PEF Fights For Member’s Rights
PEF Division 191 chief steward Usher Piller has been a fearless and outspoken advocate for PEF members for 32 of his 37 years of state service. He has never yielded to intimidation, and that trait shines through even now when he has been placed on disciplinary leave without pay from his job as a management specialist 2 at the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance in New York City.
That’s why many PEF members are speaking out on Piller’s behalf and signing a petition on Change.org calling for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to reinstate Piller. Among the personal comments made by people who signed the petition are:
• “We stand united with Usher Piller against union animus. NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance should stop its anti-union campaign against Usher Piller for exercising his free speech.”
• “Usher has dedicated his life to working for the people of New York state and to defending the rights of NYS workers. It’s time to support this great man as he is being unfairly targeted.”
Even facing his own discipline, Piller still traveled to Albany in mid-June to represent other PEF members who were being interrogated. Also in June, Piller authored a letter to the editor published in The Chief calling for the state Office of Children and Family Services to stop denying its employees flextime and to stop discriminating against “veteran employees based on race and disability.”
At various times over the years, Piller has served as a division council leader and as a delegate to the PEF convention.
— Sherry Halbrook