Wednesday, August 14, 2013

AFSCME and CSEA Join Other City Unions in Supporting Mayor Tom Richards for Re-election

Officers and staff of AFSCME and CSEA stand with Rochester Mayor Tom Richards at a press conference at the Rochester Police Department Locust Club on Lexington Ave this morning. photo: Bess Watts
Rochester, N.Y. -- Mayor Tom Richards’ campaign today received support from several unions representing the City of Rochester’s workforce. The endorsements – which included the Rochester Police Locust Club; the Rochester Firefighters Association Local 1071; the City Employees Union (AFSCME Local 1635); the City libraries staff (AFSCME/CSEA Local 828 Unit 7420) and the City School District support staff (BENTE/AFSCME Local 2419) – reflect a new partnership that has emerged at City Hall under Mayor Richards’ executive leadership.

“The challenges faced by upstate cities have been well-documented, and are no different here in Rochester. However, I am confident that we have maintained more solid fiscal footing than others, thanks partially to our union workforce,” said Mayor Richards. “With their cooperation, we have not had to cut back on the level of service that residents have come to expect from their government, something very important to preserving quality of life in Rochester.”

Remarks by Ove Overmyer
President CSEA City of Rochester Library Workers Local 828 Unit 7420:

My name is Ove Overmyer and I have been employed by the City of Rochester for 16 years. I am the President of the CSEA City of Rochester Library Workers and a Vice President of Monroe County Local 828. I am here with my CSEA colleague Bess Watts, President of Monroe County Local 828.

As many of you know, CSEA is New York State’s leading union, representing employees of New York State and its counties, cities, towns, villages, school districts, library systems, authorities and public corporations. Together with a growing population of private sector members and retirees, CSEA forms a union of 290,000 people strong. It is also the largest affiliate of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) which, in turn, is one of the largest affiliates of the AFL-CIO.

When Tom Richards became mayor in 2011, he really hit the ground running. Since then, Mayor Tom Richards has crafted a great working relationship with the public sector and private sector trade unions as well as the local business community. We have watched him navigate tough landmines in governing our city—no easy feat for anyone. He does it with charm, grace, wit and a lot of hard work—attributes we should all admire. Mayor Richards respects everyone at the table and to tell you the truth, he is always the smartest guy in the room. He uses an economy of words and is open and honest—no smoke or mirrors here folks. Although we recognize we are not where we want to be as a city, we remain very optimistic that our Mayor is the visionary who can lead us to a better day. We have the utmost respect and confidence in his ability to govern.

Mayor Richards has clearly demonstrated a vision and ability to improve public safety, balance budgets, create private sector jobs and improve our educational efforts through literacy, supporting our schools and public libraries. But most of all, Tom sees the city workforce as invested stakeholders in our community, something other administrations had a hard time realizing. CSEA joins our city union brothers and sisters when we say we enthusiastically support the re-election campaign of Rochester Mayor Tom Richards.”

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