ALBANY, N.Y. June 26, 2013 - New York State United Teachers today announced the appointment of highly respected labor leader and former New York State Labor Commissioner Colleen Gardner as assistant to the president for the 600,000-member union.
Gardner served as state labor commissioner from March 2010 to July 2012, leading a state agency with 4,000 employees, a $10 billion budget and responsibility for overseeing the state’s labor laws, advocating for workers, assisting the unemployed, and providing employment and training opportunities for those looking to develop or enhance their skills. She recently served as deputy executive director of the New York State Insurance Fund.
NYSUT President Richard C. Iannuzzi said, "Colleen Gardner will be a tremendous addition to my office and will assist the union - and its members - in many ways. Colleen’s skills and keen understanding of the labor movement will be a major asset to NYSUT going forward."
"I am thrilled to be joining NYSUT’s leadership team. I look forward to using my experience in the labor movement and government to help advance issues of concern to working men and women in public education and health care," Gardner said.
Gardner brings to her position three decades of leadership in the labor movement. Prior to beginning state service in March 2007, she worked at the New York State AFL-CIO from 1983 to 2007, rising to become director of organizing and community services.
A resident of Niskayuna, Gardner is a 1981 graduate of Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations.
Gardner replaces Peggy Barmore, who is retiring. Gardner began work at NYSUT this week.