Press Release

Statement by Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers, On New York State Public Employees Federation Ratification Vote

For Release: 

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Tom Lansworth

"PEF members displayed incredible compassion and sacrifice in voting for a contract
 that is pivotal to New York state's fiscal viability."

By a vote of 27,718 to 11,645, the New York State Public Employees Federation ratified a new four-year contract. The agreement secures vital services for New York residents by avoiding thousands of layoffs that had been threatened by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The results were announced this afternoon in Albany.

WASHINGTON— PEF members displayed incredible compassion and sacrifice in voting for a contract that is pivotal to New York state's fiscal viability. New York state public workers didn't create the fiscal crisis, but they have been asked to help solve it. The overwhelming vote approving the new contract avoids the threatened layoff of nearly 3,500 people, who will now go back to keeping New York's bridges and roads safe, and its water and air clean, and will continue to provide care and treatment for the state's most vulnerable citizens.

After frank discussions by PEF members, the renegotiated contract also contains provisions that alleviated some of the concerns they voiced when they rejected the first agreement.

The state's public workers have stepped up to help move New York state forward. Now is the time for others in New York to share in the responsibility of helping all New Yorkers reclaim the American dream.

Follow AFT President Randi Weingarten:


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The AFT represents 1.6 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.

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The Parents, Educators and Owners Partnering for Learning in Early-education for the Kids (PEOPLE for the Kids) includes New Mexico Early Educators United, an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers; the Quality Early Learning Association, which represents preschool owners; and the OLÉ Working Parents Association, which represents more than 4,000 parents of young children throughout New Mexico.