Earlier this afternoon, the Public Employees Federation (PEF) announced that its proposed contract with the State of New York has been ratified by its membership by a more than 2 to 1 margin. Congratulations to the PEF members who considered the new proposal and expressed their position by voting on it. The State Museum scientist positions that were threatened by scheduled layoffs are now presumed to be safe under the terms of the new contract. Among the five positions that were targeted are the State Archaeologist, the Curator of Archaeology, and the Curator of Historic Archaeology. The New York State Museum has long provided a nationally significant leadership role in the field of archaeology, a fact made clear from many quarters when the layoff threat to these positions was first announced this past summer.