On behalf of the Co-Chairs, Trustees, Directors and, most importantly, the more than one million active and retired members, of the New York State Public Employee Conference (NYSPEC), it is my distinct honor and privilege to welcome you to our 45th Annual Legislative Breakfast. It is important to note that this would have been our 46th annual breakfast; however, we were compelled to cancel the event two years ago because of the pandemic.
This year’s event surpassed prior gatherings in terms of the number of attendees, and featured welcoming remarks by Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan, followed by speeches by Assembly Labor Committee Chair Latoya Joyner, Assembly Governmental Employees Committee Chair Stacey Pheffer Amato, Senate Civil Service & Pensions Chair Robert Jackson, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Senate Labor Committee Chair Jessica Ramos, Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay, Senate Minority Leader Robert Ortt, NYS Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins. The final speech was delivered by none other than the Governor herself, Kathy Hochul!
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 of NYSPEC’s annual events calendar.
Our diverse membership has formulated NYSPEC’s 2023 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. At our Annual Meeting/Convention, where our legislative agenda for the upcoming year is formulated, our membership decided to make the issue of Tier/Pension Equity our number one legislative priority for 2023.
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 85 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 and protection 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 NYSPEC’s efforts to protect New York’s public employees!