Dear Brothers and Sisters,
May is shaping up to be a busy time for the PSTA. We are working hard on the upcoming contract arbitration, as well as fighting to restore cadet classes into the upcoming state budget and prevent the closings of barracks.
Our efforts for the contract are always the top priority for the PSTA Executive Board and Board of Directors. We’re working daily with our law firm, Lightman, Welby, Stoltenberg & Caputo, to prepare a compelling case that will protect the wages and benefits troopers and their families enjoy.
The PSTA is also fighting in Harrisburg for the hiring of more troopers and the prevention of barracks closings. We all understand these are difficult economic times and tough decisions need to be made, but public safety is a core function of government. Troopers work every day to protect all Pennsylvanians, but our resources are stretched to the very limit.
I recently testified before a joint House and Senate committee to discuss these issues. My message was clear and I will repeat it here: If we do not proactively address our reduced ranks now, it will reach a point of financial impossibility to do so, and we will all pay a terrible price for that lack of foresight. Pennsylvania, without question, is on the verge of a public safety crisis.
You have my assurance that we will continue to work hard on all of these issues to protect our members, their families – and the people of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
As you know, May is a time to remember all police officers who have fallen in the line of duty. Our trooper family most recently lost Trooper Joshua Miller in 2009 and Trooper Paul Richey in 2010. Our hearts go out to their families.
Please take the opportunity to attend a memorial service to honor all of our fallen state troopers. Pennsylvania state troopers will never forget the ultimate sacrifice of each of our brothers. We will forever honor their memory every day that we wear the uniform.
Joseph R. Kovel