Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Local 828 President Watts encourges attendance

CSEA Western Region President Flo Tripi will host the first Schools Conference on November 13-14 in Batavia, N.Y. The two-day conference will be held at the Holiday Inn at Darien Lake. Tripi says topics like workplace stress, dealing with difficult students and workplace violence will all be discussed in forums and informal group sessions.

A networking hour is planned for Friday evening, where workers and public school employees represented by CSEA can meet and greet, share information and build relationships.
Click here for a full schedule and registration information.

Local 828 President Bess Watts especially encourages Unit officers from MCC, East Irondequoit Schools and the East Rochester School District to attend. "This is a great opportunity for members to interact with other members in similiar work conditions," says Watts. She adds that programs such as this conference can help members gain the tools necessary to improve workplace safety and protect workers and students alike.

It was revealed at the 2009 Annual Delegates Meeting that 26 percent of CSEA members from around New York State work in school settings.

Contact our Local 828 office (585.328.5250) or President Watts for additional information.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


Local 828 Officers and Delegates to the
99th Annual Delegates Meeting
Buffalo, N.Y.

front row left to right: Cris Zaffuto and Bess Watts
second row: Judy Johnson and Caril Powell-Price
back row: Ove Overmyer, Sue Newman, Paul Cummings
and Joe Tichacek
absent: Dave Burton

Buffalo, N.Y.-- More than 1,200 CSEA delegates and other participants took part in the union's 99th Annual Delegates Meeting at the Buffalo Convention Center the week of September 13 - 18.

On Tuesday, delegates took part in CSEA's first Electronic Town Hall Meeting. Throughout the past year, CSEA has provided an opportunity for members' voices to be heard like never before through dozens of Town Hall Meetings across the state. The outreach culminated with a day-long Electronic Town Hall Meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 15. The information gained by the candid comments made by members at the meetings across the state was used to develop topics for discussion and development in the Electronic Town Hall Meeting. The outcome of the process will help to make CSEA a better, more effective union and guide us into our second century.

"CSEA's strength over the past 100 years is our ability to learn, grow and adapt," said CSEA President Danny Donohue. "This process of Hearing Every Voice has been exciting and challenging, but there is no doubt that it will make us stronger in the long run. The Electronic Town Hall Meeting will produce energy and ideas to help bring our agenda for the future into clearer focus." For an in depth look at the week in photos, check out this gallery.

Hundreds of our members joined with colleagues of the CSEA Erie County Unit to rally in front of the county's Rath Building in downtown Buffalo. Members sent a clear message to County Executive Chris Collins that government should be for people, not profit. The county executive systematically has been dismantling county services. The Erie County Unit has been working without a contract for about three years. To see a photos of the rally, click here.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


City of Rochester Library Unit Officers
sworn in by Region 6 President Flo Tripi

Left to Right: Flo Tripi, Lorry Wisse, Treasurer; Kate Meddaugh,
Secretary; Melanie Lewis, Vice President and
Ove Overmyer, President
photo: Bess Watts

Rochester, N.Y.-- On September 11, the City of Rochester Library Unit held their Annual Membership meeting at the Central Library of Rochester & Monroe County. Region 6 President Flo Tripi, along with Local 828 officers Bess Watts, Cris Zaffuto, Pat Wolff and Judy Johnson were also present. President Watts is making a concerted effort to visit as many Unit meetings as possible in the very near future. If you have a meeting scheduled, she suggests you contact her directly or call the Local 828 office at 585.328.5250.

Also attending the meeting were Carmela McHugh from CSEA Member Benefits and Christine Grosse, Labor Liason for the law firm Fine, Olin & Anderman, who handle our Worker's Compensation Claims.

The meeting began with a short documentary video about CSEA's interest and investment in political action, highlighting events that took place during the MARCH FOR MAIN STREET event in January earlier this year.

A brief business meeting was held where members shared information with respect to political action, committee reports and workplace events. Afterwards, members were introduced to the their Labor Relations Specialist, Robert Leonard, who was the guest speaker. Leonard informed and updated members about the ongoing contract negotiations between the City and CSEA. A lively and robust Q&A session followed.

The Library Unit's contract expired June 30, 2009 and is looking for a quick and equitable resolution to the collective bargaining agreement. Tripi insisted that the members are in good hands having Robert Leonard represent them. She says he is one of the most talented and respected "labor guys" you will ever find.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


pictured above:
Cris Zaffuto, Assemblywoman Susan John
and Ove Overmyer
photo: Bess Watts

Rochester, N.Y.-- On September 9, Local 828 officers attended a political action fundrasier for CSEA endorsed Monroe County Legislative Candidate for the 19th District (Greece), Jo Meleca-Voigt. For a quick look about her candidacy, please click here.

CSEA is committed to political clout. Cris Zaffuto, Political Action Co-Chair for Local 828 says, "Where else do workers get to decide who their bosses are?" She added, "By voting for labor friendly candidates, it helps assure our place at the table when legislation is proposed. Additionally, we need people in local office who understand the concerns of our working families." Zaffuto also encourages all members to check out the PEOPLE program.

PEOPLE is CSEA and AFSCME's political action program. The PEOPLE program protects and improves our jobs, benefits and pensions in Washington, Albany and in our community. Your support and participation in PEOPLE strengthens CSEA's position in the workplace, in the legislature, and in the labor movement.

Monroe County Legislative races that our Region PAC targeted this year include Frank Muscato (D,WFP- 4th District, Gates), Mike Condello (D, WFP- 13th District, Henrietta), Nora Bredes (D, WFP-18th, Perinton) and Jo Meleca-Voigt, D,WFP- 19th District, Greece).

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


CSEA members and their families
pose for a group photo prior to the parade
Photo: Ove Overmyer

Rochester, N.Y.-- Labor activists who work and live around the Rochester area gathered in the East End on Monday morning, September 7 to kick off the 24th Annual Labor Day Parade. CSEA parade participants joined thousands of nurses, librarians, electricians, firefighters, carpenters, iron workers and other union stalwarts as we marched along East Avenue, East Main Street to Plymouth Avenue on the west side.

The 2009 parade had several themes, including the primary message to support the Employee Free Choice Act, championing universal health care, supporting workers rights seeking to unionize without corporate retribution, and to showcase pro-labor candidates for local elected office. Many CSEA endorsed candidates marched in this year's parade, including Monroe County legislators Harry Bronson (24th LD) and Carrie Andrews (21st LD).

Organizers estimated that over 3,000 marchers and 45 units participated in this year's event. There was plenty of entertainment with marching bands, dancing cows and message-themed floats.

Labor Day has been a national holiday celebrated since 1894 to honor all working Americans. To view a CSEA photo essay on the Rochester Labor Day press conference and the parade, click here. (Sorry, Kodakgallery is requiring viewers to sign in. Click the hyperlink tomorrow (9/09/09) and find the gallery on Flickr.

Additionally, CSEA Monroe County Local 828 co-sponsored a Labor Day family picinc at Seabreeze Amusement Park after the parade. More than 500 tickets were pre-sold on what some organizers would call the last day of summer.

The Local 828 officers want to thank administrative assistant Barb Fragassi and member Ron Scudder for all their hard work, and to our other members who volunteered their time and talents in assisting the organizers of this year's Labor Day events.