the three and form


And it happened.

On June 11, more than 22,000

Colorado state employees voted yes to

representation by ColoradoWINS. In

August, an additional 11,000 state

employees in financial and professional

services bargaining units cast their ballots

in favor of the new union.

“This was an effort to get more than

30,000 state employees from seven

different bargaining units to come

together,” said PEF organizer Blair

Burroughs who spent two weeks in the

Denver area in May working with others

on this campaign.

The effort was organized and financed

by PEF’s affiliates after Colorado Gov. Bill

Ritter signed an executive order last

November to establish recognition of state

employee unions. The order also allows for

a non-binding form of collective


Besides Burroughs, PEF Executive

Board member Karl Berger (a citizen

participation specialist 2 at the state

Department of Environmental

Conservation) and retiree Lucretia

Buccolo volunteered to work two weeks in

June on the ColoradoWINS campaign.

“I talked to Colorado state workers

about the value of being a union member

in New York and our benefits,” Berger

said. “A lot of it was all new to them. They

had some small organizations, but

nothing really effective. I talked about

better health care and plans for

reasonable rates, more accountability in

our salary structure and contracting-out

which is a major concern for them. I told

them about PEF’s Go Public campaign

and how it resulted in laws that create

government transparency and



in Sidney, New York


“I spent the better part of two weeks

talking to state workers, calling and

visiting them at home,” Berger said.

Buccolo, a retired educational

supervisor from Oneida Correctional

Facility in Rome, NY, said her task was to

talk to educators who worked in Colorado

prisons. She found the system there to be

quite different than New York’s.

“All of the prisons, including four

federal prisons, are housed in an area

called Canon City. A person is allowed

access to the prisons only once every 30

days, so I spent a good deal of time

knocking on doors to talk to prison

employees at their homes.

“Colorado is a conservative state and

many of the people I spoke to already had

their minds made up whether to vote for a

union or not. My role was to sell the

concept of unions,” Buccolo said.

Buccolo, Berger and Burroughs were

among the dozens of other volunteers who

made a difference.

“The victory is a major

accomplishment,” Berger said. “It also

shows the strength in mobilization and


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www.pef.org The Communicator September 2008 — Page 13

New Yorkers’ skills, systems, teamwork tested


It was a warm Friday night, April 18,

when PEF member Michael Callan

and his family went to bed in their home

on Berme Road in Kerhonkson, so they

left windows open.

The Callans did not know a small

brush fire had been reported at 12:30

p.m. the previous day at a state park

overlook a few miles away near Route

44/55 in Ulster County.

Now, flames were racing out of control

through the tinder-dry forests and

underbrush of the 20,000-acre

Minnewaska State Park on the

picturesque Shawangunk Mountain ridge.

It would soon be recognized as the biggest

wildfire to ravage New York in 13 years.

“I live right next to it,” Callan said. “The

smoke woke me up. The fire was about

three miles from my house. And my little

wood lot was just parched.”

A forester for the state Department of

Environmental Conservation (DEC),

Callan is trained to fight forest and brush

fires. He wasted no time volunteering to

help fight this one.

“I got up to the fire staging area about

11 a.m.,” Callan said. He kept at it

through the weekend.

He was not the first PEF member to

respond, nor would he be the last. It took

an army of hundreds of local firefighters

and the carefully coordinated efforts of

many state, county and private

organizations to finally stop the blaze,

which was declared officially “out” more

than a week later at 2 p.m., April 29.

TRACKING FIREFIGHTERS — PEF member Andrew Jones and Ulster County

Deputy Fire Coordinator Ed Wilhelm check the map of the Overlook Fire. At left, is

PEF member Marilyn Schrader, a fire protection specialist 1 as is Jones.

— Photo courtesy of the NYS Department of State

The state Department of Parks and

Recreation and DEC were involved right

from the get-go. An incident management

team led by DEC forest rangers (not

represented by PEF) led the battle.

PEF members at the state Department

of State’s Office of Fire Prevention and

Control (DOS OFPC) were also among the

first called to the scene. They were called

by the Ulster County Bureau of Fire at

about 6:30 Friday night and asked to

provide and track a wide range of

resources, from people to helicopters, at

the fire.

PEF Division 295 members Les

Greenwood and Andy Jones were among

the first to arrive at the staging area that

night. Working in shifts, DOS members

would be there around-the-clock until

April 24, after the fire was contained and

under control.

Keeping track of exactly where people

and equipment were on the ridges and in

the valleys through the long smoke-filled

days and nights is crucial to protecting

lives. It also ensures the right resources

get to the right places in time to be


DOS members also served on the

incident management team, along with

representatives from the state Emergency

Management Office, that developed

objectives, strategy and tactics for fighting

the fire.

Because the OFPC routinely provides

fire training, arson investigation and other

resources to local and county emergency

services, the DOS members were the

liaison among what grew to be a total of

134 state and local government and

private agencies at the “Overlook Fire,” as

Page 14 —The Communicator September 2008 PEF Information Line: 1-800-553-2445

it was dubbed.

“It was a very large collaborative effort

among state, county and local agencies,”

said Deputy Chief Bill

Rifenburgh, a PEF Division

295 member and a

supervisor for this DOS


“After 9/11, New York

adopted the National

Interagency Incident

Management System, and

all of the state and local

agencies now have

common training,”


Rifenburgh said. “It helps to identify when

an incident is starting to increase in

intensity and requires a more experienced

management team and more resources.”

It took 79 fire departments and

specialized equipment and crews, he said,

to put down the Overlook Fire. It was up

to the DOS team to work with the

counties in identifying what equipment

and personnel to send and when.

“The goal was not to strip any single

area or community (of its fire protection)

at one time.”

Among the other local participants and

supporters were the Ulster County

Emergency Services, Orange County

Sheriff’s Department and private

organizations such as the Red Cross,

Nature Conservancy and private


In addition to DEC, DOS, Parks,

Recreation and Historic Preservation and

SEMO, other state agencies supporting

the Overlook Fire response included the

state departments of Health,

Transportation, Police, and the Army

National Guard. The latter two provided

three helicopters and a plane for water

drops. DOT and the contractors supplied

bulldozers to help clear firebreaks in the

rough terrain. Even the Department of

Correctional Services prepared meals for

the firefighters.

For some, the Overlook Fire might have

been an uncommon challenge, but not for


“It was the third fire I was called to that

week,” Rifenburgh said.

But a big incident, such as the

Overlook Fire, provides unique learning

opportunities, he added.

“It brings all of the agencies together to

use their training and cooperate. For all of

us to be able to come together like that is

a testament to the way the system is

designed,” Rifenburgh said.

Best of all, he added, although 3,100

acres burned, no lives were lost, no one

was seriously hurt and no significant

structures were lost.

www.pef.org The Communicator September 2008 — Page 15

Retirees in Action

A message from PEF Retirees President Steve Muscarella

PEF Retirees ready for ’08 races

Fifty PEF Retiree activists from

every chapter in the state met in

Albany in July to train and organize

for the 2008 election campaign.

PEF Secretary-Treasurer Arlea Igoe

and Vice President Pat Baker

welcomed the retirees to PEF

headquarters and Baker presented

certificates of appreciation to retirees

who contribute to the PEF COPE

program that funds support of

candidates for national office.

Special guest, state Sen. Hugh

Farley, was commended for sponsoring

a bill to protect public-employees’

health insurance, and for his

continuing support of senior-friendly


Farley stressed the significance of

sending “hand-written personal

letters” to elected officials.

Kevin Murray, deputy comptroller

from the NYS and Local Retirement

System, reported on the efforts of state

Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli to

ensure the integrity of the pension

fund. We thanked Murray for his work

on behalf of state retirees when in his

THANKS — PEF Retirees President

Steve Muscarella presents a

commendation to NYS Sen. Hugh Farley.

— Photo by Jim Adsit

former post as executive director of the

Retired Public Employees Association.

We also asked for the comptroller to

support an enhanced state pension

adjustment for inflation.

At our political action training, I

noted the U.S. population age 65 and

older will double in the next 17 years.

This exponential growth will require

significant funding commitments from

our federal, state and local

governments to ensure our quality of


As a future PEF retiree, PEF

President Ken Brynien said he was

committed to supporting the strength

and viability of PEF Retirees and said

he would advance proposals for

greater representation and governance

of the retirees within PEF.

Even if you did not attend the

training, you can participate in the

elections. Register and vote. And

contact your local chapter president or

PEF field office right away to volunteer

to work on a campaign.

Be sure we have your current e-

mail address. Just send it to Rachel

Mango at rmango@pef.org. Please

include your full name so we can be

sure the correct file is updated.

Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act

still provides members with democratic rights



As a PEF member, you are

entitled to certain rights under

the Labor Management

Reporting and Disclosure Act

(LMRDA). Although the

LMRDA applies primarily to

unions that represent privatesector

employees, PEF is still

required to inform its members

of their rights, as the union

represents both private and

public-sector employees.

LMRDA was enacted into

law by Congress in 1959.

PEF President Ken

Brynien said the LMRDA

establishes minimum requirements that

unions subject to its jurisdiction must


“As a result, unions are free to

establish in their constitutions and

bylaws democratic procedures and

rights for members that are above and

beyond those specified in the LMRDA.”

Brynien said. “They must be consistent

with the LMRDA.”

Your rights

Title 1 of the LMRDA includes five

categories in its rights for union

members. They include:

Equal rights and privileges to

nominate candidates for union office,

vote in union elections and referendums,

attend membership meetings and

participate in deliberation and voting at

these meetings.

Members also have the right to meet

and assemble freely with other

members, express any views, arguments

and opinions, and express at union

meetings any views upon candidates or

upon any business before the meeting.

In addition, members have the right

to vote by secret ballot on any increase

of union dues or assessments by the

local union and the right to either a

referendum vote or a majority vote of

delegates at a convention on any dues

increase at a district or national union


The right to sue or initiate

administrative proceedings, even against

the union and its officers, appear as a

witness in any proceedings, and petition

the Legislature or communicate with any

legislator; and

The right not to be disciplined by the

union, unless served with specific

charges and afforded a full and fair


And more rights

The LMRDA also provides for private

civil enforcement of members’ rights in

federal district court. However, with

some exceptions, the LMRDA requires

the union member to exhaust available

internal union remedies for a reasonable

period, not exceeding four months,

before filing a lawsuit.

Finally, the LMRDA requires unions

to provide their members with copies of

their collective bargaining agreement.

(This section of the law was intended

to permit members to enforce their rights

under the collective-bargaining agreement

by allowing them to see what benefits

they are entitled to under the agreement.)

Page 16 —The Communicator September 2008 PEF Information Line: 1-800-553-2445


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www.pef.org The Communicator September 2008 — Page 17

DOCS CONFERENCE A HIT — PEF members and staff

from the state Department of Correctional Services

(DOCS) attend an open forum in Lake Placid in May for the

annual conference and labor-management meeting. PEF’s

statewide labor-management chair for DOCS,Tom

Donahue, called this conference “one of the best.”

Approximately 130 people attended including DOCS

Commissioner Brian Fischer, hub superintendents and

administrative staff. Donahue said two-way communication

and professionalism was the key to making the event a

success.The main topics discussed at the conference were:

mental health issues in facilities, which resulted in the

formation of a new committee; overtime for nurses; and

funding for new personal safety alarms for Auburn CF,

Gowanda CF and Sing Sing.

— Photo by Lorraine Wood

Page 18 —The Communicator September 2008 PEF Information Line: 1-800-553-2445

PEF activist earns prestigious

health and safety award


For taking a leading role in health and

safety issues, PEF Division 199 Council

Leader Paul Stein received the

prestigious Karen Silkwood Award May

29 in Manhattan at the United

Federation of Teachers headquarters.

The award is presented annually by

the New York Committee for

Occupational Safety and Health

(NYCOSH) to a union activist who has

made a major contribution to

occupational safety and health.

“I felt very honored to receive this

recognition from the leadership of the

New York labor health and safety

community,” Stein said.

Stein, PEF Division 199 health and

safety chair, is a lawyer who works at the

state Department of Health (DOH) and

has devoted much of his energy to

improving the conditions that resulted

from the terrorist attacks on the World

Trade Center (WTC) in 2001.

The DOH offices moved to 90 Church

Street following Sept. 11 and workers

faced exposure to contamination from

the demolition and construction of the

WTC site.

Stein was an organizer of the 90

Church Street Labor Coalition and

played a central role in the multi-union

campaign that forced city, state and

federal agencies to provide important

safeguards such as double windows,

higher efficiency air filters, and regular

air testing.

Stein currently serves on several WTC

committees and regularly testifies on

behalf of PEF at numerous meetings,

hearings and demonstrations about Sept.

11 safety and health issues.

“I continue to learn from my

colleagues in PEF and other union and

community activists with whom I have a

close working relationship,” Stein said.

“Organizing around workplace health

and safety issues not only protects our

members, but serves as a vehicle to build

the labor movement and foster union


Stein also conceived and wrote the

first draft of PEF’s Emergency Response

Guidelines, and was the recipient of

PEF’s health and safety honor, the

Judith Scanlon Award in 2005.

Region 11 salutes men of distinction

Nine men in PEF Region 11 were

honored for their union involvement

June 21 at the regional office where

approximately 50 people came to tip their

hats to the recipients of the recognition


“It is truly an honor to have these men

in our Region 11 community. They take

pride in the work they do,” said PEF

Region 11 Coordinator Jemma Marie-


“They have contributed so much of


SONG – Paul Stein and the

PEFS perform original

union music at the Annual



— Photo by

Richard Dillard

themselves, their time and efforts to

better the membership. We greatly

appreciate their continued commitment

for the work they do and feel they should

be recognized,” Hanson said.

Two outstanding PAC (Political Action

Committee) activist awards were

presented to Nithiananda Chatterjie and

Alan Schulkin.

Don Morgenstern and Larry Park each

received an outstanding leadership


Outstanding contributions in

photography went to Ken Dischel and

Richard Dillard.

The two distinguished activist awards

went to Peter Penton and Royal Willie.

James Stewart was the recipient of

the distinguished service award.

The awards were present by Hanson,

and the speaker at the event was

Assembly Member Peter J. Abbate Jr.

— Deborah A. Miles

Members In Action

FOR OUTSTANDING SERVICE — PEF Region 11 leaders and members pose for a photo during the “Men of Distinction” awards

held in June. Standing (L-R): Richard Dillard, Don Morgenstern, Nithiananda Chatterjie, Jemma Marie-Hanson,Alan Schulkin, Pat

Baker, James Stewart and Brian Block (representative for Sen. Malcom Smith). Seated (L-R) Larry Parker, Ken Dischel,Assembly

Member Peter J.Abbate Jr, Peter Penton and Royal Willie.

— Photo by Donna Harris

www.pef.org The Communicator September 2008 — Page 19

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Exec Board

of mid-term


So many seats are being vacated and

refilled by special mid-term elections

you’re going to need a scorecard to know

the players on PEF’s Executive Board.

Three vacant seats have just been filled

without the need for voting because only

one candidate was certified by the PEF

Special Elections Committee for each seat.

These new board members are: Linda

Sano, Seat 15; Anthony Pace, Seat 45;

and John Ruiz, Seat 440.

Balloting is underway to fill two more

mid-term board vacancies, and nominees

are sought to fill another five.

Votes will be counted September 10 by

the American Arbitration Association

(AAA) to see whether John Benson or

Barry Fishbein will fill Seat 145, and

which of three candidates – Maureen

Hogle, Nanci Masica or Bonnie Wood – will

win Seat 275.

Nominating petitions will become

available October 1 for candidates to fill

the following new vacancies on the board:

• Seat 25 which represents certain PEF

members at the state Department of

Correctional Services working at the

following facilities – Albion, Elmira, Camp

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gender, race or ethnicity, national origin, religion, disabling condition, marital status or sexual orientation.

Page 20 —The Communicator September 2008 PEF Information Line: 1-800-553-2445

seeing lots


Monterey, Rochester, Groveland,

Southport, Orleans, Livingston, and


• Seat 240 which represents all PEF

Region 8 (except Albany County) and

Region 9 members working for the state

Labor Department and those at the

Workers’ Compensation Board;

• Seat 315 which represents certain

PEF Region 8 members working for the

state Office of Mental Retardation and

Developmental Disabilities (OMRDD) main

Office and/or Capital District

Developmental Disabilities Services Office


• Seat 345 which represents certain

PEF Region 9 members working for

OMRDD main office and those in PEF

Division 248 at Taconic DDSO; and

• Seat 420 which represents all PEF

members working for the state

Department of Motor Vehicles.

Nominating petitions for these seats

must be returned to the PEF Special

Elections Committee by October 22. If

more than one candidate for a seat is

certified, a special election will we held,

with ballots mailed November 12 and

returnable to the AAA by December 4.


President Joe Fox, Secretary-

Treasurer Arlea Igoe, President Ken

Brynien andVice President Lou

Matrazzo help plant the first tree at

PEF headquarters in PEF’s campaign

to ‘go green’ with The Communicator.

The birch was planted June 25 after

more than 100 members opted to

read The Communicator online. As of

September 1, more than 250

members have signed up.The more

people who subscribe to the

electronic version, the fewer trees will

be used in the magazine’s production.

To switch to receiving links to

The Communicator online, send your

request (with your name and address)

to thecommunicator@pef.org. Of

course, you may restart your print

subscription if you miss paging

through your union news.

— Photo by Deborah A. Miles

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www.pef.org The Communicator September 2008 — Page 21

Member killed

in state vehicle

while on the job

Bruce Plunkett, a PEF member

and 46-year-old code compliance

specialist stationed in Peeksville,

was killed June 24 when his stateissued

van collided with a tractortrailer.

Plunkett was on his way to give

building and fire inspectors a basic

training course at the Westchester

County Fire Training Facility in


Plunkett’s vehicle, a 2005

Chevrolet Astro van registered to

the Department of State (DOS), was

heavily damaged, making the

emergency extrication effort

complicated, according to the police


Plunkett drove over the doubleyellow

lines of Route 9A near the

service road in front of the La

Quinta Inn and crashed into the

Peterbuilt flatbed tractor-trailer,

according to the report. An

investigation into the accident is


The driver of the tractor-trailer

was not injured in the crash.

Plunkett had been with the DOS

Division of Code Enforcement and

Administration for only nine weeks.

PEF President Ken Brynien sent

a letter of condolence to Plunkett’s

wife, Valerie, on behalf of the union,

informing her of possible benefits

and offering the assistance of PEF


Plunkett’s name will be added to

the memorial at PEF headquarters.

PEF has requested a health and

safety meeting with the DOS

managers to discuss the issues

surrounding the accident, and the

safety of the agency’s fleet, as well

as defensive driving training for


The van driven by Plunkett was

scheduled to have a safety cage

installed, but it did not have the

cage at the time of the accident.

— Deborah A. Miles

Professional Directory

Advertising in this publication does not represent an endorsement by PEF or its members.


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11 Executive Park Drive

Clifton Park, NY 12065


518-371-5522 Ext. 101

available in these sizes

Page 22 —The Communicator September 2008 PEF Information Line: 1-800-553-2445

Professional Directory

Advertising in this publication does not represent an endorsement by PEF or its members.

O’Brien Hearing Aid Center

➤ 100% Digital Programmable Hearing Aids

➤ FREE Hearing Evaluation

“ a Non-Medical test for the sole purpose of the proper fitting of a Hearing Aid”

EMPIRE INSURANCE Accepted – $1500 per ear every 4 years



Sean O’Brien – BC-HIS, Board Certified in Hearing

Instrument Science/N.Y.S. Licensed H.A. Dispenser

CALL FOR APPOINTMENT ... 607-734-2849

227 Hoffman Street (Corner of Church), Elmira, NY


Dr. Shraddha Adhvaryu

General Dentistry, Orthodontia and

Dental Care for Children & Adults

1015 Hillside Avenue

New Hyde Park, NY 11040


Weekend and Late Hour

Appointments Available




Specialists and general dentists are ready to provide all of

your dental treatment needs. Quality Dental Care also has its own

laboratory in order to provide you with the fastest service possible.

Preventive Care

Oral Surgery

Full & Partial



Crown & Bridge

Denture Repairs


Root Canal


(lab on








CALL: Kathi Blinn

518-785-1900 x277

800-342-4306 x277


McCarthy, Chechanover,

and Rosado, LLP


Know Your Rights ... No Cost for Consultation ... NYS Toll-free Telephone

1-800-471-4878 (HURT)

● Workers’ Compensation ● Social Security ● Pension Disability


Queens 104-70 Queens Boulevard, Suite 400, Forest Hills 718-830-3200

Bronx 2916 Bruckner Boulevard, Bronx 718-239-0857

Downtown Brooklyn 50 Court Street, Suite 1000, Brooklyn 718-855-1280

Long Island 320 Carleton Avenue, Suite 6800, Central Islip 631-858-0572

Yonkers 914-969-6868

Do You Have Fibromyalgia Migraine

Lower Back Pain Neck Pain Stressed

Sybil R. Schwartzbach

New York State

Licensed Massage Therapist

Lic#005453 / AMTA Registered Member

17+ Years Experience

◆ ◆ ◆

Gift Certificates Available



www.pef.org The Communicator September 2008 — Page 23

Professional Directory

Advertising in this publication does not represent an endorsement by PEF or its members.

Healthy Feet are Happy Feet!

All Foot

Conditions Treated







A Professional Corporation

Co-op City Foot Care Center

Dr. Louis Jacobs, DIRECTOR

The In-office Surgical Correction of:

◆ Bunions ◆ Hammertoes ◆ Ingrown Toenails

◆ Painful Corns and Callouses

The treatment of traumatic foot injuries, heel spurs, bursitis

and arthritis of the joints of the feet, toenail and

skin infections as well as other conditions.

Accepting all major insurances including NYS Empire Plan

Section 5, Building 29C

4240 Hutchinson River Parkway East, Bronx, NY 10475


Welcome to Our Practice!

Please share with your family & friends. We welcome all new patients!

Complimentary Consultation.

● Preventive Dentistry

● Cosmetic Dentistry

● Orthodontics

Albany Group


Practice, LLPC

General Family Dentistry

● Crowns & Bridges

● Emergency Care

● Root Canal Therapy

Shagufta D. Farooqui, D.D.S.

Jane Shieh, D.D.S.

Services: We use state-ofthe-art

equipment as well as

full compliance with

infection control measures

for all services.

● Implant Dentistry

● Lumineers

● In office teeth whitening

Location: We are located at 1575 Central Avenue in

Colonie – one mile west of Colonie Center.

Fees: The doctors at Albany Group Dental Practice have agreed to accept GHI

Preferred dental benefits as PAYMENT IN FULL for covered procedures.

Specialized Services may not be fully covered by your insurance.

Appointments: Call 518-869-7167

We Put CARING Back Into Dental Care

Workers' Compensation

Personal Injury

Social Security Disability

City and State

Disability Retirement


New York ♦ Brooklyn

Garden City ♦ Queens ♦ Bronx

White Plains ♦ Bohemia

Staten Island ♦ New Jersey

Brecher Fishman Pasternack Walsh Tilker & Ziegler

is a full service law firm protecting the rights of

workers and the injured person for over 75 years.




Representing Injured Workers

Since 1967



Manhattan: 277 Broadway (Suite 400)

Tel. 212-964-1342

Queens: 118-21 Queens Boulevard

Tel. 718-268-5300

Nassau: 360 Main St., Farmingdale

Tel. 516-249-1342

Suffolk: 646 Main St., Pt. Jefferson

Tel. 631-249-1342

Page 24 —The Communicator September 2008 PEF Information Line: 1-800-553-2445

Professional Directory

Advertising in this publication does not represent an endorsement by PEF or its members.

Dr. Laura Brodsky





Advanced Technology

Digital Hearing Aids

Hi Fidelity Custom

Musician’s Earplugs

(518) 783-3110, Ex. 3004



Delmar Health Center

250 Delaware Avenue, Delmar

P H Y S I C I A N S , P . C .


Capital Region Health Park

711 Troy-Schenectady Road, Latham

(Northway Exit 6)



3601 Hempstead Tpke

(516) 579-7577


5454 Merrick Road

(516) 798-3300

Valley Stream

417 West Merrick Road

(516) 568-0448


Mitchell Brookstone, D.D.S.

1228 Wantagh Avenue, Wantagh

(516) 826-1666



400 West Main Street

(631) 422-6066


111 Smithtown Bypass

(631) 724-0900


East Suffolk Dental, P.C.

1149 Old Country Road

(631) 369-7400


Complete dentistry all on premises.

Participating PEF Dentist — We accept the dental schedule

of payment as payment in full for all covered procedures.



Schreiber & Kahn, D.D.S.

28 N. Merrick Avenue, Merrick

(516) 378-1033

146 Newbridge Road, Hicksville

(516) 932-6200



Family Care Program

PEF Participating Dentist Since 1980



is pleased to welcome

PEF members

Eye Exams ● Contact Lenses

Prescriptions Filled ● Low Vision

1426 Altamont Avenue

Rotterdam, NY 12303

p: 518.355.0795

f: 518.355.1208


Accepting: Eyemed, MVP, CDPHP, Medicare, VSP,

Mastercard, Visa, Discover, American Express

www.pef.org The Communicator September 2008 — Page 25


$ 734 00 ... inside cabin*

$ 954 00 ... outside cabin*

$1234 00 ... balcony*

Membership Benefits

Norwegian Cruise Line — NORWEGIAN GEM

7-Nights ... Sailing from New York City

Visiting Port Canaveral, Great Stirrup Cay, Nassau, and Grand Bahama Island


$ 584 00 ... inside cabin*

$ 754 00 ... outside cabin*

$1134 00 ... balcony*

PEF Members receive an additional 5% rebate! Visit PEF travel on-line at www.peftravel.com.

These Group Prices are available to anyone, but the 5% rebate is only offered to PEF members.

Rates are cruise only, per person based on double occupancy. Third and fourth passenger

rates are available upon request. Prices are based on availability of space.

*Plus taxes of $324.95. Fuel taxes are subject to increase until paid.

PEF Travel Services ... 518-782-9045 / 800 767-1840 ● www.peftravel.com



The six hour Defensive Driving Course offered

through the National Safety

Council is available to PEF

members and their families for

only $18.00. Benefits of taking

the course include:

➤ 10% off the basic

rate of the liability

portion of auto


➤ Discount in effect

for 3 years

➤ 10% off the basic

rate of the collision

portion of auto


➤ Reduce up to 4

points on your driving


For a PEF class schedule CALL

800.427.2365 or VISIT




● Flexible – You and your family can take computer

and professional development courses using your home

computer and internet service. You can learn at your

own pace.

● One Year To Learn – You can access the library's

wide variety of courses for one full year.

● Convenient – You set your own training schedule.

● Affordable – You have unlimited access to all of the

courses in a library for one low price.


PEF Member


Office Productivity Library $40

Computer Professional Library $150

Business Fundamentals Library $25

Design and Media Library $70

Security Gold $125

For additional libraries and information

visit our Web site at


or call our office at 800-342-4306, ext. 243

Page 26 —The Communicator September 2008 PEF Information Line: 1-800-553-2445

Program Update







Open Enrollment: 9/1/08 thru 11/21/08



Public Employees Federation

M Public E









Employees Federation






07/ /2008


Long Term DisabiLiTy

o p e n

e n r o L L m e n T

9/1/08 - 11/21/08

■ no medical Questions asked

■ Limited Time offer ■ new Lower rates


Automatic approval

at the 50% level


Increase your current

coverage to the 60% level

active members can apply for automatic acceptance by nov. 21, 2008

you cannot be turned down due to a medical condition.

Watch your mail for an application.

Concerned about home heating oil bills this winter





Covering the following counties — Broome,

Cayuga, Chenango, Columbia,

Cortland, Delaware, Fulton, Genesee,

Greene, Jefferson, Herkimer, Livingston,

Madison, Montgomery, Oneida,

Oswego, Otsego, Onondaga, Orleans,

Saratoga, Tioga, and Wyoming.





F u e l B u y i n g G r o u p

Covering the following counties — IN


Bronx, Dutchess, Genesee, Kings,

Livingston, Manhattan, Monroe, Nassau,

Ontario, Orange, Orleans, Putnam,

Queens, Richmond, Suffolk, Westchester

and Wyoming. IN NEW JERSEY: Bergen,

Hudson, Morris and Union.








Covering the following counties —



Long Island and






www.pef.org The Communicator September 2008 — Page 27



COPE buys hope.

you pledge $2 per pay period to PEF COPE, you join thousands of other PEF

service that threaten you and the quality services you deliver.

members working to turn the tide of privatization, understaffing and devalued public

COPE stands for Committee On Political Education

It is the only way federal election law allows PEF members and other labor union members to work

together in financially supporting political candidates in national elections

who will support legislation, funding and policies that promote:

✔ Quality public services at the federal, state and local levels;

✔ Fair labor and wage laws, healthy and safe workplaces, pension

protections; and

✔ Affordable, quality public education and health care, a clean,

crime-free environment, and other issues important to PEF

members and their families.

Please Note: The COPE contribution level mentioned is only a

suggested amount. It is up to individual members to decide

union is prohibited by law from discriminatory

treatment of members based on their

participation in COPE or lack of it.

How Are COPE Contributions Spent

Voluntary COPE contributions are used to support

candidates PEF has endorsed for federal office.

(Federal law limits labor unions to using COPE funds to

support candidates for federal office.)

Endorsements are debated and made by the PEF

Executive Board with the advice and

recommendations of its statewide and

regional political action committees.

Approximately 100 PEF members serve

on these committees that interview

candidates and review their voting

whether they want to contribute and how much. The

records and positions on issues

important to PEF members and

working families.

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