Chris Ford
Chris Ford – PEF Executive Board and PEF Council Leader

September 12, 2023 — 

How long have you been a PEF member?
I started with DOH in August 1992 (31 years).  I submitted my application for membership upon starting. 

Briefly summarize what you do for the people of New York.
I lead the Mobile Development and Support team for NYS in the Office of Information Technology Services (OITS).  This group maintains many of the mobile apps for New York State, manages the app stores for the state, and advises on emerging technologies. 

What position(s) do you hold in PEF?
I am a steward.  I serve the members in the roles of Council Leader, Executive Board member, and convention delegate.  I was appointed to the 2023-2025 Contract Negotiating Team by President Spence.  I serve as a member of the Division 357 Labor-Management, Health & Safety, and other committees.  As needed, I participate in regional and statewide committees and activities.  Recently, this included advising on PEF convention resolutions, IT-related pending NYS legislation, and ITS classification requests submitted to Civil Service. 

Why did you choose to run for a leadership position?
My coworkers advocated for me to be active in union leadership for several years.  I had leadership roles in several groups already and did not see myself having the time to be effective.  After a while they made a strong case that pushed me over the edge and with their support, I ran for my first office as an Executive Board member for my Division. 

Please comment on the value of public employees.
There is data that you do not want a profit-driven corporation to manage for reasons of privacy or long-term stability.  There are services that must persist for the health, safety, and protection of the people of the State of New York.  Public employees provide these services as a calling and know that they have purpose and value, even when there is no profit to be made.  The private sector is extremely good at providing specialized services, but only when it is supported by a profitable model and without a guaranteed requirement to put the people first.  This is the essential difference between the public and private sectors.  If the Constitution and our freedoms are to be maintained while showing compassion for those in our charge and meeting essential needs, then public service is essential.  NYS public employees provide everything from technology and cybersecurity support and guidance to medical services to community safety and beyond.  I am amazed and proud every day at the dedication and ingenuity of the public workforce.