PEF Region 8 Coordinator – Michael Blue
As Michael Blue strives to unite the 18,922 members in PEF’s largest region, he has hit the ground running combining tried-and-true union organizing with today’s technology.
Although new to the regional coordinator position, Blue’s union activism spans more than 12 years. He held leadership roles such as the Region 8 Political Action Committee chair, Information Technology (IT) Committee co-chair, upstate chapter secretary for the Caribbean American Committee and was a two-term Executive Board member representing the Office of the State Comptroller.
“One of my goals is to improve communication among PEF’s membership. The critical issues facing all labor unions require the involvement of rank-and-file members to achieve our collective goals at the bargaining table, to help pass legislation to improve working conditions, and to secure our benefits.
“To reach members I believe one-to-one communication is essential, along with putting our message on paper and personally delivering it. We also need to use the tools of the 22nd century to enhance the region’s communications network. I’m working on developing a way to post timely union messages on the PEF Region 8 Facebook and Twitter pages,” Blue said. “I also encourage members to submit home email and cell phone information to my office, so PEF can send vital information when necessary.”
Education and training for members is another priority for Blue. He is actively seeking members in Albany, Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Warren and Washington counties to take advantage of steward training. He plans to restore committees, such as IT and Civil Service, to a high functioning level and is launching a Region 8 Communications Committee.
“Region 8 members are IT specialists, Department of Transportation engineers, and hundreds who work in various titles at the Health and Labor Departments, Taxation and Finance and other agencies. I encourage all of my members to participate in a survey, so we can learn from each other and build unionism together,” Blue said.