Friday, May 31, 2013


Taken in 2009, this photo shows the business location on Park Ave. (near Goodman St.) of the International World HQ of Navitech, the company that received a $224 million dollar contract from the Brooks administration. photo: Bess Watts
Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks orchestrated a $224 million taxpayer handover to her husbands’ friend and former business partner who only created Navitech a few months before they knew they were going to bid out a public safety and security systems contract. Why the people of this great County don’t give a crap about this corrupt and evil wrong-doing is beyond verbal description.

Monroe County, N.Y. -- Investigators with the state Attorney General’s Office on May 28 seized records from Rochester-based Navitech Services Corp. and other operations that are the focus of an investigation into alleged favoritism with contracting. Records related to Monroe Security and Safety Systems Local Development Corp., also known as M3S, were seized as part of the investigation, according to sources. It was also learned late today that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is also assisting the Attorney General on this case.

Monroe County created M3S, a local development corporation (LDC) that then handled the contract with Navitech for upgrading the county’s public safety and security systems. Stephen Gleason, Navitech’s chief operating officer, confirmed Thursday that the Navitech office on Park Avenue in Rochester had been searched by Attorney General’s Office investigators.

Local development corporations, or LDCs, are private, nonprofit entities that can issue debt and borrow money but operate out of the purview of the public eye.

“We continue to fully cooperate with the Attorney General and their investigation,” said Gleason, who declined to comment further when it was requested by the Democrat & Chronicle.  “The investigation is ongoing,” said a statement provided by Sonia Lindell, a spokeswoman with the Office of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. “At this point we are not commenting on specific investigative steps that we are taking.”

Navitech and M3S have already been audited by Comptroller DiNapoli whose office determined that Navitech received favorable treatment when it landed the $224 million public safety contract from M3S.

In the usual tone-deaf measured height of arrogance, Monroe County officials have once again continued to deny there is anything unethical in the handling of the Navitech contract and the creation of M3S. Central to the allegations of favorable treatment is a claim that Navitech received information about the county’s requirement for the contract three months before there was an official solicitation of proposals in February 2009.

That information, including knowledge that the contract would be let through a local development corporation, allowed Navitech to craft a successful response, a Comptroller’s audit alleged. Gleason is the former chief financial officer for Monroe County. He has publicly stated that he first became aware of Navitech’s existence in June 2009-- months after the proposal solicitation-- when he first went to work for the company as a consultant.

Both the NYS Attorney General Schneiderman and Comptroller DiNapoli have said that the creations of LDC’s are ripe for abuses. It’s why they create them in the first place-- to circumvent any existing labor laws and to avoid any oversight by taxpayers or the County Legislature.

The way we see it, the damage to our community has already been done and we will suffer the consequences for decades to come. Sooner or later, the good people of Monroe County will wake up and see the Brooks administration for who they truly are-- criminal and political ideologues that only have the benefit of the few at heart at the expense and interest of the common good. It bears repeating-- history will not be kind to Maggie Brooks when it’s all said and done.


Cris Zaffuto accepts award at United
Way ceremony May 31, 2013.
photo: RoseMary McKinney

Rochester, N.Y.-- Thanks to the generosity and the hard work of our members, Monroe County employees increased overall giving by 12%, surpassing a goal and exceeding the $400,000 mark for the first time in over a decade.

Our generosity has helped the local United Way community-wide campaign exceed its overall goal, with a total of $26.5 million being pledged. This was announced at a United Way community campaign event this morning. 

Cris Zaffuto, CSEA Local 828 VP and Unit 7400 President, accepted the United Way's Award of Excellence on behalf of the good work CSEA Local 828 did on the campaign. In addition, County campaign coordinators, Sean Delehanty, Flo Doresy and Bonnie Stein were recognized with the United Way's Shining Star Award.


The AFL-CIO and Union Plus have partnered to fund a one-time scholarship, the Dreams of Jobs and Freedom Scholarship, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
It was during this march, the high point of the civil rights movement, that Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. Unions played a key role in organizing and getting thousands of people to Washington, D.C. for this march.
The AFL-CIO demonstrates its commitment to continue the legacy of the 1963 March on Washington; the promise of jobs and freedom, by providing this scholarship opportunity to talented high school seniors and others to help realize their dream of a college education.
The scholarship is available to 2013 graduating high school seniors as well as members, their spouses, and their dependent children and grandchildren (as defined by IRS regulations). At least one year of continuous union membership by the applicant, applicant’s spouse or legal caregiver is required as of July 1, 2013.
Deadline is noon on July 1, 2013.
Applicants can apply online at
Questions about this scholarship can be emailed to
Written inquiries:
AFL-CIO-Union Plus Dreams of Jobs and Freedom Scholarship, 1100 1st St., NE, Suite 850, Washington, DC 20002.

Thursday, May 30, 2013


Photo: Ove Overmyer
Albany, N.Y. -- The Civil Service Employees Association and the American Federation of Teachers reiterated their support today for the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act this afternoon, giving the issue a boost in the final weeks of the legislative session.
The Empire State Pride Agenda is pointing to the endorsements today from labor as nod that GENDA, among other components, calls for a variety of workplace protections.
Both CSEA and the AFT approved resolutions recommitting support to GENDA as chances of passage in the Senate appear to be an uphill climb.
“As trade unionists, we believe that our gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender brothers and sisters unequivocally deserve the same protections and benefits as their brothers and sisters,” said the American Federation of Teachers in a resolution.
The CSEA resolution, written by the WNY Region 6 Women’s Committee, wrote that it was a matter of equal treatment.
“While currently it is illegal in New York State to discriminate on the basis of age, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, sex, marital status and other categories in the areas of employment, housing, public accommodations, education and credit, current human rights laws do not explicitly ban discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression,” said the Civil Service Employees Association in a resolution. “All New Yorkers deserve equal treatment.”
The focus on GENDA comes after the LGBT lobby in New York scored its most significant victory, the passage of same-sex marriage rights in the state via the Legislature.
GENDA has been a sought-after goal for nearly a decade, but has died in both Democratic and Republican-led Senate majorities.

“It’s unacceptable that in 2013 any New Yorker risks being fired, evicted or denied public accommodations simply for being who they are. But absent GENDA, thousands of New Yorkers live in fear – and lack basic civil rights and equal protection under the law,” said Nathan Schaefer, Executive Director of the Empire State Pride Agenda. “We commend the American Federation of Teachers and Civil Service Employees Association for leading by example and are hopeful that the State Senate will follow suit.”

Wednesday, May 15, 2013



The Affordable Care Act (ACA), the health reform law passed in March 2010, includes many provisions that will impact employer-based insurance and union health plans in particular. Some provisions are already effective, while others are not effective until 2014 or 2018. The ACA could potentially impact the next few rounds of contract negotiations for many unions depending on the specific contract expiration dates. This guide describes some of the key provisions of the ACA as they apply to union plans, outlines the  Implementation timeline, and discusses considerations for union negotiators.

This guide is based on our understanding of the law and related regulations as of March 2012. This guide will be updated as regulations implementing the law continue to be finalized and further information about the  intent of the law becomes available.

The ACA introduces new standards for employer-sponsored health plans. The implementation dates for  these requirements vary based on the plan’s effective date, whether the plan is subject to a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), and whether the plan is self-insured or fully-insured.


Grandfathered plans: Plans that had enrollees as of March 23, 2010, may be grandfathered. Some requirements will not apply to grandfathered plans, while other provisions apply to grandfathered plans on the same date they become effective for all plans. Certain changes to plan design will nullify a plan’s grandfathered status, such as: elimination of benefits for certain conditions, certain increases in cost sharing (any increase in coinsurance percentage, an increase in deductible or out-of-pocket limit by more than 15 percent plus medical inflation, or an increase in co-payment by more than $5 adjusted for medical inflation or 15 percent plus medical inflation, whichever is greater), increases in employee share of premium by more than 5 percentage points, or certain changes in annual benefits limits.

These limits are applied on a cumulative basis, not an annual basis.

Plan Requirements: Changes to premiums, changes made to comply with federal or state laws, or changes in third party administrator will not cause a plan to lose its grandfathered status. Employers that change insurers can maintain grandfathered status as long as the new plan has similar cost sharing and benefits as the original plan.The grandfathering rules apply separately to each benefit package under a health plan. The White House predicts that between one- and two-thirds of large group plans will remain grandfathered by 2013. For more information, see the grandfathering regulation.

Collectively bargained plans: Fully-insured plans pursuant to a CBA are grandfathered until the last expiration date of a CBA related to that coverage. Multi-employer plans are grandfathered until the last expiration date of a CBA related to that plan regardless of employer. Grandfathered status may be maintained upon the CBA expiration date if no changes were made since March 23, 2010, that would have otherwise caused the plan to lose its grandfathered status. For more information, see the grandfathering regulation.

Self-insured plans: Self-insured plans subject to a CBA are not eligible for the same delayed implementation as collectively bargained fully-insured plans. All self-insured plans are exempt from some plan requirements, as noted below. For more information, see the grandfathering regulation.

Grandfathered plans are exempt from the following requirements until the plan loses its grandfathered status:

Preventive services: Plans must offer first-dollar coverage (no co-payment or deductible) for certain preventive services effective now. Examples of preventive services covered under this provision include blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol tests; many cancer screenings; certain types of health counseling; certain routine vaccines; flu and pneumonia shots; pregnancy counseling, screening, and vaccines; and well-baby and well-child visits. The White House estimates that this provision will increase premiums by 1.5 percent, on average. See the list of covered preventive services. For more information, see the preventive services regulation.

Patient protections: Plans are prohibited from requiring a referral to see an obstetrician/gynecologist and from requiring prior authorization or higher cost sharing for out-of-network emergency services, effective now. These protections are already existing law in California. For more information, see the Patient’s Bill of Rights regulation.

Out-of-pocket maximums: Group plans must limit out-of-pocket costs to $6,050 for single coverage and $12,100 for family coverage (2012 dollars) effective in 2014 for non-grandfathered plans. Self-insured plans are exempt.

Pricing: For small group plans (100 or fewer employees), medical underwriting is prohibited and rating variation is only allowed based on age (3:1 ratio), tobacco use (1.5:1.0),family composition, and geography effective in 2014. In states permitting large group plans in the exchange in 2017, these pricing standards will apply to all fully-insured large group plans in and out of the exchange. Self-insured plans are exempt.

Deductibles: Small group plans (100 or fewer employees) must limit deductibles to $2,000 for single coverage and $4,000 for family coverage beginning in 2014 for non-grandfathered plans. Self-insured plans are exempt.

Minimum services covered: Fully-insured small group plans (100 or fewer employees) in and out of the exchange and large group plans in the exchange must cover preventive and primary care, emergency, hospital, physician, outpatient, maternity and newborn care, pediatric (including dental and vision), medical/surgical care, prescription drugs, lab, and mental health and substance abuse, effective in 2014 for non-grandfathered plans. States have the flexibility to set the benchmarks within each category. For more information see the HHS news release.

Some requirements are implemented on the same date for all plans, regardless of plan effective date or whether the plan is collectively bargained.

No lifetime or annual limits: Plans are prohibited from limiting the lifetime dollar value of benefits effective the first day of the next plan year beginning after September 23, 2010. Annual limits are restricted to no less than $750,000 beginning September 23, 2010, $1.25 million beginning September 23, 2011, and $2 million beginning September 23, 2012, and are banned completely beginning January 1, 2014. The annual limit requirements do not apply to grandfathered individual plans.

To ensure that individuals with limited benefit plans continue to have access to affordable insurance, some plans received temporary waivers of the annual limit restrictions through 2013. See the current list of approved waivers. The White House predicts that the ban on lifetime limits will increase premiums by 0.5 percent or less and the annual limit restrictions will increase premiums by 0.1 percent or less. For more information, see the Patient’s Bill of Rights regulation.

Dependents under age 26: Plans must allow adult children under age 26 to enroll in a parent’s plan effective now. Adult children are eligible without regard to financial dependency, residence, student status or employment. Married children are eligible to enroll in a parent’s plan, though their spouses are not. Coverage is exempt from taxes through the end of the tax year in which the adult child turns 26. Through 2013, grandfathered group plans do not need to provide coverage to dependents that have health insurance available through their employer no matter the price or quality of the employer’s insurance. For more information, see the Dependent Coverage regulation and IRS guidance.

Plan administrative costs: Plans must provide rebates to consumers if the percentage of premiums spent on medical services and activities to improve health care quality falls below 85 percent for large group plans or 80 percent for small group plans (or higher standard set by state, if applicable) beginning in 2011. Self-insured plans are exempt. For more information, see the Medical Loss Ratio regulation.

Employers with more than 200 full-time employees must automatically enroll employees into a plan unless they opt out of coverage. The law does not specify which plan employers offering multiple plans should  automatically enroll employees in, making this a potential subject for collective bargaining. Unions and  employers are also likely to want to negotiate over the specific way in which employees are notified and given the opportunity to opt out of coverage. This provision will be effective once final regulations are issued, which the Department of Labor does not expect to happen in time to take effect in 2014.

Waiting periods of more than 90 days are banned in 2014 for all plans, including grandfathered plans and self-insured plans. Employers that currently require waiting periods that are significantly longer than 90 days may face increased costs in order to bring the plan into compliance. An initial federal notice suggests that employers that offer coverage would not be subject to penalties during the first three months after an employee’s date of hire if the waiting period applies during that time. The notice indicates that employers could require a specified number of cumulative hours for eligibility for coverage below a to-be-determined limit, after which the 90-day waiting period would begin.

Under the ACA, employers are not required to provide coverage to any employee or dependent, but if an employee receives subsidized coverage in the exchange the employer may be subject to a penalty, beginning in 2014. An employee is eligible for the exchange if they are lawfully present in the U.S. That coverage may be subsidized if the employee’s family income is less than 400 percent of the Federal Poverty Level  ($44,680 for an individual and $92,200 for a family of four in 2012). Employees below 133 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (approximately $14,860 for an individual, $30,660 for a family of four in 2012) may be eligible for Medicaid.

Employees are only eligible for subsidies in the exchange if they are not offered affordable coverage by their employer. Coverage is considered unaffordable if an employer requires a contribution greater than 9.5 percent of family income or offers a plan that covers less than 60 percent of medical costs on average. Under proposed regulations, if self-only coverage costs less than 9.5 percent of income and an employer offers dependent coverage, then both employees and their family members are ineligible for subsidies regardless of whether or not family coverage is affordable.

If the regulations are finalized as proposed, union negotiators should consider that an offer of family coverage could prevent dependents’ access to subsidized coverage in the Exchange. Typical union-negotiated health plans are not likely to fall below the actuarial value threshold of 60 percent as the average actuarial value for employer-based plans was 80 percent in 2007 and even high-deductible health plans in the group market had an average actuarial value of 67 percent.

Employers with fewer than 50 full-time equivalent non-seasonal ex-employees are exempt from the employer responsibility penalties.

Large employers not offering coverage to employees and their dependents with at least one full-time employee receiving subsidies in the exchange are required to pay a penalty of $2,000 multiplied by the number of full-time employees minus 30 employees. Large employers offering coverage with at least one full-time employee receiving subsidies in the exchange pay the lesser of $3,000 multiplied by the number of full-time employees receiving subsidies and $2,000 multiplied by the total number of full-time employees minus 30 employees. Full-time is defined as an average of 30 hours or more with respect to any month and non-seasonal is defined as working 120 days or more in a taxable year.

For existing employees, an initial federal notice suggests that full-time status would be determined based on a look-back and stability period not exceeding 12 months. For newly-hired employees, in certain  circumstances, employers would have six months to determine whether an employee is full time and would not be subject to penalties during that time, according to an initial federal notice. No employer penalties shall apply for employees enrolled in Medicaid or for employees’ dependents who receive subsidized coverage in the exchange.

Although the ACA does not require that employers contribute towards health plan premiums, the employer’s contribution level has several important implications. The less the employer contributes towards coverage, the greater the number of workers that would be potentially eligible for the exchange and the greater the number of employees for which the employer would potentially pay a $3,000 penalty. Secondly, increasing the worker share of the premium by more than 5 cumulative percentage points would cause the loss of grandfathering status after the CBA expires. Finally, the less the employer contributes towards coverage, the more likely it is that worker contributions to premiums exceed 8 percent of family income, making workers exempt from the individual mandate.

All Taft-Hartley fund plans are subject to a CBA and many are self-insured, making the rules for those plan types especially important for trust funds. A few additional special considerations for Taft-Hartley funds are worth noting. A trust fund may have some plans with grandfathered status and some plans that do not have grandfathered status.

The regulations do not indicate that a Taft-Hartley plan will lose its grandfathered status if a new employer joins, but the impact may be subject to interpretation. Trust funds are likely to be especially attentive to the increased costs related to the new plan requirements as they have a set amount of assets to use to pay out benefits.

It is not yet clear what impact the ban on waiting periods of more than 90 days will have on trust funds that require a minimum number of initial hours worked for eligibility. This may be clarified through regulations.

Some unions will face a decision about whether to bargain for increased wages instead of health benefits. If a large number of union members are eligible for subsidized coverage in the exchange, those workers may be better off receiving the amount an employer would have contributed to their health benefits in the form of higher wages and purchasing subsidized coverage in the exchange. The suitability of this approach will be highly dependent on the specific circumstances of each workplace.

In general, workers and employers may be better off forgoing group health insurance if the cost to the employer of providing group coverage is more than the cost of paying the penalty and providing wage increases sufficient to enable workers to purchase coverage through the exchange after taxes.

However, even when this approach benefits a workforce on average, some individual workers and their families could end up worse off because changes will impact workers unequally. Under the current employer-based health insurance system, single employees subsidize employees with families and younger workers subsidize older workers. Unions that bargain for wage increases in lieu of health benefits would likely bargain for a flat dollar amount increase or an increase as a percentage of wages, but workers’ premium contributions in the exchange would also depend on their overall family income, the size of their family, and their age if they are not subsidy-eligible.

Unions could also consider bargaining for other benefits, such as childcare, that would reach the workers who would be most affected by a non-offer of health benefits. Special consideration should be given in workforces that already have coverage, as a shift to the exchange could create divisions among the workers.


Families with adjusted gross incomes under 133 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (approximately  14,860 for an individual and $30,660 for a family of four in 2012) will be eligible for Medicaid. Families with incomes between 133 percent and 400 percent FPL ($44,680 for an individual and $92,200 for a family of four in 2012) are eligible for subsidies in the exchange.

Subsidies are provided for premiums and cost sharing. Subsidies are designed to limit the cost of premiums to 3 percent of family income for a family at 133 percent FPL and 9.5 percent of family income for a family at 400 percent FPL. Undocumented workers are not eligible for Medicaid or purchasing coverage in the exchange, whether subsidized or unsubsidized.

Unions should take into account that increasing wages could make some workers ineligible for exchange subsidies and Medicaid due to their higher income, and could reduce the amount that other workers receive in premium and cost sharing subsidies.


Some employers may want to offer coverage to certain employees but not others. The ACA extends existing Internal Revenue Code Section 105(h) non-discrimination rules, which currently apply only to self-insured plans, to non-grandfathered fully-insured plans, effective six months after enactment. These rules require that plans benefit a significant portion of all employees in order for benefits to be excludable from taxable income. Eligibility for coverage may not discriminate in favor of  highly-compensated individuals.

Under these  provisions, employers may offer coverage to full-time workers but not part-time workers, except in certain situations in which part-time workers constitute a significant percentage of the workforce. Workers covered under a collective bargaining agreement may be excluded from consideration under the non-discrimination rules if benefits were a subject of good faith bargaining.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Bess Watts, CSEA Local 828 President (2nd from left), stands with scholarship winners for 2013. The awards were presented on May 13, 2103 at picnic supper at Liberty Lodge, Finn Park, Webster, Ove Overmyer

Webster, N.Y.—On May 13, the CSEA Monroe County Local 828 Executive Board and the Local 828 Scholarship Committee hosted the 21th Annual Scholarship Award Dinner at Liberty Lodge in Finn Park, 850 Maple Dr., Webster, N.Y. At the picnic supper, Local officers announced the winners of the CSEA Local 828 George M. Growney Memorial Scholarships, Unit 7400 and the Jane McManus Scholarship Award for 2013. More than $8,200.00 was awarded to deserving area students this year.

Since 1993, CSEA Local 828 has awarded over $120,000.00 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 an additional $19,500.00.

George M. Growney Scholarships

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 the following year after his death.

“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.”

For a complete list of this year's winners, you can go here.

CSEA Local 828 Scholarships are open to graduating high school seniors whose parents and caregivers are members or agency shop fee payers of Monroe County Local 828. The scholarship committees have reviewed thousands of applications in the past 21 years, demonstrating a 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.

Jane McManus Scholarship

Elisabeth Wisse, a graduate of Rush Henrietta High School, was the 2013 recipient of the Jane McManus Scholarship Award. Elisabeth was awarded $200.00 toward her books and school supplies. She will be attending the Onondaga School of Therapeutic Massage in July. Her mother is Lorry Wisse, a 33 year veteran of the Rochester Public Library and works as a clerk at the Central Library of Rochester & Monroe County.

In 1974, Jane McManus started her public service career at the Rochester Public Library as a Senior Library Clerk. While a full-time employee, she also worked in the Literature and Local History Divisions. Shortly thereafter, Jane was promoted to part-time Library Assistant while working in the Reynolds Audio-Visual Department of the Central Library.

In 1991, she transferred to the Winton Branch Library and has been The Story Lady for over two decades. 

In 1993, Jane was appointed to the Part-Time Benefits Committee at the Rochester Public Library. In 1995, Jane was one of the founding members who organized and established CSEA Local 828 Unit 7420. Jane was unanimously elected as the first ever President of the City of Rochester Library Workers Unit, where she remained as President of the Unit until April 2006.

Jane remains active in CSEA serving as a Steward, Contract Negotiations Team member, Grievance Rep, member of the Local 828 Health & Safety Committee, and member of the Local 828 Scholarship Committee. She’s a strong advocate for workers’ rights and childhood education. Her CSEA part time library co-workers in Unit 7420 proposed that a scholarship be named in her honor in 2010. They did so knowing full well that Jane's passion, leadership abilities and vision should be forever acknowledged in perpetuity.

Sunday, May 12, 2013


Rochester, N.Y.-- There was a time when hunger was a real issue that affected mostly the extremely poor and homeless in America. Not anymore. Not now. Many of our middle class working families are struggling today-- making the difficult choices about stretching paychecks that don't go far enough.

Food Insecurity and Very Low Food Security is real problem and getting worse. In 2011, 50.1 million Americans lived in food insecure households, 33.5 million adults and 16.7 million children.

In 2011, 14.9 percent of households (17.9 million households) were food insecure.
In 2011, 5.7 percent of households (6.8 million households) experienced very low food security.

In 2011, households with children reported food insecurity at a significantly higher rate than those without children, 20.6 percent compared to 12.2 percent.

In 2011, households that had higher rates of food insecurity than the national average included households with children (20.6 percent), especially households with children headed by single women (36.8 percent) or single men (24.9 percent), Black non-Hispanic households (25.1 percent) and Hispanic households (26.2 percent).

In 2011, 8.8 percent of seniors living alone (1 million households) were food insecure.
Food insecurity exists in every county in America, ranging from a low of 5 percent in Steele County, ND to a high of 37 percent in Holmes County, MS.

CSEA Monroe County Local 828 and the Voice Reporter encourage you to call the your member of Congress:

US Capitol Switchboard (202) 224-3121

To locate your Member on-line:
U.S. House of Representatives:
U.S. Senate:

White House:

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


Rochester, N.Y.-- The CSEA Monroe County Local 828 Executive Board and the Local 828 Scholarship Committee are pleased to announce the winners of the 2013 George M. Growney, Unit 7400 and Jane McManus Scholarship Awards.

Since 1993, CSEA Local 828 has awarded nearly $120,000.00 in scholarship prize money to assist our area's working families. In 1994, the Monroe County Employees Unit 7400, the largest Unit in the Local, created their own scholarship program and has distributed more than $25,000.00.  CSEA Local 828 is comprised of 22 Units throughout the Monroe County area, and represents nearly 3,500 workers.  

The City of Rochester Library Workers Unit 7420 created the Jane McManus Scholarship fund in 2010, and this year we are happy to announce that Elisabeth Wisse, daughter of Lorry Wisse (Central Library of Rochester & Monroe County) is a $200.00 award winner.

Mr. Growney was a long time labor leader and activist who 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 the following year after his death.

The scholarship is open to graduating high school seniors whose parents and caregivers are members or agency shop fee payers of Monroe County Local 828.

The scholarship committee worked very hard to review many detailed entries again this year. Scholarships applicants were judged on academic achievement, a written essay, financial need and potential.

This year's award recipients will be honored at the Annual Scholarship Dinner on May 13, 5:30 at Liberty Lodge at Finn Park, 850 Maple Drive, Webster, N.Y.  For more information about this event, please call Barb at 585.328.5250. Congratulations to all the winners!

Here are the winners: 

Monday, May 6, 2013



Excessive State Overtime Revealed

A report released by the State Comptroller’s Office this week revealed that State agencies accrued nearly 14.5 million hours of overtime in 2012, over 800,000 hours more than in 2011. The excessive state employee overtime costs reveal glaring deficiencies in the Cuomo administration’s workforce management plan.

“The Cuomo administration continues to purposely understaff state agencies and mandate overtime to a perverse degree,” said CSEA President Danny Donohue. “They tell the public they’re cutting the public work force and improving operations when they are really eroding decent middle-class jobs, leaving people at risk and still costing the public plenty.”

Act Now to Save SUNY Downstate

SUNY Downstate Medical Center provides vitally important healthcare to some of our most needy communities. The State Budget requires the SUNY Chancellor to submit a viability plan for the hospital to the Governor by June 1, 2013. We must fight to keep SUNY Downstate Medical Center a viable, strong public teaching hospital.

Call the Governor today at 1-888-833-7428 and tell him that New York State can not sell off or close Downstate Medical Center.

There will be a rally for SUNY Downstate on Thursday, May 9th. Rev. Al Sharpton will be attending a pre-rally press conference at SUNY Downstate (470 Clarkson Avenue) at 3pm. At 4:15 pm, participants will meet at Mt. Zion Church of God at 203 East 37th Street and march to the hospital at 5pm to join workers.

Warnings Ignored on ‘Close to Home’ Initiative 

In the wake of an explosive expose by the New York Daily News about the abysmal failure of the state ‘Close to Home’ juvenile justice reform program, CSEA can only say that repeated warnings about the initiative were ignored. CSEA opposed Governor Cuomo’s initiative to move juvenile offenders from state run facilities into not-for-profit New York City programs, citing potential public safety issues.

According to the paper, 198 of the program’s participants generated 422 warrants for being absent without leave after escaping from their group homes between September 2012 and March 2013. Eight of the missing youths were arrested for new crimes.
CSEA President Danny Donohue called the failure of the 'Close to Home' program “further evidence of the failure of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s public policy by news release that puts people at risk.”

Federal News

Last week, just hours before heading to the airport to go back to their home districts, Congress rushed through a bill to allow the Federal Aviation Administration to reshuffle funding and avoid flight delays caused by sequestration furloughs. While stopping the FAA furloughs is important, so is ensuring Americans have access to Meals on Wheels programs, child care, cancer treatment and unemployment assistance.

Click here to add your name to the petition calling on Congress to end the devastating sequestration cuts for all Americans.