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.


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