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From: Spence, Wayne

Sent: Thursday, January 26, 2017 5:38 PM


To: Brate, Nikki
Cc: PEF EBoard
Subject: How many Presidents do we have?

Vice-President Brate,

As many have explained numerous times PEF must be


cohesive and move forward during these difficult times.
We have tried over and over to work with you as part of
the leadership of PEF, but you have chosen your own
path. I do not wish to remunerate the issues we have
had, however, I must address actions which you just took
which once again risk our union and violate our
Constitution. I am also copying the Executive Board as it
is of significant importance.

It comes down to a simple question: Does PEF have one


President or multiple Presidents?

That question can be taken to be the same whether for


instance, does PEF one L/M chair or multiple L/M chairs at
each agency? Do we have a council leader or multiple
council leaders for each Division? The answer is no,
because there is a chain of command and an
accountability and responsibility for the position.
Yesterday, PEF gave testimony at the Workforce
Development Joint Legislative Budget hearing. Testimony
was prepared, which I approved, and I designated Greg
Amorosi to give the actual testimony. This testimony was
worked on by many people within PEF. Many hours were
spent in getting the right message across. The testimony
was prioritized and prepared to address our members
issues. Greg, along with Scott Lorey from the Legislative
office, registered as the designated PEF speakers prior to
the hearing and then waited to be called to testify. Once
called they proceeded to the tables at the front of the
room, when all of a sudden you rose from a seat in the
audience and joined them at the front table. This caused
a moment of confusion as the Legislators only had the
two registered names from PEF.
Greg gave PEFs testimony and then began to answer
questions from the Legislators. Without any advanced
briefing or discussions with Greg, you then began
answering questions and giving testimony.
I never discussed PEFs testimony with you, I never
assigned you to attend this or any budget hearing. There
are processes in PEF and in the State Legislature which
must be followed. Official PEF testimony can only be
given by those persons assigned by the President, with
testimony that is approved. The PEF Constitution is clear
that the President is the chief spokesperson of PEF. On
the Legislature side, speakers need to be registered in
advance so the Legislators know who is testifying.
If you think about it if you had a scheduled L/M meeting
and all of a sudden someone not on the committee, who
wasnt briefed or attended a pre-meeting sits down at the
table and starts talking to Management, its a disaster
waiting to happen. That is what happened yesterday
when you decided unilaterally to testify for PEF at the
hearing. What if all the officers decided to unilaterally
testify, all the regional coordinators and all our executive
board members and council leaders showed up and did
what you did? They all have issues which are very
important to them and their members?
So we need to be clear. Nobody, except those people I
designate, are to represent themselves as officially
speaking for PEF at Legislative budget hearings or similar
events. As such, your are not to represent PEF nor give
any testimony at Budget Hearings.
I want to again, point out that despite the dysfunction
that you are continually creating, we have gotten great
wins and recognition in the last 16 months. I will not
allow PEF to be distracted from its mission, but I will also
not allow you to risk and jeopardize the future of our
members.

http://nystateassembly.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?
view_id=8&clip_id=4045

Wayne Spence
President
NYS Public Employees Federation
wspence@pef.org