3rd in a series
PEF Vice President Sharon V. DeSilva
By Deborah A. Miles
PEF Vice President Sharon V. DeSilva treasures her role within the union, for all she has learned and gained during her 18 years as an attorney at the state Office of Temporary Disability Assistance.
She grew up living in impoverished conditions on the islands of Trinidad and Tobago, but followed her life’s path that led her to New York. She credits the people who guided her to a career.
“I had many people help me in many ways,” DeSilva said. “If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t be the individual that I am today, and one that was able to work hard and obtain several degrees. Being a part of PEF is a way for me to give back. Spiritually, I believe I was born to help others in society.”
DeSilva has remained true to her convictions, as her actions have proven her dedication to the union and its members. Her many roles include being an Executive Board member, delegate, author of several adopted convention resolutions, and chair of numerous local and statewide committees.
“To be elected as a vice president is an honor, and a big responsibility. This is a position I take very seriously and am willing to work diligently, including long hours. I am here to make changes for the better,” she said.
One of DeSilva’s major projects is strengthening and maintaining the labor-management committees throughout the state. She believes concerns and issues ranging from overall working conditions and civil service erosion should be addressed and can be resolved at the labor-management table.
“One of my goals is to make the L-M process more effective. It is imperative for both management and labor to work together to make the process successful,” she said.
“I want our members to know I am approachable, no matter what time of day or night. I am more than willing to listen and help.”
DeSilva also coined an acronym, MOVE. It stands for “Making Our Voices Effective.”
“We need to care about each other and share our voices. I am here to help each member’s voice be effective within this union.”