Tuesday, June 30, 2009


CSEA History Display at Central Library of Rochester
and Monroe County from July 1 to July 30
photo by Inge Munnings


Rochester, N.Y. – For the month of July, the Central Library of Rochester & Monroe County will be the host site for a display that chronicles the nearly 100-year history of CSEA, the Civil Service Employees Association. The union has grown from its meager beginnings in 1910 as a small association of state employees, to become one of New York’s largest labor unions. CSEA represents about 300,000 members throughout the State, Local Government and Private Sector and negotiates more than 1,100 contracts in various municipalities.

The colorful photo display shows archival as well as contemporary pictures of CSEA members on the job. It is also peppered with historical facts to inform citizens about the many ways the union has made improvements to the lives of all New Yorkers, setting standards for workers, advocating for better government services and improving the lives and livelihoods of workers who provide public services. The display is located in the lower link level of the Bausch & Lomb Public Library Building of the Central Library near the College Resource Center.

CSEA is exhibiting the display around the state to remind people of the many ways CSEA members touch their lives, both on and off the job in their communities. The Rochester Public Library has many workers who are CSEA members.

“As we approach our hundredth anniversary, we want people throughout New York to recognize the important ways CSEA has impacted the lives of citizens and working people across our state,” said CSEA Western Region President Flo Tripi.

CSEA represents nearly 300,000 members statewide. CSEA members are primarily public employees performing every kind of work in every part of New York. The union also has a growing membership in the private sector. It is also the largest affiliate (and Local 1000) of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) which, in turn, is one of the largest affiliates of the AFL-CIO.

CSEA's Western Region 6 covers 14 Western New York counties, serving thousands of workers in 78 locals including Monroe County Local 828. The Region has over 220 units in state government, local government, school districts, public authorities, and the private sector. The region has approximately 45,000 members. Off the job, CSEA members work hard to improve our communities, support and volunteer for numerous organizations and causes with their time, talent and money.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

CSEA Standing In Solidarity

CSEA stands in solidarity
photo by Lynn Miller

CSEA Western Region President Flo Tripi, second from right, joined Monroe County CSEA Local 828 members at a June 9 county legislature meeting. Members stood in support of the full-time unit 7400 negotiating team, which recently declared impasse; the probation officers, who are working severely short-staffed; and the part-time unit, which is also in negotiations with management.

posted at 7:45 pm

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

NYS Supreme Court Rules Against Monroe County

CSEA LRS Robert Leonard speaks to the media
photo by Lynn Miller

CSEA Statewide President Danny Donohue, left, Western Region President, Flo Tripi and Labor Relations Specialist, Robert Leonard field questions during a press conference on June 12. The press conference brought attention to a State Supreme Court ruling ordering Monroe County to stop undermining CSEA.

The City of Rochester, host for the CSEA spring workshop, brought over 800 activists from around New York State to the flower city. CSEA is New York State's leading union, representing nearly 300,000 workers in the public and private sector.

Standing behind President Donohue, Tripi and Leonard are statewide and local officers including Local 828 VP-Elect Cris Zaffuto and Local 828 VP-Elect Ove Overmyer.

CSEA officials were in Albany NYS Supreme Court for about 4 hours of testimony and legal arguments on June 18. The good news is the judge continued the injunction against the County of Monroe which requires them to cease and desist with letters, surveys and interviews regarding members being represented by CSEA.

Leonard says, "This is a victory for all the Monroe County P/T union members. It really appeared that the judge saw right through the county's arguments. The county apparently saw the writing on the wall and did not send top County officials to Albany for the hearing. Monroe County was solely represented by one Harris-Beach attorney."

A final decision about the County's anti-union efforts will be handed down in 6 to 8 weeks.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


pictured above:
CSEA Local 828 Monroe County
President-Elect Bess Watts

The Voice for the Members Slate want to thank all the CSEA Local 828 workers who supported us throughout this campaign. Again, this election was always about you, the members.
Bess Watts, CSEA Local 828 President-Elect, says, "I'm very humbled by the election results. We are looking forward to meaningful change for our members."

We also look forward to meeting with all of you at your worksites in the coming months. Stay tuned right here for additional information about what's next for our Local. When the election results are official, we will be posting the names of the new officers and the state delegates.

Voice for the Members Slate:
President-Elect: Bess Watts
1st VP: Cris Zaffuto
2nd VP: Ove Overmyer
3rd VP: T. Judith Johnson
Secretary: Sue Newman
Treasurer: Pat Wolff

Monday, June 8, 2009


For the first time in nearly 30 years, members of CSEA Monroe County Local 828 will have a choice of who represents us. The Voice for the Members Slate think this a good thing, regardless of who will be your next Local 828 officers.
We encourge you to compare and contrast the two slates strengths and weaknesses. We are convinced that the winner in this election will not be the names on the slate, but each member who casts a vote.

For polling site locations for the election, please call Local 828 HQ at 328.5250 or contact Joanne Guarnere at 753.2910. The Local 828 office, located at 167 Flanders St. near the corner of Thurston St., will be open for voting at 9 am. on Election Day.

Also, we will be having a rally on June 9 outside the Monroe County Office Building, 39 W. Main St., before the County Legislature meets on Tuesday evening. We are going to send a strong message to the community that our Region and Local Units are formidable and we are asking for a quick resolution to the ongoing County contract negotiations facing the Monroe County full time and part time workers. See you on the steps of the Monroe County Office Building at 5:30 pm --right after you vote!

(Photo above: Recently, CSEA staff, rank and file plus members of the Voice for the Members Slate rallied outside the Monroe County Office Building to protect funding of day care provisions for working families. Photo provided by Bess Watts)

Saturday, June 6, 2009


The Voice for the Members Slate want all CSEA Local 828 members to check their mailboxes this weekend. We have provided a quick postcard mailer to remind you of everything you need to know when you vote on Tuesday, June 9.
It is still not too late to vote by absentee ballot. Call 328.5250 or stop by in person to the Local 828 offices at 167 Flanders St. on Monday June 8 between the hours of 9 am and 1 pm. Please bring your identifcation when you vote. The Local 828 office is also an official polling site. Call ahead before coming to vote in person on June 9.
As labor activists and elected officers, our slate is committed to the mission of our Local 828 constitution. Our leadership abilities and enduring dedication to our members cause is second to no one. As your fellow workers representing the Voice for the Members Slate, we hold the values of honesty, inclusiveness, full participation, diversity, accountability, and finally, fiscal responsibility as our governing principles. Please vote for our team on June 9!
Your voice and vote is necessary for union democracy to occur. Regardless of the outcome, you can rest assured that the officers elected will be more accountable to the organizied members of all the CSEA Units of Monroe County. Again, for any and all election information, please contact Joanne Guarnere at 753.2910 or 328.5250.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Ten Things You Should Know About Us

The Voice for the Members State completely understands the role of the Local 828 officers--they should provide support services and programs that improve the lives of all the CSEA Unit members here in Monroe County.

Here are ten things we will accomplish starting on day one:

1) Have a CSEA Local 828 website up and running immediately. It will be primarily designed for member usability and not programmed for the convienence of Local 828 officers or web administrators. We will post links, policies, meeting schedules, constitutions and anything and everything union to help improve communication between our Units, Region and State offices. CSEA Local 828 has never had a working website EVER.

2) Provide a positive consistent media presence with regular editorials and news articles in local publications. We need to be more vocal about representing the best interests of the people who actually "do the work."

3) Our extensive experience of over 80 years of union activism will allow for us to mentor, train, educate and guide new units and officers.

4) We will immediately create a handy information guide on "how to navigate the CSEA bureaucracy." Unlike others, we possess "original thoughts" and "original ideas."

5) Promote coalition-building with community groups and other local unions.

6) Create an online listserv for transparency and open communication at a large scale.

7) Three of our top slate members have invested serveral years cultivating political relationships with Village, Town, City, County and State lawmakers. We promise to continue to lobby hard for CSEA and all working families.

8) We will create a new "culture of cooperation."

9) We will have an "open door" policy at the Local 828 office on a regularly scheduled basis. And, we respectfully promise to return your phone calls and emails back as soon as humanly possible!

10) As your fellow workers representing the Voice for the Members Slate, we hold the values of honesty, inclusiveness, full participation, diversity, transparency, accountability and fiscal responsibility. We will conduct our business in a fiscally sound manner. Individually and as a team, we are committed to the principles of union democracy.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Absentee Ballots Available June 3!

The CSEA Local 828 Election of Officers begins June 3 with the availability of union members to request an absentee ballot if they can not vote in person on June 9 at the designated polling sites.
If you are unable to vote in person, an absentee ballot may be obtained by contacting Joanne Guarnere at (585) 328-5250. Deadline for receipt of absentee ballots is 3:00 pm on Tuesday, June 9.
Counting of ballots will be held on Election Day at 167 Flanders Street, Rochester, 14619 at the end of the polling period. You must be a member in good standing as of April 1, 2009 to vote. Members must show identification in order to vote. Members are encouraged to call in person as soon as possible if they are not scheduled to work or on vacation.

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! Stay tuned to this blog for polling site locations! Any CSEA Local 828 election questions can be answered by calling 328.5250.