Sunday, July 1, 2018

Janus vs AFSCME

This week, the United States Supreme Court overturned over forty years of precedent when it ruled against the union in Janus v AFSCME. The 5-4 decision provided that members of a public sector bargaining unit who choose not to join the union cannot be required to pay a “fair share” or “agency fee” for the costs of collective bargaining. The ruling essentially institutes a nation-wide “Right-to-Work” policy in the public sector.
This case was never anything other than an attack on labor unions and the voice they provide working men and women in the workplace.
CSEA President Danny Donohue said, “This case wasn’t about fairness or free speech. It was a scheme to destroy unions and silence working people. I can tell you right now, it’s not going to work. CSEA has been around for more than 100 years and we’re here to stay.”
CSEA has already begun fighting against these attacks on hardworking union members.
As part of the 2018-19 New York State budget, CSEA worked closely with Governor Cuomo to pass legislation to help fortify unions against this decision. That new law helps protect union members by:
  • Providing that public employee unions will not have to provide representation to non-members in any disciplinary cases as well as any legal, economic, or job-related services beyond those provided in the collective bargaining agreement. This will help our union focus our efforts on the members who Never Quit and stay with the union.
  • Requiring employers to notify the union when a new employee is hired and allow a union representative to meet with new employees.
  • Providing that when a member returns to work after a voluntary or involuntary leave, they will automatically be reinstated as members.
Further, President Donohue stood with Governor Cuomo this week as the Governor signed an Executive Order to protect the personal information of public employees. “When the Governor does the right thing we are more than willing to stand shoulder to shoulder with him,” President Donohue said.
The Governor stood strong with CSEA this week, saying “Let me be very clear: the flame of the labor movement burns stronger than ever here in New York. And so long as I am governor of the State of New York, the labor movement will continue to deliver on the promise of the American Dream.”
The Executive Order will protect State employees against harassment and intimidation from anti-union organizers by prohibiting state agencies from disclosing the private information of public employees, including home address, personal phone numbers, and personal email addresses. The Governor said that he will also advance legislation to provide the same protections to municipal employees.
CSEA will continue to fight against these attacks on our members and everything that we stand for.
Stay union. Stay strong. Never Quit.

Monday, June 25, 2018

CSEA Endorses Joseph Morelle

The Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) announced that it has endorsed Joe Morelle’s candidacy for the 25th Congressional District. CSEA represents approximately 300,000 active and retired, public and private sector employees, including 45,000 members in Western Region 6 which serves Monroe County.
"I've known Joe for years and know that he will stand up for working families in Congress.  Your vote matters in this primary so be sure and vote Joe on Tuesday, June 26th"  Bess Watts, CSEA Local 828 President Monroe County.
Morelle, who served as a state Assemblymember representing the towns of Brighton, Irondequoit and parts of the city of Rochester, has spent a lifetime in public service working to advance the best interests of working people. In the Assembly, Morelle has successfully fought for the passage of legislation to raise the minimum wage in New York State, establish paid family leave to ease the burden on our working families, improve access to healthcare for all people, bring millions of dollars in infrastructure improvements to our area, and increase workforce development training to ensure individuals have the skills and training they need to be successful.
Watts added, "we miss Louise Slaughter and know we can never replace her, but knowing that her family supports Joe gives me comfort that Joe is the best candidate to represent our interests in Washington." 

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

CSEA Local 828 Scholarships Awarded

Bess Watts with Jesse Pitoni

Webster, NY - On Monday, June 11, CSEA Monroe County Local 828 Executive Board, Local 828 Scholarship Committee and CSEA Retirees Local 912 hosted the 26th Annual Scholarship Awards Dinner at Liberty Lodge in Finn Park, 850 Maple Drive in Webster, NY.

At the picnic dinner, Local officers formally announced the winners of the CSEA Local 828 George M. Growney Memorial and the Monroe County Unit 7400 Scholarship Awards for 2018. This year, $8,000.00 was awarded to deserving area students whose parents or caregivers are members in good standing of CSEA Monroe County Local 828.


“This is my favorite time of the year, the committee does all the work and I show up and give out money to well deserving children of CSEA members” said Bess Watts, President of Local 828. She added, “It’s very rewarding to know we are helping our young people succeed in life. It also does my heart good to see young people understand the value of our union and how much we contribute to the well-being of our community. One day they will become the leaders we need.”

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 25 years, which demonstrates the 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..
Since 1993, CSEA Local 828 has awarded over $158,000 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 more than $27,000.

About George M. Growney

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 in 1998—one year after his passing.

Region 6 President Flo Tripi addressing the audience

A special thank you to the Scholarship Committee, Chaired by Nancy Steele from the Town of Webster,  for all the work you did to make this such a successful event.   If you are a member of CSEA Local 828 and want to be on the Scholarship Committee contact your Unit President and ask if you can get involved.  We'd love to have you!



Friday, April 20, 2018

Town of Irondequoit Ground Breaking Ceremony

The Town of Irondequoit broke ground today for their new Department of Public Works facility. There were many speakers offering high praise for the hard working DPW workers who have weathered the storm after losing their building in a Christmas Eve fire two years ago. Their new digs will be open sometime next Fall.



Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Contractual Benefits at Risk


WE ARE STRONGER TOGETHER. These words ring true now more than ever. Stronger together: as a Nation, Community, Family and more important in your day to day life as a Union. As Public Employees and Union members we faced the prospect of a Constitutional Convention in New York State with a referendum on our voting ballot. We all know the negative impact that could have carried for us as Public Employees. Early on last year 75% of voters polled were in favor of having a Constitutional Convention. The Unions and Public Employees worked and stood up together to educate voters and members alike. The Constitutional Convention was overwhelmingly voted down with 87% of the voters against it. This recent case along with many others cases we have won, has proven what strength we can have if we stick together as one strong group. 

Unions as a whole, and especially Public Employee Unions, are facing another tough challenge this year. This challenge comes with the possible fallout we face from the current U.S. Supreme Court decision due out in June on the Janus v. AFSCME case. This case, being funded by Right to Work and the wealthy, is the latest attempt to weaken and dismantle the Unions in this country. The case involves an Illinois Public Employee who has filed suit against AFSCME. His contention is he shouldn't have to pay Union dues if he doesn't want to be a member of his Union. He benefits from the pay and benefits negotiated by his Union. He benefits from the representation and member benefits supplied by his Union. He just feels he shouldn't have to pay for those benefits. If you went out with a group of your friends, wouldn't you expect everyone to pay their fair share? Same principal should apply here. To get benefits for free and expect them not to change and always be there for you is unrealistic.

We receive many benefits as Union members from our collectively negotiated and democratically approved contracts. By choosing to not be members and pay our fair share, we risk losing all of our negotiated benefits and Union representation. If more than 50% of our Unit decides not to be members and pay their fair share Monroe County can choose to not recognize the Union or the negotiated contract. You would become an “at will” employee with no representation. Monroe County would be able to pay you the wage they decide is fair. They will give you the Health Insurance they consider fair, and you will pay the % that they consider fair. There is a good chance that the possible increased cost of Health Insurance alone could be more than you are currently paying for Union dues. They will be able to treat you with the minimum standard recognized by the Dept. of Labor. The amount of rights you would lose, rights that you have gained through negotiations by the Union in our contract; which are miles ahead of the Dept. of Labor minimum requirements, would be staggering. By choosing to not be members and pay your fair share, you risk losing all of our long term and hard fought negotiated benefits.

If you are not currently a member of the Union, take the time to sign up and become a member. If you are currently a member and are given the choice to not pay dues, NEVER QUIT! If we stay together as a functioning Unit within our Local  we can continue to enjoy the guaranteed benefits we have negotiated which cannot be taken away unless we agree to it.

STAY STRONG, STAY UNION!

A message from Jim D'Amico - CSEA Local 828 VP #1 & Monroe County Unit 7400 President

Thursday, March 29, 2018

St Patrick's Day in Rochester

A modest but enthusiastic group of members from our Local took the opportunity to show community pride by marching in the St. Patrick's Day Parade.  A big thank you to the Next Wave Committee for organizing this event - everyone had a great time.   The kids and some adults really enjoyed the flags!  We'll be marching again next year, please plan on joining us!

Thursday, March 1, 2018

UCAN Graduation



On February 27, The United Way of Greater Rochester and the AFL-CIO Community Services Committee kicked off the 2018 United Way Labor Fundraising Campaign. More than 200 members from the labor community joined together to honor Community Service Award winners at the Hyatt Regency and celebrated the 19 graduates who participated in this year’s Union Community Assistance Network (UCAN) training program.
Several CSEA members participated and graduated from the 2018 UCAN training program, including Renee Kendrot (Rochester Public Library, CSEA Monroe County Local 828); Margaret Chatterton (Rochester Public Library, CSEA Monroe County Local 828); James D’Amico (President, Monroe County Employees Unit 7400/Local 828); Joanne Dunn (Monroe County Local 828); Angela Muscianese (Monroe County Local 828) and Carrie Chapman (Monroe Community College, Monroe County Local 828).

CSEA Local President Bess Watts was awarded the Robert J. Flavin Community Service Award

For more than 40 years, United Way and AFL-CIO Community Services has trained union members to assist troubled co-workers through the Union Community Assistance Network. The training emphasizes the development of relationships with community partners while retaining a focus on member-to-member communications. The Union Community Assistance Network (UCAN) program's goal is to expand labor's presence in our communities. This year, 19 union members participated in the training to gain a better understanding of the social and economic conditions that contribute to workers' everyday stresses, and learn how to help meet the human service needs of working families.

For more than two decades, CSEA has been one of the top donors to the annual campaign fund for the United Way of Greater Rochester.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Accepting Scholarship Applications!

Since 1993, CSEA Monroe County Local 828 and its major Units have awarded over $119,000 in    scholarship prize money. 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.

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. Scholarship applicants are judged on academic achievement, a written essay, financial need and potential.

“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 as well as giving back to our community.”

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 25 years, demonstrating a significant need of financial resources for young adults continuing their formal education. Scholarship applicants are judged on academic achievement, a written essay, financial need and potential.

Applications are available by contacting your workplace CSEA representative or by downloading the application and other materials here:

Eligibility and requirements checklist


High School Transcript Request


 For more scholarship information, you can go to our Voice Reporter Scholarship page or call Barbara at HQ 585-328-5250.