Monday, July 13, 2015

AFSCME Next Wave Report

This year’s AFSCME Next Wave Assembly, held June 11-14th in St. Louis, MO, had an overwhelming theme of what is means to be “AFSCME Strong” and the importance of what it means to belong to an union.  The message of AFSCME Strong simply stated stands for “Union, Family, and Future.”  AFSCME is about our Union, our Family, and about our Future as workers.  CSEA has a delegation of 21 from all over New York State.  CSEA Local 828, sent April Spring-Buckley, Melissa Burley, and Carrie Chapman as representatives.  Training mainly was in the area of organizing and activist training.  Some of the other workshops attended were on the area of how to film a video during a rally with your smartphone, inter-generational communication meaning being able to communicate with different generations.  If I came back with one major point to share, is that it’s important to be heard in our workplace and the union can help accomplish this!      
-April Spring-Buckley, Chair Next Wave, MCC Unit 7402

I recently attended the AFSCME Next Wave Assembly in St. Louis.  It was my first experience attending a conference.  The high level of enthusiasm towards the topic of strong unions and why they are crucial for not only present day but in the future was so inspiring to me.   It was clear to see the fight for fair and equal rights spans across our country and is not easily obtained and protected.  Listening to the stories of others and sharing ideas confirmed the fact that the numbers truly can speak volumes when one might think their voice won’t be heard.   This conference instilled in me a mission to want to get more involved because the future, no matter how far off it may be, is up to us, the Next Wave!
 -Carrie Chapman, MCC Unit 7402

I have attended various CSEA conferences in the past but this was my first national conference. It was enlightening to see so many ASFCME members come together in one place. It was clear to see that all members deal with the same types of issues. The speeches that were given by President Saunders, the keynote speakers, and the guest panel were filled with passion and enthusiasm and they were very inspiring. I was surprised by some of the statistics that were presented in the Racial and Economic Justice Panel. It reaffirmed the reasons why we need to stand together collectively to strengthen our voice in the workplace and in the community and that we need to lead this union to stand strong today and in the future!

-Melissa Burley, MCC Unit 7402

Carrie Chapman - April Spring-Buckley & Melissa Burley

Friday, July 3, 2015

Tichacek and Overmyer honored at reception

Overmyer (at left) and Tichacek.
Photo by Bess Watts
Webster, NY-- On July 1, CSEA Monroe County Local 828 Executive Board sponsored a lakeside dinner reception to honor two long-term union activists from the Rochester and Monroe County area. Many activists and CSEA staff from the Western Region attended the event, including CSEA Western Region President Flo Tripi.

Joe Tichacek, a 35-year member of the Town of Webster Highway Department, officially retired in January of this year. Joe served as Unit President for nearly a dozen years and was also a Local Vice President. He also served on many Local and Region committees. Joe has earned a stellar reputation for his loyalty, sense of humor, honesty and due diligence when it comes to workplace issues. He will be sorely missed by his union colleagues.

Ove Overmyer was also honored at the dinner. Ove served as Unit President of the City of Rochester Library Workers since 2006 and was also a Local Vice President. Ove was employed at the Rochester Public Library for nearly 18 years and resigned June 5 to accept a new career opportunity as the CSEA WNY Region 6 Communications Specialist. Overmyer also served for many years as the Local Political Action Chair and Western Region Technology Chair.

At the dinner, attendees shared memories and stories about Joe and Ove. Bess Watts, President of Local 828, delivered some parting gifts and publicly wished her two longtime friends the best of luck in their future endeavors.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Four Webster, NY students win CSEA scholarships

Webster, NY area students win CSEA Scholarships
On June 1, four Webster area students were presented checks for $1,000 in college scholarship prize money at a picnic supper banquet at Liberty Lodge, Finn Park, Webster, NY. From left to right: Trevor Maciejewski (Webster Thomas HS), Erica Blair (Webster Thomas HS) and Austin Ocwieja (Webster Schroeder HS). Not pictured is second year scholarship award winner Jacqueline Gier, who will be attending SUNY-ESF this fall. Photo by Ove Overmyer, ©2015
Four Webster area students win CSEA Scholarships
Webster, N.Y.—On Monday, June 1, CSEA Monroe County Local 828 Executive Board and the Local 828 Scholarship Committee hosted the 22nd Annual Scholarship Awards Dinner at Liberty Lodge at Finn Park, 850 Maple Dr., Webster, N.Y.
At the picnic supper, Local and Unit officers formally announced the winners of the CSEA Local 828 George M. Growney Memorial Scholarships and Unit 7400 Scholarship Awards for 2015. This year, $10,000.00 was awarded to deserving area students whose parents or caregivers are members in good standing of CSEA Monroe County Local 828. Four students from Webster High Schools landed scholarship prize money.
Mr. Growney was a long time local labor leader and activist. He was employed as a probation officer with Monroe County. He served as local president for nearly two decades before his retirement in 1995. George had a passion for kids to succeed, and would be proud that his union brothers and sisters have carried on his legacy of love and commitment to youth. George M. Growney died on August 10, 1997. The scholarship program was named in his honor in 1998—one year after his passing.
A $1,000 second year scholarship was awarded to Jacqueline Gier, who spent her college freshman year at Niagara University, NY. She will be transferring to SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry, Syracuse, NY majoring in Environmental Studies.
Erica Blair, a senior at Webster Thomas High School, was awarded a first year $1,000 scholarship and will be attending North Carolina’s Duke University this fall.
Austin Ocwieja, a senior at Webster Schroeder High School, was awarded a first year $1,000 scholarship and will be attending the University of Buffalo, NY to study Mechanical Engineering.
Trevor Maciejewski, a senior at Webster Thomas High School, was awarded a first year $1,000 scholarship and will be majoring in Psychology at St. John Fisher College, Rochester, NY this fall.
“This is one of the best things we do as union activists,” said Bess Watts, President of Local 828. She added, “It’s very rewarding to know we are helping our young people succeed in life.”
The scholarship committees have reviewed thousands of applications in the past 22 years, which demonstrates the significant need of financial resources for young adults continuing their formal education. Scholarships applicants are judged on academic achievement, a written essay, financial need and potential.
Since 1993, CSEA Local 828 has awarded over $140,000 in scholarship prize money. In 1993, the Monroe County Employees Unit 7400, the largest Unit in the Local, created their own scholarship program and have distributed more than $23,000.