Get to know your contract team
Meet Debra Greenberg
Acting Director of Contract Administration
By DEBORAH A. MILES
Debra Greenberg has been appointed Acting Director of Contract Administration and joins PEF’s contract team armed with solid experience at the negotiating table.
Greenberg’s first encounter at a bargaining table took place in the 1990s when she was co-president of her union at the Legal Aid Society of Nassau County. Soon after, she joined Eisner and Hubbard, PC in New York City, a union-side law firm where she represented public and private-sector unions. There she handled arbitrations, administrative proceedings, bargaining, and also represented individual workers in employment-related litigation.
Working for many years as an associate counsel in both PEF’s Legal and Contract Administration Departments, plus five years as a PEF field representative, gave Greenberg what she refers to as a “singularly unique experience.”
“I’ve seen PEF from a lot of different angles. My experience as a field representative was probably where I learned the most about how PEF works on the ground level,” Greenberg said. “In Field Services you do everything. You deal with the entire contract and you never know what is going to land on your desk. It could be a civil service issue, attendance and leave, or overtime issues. You get to work with really dedicated members and leaders. Another advantage of working in Field Services is the opportunity to see how agencies operate, and to forge working relationships with people on the other side of the table.
“In my role as an associate counsel in the Contract Administration Department, I’ve resolved grievances through the Article 34 triage process and provided assistance to Field Services with negotiating various labor-management agreements. In the Legal Department, I represented PEF and its members in numerous legal, administrative and disciplinary proceedings.”
One of Greenberg’s recent accomplishments was her role negotiating a contract for the state Canal Corporation, where its board and PEF ratified a 10-year contract with increases from 2012 through 2022, and a new benefit to compensate employees for availability during off-hours during the canal navigation season.
Another contract settled with Greenberg’s assistance was with the Albany Housing Authority, where negotiated issues included upgrades, tuition assistance and wage increases.
“During the past months, I have been involved with PEF‘s contract team training, and assisting the team with negotiations. The team members are an incredible group of dedicated people who I really enjoy working with,” Greenberg said. “They have worked very hard, going to town hall meetings to hear the primary concerns of the membership. They did a great job getting input and that’s what it’s all about, trying to negotiate a contract the membership wants and needs.
“It’s important for the membership to stay involved, keep informed and act with solidarity to support the team in future mobilization efforts. An engaged membership that shows its solidarity provides the contract team with necessary power at the negotiating table.”