AFT Vice President
Wayne Spence became the first African American president of the New York State Public Employees Federation in June 2015. During his 27 years in state government working as a parole officer, he has been very active in the PEF. Among his numerous leadership positions: vice president, shop steward, division health and safety chair, executive board member, Long Island political action co-chair and assistant council leader of Division 236 (New York state parole officers).
Spence is known as a leader who demands the union and the state follow through on mandates, especially for member health and safety and community safety issues. He helped change parole policies to ensure that pregnant officers were not required to place themselves and their unborn children at risk by executing felony warrants, and he secured state management action to install metal detectors after incidents of violence with weapons affecting members.
He currently serves as an appointed member of New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli's advisory council and on the AFT Nurses and Health Professionals program and policy council. In addition, he is on the executive board of the Service Employees International Union and is a member of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists.
Spence, who was born in Jamaica and moved to the United States when he was 10, is a graduate of the New York Institute of Technology with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering. He was named to City & State New York's 2016 Albany Power 100 list, is a certified police firearms instructor and instructor evaluator, is a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. and 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care, and sits on the First Baptist Church of Freeport board of trustees.