On behalf of the Co-Chairs, Trustees, Directors and, most importantly, the members, of the New York State Public Employee Conference, it was my distinct honor and privilege to welcome many of you to our 44th Annual Legislative Breakfast in Albany on March 22. This would have been our 45th annual breakfast, but we were compelled to cancel 2021’s event because of the pandemic.
This year’s event surpassed prior gatherings in terms of the number of attendees, and featured a welcoming speech by the Governor of the Great State of New York, Kathy Hochul! Following were remarks by Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Senate Labor Committee Chair Jessica Ramos, NYS Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, Senate Civil Service & Pensions Committee Chair Robert Jackson, Assembly Governmental Employees Committee Chair Peter Abbate, and Assembly Governmental Employees Committee Ranking Member Joe DeStefano. Last, but certainly never least, labor’s own staunch advocate Senator Diane Savino gave a rousing speech as she is wrapping up her final session as state senator. Assembly Labor Committee Chair Latoya Joyner was unable to attend, but offered her ongoing support and words of encouragement to our members.
We host this breakfast event to give you, our government officials, an opportunity to see, firsthand, the broad spectrum of our membership, and to provide the opportunity for you to become familiar with our legislative agenda. The event is held in Albany early in the year’s legislative session to bring together our elected officials and the leadership and key individuals from our public employee member unions and groups. This event has always been the highlight ofNYSPEC’s annual events calendar.
Our diverse membership has formulated NYSPEC’s 2022 Legislative Agenda, and encapsulated our goals in this booklet as a guide to all who are interested in ensuring that public sector employees are recognized, appreciated, and appropriately protected, compensated and rewarded for the extraordinary work they perform – on a daily basis – for the people of the great State of New York. Our membership has decided to make the COVID-19 Coronavirus-related issues our number one legislative priority again this year.
Our Conference was formed in 1977 with just 13 member unions, and because of the tenacious representation of our members we have grown significantly, and can now boast more than 80 member unions and groups representing public employees!
We, as an umbrella organization, have been and are fighting the erosion of public employee benefits on many fronts. We commit to redoubling our endeavors to ensure that positive legislation beneficial to all public employees is enacted. We appeal to our legislators to carefully consider the impact of all legislative proposals on our members, who continue to show their commitment to the people of this state. The issues delineated in this booklet were developed and unanimously approved by all the unions and groups comprising our conference.
Generally speaking, the New York State legislature has been supportive of our legislative agenda, chiefly because it is essentially an agenda of fairness for the people who come to work every day for the improvement of the public good. The New York State Public Employee Conference commits to continue working in harmony with you, our elected officials – yourselves dedicated public employees – to obtain positive results for our membership.
You are encouraged to visit our website – nyspec.org – to keep updated on New York’s public employees!