Sent on behalf of President Spence: 

Good Evening – 

As you may have heard, the Governor declared a State of Emergency this afternoon and issued Executive Order Number 202 (attached). Upon initial review, we do not believe this Executive Order (EO) will result in drastic changes for the NYS workforce. The EO does not affect any sections of the NYS Labor Law, Workers’ Compensation Law or the NYS Civil Service Law. The EO modifies or suspends various sections of other laws focusing on easing the procurement process and competitive bidding to allow for the procurement of supplies and emergency construction, licensing and scope of practice to allow for unlicensed individuals the to ability to collect samples, and allows the Governor to take control of roads and the flow of traffic. 

However, we do need to hear from you if you experience any changes from your Agency. Receiving information from our members helps us best communicate your concerns. Most importantly, we must face this public crisis together. PEF members are on the front lines serving our communities. Our commitment is to protect the safety of our members, their families, and the public, and that the concerns of our members are heard and addressed. To that end, we received a return call from one of the Governor’s top advisors this afternoon and we again shared your concerns with them. We look to them to act swiftly and appropriately.  

Some of you may ask what will we do if they do not act on our public health concerns to protect our members, our families and the public. Given the seriousness of the challenge, we expect them to work in partnership. However we do have contingency plans in place and are exploring all appropriate avenues of relief, including going to court. Let us hope we do not have to take such drastic measures. 

Finally, there will be an important “URGENT UPDATE” tele-town hall on Wednesday evening, March 11, with the entire PEF membership. We hope to have more information to share at that time. AFT President Randi Weingarten will also be on the call.  

Things are very fluid and seem to change by the hour. Be assured we are doing our very best to stay on top of things to make sure our members are protected as we safeguard the citizens of NY.Please contact any one of the three field directors to share your stories and concerns during this crisis.  

Thank you for all the incredible work you do. 

Wayne Spence


New York State Public Employees Federation, AFL-CIO | | 800-342-4306