Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Candidate for CSEA Local 828 President Bess Watts


Bess Watts
photo:  Lynn Miller
"Bess Watts is a natural born leader. I am very inspired by her organizational skills and her ability to follow through and complete every project she tackles. There is no doubt in my mind we are a better union because of Bess and her hard work."

-Joyce Medwin, Retiree, former President of MCC Unit 7402

In 2008, Bess Watts was the recipient of the Community Solidarity Award presented by the Rochester Labor Council for her “dedication and commitment to all Union members.” A U.S. Army Veteran and 15 year Monroe Community College employee, Bess has been a member of CSEA for 14 years.

Presently, Bess is the chair of CSEA Local 828 Women’s Committee, a delegate to the Rochester Labor Council, Vice President of Unit 7402 and President of Pride at Work AFL-CIO, a constituency group chapter in Rochester, N.Y.

A vocal and visible political activist, Bess has proven successful in coalition building including working with the Faculty Association in the successful bid to stop the flawed MCC Presidential search process. Watts says, “Complacency and the status quo won’t protect our jobs, wages and benefits. We must be proactive, build strong communication loops and empower our members if we want to thrive as working people.”

Bess Watts is the candidate for President of Local 828 on the Voice for the Members Slate.

Introducing T. Judith Johnson

Since 1981, Judy has worked with high risk populations in some of the most challenging positions in Monroe County. Initially a Temporary Assistance Examiner, Judy moved into Child Protective Services and then to the Public Defenders Office where she now works as an Urban Investigator.

Attuned to high stress environments and workplace safety concerns, Judy believes that a union needs to be visible and accessible to members at all times.

Judy says, “What use is a union if you can’t even identify your steward? There are union trainings, benefits and opportunities that members could access if they had the information. We need communication to all levels of the organization.”


Judy is a candidate for 3rd Vice President on the Voice for the Members Slate.

Meet Sue Newman


Employed over 8 years by the Monroe County Department of Motor Vehicles, Sue is currently the section president for the Monroe County Clerk’s Office and 2nd Vice President for Unit 7400. She represents the Voice for the Members Slate as a candidate for the office of Secretary.

She has put the 4½ years of her active union involvement to good use. Sue has participated in steward training, contract negotiations, FMLA workshops, grievance committee work, workplace violence and union counselor trainings. Sue is presently on the Monroe County Workplace Violence Committee as well as the Unit 7400 negotiations team.

Married with one son, Sue is extensively involved at leadership levels with the Boy Scouts of America and carries that code of honor and fairness into the workplace. Lorry Wisse, a City of Rochester Library Clerk and CSEA officer, says "I've know Susan for a very long time. She is honest, hard working and one of the most detailed-oriented people I've ever met. She would make a terrific officer for the Local."

Sue understands that workers have a responsibility to our employers but she adds, "We also deserve fair working conditions and decent pay.”

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Are you a member of CSEA Local 828?

On Tuesday June 9, 2,846 members in good standing will be voting for new leadership of the CSEA Monroe County Local 828. If our collective memory serves us correct, this will be the first time in 16 years or so that members will have a choice of who will lead them at the Local level. It is our hope that each member will take the time to review all the information that is provided on this blogspot. We are certain that we have assembled a slate of very hard working, smart, dedicated people to lead us into the future. It is our promise that you will be well served by supporting the Voice for the Members Slate.

If you are a local government employee of one of these following Units, we ask you to look over a sample ballot before Election Day and make your VOTE count. If you can not VOTE at a designated polling site on Tuesday June 9, absentee ballots can be obtained on Wednesday June 3rd, by contacting Election Chairperson Joanne Guarnere, at the Hall of Justice, Room 301-A, 585.753.2910 or by calling the Local 828 office at 328.5250.

The CSEA Units of Monroe County Local 828:

Monroe County Employees #7400
Monroe County Part Time Employees
Monroe Community College #7402
Monroe County Water Authority #7405
City of Rochester Library PT Library Workers #7420
Village of Brockport #7408
Town of Webster #7411
Town of Webster White Collar #7411-02
Town of Greece #7413
Town of Irondequoit Physical Services #7414
Town of Irondequoit White Collar #7414-02
Town of Irondequoit Library Workers
Town of Irondequoit Supervisory #7414-03
Town of Brighton #7415
East Irondequoit School District #7416
Village of Webster #7417
Town of Penfield #7418
East Rochester School District #7419
Village of East Rochester #7422
Monroe County Sherriff Command Unit #7423

Please VOTE for Voice for the Members Slate on June 9!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Meet Ove Overmyer


Ove Overmyer
photo:  Lynn Miller
Rochester, N.Y.--  Ove Overmyer moved to Rochester, N.Y. in 1993 from New York City and Westhampton Beach, N.Y. Mr. Overmyer was formally educated at SUNY Cortland. Mr. Overmyer is currently enrolled at the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations studying the dynamics of labor, government and politics and will graduate in 2009.

Ove has been employed by the City of Rochester at the Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County since 1997. He has held several positions since then, presently titled as an Assistant Reference Librarian in the Arts, Music and Recreation Division. He has also served as the Assistant to the Director of Friends of the Rochester Public Library. Additionally, Ove is a part-time Law Library Clerk at the NYS Appellate Division Law Library, 4th Department, in Rochester, N.Y.

Ove is a two time recipient of the City of Rochester Superstars of Service Award. Ove is also a reporter, photographer and documentary filmmaker. His photographs and articles have been published by national news organizations such as CBS News, LOGO TV, the Village Voice Literary Supplement, and the Associated Press.

Ove has been the CSEA Unit President of the City of Rochester PT Library Workers 7420 of Local 828 since 2007. He supervises over 265 employees at 11 different worksites. As a member in good standing since 1997, Ove has negotiated three CBA’s for his unit and has served as vice president and Political Action Committee Chair for the library workers. Since 2006, Ove has been the Local 828 Political Action Committee Co-Chair and a member of the WNY Region 6 PAC. Every spring, Ove spends personal time lobbying Albany lawmakers during the state legislative session. In 2009, Ove made the trip four times. Additionally, Ove has also assisted the CSEA Region 6 Women's Committee to formulate language to pass resolutions to support anti-bullying efforts and other civil rights legislation for CSEA.

Ove has dedicated his life to being a care-giver to three children and is an outspoken activist who fights for social and political justice. Ove uniquely understands the importance of the union’s role in creating democratic workplaces. He has also received several awards for community service.

Ove is a committed citizen who cared enough to step up to be a leader in our community and will do the same for our union. He understands what working families, unions, schools, neighborhoods, parents, lawmakers and administrators want and need from their labor union partners. Ove is uniquely prepared and more than capable to deliver on that promise.

If elected as vice president, Ove would be historically the first City of Rochester CSEA union member to hold elected office for Monroe County Local 828.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Zaffuto Wins CSEA Unit 7400 Monroe County Election!


Unit President of the Monroe County Workers 7400, Cris Zaffuto, along with her Members 1st Slate, won their election on May 21 by a 141 to 75 vote margin. The Monroe County Workers 7400 is the largest Unit of Local 828. There are 19 other municipal work Units around Monroe County that are under the Local 828 umbrella.
Zaffuto said, "I'm delighted with the results. Now we can get back to the hard work of representing the best interests of our members."
She added, "We have significant challenges ahead. Our first order of business is ratifying our collective bargaining agreement." Zaffuto encourages all members to visit the Unit's new website for up to date information on negotiations and other union matters.
The newly elected officers will be sworn in before July 1 and will serve a four year term.
The new officers of the CSEA Local 828 Monroe County Unit 7400 are:
President: Cris Zaffuto
1st VP: Holly Gudonis
2nd VP: Anthony Cleggett
3rd VP: Jim D'Amico
Secretary: Roland Gray
Treasurer: Sue Newman

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Campaign Officially Underway May 20

Dear CSEA Local 828 member:

As working men and women -- every one and everywhere -- we are our greatest resource. We organize and represent members to ensure our voice is heard, our place at the table is kept and the American dream is ours in the 21st century.

As your fellow workers representing the Voice for the Members Slate, we hold these values as our working principles as we look toward the future:

Honesty: We are honest with ourselves and each other.

Inclusiveness: Every group, every idea is welcomed and respected.

Full Participation: We encourage full participation in all union matters by all Local 828 members.

Diversity: We celebrate our diversity and use it to strengthen us.

Transparency: We listen and provide for open communication across all parts of our union and will develop an interactive website for our Local 828.

Accountability: We are accountable for our actions and decisions.

Fiscal Responsibility: We conduct our business in a fiscally sound manner.

As a team, we are committed to union democracy and we follow these values with integrity.

Please vote for the Voice for the Members Slate on June 9!

President: Bess Watts
Monroe Community College, Unit 7402 V.P. #3
President, Rochester Chapter Pride At Work AFL-CIO
Delegate, Rochester Labor Council
Chair, Local 828 Women’s Committee
585.426.0862
besswhat@gmail.com

Vice President #1: Cris Zaffuto
President, Monroe County Unit 7400
Political Action Committee Co-Chair, Local 828
Delegate, Rochester Labor Council
Region 6 PAC Committee
585.254.5534
Crisz62@aol.com

Vice President#2: Ove Overmyer
President, City Library Workers, Unit 7420
Political Action Co-Chair, Local 828
Delegate, Rochester Labor Council
Region 6 PAC Committee
585.423.9862
oveovermyer@yahoo.com

Vice President #3: T. Judith Johnson
Monroe County Public Defenders Office
Member, Monroe County Unit 7400
Member, Pride At Work, AFL-CIO
tjudithjohnson@yahoo.com

Secretary: Susan Newman
M.C. Clerk’s Office (Greece DMV)
Unit 7400 2nd Vice President
585.227.8383
suenewman41@yahoo.com

Treasurer: Patricia Wolff
MCC Damon Campus, Unit 7402
Past President, Past V.P., Past Secretary, Unit 7402
Graduate, CSEA LEAD Program/Head Bank Teller
585.262.1696
patwolff8@gmail.com

We would love the opportunity to talk or meet with you to discuss your concerns. Please feel free to contact us about any questions you might have about the future of your Local 828 union representation.

Please visit our blogspot or email us:

Email: voiceforthemembers@gmail.com

Web information here.

All the best,

The Voice For the Members Slate Team

CSEA Unit 7400 Launches New Website!

Unit 7400 President, Cris Zaffuto
Candidate for 1st VP, Local 828
Candidate for State Delegate, Local 828

On May 19, CSEA Local 828 Monroe County Unit 7400 launched it's new website. Unit President Cris Zaffuto says this initiative was "way overdue" and that she was very excited about exchanging and providing electronic information with members. On the website, Zaffuto says, "The leadership in Unit 7400 feels that communication with our members is the most important action that we can do. We are very excited about having this up and running. Our goal is to keep our membership updated on issues that are important to everyone."

She added, "By the time we tweak all the bugs out of the site, you should be able to find information about negotiations, upcoming general membership meetings, what is happening in CSEA all over the state and any upcoming events."

The website also provides members the ability to interact with officers by using a direct email provision.

To visit the Monroe County Employee website, click here.


Sunday, May 17, 2009

Slate activist takes Governor to task

Governor David Paterson
photo by Ove Overmyer

CSEA activists across the state, including Local 828 Voice for the Members Slate candidate Ove Overmyer, are speaking out against Gov. David Paterson's state layoff proposals.

Ove's letter published on May 2 in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle blasts the governor's proposed state layoffs and union-busting approach. He says, "It is reckless and irresponsible to put people at risk in a scheme to lay off 8,900 people and threaten the services they deliver all to try to score political points with anti-labor enthusiasts."

Ove Overmyer and Cris Zaffuto are the Co-Chairs of the Political Action Committee for CSEA Local 828. To read the full article or to see a mention on the CSEA INC website, go to:

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Watts honored by Rochester Labor Council


Bess Watts
Candidate for President, Local 828
Candidate for State Delegate, Local 828

CSEA Local 828 was well represented at the Rochester Labor Council, AFL-CIO Annual Delegates Awards Dinner that was held at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center on December 11, 2008. Monroe Community College library employee Bess Watts, a vice-president of Unit 7402, a delegate to the Rochester Labor Council and the President of the local chapter of Pride At Work AFL-CIO, won the Community Solidarity Award.

Jim Bertolone, President of the Rochester & Genesee Valley Area Labor Federation, AFL-CIO, said Watts was an easy choice for the Community Solidarity Award. He said, “Bess Watts’ involvement and activism to the cause of all union members– to all unions at their picket lines– to political mobilization and to her dedication and commitment to the civil rights of our union members– the passion that she brings is second to no one.”

There are over 32 participating construction, private and public sector member organizations that are listed with the Rochester & Genesee Valley Area Labor Federation. The federation represents over 100,000 working men and women in an 11-county area of mid-western New York State.


Saturday, May 9, 2009

Slate Candidates Meet with Congressman Eric Massa

Cris Zaffuto, Unit President of Monroe County Unit 7400 and Ove Overmyer, Unit President of the City of Rochester Library Workers 7420, meet with Congressman Eric Massa, (D-29th District) in Corning, N.Y. on March 14 to discuss Massa's co-sponsorship of the Employee Free Choice Act. Zaffuto and Overmyer have been working as the co-chairs for the Local 828 Political Action Committee since 2006.
Zaffuto is a candidate for Unit President of 7400. She is also candidate for 1st Vice President of Local 828 and State Delegate. Overmyer is running unopposed for Unit President. He is also a candidate for 2nd Vice President for Local 828.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Meet Patricia Wolff

Candidate for Treasurer, CSEA Local 828

Pat Wolff is a long time CSEA activist. Since 1983, she has been serving her members for the Monroe County Unit 7400 and the Monroe Community College Unit 7402 of Local 828. Moreover, Pat is a graduate of the rigorous CSEA LEAD Program (Leadership, Education and Devlopment), a training module designed to identify and utilize future leaders of our union. To top it off, Pat has exceptional finance and banking experience, also working many years in the private sector for Chase Bank as a Head Teller. Pat firmly believes the role of a union officer is to provide the best possible representation for each and every dues paying member.

Here are some comments from Pat's co-workers:

"Pat Wolff has shown throughout the years that she really cares about her workplace. From her journey as a Steward and as the former President of her unit, her desire to run for the current position of Treasurer of Local 828 is understandable. Pat’s commitment to CSEA is evident by her passion for the members and their concerns. I proudly endorse Pat."

-Phyllis Clair, Secretary, Engineering Technologies, Monroe Community College

"I was very pleased to hear that Pat is running for union office. As a CSEA member in good standing for better than 25 years, it is nice to know that dedicated qualified people such as Pat continue to seek office and serve our members. Knowing all the positive things that took place when she last served us here at MCC, I’m confident to say that any slate that includes Pat Wolff has a much better chance of succeeding."

-Jim Coon, BMS Worker, Monroe Community College

This post was originally created at 7:30 pm. by Ove

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

WHAT MEMBERS ARE SAYING ABOUT OVE OVERMYER

Ove Overmyer, Rochester Public Library
Candidate for Vice President, CSEA Local 828
photo by Lynn Miller

"I have known Ove Overmyer for many years, and have always admired his devotion and effectiveness as a leader. As President of the City of Rochester Library Workers 7420, he is a man of dedication and passion, bettering our workplace with his leadership and persistence."

-Kate Meddaugh, Librarian, Central Library of Rochester & Monroe County

“Leadership is a question of character, and you can trust Ove. He has demonstrated time after time that he thinks about the welfare of the members first and foremost—he really cares.”

-Melva Parker, Library Clerk, Central Library of Rochester & Monroe County

“Ove Overmyer is a passionate activist for libraries, for gay rights and for working families. He strongly supports the union and believes that individuals can make a difference by getting involved.”

-Jane McManus, Library Assistant, Winton Branch Library

“Ove is fantastic. He is a good listener and a great President.”

-Robert Malloy, Security Guard, Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County

"Ove knows what any good manager knows. Respect for your colleagues and acknowledegement of their dedication to public service-- it promotes excellent service."

-Linda Negus, Retiree, Library Division Head, Rochester Public Library


this post was originally entered at 7:05 pm

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

What members and unionists are saying about Bess Watts

Candidate for President, Local 828

Candidate for State Delegate, Local 828

"Bess Watts is a natural born leader. I am very inspired by her organizational skills and her ability to follow through and complete every project she tackles. There is no doubt in my mind we are a better union because of Bess and her hard work."

-Joyce Medwin, Retiree, former President of MCC Unit 7402

"The status-quo right now is not good enough. We can do better. We need new leadership and fresh ideas. That's why I'm voting for Bess Watts and the Voice for the Members slate."

-Hector Cortes, Facilities Worker at MCC

"When I had questions about Pride At Work, Bess got back to me in a moment's notice. She knew exactly what to do and treated me great. She gave me the advice I was looking for. Bess will be a great President."

-T. Judith Johnson, Monroe County Public Defender's Office

"Our union leadership at the local level should better represent our union profile. As of today, that is not the case. That is exactly why I'm voting for Bess Watts for Local 828 President."

-Roberta McKechney, Principal Library Clerk, MCC

"I can't remember the last time we had a choice of candidates for Local 828 elections. I'm not going to blow it this time around. We need renewed energy and a different voice advocating for us now. The time has come. That's why I'm voting for Bess Watts and the Voice for the Members slate on June 9."

-Kevin Drew, Supervisor for Public Safety, MCC

"I have campaigned with Bess against strong political powers and thanks to her experience and dedication we won."

-John Wadach, Chair, Engineering, Science & Physics, MCC Faculty and NYSUT Member

this post was entered at 10:00 am by Ove

Monday, May 4, 2009

Introducing the Voice for the Members Slate


seated left to right: Cris Zaffuto, Pat Wolff, Bess Watts
back row: Sue Newman and Ove Overmyer
not pictured: T. Judith Johnson
photo courtesy of Evelyn Evans

Welcome CSEA Local 828 Members!

Dear CSEA Local 828 member:

As working men and women -- every one and everywhere -- we are our greatest resource. We organize and represent members to ensure our voice is heard, our place at the table is kept and the American dream is ours in the 21st century.

As your fellow workers representing the Voice For The Members Slate, we hold these values as our working principles as we look toward the future:

Honesty: We are honest with ourselves and each other.Inclusiveness: Every group, every idea is welcomed and respected.

Full Participation: We encourage full participation in all union matters by all Local 828 members. Diversity: We celebrate our diversity and use it to strengthen us.

Transparency: We listen and provide for open communication across all parts of our union and will develop an interactive website for our Local 828.

Accountability: We are accountable for our actions and decisions.

Fiscal Responsibility: We conduct our business in a fiscally sound manner.

As a team, we are committed to union democracy and we follow these values with integrity. Please vote for the Voice For the Members Slate on June 9!


President: Bess Watts, Monroe Community College, Unit 7402 V.P. #3
President, Rochester Chapter Pride At Work AFL-CIO
Delegate, Rochester Labor Council
Chair, Local 828 Women’s Committee
585.426.0862
besswhat@gmail.com

Vice President #1: Cris Zaffuto, President, Monroe County Unit 7400
Political Action Committee Co-Chair, Local 828
Delegate, Rochester Labor Council
Region 6 PAC Committee
585.254.5534
Crisz62@aol.com

Vice President#2: Ove Overmyer, President, City Library Workers, Unit 7420
Political Action Co-Chair, Local 828
Delegate, Rochester Labor Council
Region 6 PAC Committee
585.423.9862
oveovermyer@yahoo.com

Vice President #3: T. Judith Johnson, M.C. Public Defenders Office
Member, Monroe County Unit 7400
Member, Pride At Work, AFL-CIO
tjudithjohnson@yahoo.com

Secretary: Susan Newman, M.C. Clerk’s Office (Greece DMV)
Unit 7400 2nd Vice President
585.227.8383
jagrsmom68@yahoo.com

Treasurer: Patricia Wolff, MCC Damon Campus, Unit 7402
Past President, Past V.P., Past Secretary, Unit 7402
Graduate, CSEA LEAD Program/Head Bank Teller
585.262.1696
patwolff8@gmail.com

We would love the opportunity to talk or meet with you to discuss your concerns. Please feel free to contact us about any questions you might have about the future of your Local 828 union representation.

Please visit our blogspot or email us!

Email: voiceforthemembers@gmail.com

Web information:

http://voiceforthemembersslate.blogspot.com/2009/05/welcome-csea-local-828-members.html


All the best,


The Voice For the Members Slate Team