2010 CSEA News Releases

December 2010

  • Dec. 29, 2010 PEF and CSEA appeal to common sense to avoid layoff of 902 state employees
  • Dec. 28, 2010 CSEA marks a century of community contributions
  • Dec. 10, 2010 Statement of CSEA President Danny Donohue on Gov. David Paterson’s legacy of failure
  • Dec. 6, 2010 CSEA president calls on Gov. David Paterson to rescind layoff plan

November 2010

  • Nov. 22, 2010 CSEA FOIL reveals Paterson administration’s continued top level hiring

October 2010

  • Oct. 28, 2010 CSEA: Gov. David Paterson layoff statement irresponsible
  • Oct. 26, 2010 Statement of CSEA President Danny Donohue to Attorney General Andrew Cuomo’s call for state employee layoffs this year
  • Oct. 19, 2010 Media advisory
  • Oct. 15, 2010 Albany to host CSEA’s Centennial Annual Delegates Meeting Oct. 18-22
  • Oct. 15, 2010 CSEA citywide conference brings huge economic benefits to Albany

September 2010

  • Sep. 20, 2010 CSEA files Improper Practice charge over Gov. Paterson’s layoff threats

August 2010

  • Aug. 25, 2010 Labor Day 2010 has special meaning as CSEA marks its centennial year

July 2010

  • July 29, 2010 Comptroller DiNapoli Endorsed by CSEA
  • July 26, 2010 Statement of CSEA President Danny Donohue on Gov. David Paterson’s continuing threat of state layoffs
  • July 16, 2010 CSEA honors workers during Parole, Probation and Community Supervision Week
  • July 15, 2010 CSEA questions impact of OCFS-DOJ settlement on juvenile justice facilities

June 2010

  • June 24, 2010 CSEA President Danny Donohue slams SUNY power-grab
  • June 21, 2010 Statement of CSEA President Danny Donohue on Comptroller Candidate Harry Wilson’s call for NYS Retirement System changes
  • June 16, 2010 CSEA calls for secure future for juvenile justice system
  • June 14, 2010 Statement of CSEA President Danny Donohue in support of New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s stand for the integrity of the NYS Retirement Fund
  • June 7, 2010 CSEA Centennial book is a must-read for all New Yorkers
  • June 1, 2010 Statement of CSEA President Danny Donohue on Gov. David Paterson’s latest counterproductive threats

May 2010

  • May 28, 2010 Statement of CSEA President Danny Donohue on the federal court ruling on furloughs
  • May 25, 2010 Statement of CSEA President Danny Donohue on OCFS promotion of sex party for youth offenders
  • May 19, 2010 Report Echoes Union’s Warning that Reckless OCFS Policies Endangering Workers
  • May 12, 2010 Federal court grants TRO stopping state furloughs
  • May 12, 2010 Statement of Danny Donohue in response to Paterson administration Chief of Staff Larry Schwartz
  • May 7, 2010 An Open Letter to the People of New York
  • May 7, 2010 State Employees From Brooklyn to Buffalo to Rally Against Furloughs in Statewide Day of Action
  • May 5, 2010 Statement of CSEA President Danny Donohue to Gov. David Paterson’s state employee furlough plan

April 2010

  • April 27, 2010 Statement of CSEA President Danny Donohue in response to Gov. David Paterson’s plan to tie budget bills to state furloughs
  • April 27, 2010 CSEA renews commitment to
    mourn for the dead, fight for the living
  • April 13, 2010 CSEA takes first action in challenging Gov. Paterson over state pay delay
  • April 8, 2010 CSEA Members Deserve Better than Gov. Paterson’s incompetence

March 2010

  • March 4, 2010 CSEA Class Action Settlement a Huge Victory for Westchester County Retirees
  • March 3, 2010 CSEA offers alternative to state’s costly use of temporary workers

February 2010

  • Feb. 24, 2010 CSEA Wins Court Order Preventing Layoff Planned For Today; Charges Governor Broke No-Layoff Agreement
  • Feb. 8, 2010 Public Employees Seek Better Choices for New York

January 2010

  • Jan. 26, 2010 Response of CSEA President Danny Donohue to Gov. David Paterson’s latest misrepresentation on state use of temp workers
  • Jan. 19, 2010 Statement of CSEA President Danny Donohue on Gov. David Paterson’s proposed state budget
  • Jan. 15, 2010 Statement of CSEA President Danny Donohue in response to the Paterson administration’s attack on CSEA over the union’s revelation of $62 million being spent on temp agency workers
  • Jan. 14, 2010 Outrageous – Gov. Paterson exploiting temporary workers, wasting tax dollars

Dec. 29, 2010
PEF and CSEA appeal to common sense to avoid layoff of 902 state employees

ALBANY – Members and leaders of the New York State Public Employees Federation (PEF) and the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) made a final appeal to common sense in New York state government as Gov. David Paterson prepared to leave office while laying off 902 dedicated state employees as his final act.

Representatives of the unions held a candlelight vigil on the steps of the state Capitol to criticize the misguided action and make a last-ditch appeal to have common sense prevail. Similar vigils took place outside
state offices in Hornell, Endicott, Elmira, Utica and Poughkeepsie. Union leaders said Gov. Paterson is proceeding with layoffs of mostly PEF and CSEA members out of political spite. The layoffs will create personal tragedy for the families involved, while harming New York’s economy and wreaking havoc on state operations.

“The staffing levels at many state agencies already are down to bare bones,” said PEF President Kenneth Brynien. “Not only are these individuals facing incredible hardships, their families are suffering, taxpayers will be affected through the loss of services, and local economies will suffer as well. Gov. Paterson should be ashamed that the final act of his administration will be to punish union members and their families because he wanted to score cheap political points. This historic action has been caused by Gov. Paterson and can be stopped by Gov. Paterson,” Brynien said.

“Gov. Paterson will make yet another nonsensical statement that the union leadership left him no choice but to proceed with layoffs,” said CSEA President Danny Donohue. “By now, the public should be painfully aware
that’s just not true. Gov. Paterson has missed every opportunity to choose a better way. These unnecessary layoffs will link the Paterson administration forever with a legacy of failure,” Donohue said.

The Paterson layoff scheme is using a loophole in a no-layoff agreement his administration made with PEF and CSEA in July 2009, in exchange for pension system reform the administration claims will save taxpayers more than $35 billion. The administration is meeting the letter, but not the spirit, of the no-layoff agreement by keeping the laid-off employees on the payroll until the final day of the Paterson administration. Union analysis of the layoff shows they will produce minimal direct savings to the state budget, while actually harming the economy and undermining revenue-producing state services.

By forcing the issue of layoffs in a six-week period and cherry-picking PEF and CSEA represented positions, the Paterson administration has created turmoil and disruption throughout numerous state agencies.

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Dec. 28, 2010
CSEA marks a century of community contributions

ALBANY – As CSEA concludes its centennial year, the union’s spirit of public service and community support continues to be a vibrant force. Despite the challenges of hard times, CSEA members all across the state continued to give generously and do good for their communities, not just during the holiday season, but throughout the entire year.

From the earliest days of CSEA’s existence, members have enthusiastically supported charitable and service organizations responding to human need, natural disaster and community improvement. In 2010, CSEA members across New York gave of themselves to participate in and support every conceivable cause from well-known organizations such as the American Red Cross, the American Cancer Society and Special Olympics to local community fund-raisers and ad hoc events. Many CSEA groups sponsored their own charitable activities to help their local communities.

CSEA members are also the backbone of local United Way campaigns and the State Employees Federated Appeal (SEFA), contributing millions of dollars to participating organizations.

In October, CSEA members who traveled to Albany for the union’s 100th Annual Delegates Meeting reaffirmed their commitment to community service. Several hundred delegates participated in hands-on community service activities during a designated Day of Service. The projects included an Empire Stroll to raise money for the CSEA Disaster Relief Fund; projects at the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York, the Louise Corning Albany Senior Services Center and the Hudson-Mohawk River Humane Society. Other delegates participated in a disaster preparedness program presented by the American Red Cross and volunteered for the Special Olympics of New York State Polar Plunges.

“Most CSEA members dedicate their lives to serving people on the job,” said CSEA President Danny Donohue. “But we also care about making our communities better places to live and we volunteer and contribute in every possible way.”

“For more than 100 years, CSEA has been focused on making New York a better place. No one should underestimate the selfless impact that CSEA members make in every corner of the state,” Donohue said.

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Dec. 10, 2010
Statement of CSEA President Danny Donohue on Gov. David Paterson’s legacy of failure

ALBANY – “This is a terribly sad time for New Yorkers, and especially for the nearly 900 state employees who will now face the loss of their jobs and an uncertain future because of Governor David Paterson’s failure.

As I stated the other day when calling on the governor to rescind this misguided action, everyone but the governor and some other politicians seem to understand that laying people off is bad for the economy. It takes away paychecks that would be spent in local communities, loses taxes that would otherwise be paid and eliminates front-line employees who actually deliver necessary services that help generate revenue.

It is also a cruel and unnecessary action in this holiday season that will hurt innocent families. No one should ignore the human misery that the governor’s plan will cause to real people.

The layoff plan is nothing but political spite for CSEA holding the governor to a negotiated contract and his no-layoff pledge, as his administration mishandled every opportunity for cooperation and alternative approaches.”

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Dec. 10, 2010
CSEA president calls on Gov. David Paterson to rescind layoff plan

ALBANY – CSEA President Danny Donohue is calling on Gov. David Paterson to rescind plans to issue layoff notices scheduled to go out to nearly 900 state employees later this week.

The union leader said there is no good reason for the governor to proceed with layoffs and the misguided plan is contradicted by news reports that he is lavishing $17 million in discretionary spending on pet projects, coupled with the continued filling of high salaried, top level jobs in state agencies.

“Everyone but the governor and some other politicians seem to understand that laying people off is bad for the economy,” Donohue said. “It takes away paychecks that would be spent in local communities, loses taxes that would otherwise be paid and eliminates front line employees who actually deliver necessary services that help generate revenue.”

“It is also a cruel and unnecessary action in this holiday season that will hurt innocent families,” Donohue said. “No one should ignore the human misery that governor’s plan will cause to real people.”

A CSEA analysis shows that the state savings will be minimal when accounting for required layoff costs and lost taxes.

“The layoff plan is nothing but political spite for CSEA holding him to a negotiated contract and his no-layoff pledge as his administration mishandled every opportunity for cooperation,” Donohue said.

CSEA reached a no-layoff agreement with the Paterson administration in July 2009 in exchange for the union’s commitment not to oppose the enactment of a new Tier V for the state retirement system. The pension reform took effect Jan. 1, 2010, and the administration claimed it would save New Yorkers $35 billion in the long term.

Throughout the past year, the Paterson administration has sought to renege on its no layoff commitment and has repeatedly demanded unilateral concessions from CSEA. While insisting that state’s economic challenges required employee givebacks, the administration ignored all union ideas, big and small for saving money and improving government operations. All the while, the administration continued to fill top-level positions despite a state hiring freeze while taking no other emergency measures.

Donohue also pointed out that the administration’s layoff plan may follow the letter of the law on the no-layoff agreement, but it certainly violates the spirit of the agreement.

“The governor should think long and hard about whether he wants to end his administration with 900 employees following him out the door on Jan. 1 and leaving a lasting legacy of failure,” Donohue said.

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Nov. 22, 2010
CSEA FOIL reveals Paterson administration’s continued top level hiring

ALBANY – A CSEA Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request has shown that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has added 36 top-level management/confidential positions to the state payroll since July 1, 2010, despite a state-hiring freeze. Eighteen of the 36 positions have a base salary in excess of $100,000 per year.

“At a time when the Paterson administration is seeking to lay off rank and file state employees, there is no way this administration can justify this action,” said CSEA President Danny Donohue.

“CSEA believes that necessary work is being undermined in numerous state agencies and it is essential to have qualified employees in place, but in light of the governor’s layoff threat it is outrageous that the administration continues to hire top level personnel.”

CSEA has repeatedly pointed out that the Paterson administration’s layoff attempt is counterproductive and will cost taxpayers while making the state’s economic situation worse.

CSEA has pending FOIL requests regarding hiring at other state agencies.

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Oct. 28, 2010
CSEA: Gov. David Paterson layoff statement irresponsible

ALBANY – “Governor David Paterson’s announcement of plans for 898 state employee layoffs to begin before the end of his term on Dec. 31, 2010 is simply an irresponsible statement by the governor that is not supported by the facts and reality of the situation,” said CSEA President Danny Donohue.

  • Layoffs do not save taxpayers money when the costs are tallied up;
  • Eliminating jobs – whether in the public or private sector – will hurt the economy – eliminating any job is especially bad in difficult economic times.

CSEA also points out that state operations have been so decimated by the Paterson administration that there are no way further cuts can be accomplished without harming the public.

Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Alexander “Pete” Grannis was fired last week for having the courage to speak the truth about the impact threatened layoffs would have on the integrity of his department’s responsibility to protect the environment and New Yorkers. CSEA believes Grannis was simply one individual commissioner giving voice to what all the others know but have not been willing to state publicly. He paid the price for honesty.

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Oct. 26, 2010
Statement of CSEA President Danny Donohue to Attorney General Andrew Cuomo’s call for state employee layoffs this year

“CSEA is shocked that the Attorney General, the state’s top law enforcement officer, would advocate breaking the law. Shame on Attorney General Cuomo. He knows full well that the no layoff agreement that the Paterson administration made with CSEA and PEF is legally binding and has already been upheld by the court.

The Attorney General is undermining his own credibility even before he has even been elected governor. He obviously has a lot to learn about managing the state work force, let alone following the law.”

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Oct. 19, 2010
Media advisory

ALBANY – Nearly 1,500 CSEA delegates and guests from across New York are continuing the union’s Centennial Annual Delegates Meeting this week in Albany.

Wednesday, Oct. 20 will mark a very special program commemorating the CSEA Centennial beginning at 1:30 p.m. at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center, which will include multi media presentations and recognition from a number of elected officials and others. The program will be followed around 3 p.m. by the serving of a commemorative centennial cake baked by Villa Italia Bakery in Schenectady. The cake, which will recognize CSEA’s presence across New York, will be on display in the lobby area outside the convention center in the Empire State Plaza throughout the day.

Media Note: Media wishing to cover the public activities of the CSEA Centennial Annual Delegates Meeting should check in to receive credentials at Meeting Room 7 outside the convention center or contact CSEA Director of Communications Stephen Madarasz at 518 598-4705.

Oct. 15, 2010
Albany to host CSEA’s Centennial Annual Delegates Meeting Oct. 18-22
Nearly 1,500 participants will mark the union’s Century of Service

ALBANY – CSEA – New York’s leading union – will mark a century of service to New Yorkers at its 100th Annual Delegates Meeting in Albany Oct. 18-22. Nearly 1,500 delegates, staff and guests will participate in the event which the Albany County Convention and Visitors Bureau estimates will have $1.2 million in economic impact on the local area.

CSEA was founded on Oct. 24, 1910 in the state Capital when a small group of state employees came together to stand up against political patronage and promote merit and fitness in state employment. It was the first formal organization of state employees. Today, CSEA represents nearly 300,000 members in every part of New York in the public and private sector. Earlier this year, CSEA issued a book about the union’s history titled A Century of Service: The Story of CSEA’s First 100 years.

“There is no better place for CSEA to mark our Centennial Anniversary than Albany – the place where our union began in 1910,” said CSEA President Danny Donohue. “CSEA is a unique organization because we literally have members who live in every community in New York. But CSEA’s history over the past 100 years is closely linked with Albany as the site of the state Capitol and so many benchmark events. This is a very special place and our delegates will recognize it as we hold this historic meeting.”

On Monday, Oct. 18, the union will open the week’s activities with a health fair in the Empire State Plaza concourse. More than 40 organizations and health care providers will host information tables in the concourse which will be open to the general public.

Later that same day, delegates will participate in a program focused on the future of the labor movement by well-known labor and social justice activist Bill Fletcher, Jr. in the Hart Theatre of The Egg, at 2 p.m. Fletcher is currently the director of Field Services and Education at the American Federation of Government Employees.

On Tuesday, Oct. 19, delegates will participate in a number of community service projects, including an Empire Stroll to raise money for the CSEA Disaster Relief Fund; hands-on projects at the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York, the Hudson and Mohawk River Humane Society and the Louise Corning Senior Services Center, in addition to participating in a disaster preparedness program by the American Red Cross of Northeastern New York and a presentation by Special Olympics of New York State.

Wednesday, Oct. 20, will mark a very special program commemorating the CSEA Centennial beginning at 1:30 p.m. at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center. The program will include an array of multimedia presentations and recognition from a number of elected officials and others. The program will be followed around 3 p.m. by the serving of a commemorative centennial cake baked by Villa Italia Bakery in Schenectady. The cake, which will recognize CSEA’s presence across New York, will be on display in the lobby area outside the convention center throughout the day.

Following a business session on Thursday, Oct. 21, the Annual Delegates Meeting will conclude with a special program on Friday morning, Oct. 22.

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Media Note: Media wishing to cover the public activities of the CSEA Centennial should check in to receive credentials at Meeting Room 7 outside the convention center or contact CSEA Director of Communications Stephen Madarasz at 518-598-4705.

Oct. 15, 2010
CSEA citywide conference brings huge economic benefits to Albany

Contact Information:

Stephen Madarasz, CSEA Director of Communications
stephen.madarasz@cseainc.org / (518) 598-4705 cell

Michele Vennard, ACCVB President/CEO
mvennard@albany.org / (518)434-1217 x300

ALBANY, NY – The Albany County Convention & Visitors Bureau (ACCVB) is pleased to welcome CSEA, New York’s leading union, to Albany for their CSEA 100th Annual Delegates Meeting. The meeting, which takes place Oct. 18 – 22, 2010, at the Empire State Plaza will bring approximately 1,400 attendees to the City of Albany along with major economic benefits.

The local economic impact from the CSEA Annual Delegates Meeting is over $1.2 million, a reflection of direct spending in hotels, restaurants, travel to and from Albany, as well as other direct expenditures, including food, venue rentals, ground transportation, entertainment and more. Additional ancillary spending for the meeting’s special events totals over $300,000. The meeting is responsible for over 4,000 room nights and is utilizing eight hotels for the citywide convention, including 74 State, Best Western Wolf Road, Crowne Plaza, Hampton Inn Downtown, Holiday Inn Express Downtown, Holiday Inn Wolf Road, Ramada Plaza and The Desmond.

“There is no better place for CSEA to mark our Centennial Anniversary than Albany – the place where our union began in 1910,” said CSEA President Danny Donohue. “CSEA is a unique organization because we literally have members who live in every community in New York. But CSEA’s history over the past 100 years is closely linked with Albany as the site of the state Capitol and so many benchmark events. This is a very special place and our delegates will recognize it as we hold this historic meeting.”

CSEA was the first known organization of state employees when it was founded at the state Capitol in 1910. Since then, it has grown to represent nearly 300,000 workers in every part of New York, including a growing private sector division. CSEA itself employs about 350 people statewide, with more than 200 working out of the statewide headquarters located in Albany. This is the first time the CSEA Annual Delegates Meeting has been held in Albany since the 1950s.

“This is a great opportunity for us to showcase our vibrant Capital City to New York State residents. Our state capital is large enough for a big-city feel but small enough that CSEA meeting attendees can feel connected throughout the city,” said Michele Vennard, CEO/President of the Albany County Convention & Visitors Bureau. “It takes a great amount of effort to coordinate such a large city-wide meeting, and we are pleased to welcome the CSEA 100th Annual Delegates Meeting to Albany to see the benefits from those efforts.”

Overall travel and tourism visitor expenditures in Albany County in 2009 were $797,865,000. Hospitality employment in Albany County accounts for over 16,000 jobs and returns over $60,000,000 in local taxes. The Albany County Convention & Visitors Bureau continues its work to attract groups and visitors to Albany County to benefit the local economy.

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The Albany County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Inc. was established in 1976 to promote the civic and commercial progress of the community through increased development of conventions and tourism. ACCVB currently represents more than 300 member businesses and assists each year in hundreds of regional meetings. ACCVB also operates the Albany Heritage Area Visitors Center, Henry Hudson Planetarium and the Albany International Airport Information Center. For more information, call 518-434-1217 or 800-258-3582 and/or visit www.albany.org.

Sep. 20, 2010
CSEA files Improper Practice charge over Gov. Paterson’s layoff threats

ALBANY – CSEA – New York’s leading union has filed an Improper Practice Charge with the Public Employment Relations Board over Gov. David Paterson’s continued threat of state layoffs despite a binding no layoff agreement for the duration of his term.

The state entered into the agreement with CSEA in June 2009 promising in plain English, no layoffs or threat of layoffs in exchange for CSEA’s agreement not to oppose Tier V pension reform. The pension reform was signed into law in December 2009. The Paterson administration claims it will save taxpayers more than $35 billion over time.

Gov. Paterson has continued to regularly threaten layoffs. CSEA alleges that the Governor’s behavior is a blatant violation of the Taylor Law.

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Aug. 25, 2010
Labor Day 2010 has special meaning as CSEA marks its centennial year

ALBANY – CSEA – New York’s leading union – is marking Labor Day 2010 with an important recognition of its centennial anniversary. CSEA was the first known organization of state employees when it was founded at the state Capitol in 1910. Since then, it has grown to represent every kind of worker in every part of New York, including a growing private sector division.

“A benchmark event like a centennial anniversary provides an opportunity to look back at where we’ve come from and how we got to where we are today,” said CSEA president Danny Donohue. “More importantly, it provides a chance to look forward and try to become better.”

“CSEA has never been bigger, better, stronger at any point in our history, but the challenges we face today have never been greater,” Donohue said. “We wouldn’t be here for 100 years if not for the ability to grow, change and adapt to new circumstances and that must shape our future moving forward.”

“People who bash CSEA don’t know CSEA,” Donohue said. “The vast majority of our members are dedicated to doing the best work possible and adding value to their communities on and off the job. The strength of CSEA is in our members and they are some of the greatest resources in all New York. No one should take that for granted.”

Donohue has issued an op-ed article about CSEA’s history for Labor Day 2010 use. It complements a CSEA book released earlier this year. A Century of Service: The Story of CSEA’s First 100 years chronicles the history of CSEA and growth of New York decade by decade through the 20th century and into the present day. The limited-edition book can be ordered online through the CSEA e-store. There is a link from the home page of the CSEA website at www.csealocal1000.org. Soft cover editions are $20.99, while hardcover editions are $34.99 plus tax. The prices include shipping and handling. Order yours today while they last!

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Editors, Please Note: Danny Donohue’s op-ed article about CSEA’s centennial can be accessed at www.csealocal1000.org, along with a timeline of the union’s first 100 years. Photos and other graphic materials from throughout CSEA’s Century of Service are also available via the CSEA Communications Department at 518 257-1270.

July 29, 2010
Comptroller DiNapoli Endorsed by CSEA
Donohue: “He will lead us forward to meet the needs of today and tomorrow”

ALBANY – CSEA – New York’s leading union – has formally announced its endorsement of New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. CSEA President Danny Donohue said the decision is based on DiNapoli’s demonstrated honesty and competence as comptroller since 2007, coupled with his unblemished record as a public leader.

“Tom DiNapoli is an outstanding and capable leader who has demonstrated character and ability throughout his career in both the private and public sectors,” Donohue said. “No one should doubt his unflinching integrity and commitment to doing what’s right for all New Yorkers – we can’t afford to have anything less in these times.”

“I know and work with the members of CSEA each and every day and it is a distinct honor to receive this endorsement,” said Comptroller DiNapoli. “I share many of the values for which this organization stands: honesty, accountability and fiscal responsibility. Together with Danny Donohue and all of CSEA’s membership, I will work to ensure that our state and local governments make every dollar that we spend count and that our pension fund remains one of the strongest in the nation.”

Beyond the New York State Comptroller’s responsibilities as fiscal watchdog over the state’s finances and the management practices of state agencies, the position has particular importance to CSEA members. As the sole trustee of the state pension system, the state comptroller’s judgment and decisions have enormous implications over the retirement security of more than 300,000 retired and active CSEA members.

“CSEA was instrumental in helping to establish the state retirement system in 1920 and since that time, the state comptroller’s stewardship has always matterd to us,” Donohue said. “As we prepare to begin our second century we have total confidence that Tom DiNapoli will maintain the traditions of New York’s best comptrollers, while leading the system forward to meet the needs of today and tomorrow.”

Donohue pointed out that another important factor in CSEA’s decision to back DiNapoli is the unwavering support for him from CSEA members who work in the Comptroller’s office. “It speaks volumes about Tom as an individual and a manager that the people who know him best are urging this endorsement,” Donohue said.

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July 26, 2010
Statement of CSEA President Danny Donohue on Gov. David Paterson’s continuing threat of state layoffs

ALBANY – “Governor Paterson knows full well that he has a binding agreement with CSEA that has been upheld by the courts precluding layoffs before 2011. He should also know that talk of layoffs under these circumstances is counterproductive, impractical and bad for New Yorkers all around. They may also constitute bad faith bargaining.

It is also important to note that the governor continues to stretch credibility when he insists the state work force must be reduced while his administration refuses to target positions for downsizing through the early retirement incentives. The fact is that the state work force is already stretched too thin to adequately do the job. The governor can’t have it both ways.

CSEA has tried repeatedly to work constructively with the Paterson administration, but its continuing assault on the state work force undermines the very basis of good labor-management relations. All New Yorkers would be better served if Governor Paterson would stop his inflammatory public statements and instead work with the legislature and other parties to solve the state’s challenges.”

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July 16, 2010
CSEA honors workers during Parole, Probation and Community Supervision Week

ALBANY – CSEA President Danny Donohue today recognized more than 2,000 union members across the state who work in probation services by declaring July 18 – 24, 2010 as “Parole, Probation and Community Supervision Week.”

“On behalf of the 300,000 CSEA members across New York state, I am pleased to recognize our members who are probation professionals by declaring this week as Parole, Probation and Community Supervision Week,” Donohue said. “This week is in honor of a work force that deserves much respect.”

Probation professionals are a vital part of every New York state county work force and have an important duel role in the public safety field. Not only do probation professionals work with the justice system to protect the public from crime, violence and abuse, but these workers also deal with the social aspect of prevention, helping rehabilitate law offenders to rejoin society in a positive way.

Unfortunately, as with all public safety work, these professionals often put their own well being at risk in effort to keep people and their communities safe. CSEA realizes the high level of commitment and the special dedication these workers have to the public they serve.

“I urge one and all to join with me and thank the men and women who work in probation,” Donohue said. “They make our communities safer for the betterment of everyone.”

CSEA is New York state’s leading union, representing employees of the state and its counties, towns, villages, school districts, library systems, authorities and public benefit corporations. Together with a growing population of private sector members and retirees, CSEA is the largest affiliate of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), which is one of the largest affiliates of the AFL-CIO.

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July 15, 2010
CSEA questions impact of OCFS-DOJ settlement on juvenile justice facilities

ALBANY – The announcement of a settlement between the New York State Office of Children and Family Services and the U.S. Department of Justice establishing federal oversight of four of the state’s juvenile detention facilities came as a surprise to CSEA, which represents more than 2,000 employees working in the agency.

CSEA has long been critical of OCFS policies and operations that fail to provide adequate staff, training and other resources to run an effective system.

“It’s not entirely clear to CSEA what the news about the settlement will mean for the system or the employees who work in the affected facilities because the OCFS administration has not discussed it with us,” said CSEA President Danny Donohue.

It is clear however that Commissioner Gladys Carrion’s continued tenure at OCFS is not in the best interests of anyone in New York,” Donohue said. “It is incomprehensible that Commissioner Carrion remains in her position considering her record of putting staff, clients and communities at risk while engaging in shameless self-promotion.”

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June 24, 2010
CSEA President Danny Donohue slams SUNY power-grab

“Today’s news release by SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher is a gross distortion of the support for the SUNY Empowerment Act. It wrongly conveys the impression that there is broad labor support for the legislation.

As the representative of more than 12,000 State University employees and tens of thousand more working people who rely on the SUNY system as the last bastion of affordable higher education in New York, CSEA rejects the chancellor’s claim.

There is no broad labor support when the major union representing SUNY employees is not in agreement!

Today’s tactic is intended to steamroll actions that need much fuller examination and debate.

The Chancellor’s statement is part of a power grab intended to outsource more work to private contractors and further undermine the very concept of real public higher education in this state.

Members of the state legislature should be more concerned with the future of their constituents and their children than further empowering a top heavy SUNY bureaucracy and its too-cozy relationship with self-serving private contractors and vendors.

June 21, 2010
Statement of CSEA President Danny Donohue on Comptroller Candidate Harry Wilson’s call for NYS Retirement System changes

“It’s no surprise that Harry Wilson’s prescription for the New York State Retirement system is to further enrich financial fat cats while sticking it to working people. Wilson’s ideas about moving to a defined contribution system are what we’ve come to expect from the corporate world. Maybe hedge fund managers can afford to gamble with their extra millions but the financial security of working people should not be left to the ups and downs of the market.

The great strength of a defined benefit pension system is that it ensures fairness and dignity for people who have earned it through years of hard work.”

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June 16, 2010
CSEA calls for secure future for juvenile justice system

ALBANY – CSEA representatives today presented a detailed and often-graphic account of deteriorating conditions in state operated juvenile detention facilities under embattled State Office of Children and Family Services Commissioner Gladys Carrion.

CSEA also called for a formal commitment from New York state to secure the future of the juvenile justice system.

Union representatives detailed the growing danger and lack of support in facilities under Carrion’s misguided and permissive policies. Carrion has inexplicably retained the support of Gov. David Paterson despite her sanctioning of social events for youth in detention, including one event that turned into a sex party at the Goshen Secure facility last year involving an alleged prostitute and a 15 year-old girl.

“CSEA believes Commissioner Carrion should long ago have been removed from her position,” said CSEA Deputy Director of Contract Administration Mary Rubilotta in testimony before the Senate Task Force on Juvenile Justice. “Obviously neither Commissioner Carrion nor Governor Paterson has any shame or standard of decency.”

Rubilotta stated that Commissioner Carrion has shown complete disregard for the safety of her staff and the community:

  • Last year, the OCFS workplace injury and illness incident rate increased dramatically, from 14.7 percent to 19.6 percent. The agency’s injury costs increased more than any other agency in the state executive branch, up 61 percent over the previous year from $1.6 million to $2.5 million;
  • The death of direct care worker Rene Greco in Lockport last year and the shooting of police officer Anthony DiPonzio in Rochester are prime examples of OCFS disregard for public safety; and
  • Carrion has created a myth of empty facilities – facility populations have been run down because the commissioner has manipulated the transfer of youth to other facilities. The commissioner has also engaged in inappropriate communication with Family Court judges last year when she urged them to avoid the OCFS system – action that represents a dangerous breach of her authority.

In addition to CSEA-represented OCFS employees providing testimony to the Task Force, Rubilotta presented some perspective from CSEA employees at facilities across the state:

“Commissioner Carrion is attempting to change the entire model that our system is built upon, but we do not have the resources to implement that model. They cut staffing and they don’t want to fund more mental health professionals, and the current staff are not getting any more mental health training to deal with these kids. The impact is that the kids are not getting what they need with her new program and it makes the place dangerous, because the kids have no control and we have no control over them, because she doesn’t want them restrained,” said one.

“Before the sanctuary model, there used to be some control and consequences to bad behavior. Kids would move in line and get their food, orderly. Now, if a kid throws juice at you and calls you an “f-in bitch,” it’s OK. There are no consequences,” said another.

“These kids are leaving here worse because they realize there is zero accountability.

The kids are smart. They know they can cause a staffer to be indicated in child abuse, it will take years to clear their name. What the kids say is gospel. We have to fight to clear our name,” said a third.

“CSEA wants to work cooperatively to create a juvenile justice system that will serve everyone better,” Rubilotta said. “No one should ignore CSEA’s history in helping to change the developmental disabilities system in the late 1980s and early 1990s.”

But CSEA will not accept models and policies that compromise public safety and put youth and staff at risk, she added.

“The youth in OCFS charge should have a system that offers them structure and hope,” she said. “The dedicated staff deserve to be treated with respect and the people of New York deserve responsible and effective public policy.”

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Editors, please note: Full testimony is available on the CSEA website: www.csealocal1000.org.

June 14, 2010
Statement of CSEA President Danny Donohue in support of New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s stand for the integrity of the NYS Retirement Fund

“CSEA fully supports New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s position against any attempt to undermine the integrity of the New York State Retirement Fund.

There are few, if any, issues of greater concern to CSEA members than protecting the retirement system. CSEA is proud that Comptroller DiNapoli has demonstrated strength and character in clearly and forcefully rejecting pressure to let the fund be used for political purposes.”

CSEA is applauding DiNapoli for his clear rejection of attempts to pressure him into using the state pension fund to help balance the state budget.
“There have been a number of outrageous and unfounded rumors and erroneous press reports that I will allow a raid of the pension fund to balance the state budget,” DiNapoli said in a statement.

“Let me be very clear: The pension fund will not be used to balance the budget.”

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June 7, 2010
CSEA Centennial book is a must-read for all New Yorkers
ALBANY – CSEA – New York’s leading union – has unveiled one of the most significant
projects of the union’s centennial year. A Century of Service: The Story of CSEA’s First 100 Years,
a book that chronicles the history of CSEA and growth of New York decade by decade through the 20th
century and into the present day, is now available.
It is the story of CSEA, as it has never been told before.

“The history of CSEA is not as well understood or appreciated as it should be??????????┬Žuntil now,” said
CSEA President Danny Donohue. “This book is a must-read for CSEA members and every other New
Yorker.”

The story of CSEA is extraordinary in many ways. It is a story about individuals, but it is also a
story about collective action – people working together. Most importantly, it is a story about aspiration:
From the very start on Oct. 24, 1910, the story of CSEA has been about people wanting to do better and
believing it could help make New York a better place. That’s still true today.

When CSEA came into existence, America was just becoming a world power; Theodore
Roosevelt was the dominant political figure of the time; women did not have the right to vote; people of
color were at best second class citizens; cars were just being mass produced and radio broadcasting was
in its infancy.

Since then, we have come through two world wars, a Great Depression; Communism rose and
fell; endless other wars and conflicts; terrorism; we’ve endured cycles of boom and bust; social,
cultural, sexual and technological revolution. Throughout it all, CSEA has grown, changed, adapted and
yet still remained true to its core values.

The coffee table-style book features thousands of photos and other images that complement the
historical narrative. It also includes colorful firsthand comments, anecdotes and other perspective from
key New Yorkers of significance and scores of CSEA leaders and activists.

CSEA has been working on A Century of Service: The Story of CSEA’s First 100 Years for more
than 10 years. Initial efforts focused on organizing all of CSEA’s historic materials and establishing official
archives at the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections & Archives at the University at Albany. The
work proceeded with guidance from Grenander’s director, Brian Keough, and assistance from graduate students
employed by the university’s Center for Applied Historical Research under the supervision of Associate
Professor of History Ivan Steen.

“This wonderful book would not be possible without the tremendous work done to preserve CSEA’s
historical records at the University Libraries,” said Keough. “CSEA is committed to documenting their long
and rich history by supporting the preservation and access to historical records, which is critical to ensuring the
survival of New York’s heritage from the past century.

“Scholars, teachers, students, and the public can now learn and examine the millions of pages of
historical documents and publications, as well as thousands of hours of audio and video that are now accessible
in the CSEA archive,” Keough said.

“As New York’s oldest and largest public employee union, CSEA has played, and continues to play, a
major role in New York State’s history,” Steen said. “A product of years of research, this lavishly illustrated
volume documents the one hundred years of CSEA’s development from a professional organization to a labor
union. This is an important contribution to the history of public sector unionism.”

Following the work to preserve and order CSEA’s archival material, the union began interviewing key
individuals inside and outside the organization about their role in the union’s history. Nearly 100 video
interviews were conducted and have since been archived at the university and will be soon be available on the
Internet. These activities and materials formed the basis for the book, which was put together by the CSEA
Communications Department.

The limited edition book can be ordered online through the CSEA e-store. There is a link from the
home page of the CSEA website, www.csealocal1000.org. Soft cover editions are $20.99, while hardcover
editions are $34.99 plus tax. The prices include shipping and handling.

Order yours today while they last!

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June 1, 2010
Statement of CSEA President Danny Donohue on Gov. David Paterson’s latest counterproductive threats

“It is unfortunate that Governor David Paterson continues to engage in threats and counterproductive rhetoric instead of focusing on securing a budget that will work for all the people of New York.

It’s also interesting that the governor is making his threats against dedicated state employees at the same time that Kelly Services is advertising for temporary jobs to work in state agencies despite a state hiring freeze and other drastic measures being put forth.”

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May 28, 2010
Statement of CSEA President Danny Donohue on the federal court ruling on furloughs

ALBANY – “Today’s decision is a victory for the rule of law in New York and should make it clear that no governor can run roughshod over people’s rights.

Governor David Paterson cannot disregard his responsibility to all the people of New York to ensure services and responsible government. CSEA can only hope that the governor will recognize that his incompetent and arrogant approach to New York’s budget crisis has been entirely counterproductive.

CSEA members are working harder every day under increasingly difficult working conditions. We have offered numerous ideas to help address the crisis, which have been contemptuously dismissed by the Paterson administration.

It is time for Governor Paterson to stop using public employees as scapegoats, work to bring people together and develop a comprehensive approach to the overall budget problem that will be in the best interest of all New Yorkers.”

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May 25, 2010
Statement of CSEA President Danny Donohue on OCFS promotion of sex party for youth offenders

“The latest reports about an outrageous sex party for residents at the Goshen Secure facility run by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services reinforces what CSEA already knows: Commissioner Gladys Carrion must go.

Carrion’s policies have and continue to offend the sensibilities of taxpayers and staff alike and create unacceptable risk in the state operations she oversees.

The fact that the Paterson Administration continues to allow her reckless disregard for decency, public safety and misuse of state taxpayer money is a disgrace and undermines any shred of credibility they might have left.”

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May 19, 2010
Report Echoes Union’s Warning that Reckless OCFS Policies Endangering Workers

ALBANY – State Office of Child and Family Services Commissioner Gladys Carrion’s policies are endangering workers at the agency, according to a report released by state Assemblyman Rory Lancman. CSEA President Danny Donohue said the report echoes an alarm the union has been sounding for years.

“In her zeal to push through her so-called “sanctuary model,” Commissioner Carrion has shown complete disregard for the safety of her staff,” Donohue said. “CSEA has consistently and loudly warned about the
danger in which she has placed our members and we commend Assemblyman Lancman for amplifying our concerns.”

According to the report, workplace injuries at OCFS are higher than at any other agency in the state Executive Branch, with workers’ compensation claims at the agency rising 42 percent between 2007 and 2009. The report
also suggests a correlation between increased violence on staff and the agency’s shift from a correctional model to Carrion’s sanctuary model, which centers on reducing or eliminating restraints and creating a more
therapeutic environment in which staff build relationships with residents.

Donohue said agency officials, including Commissioner Carrion, have repeatedly ignored CSEA’s concerns that front line workers aren’t being given the resources and support, including adequate staffing levels and proper training, necessary to make the sanctuary model work.

Donohue called Lancman’s report a much-needed dose of reality, in light of a rash of recent news articles painting delinquent youths as innocent victims of the system, while vilifying staff that care for them. He said
the articles were part of Carrion’s dangerous campaign to close state youth detention facilities and quickly move youths into the community, whether community programs are ready to meet their needs or not. He said
current community-based programs are entirely inadequate at the present time for handling this population and there is no evidence that OCFS has a plan for ensuring that the appropriate resources can and will be provided.

The union leader said CSEA remains willing to work cooperatively with OCFS to create a juvenile justice system that will serve everyone better – youth, staff and the community. He said that system must ensure there is adequate staff and necessary training to carry out the new therapeutic approach and include a restraint policy that protects youth and staff from abuse.

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May 12, 2010
Federal court grants TRO stopping state furloughs

ALBANY – In a major victory for working people, the U.S District Court for the Northern District of New York has granted a temporary restraining order preventing Governor David Paterson from proceeding with his planned furloughs of state employees.

“CSEA is proud that the court agreed with our contention that this action would cause irreparable harm to our members and undermine state services,” said CSEA President Danny Donohue. “Governor David Paterson’s plan was ill advised and demonstrates action that was not in the best interest of New Yorkers. CSEA believes that the Governor’s plan would have created even more chaos and crisis.”

The restraining order also enjoins the governor from submitting further extender appropriation bills that include provisions requiring furloughs or exclude the payment of contracted-for salary raises.

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May 12, 2010
Statement of Danny Donohue in response to Paterson administration Chief of Staff Larry Schwartz

“Who cares what Larry Schwartz thinks? My only regret is that the Paterson administration may still be in office for another seven months … that’s seven more months of incompetence and chaos!”

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May 7, 2010
An Open Letter to the People of New York

There’s been a lot of irresponsible rhetoric thrown at state workers about the state’s budget problems lately and it’s important to set the record straight about some basic facts.

State employees didn’t cause the state’s fiscal crisis and slamming them won’t solve it.

New York state operations (the portion of the budget covering state executive branch agencies and facilities) accounts for about 8 percent of the total state budget. State employee paychecks are a tiny fraction of that and a very small part of the deficit problem.

Governor Paterson is wrong when he says state employees have done “nothing” to help address the state’s fiscal crisis. It’s insulting to state employees who are working harder than ever trying do their jobs with less help, fewer resources and scorn from the governor himself. State operations have been cut by nearly $2 billion in the past 18 months, leaving many agencies stretched to the breaking point. They are only operational because of the dedication of CSEA members and other state employees.

Let’s be clear: CSEA members do the work – maintaining roads, taking care of individuals with developmental disabilities and mental illness; protecting the public health; enforcing the law; issuing drivers licenses and vehicle registrations and providing the support services that make every state agency work. The average CSEA member’s state salary is about $40,000 and our average pension is under $16,000 annually. CSEA challenges the governor to work a shift in any CSEA member’s shoes to understand what sacrifice is.

Since the summer 2008, CSEA has offered the governor money-saving ideas.
Some ideas have been considerable: A Canadian prescription drug option that we have put forth and have helped implement in nearly 40 municipalities across the state is already saving localities tens of millions of dollars. Projections for the state savings are more significant – several hundred million dollars.

CSEA also uncovered excessive state use of temporary employees hired at premium costs through temporary employment agencies. Many of the temp workers have been working in state jobs for years and the Paterson administration has spent more than $62 million of taxpayer money on these temp workers in the past 18 months.

The governor undermines any credibility he might have on the severity of New York’s budget situation when he dismisses meaningful ideas about cost savings.

Instead, he continues to turn to the media to attack CSEA’s refusal to make unilateral concessions simply because he demands them. CSEA will not reopen contracts. Any business person should understand that a contract is a contract and once you open one you can never again bargain in good faith. There are always ways to find common ground, but Governor Paterson has repeatedly undermined cooperation.

The governor also seems to conveniently forget that last year, CSEA came to an agreement on pension reform that the governor claimed would save the state taxpayers more than $35 billion over time. He agreed to no layoffs of state employees for the remainder of his term and he insisted on a targeted job buyout plan. That plan, solely administered by the Paterson administration, has failed to meet expectations attracted fewer than 100 high paid management/confidential employees, including political appointees.

CSEA has been around for 100 years. We have worked with every New York governor dating back to Charles Evans Hughes. We have succeeded for a century because we care about making our state a better place to live, work and grow. Besides what we do on the job, we are also the backbone of the communities where we live, contributing in every conceivable way.

Governor Paterson has a right to be wrong, but CSEA has a right to respond when he is. We will continue to do whatever it takes to protect the interest of CSEA members and the services we provide for the people of New York.

In Solidarity,
Danny Donohue

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May 7, 2010
State Employees From Brooklyn to Buffalo to Rally Against Furloughs in Statewide Day of Action

ALBANY – Members of the New York State Public Employees Federation (PEF) and members of the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) will hold simultaneous rallies outside state offices across New York to protest the governor’s furlough proposal.

State employees representing every state agency will spend the lunch hour drawing attention to the effect the governor’s proposal would have on state services and the state’s economy.

Monday, May 10, 2010
Noon

  • West Capitol Park, Albany
  • Ellicott Square Building, 295 Main Street, Buffalo
  • Sen. George Winner’s Office, 228 Lake Street, Elmira
  • DOT Office Building, 107 Broadway, Hornell
  • Rochester Psychiatric Center, 1111 Elmwood Ave., Rochester
  • State Office Building, 333 East Washington St., Syracuse
  • State Office Building, 44 Hawley St., Binghamton
  • State Office Building, 207 Genesee St., Utica
  • DOT State Office Building, 4 Burnett Blvd., Poughkeepsie
  • Federal Building, 90 Church Street, Manhattan
  • Bronx Psychiatric Center, 1500 Waters Place, Bronx
  • Downstate Medical Center, 445 Lenox Road, Brooklyn
  • Hauppauge State Office Building, 250 Veterans Memorial Hwy., Hauppauge
  • Dulles State Office Building, 217 Washington St., Watertown

The governor’s plan would reduce state employees’ pay by $312 million ($39 million for each furlough day), which would take more than half-a-billion dollars out of the state’s economy. That loss of revenue has the potential to result in the loss of 17,000 jobs, mostly in the private sector.

PEF and CSEA have identified alternative budget solutions that would more than meet the savings the governor is trying to achieve.

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May 5, 2010
Statement of CSEA President Danny Donohue to Gov. David Paterson’s state employee furlough plan

“Governor David Paterson is mistaken in his belief that creating more chaos and crisis is leadership. CSEA is prepared to respond to the governor’s actions but believes he should be focused on resolving the state’s budget mess not bashing his own state employees in the media.”

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April 27, 2010
Statement of CSEA President Danny Donohue in response to Gov. David Paterson’s plan to tie budget bills to state furloughs

“Nuts”

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April 27, 2010
CSEA renews commitment to mourn for the dead, fight for the living

ALBANY – CSEA – New York’s Leading Union – will renew its commitment to on-the-job safety and health in two important events this week. The union will first join the other unions of the AFL-CIO and mark Workers Memorial Day on Wednesday, April 28 in ceremonies all across New York. Workers Memorial Day is the date that unions of the AFL-CIO and others around the world honor workers who have lost their lives or have been injured on the job. The date is the anniversary of legislation establishing the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Later this week, more than 1,000 CSEA safety and health activists will gather in Lake Placid, April 30 – May 2, for the union’s biennial Occupational Safety and Health conference. A belated Workers Memorial Day program will be held on Friday afternoon, April 30, at 4:30 outside the Lake Placid Crowne Plaza Hotel.

Five CSEA members lost their lives due to on-the-job incidents or illness in the past two years. More than 170 CSEA members have lost their lives on the job or from illness linked to job-related hazards since CSEA began tracking these circumstances in 1983.

The recent CSEA members whose lives will be honored at Workers Memorial Day events are:

  • Nicole Gaulin, 35, an Orleans County Social Services worker, in the Town of Kendall. Fatal car crash while on the job, April 21, 2010;

 

  • Nancy Lou Dell-Olio, 62, Amityville School District, School Monitor. Fell down a flight of stairs while accompanying a group of students, Nov. 5, 2009;
  • Gary L. Farrell, 48, NYS DOT, Alder Creek Sub-Residency, Highway Maintenance Worker I. Struck by a vehicle while flagging in a work zone, Nov. 2, 2009;
  • Sharon M. LaDuke, 57, Village of Potsdam, Sr. Clerk/Registrar. Mesothelioma, May 29, 2009;
  • Kevin Forsyth, 46, NYS DOT, Niagara County, Highway Maintenance Supervisor 1. Struck by a motorist while setting up cones in a work zone, July 23, 2008.
  • “Workers Memorial Day is an opportunity to ‘mourn for the dead and fight for the living,’ to paraphrase the words of the great labor organizer Mother Jones,” said CSEA President Danny Donohue. “On-the job deaths and injuries can be avoided with better understanding, preparation, training, equipment, procedures and a stronger commitment to addressing workplace safety and health.”The fact that more than a thousand CSEA activists will be focused on safety and health issues this weekend should send a message about its importance in CSEA and the need for constant vigilance,” Donohue said.

    CSEA, which is marking its centennial anniversary in 2010, has long made safety and health a priority. The union was instrumental in the 1980 passage of the landmark Public Employees Safety and Health Act, extending OSHA protections to public employees. More than 20 states still do not have similar protections for public employees today.

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    April 13, 2010
    CSEA takes first action in challenging Gov. Paterson over state pay delay

    ALBANY — CSEA – New York’s leading union – has taken the first formal steps in challenging Gov. David Paterson’s decision to delay contractual pay raises for nearly 70,000 CSEA-represented state Executive branch employees.

    CSEA has filed a formal contract grievance with the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations under the provisions of the CSEA-NYS collective bargaining agreement. The action is the appropriate starting place to challenge the governor’s delaying action and does not preclude additional legal response.

    As the governor’s action affects all members of the bargaining units on a statewide basis, CSEA filed the grievance at Step 3 of the grievance process. GOER has 15 working days to respond to the CSEA grievance. Should GOER not respond favorably to CSEA, the union would have the option of moving the grievance to triage and then arbitration.

    CSEA has every expectation of prevailing against the governor’s arbitrary and unilateral action.

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    April 8, 2010
    CSEA Members Deserve Better than Gov. Paterson’s incompetence

    CSEA President Danny Donohue has just issued the following statement:

    “Gov. David Paterson’s unilateral delay of a fairly negotiated raise for CSEA represented state employees is wrong and the governor knows it. It will leave CSEA with little choice in our course of action moving forward.

    “What makes it even worse is that the governor met with CSEA and PEF officials yesterday and has now immediately moved forward.

    “The Paterson administration continues to careen from crisis to crisis without any comprehensive plan to address the state’s financial mess with a coordinated strategy. It is more evidence of his administration’s incompetence.

    “CSEA members continue to do their best to serve the people of New York under deteriorating conditions and they deserve better than what the governor is putting forward.”

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    March 4, 2010
    CSEA Class Action Settlement a Huge Victory for Westchester County Retirees

    CSEA, New York’s leading union, has won a settlement on behalf of 1,600 retired Westchester County employees that freezes their prescription drug costs for life for themselves and their dependents.

    “This is a huge victory for our retirees,” said CSEA Statewide President Danny Donohue. “They live on fixed incomes and never expected they would be forced to pay more for their health care.”

    Under the terms of the class action settlement that was approved Tuesday by Supreme Court Judge Joan Lefkowitz, prescription co-payments are forever frozen for class members and their dependents, with generic drugs at $4, brand name drugs at $8 and non-preferred brand name drugs at $15. There are safeguards in place so that most prescriptions will not exceed $8. Various other co-payments and deductibles are also frozen forever.

    The county will also pay each class member or surviving dependent $700, and the county will also pay CSEA attorney fees and litigation expenses in the amount of $65,000. The costs of the immediate payouts are approximately $1.1 million.

    The settlement stems from a suit CSEA filed in 2004 claiming the county improperly diminished the health insurance benefits of workers who retired between January 1993 and May 2004.

    CSEA argued that the 1993 through 2004 contracts, unlike other CSEA contracts with the county, prohibited the county from changing those retirees’ benefits. Lefkowitz, in a decision in July 2008, agreed with the union, ruling, “plaintiffs’ health insurance benefits in the prior collective bargaining agreements survived those agreements and may not be diminished without their consent.”

    The county then appealed and it was expected that the matter would continue to be litigated for another two years as it worked its way through the appellate courts. On March 2, 2010, however, Lefkowitz approved the settlement, which now must be implemented within the next 20 to 90 days.

    As a side agreement, the county agreed that other CSEA unit retirees, who previously had no clear contractual or legal protection, were entitled to at least the insurance level of active employees.

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    March 3, 2010
    CSEA offers alternative to state’s costly use of temporary workers

    ALBANY – “Temporary should mean temporary and not employment that extends for years.”

    That was the message CSEA delivered to state lawmakers today as the union continued its fight to end the Paterson administration’s exploitation of temporary workers and undermining of state workers.

    Testifying at a hearing on the state’s use of temporary employees before the New York State Assembly Standing Committee on Governmental Employees, CSEA Legislative and Political Action Director Fran Turner said it’s time for state agencies to come clean about their real work force needs and that the need for temporary workers be addressed by a pool approach with deployment and retrenchment.

    “Over the last 20 years, the state of New York has created a shadow work force made up largely of temporary and provisional employees who have been hired to replace positions left vacant as a result of downsizing and contracting out,” Turner told lawmakers. “Former Governor Pataki and even the current administration have paraded these reductions in the state work force as fiscal savings to the state. However, the facts are that state agency staff shortages have created mandatory overtime problems, an over reliance on temporary and provisional appointments, recruitment and retention problems and safety and quality of service issues throughout state agencies.”

    The union recently uncovered more than $62 million tax dollars being used to hire temporary workers through employment agencies in nearly every state agency, despite a state hiring freeze and a staggering fiscal deficit.

    These workers, who receive no benefits and have no rights, have been used for years to hide the fact that the state work force has been depleted to such an extent that the agencies are no longer able to deliver promised services to the citizens of this state. What’s more, the Paterson administration is paying a premium for these workers with the bulk of the money going to the temp agencies.

    Turner said CSEA recognizes the fact that state agencies at times have assignments that are extremely short in duration and might be better suited for employees who are not permanent. The union proposed the creation of a temporary state work force pool that could be used to fill such positions.

    Turner said the pool could be used when permanent workers were on vacation, medical leave, or other extended absence. She said it would mitigate the cost of using private companies while ensuring that temporary workers were not being abused with no benefits and less pay than permanent employees.

    More than 12 state agencies and facilities have spent millions on temporary workers hired through temporary service agencies since April 2008. The worst offender is the state Department of Health, which has spent more than $13 million taxpayer dollars on temporary services, followed by the State University system at $9 million, Office of General Services at $5.6 million, state Education Department at $4.7 million, Law Department at nearly $3.4 million and the Department of Transportation at more than $3 million.

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    Feb. 24, 2010
    CSEA Wins Court Order Preventing Layoff Planned For Today; Charges Governor Broke No-Layoff Agreement

    ALBANY – CSEA has won a temporary restraining order, preventing layoffs the state had planned for today at Bernard Fineson Developmental Disabilities Services Office in Queens and other downstate Office of Mental Retardation and Office of Mental Health facilities.

    Supreme Court Judge Thomas J. McNamara put the layoffs on hold pending the outcome of a lawsuit the union filed this morning claiming the layoffs were in clear breach of Gov. David Paterson’s agreement, reached with the union last July, not to lay off employees through Dec. 31, 2010. CSEA had agreed not to stand in the way of recently enacted Tier V Retirement legislation in exchange for the governor’s promise of no layoffs.

    “It’s a shame we have to go to court to get the governor to keep his word,” said CSEA President Danny Donohue.

    Besides preventing the layoff of approximately 18 workers today, the order also prohibits the state from slashing in half the hours and pay of a half-dozen OMRDD and OMH workers also affected by the planned reduction in force.

    CSEA represents nearly 300,000 public and private employees throughout New York State, including 25,000 members who provide mental health and developmental disabilities services.

    Feb. 8, 2010
    Public Employees Seek Better Choices for New York

    ALBANY – 1,500 members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) met in Albany today to talk to legislators about a fair way to put the state’s economy back on track, protect jobs and pay for the essential services that the people of New York rely on.

    “Today we’re telling legislators that although times are tough, there are better choices they can make that will balance the budget and provide the vital services New Yorkers need,” said AFSCME International President Gerald W. McEntee. “Elected leaders are on the verge of destroying vital public services and putting more people out of work. They’re jeopardizing the health and safety of the people and our communities. Today we’re telling them to focus on raising revenue, not making another round of disastrous budget cuts to health care, education and local governments.”

    Governor Paterson is proposing dramatic cuts to education, health care and aid to local governments that will cause more problems for the people and the economy. His proposals would hurt New York state, the citizens who live here and the workers who deliver essential public services. AFSCME believes there are better choices to balance the budget and get our state back on track.

    “CSEA members know better than anyone that these are tough times. We’re on the front line delivering services that New Yorkers depend on,” said Danny Donohue, president of the nearly 300,000-member CSEA, AFSCME’s largest affiliate. “We’re clearing the roads, helping people in need, taking care of children, the elderly, people who are sick and others in need of daily assistance.

    “We have no tolerance for politicians who take cheap shots at dedicated public employees,” Donohue said. “It’s not right and New Yorkers deserve better.”

    AFSCME has made many sacrifices to help the state in these hard times. AFSCME members have been asked to do more with less and we have. But New Yorkers need vital services and there are better choices. AFSCME and its affiliates support equitable proposals to raise revenue for the state, rather than further slashing health care, education and aid to local governments.

    “DC 37 is fighting, along with our political allies and our AFSCME brothers and sisters, to educate the governor, the mayor and the public about the devastating impact of trying to close a budget gap by laying off thousands of loyal, productive public employees,” said Lillian Roberts, executive director of New York City’s largest public employee union, District Council 37, AFSCME. “Our elected officials need to stop and analyze what happens when they dump thousands of moderate income workers onto the unemployment rolls. When you factor in the costs of unemployment
    insurance, food stamps, family health care at public institutions and other public services they’ll need as well as the loss in tax dollars do layoffs really save anything? And, who ends up paying for all of these services? Taxpayers. Layoffs are a quick fix that don’t solve anything. They only make matters worse.”

    AFSCME New York represents 420,000 public services workers across the state, made up of members from CSEA Local 1000, DC 37, DC 1707, Council 35, Council 66, and Council 82. Guest speakers included AFSCME International President Gerald W. McEntee, State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, and Senate Conference Leader John Sampson.

    Jan. 26, 2010
    Response of CSEA President Danny Donohue to Gov. David Paterson’s latest misrepresentation on state use of temp workers

    “CSEA is thankful that Governor David Paterson’s position is only temporary.

    “The governor continues to flaunt New York state law and arrogantly disregard good management, sound public policy and basic human decency in his exploitation of temporary workers. Now, he’d like to have the public believe that’s a good thing?

    “The excessive use of temporary workers at premium prices through temp agencies is at its heart dishonest. The governor is not leveling with the public about the essential positions that are needed for state agencies to adequately do their jobs and it does not present the true cost involved.

    “Meanwhile, the Department of Civil Service is complicit in this scheme. They need to answer why they continue to look the other way while legal hiring practices are ignored and workers are held in temporary positions for years on end.

    “The Paterson administration is doing a disservice to New Yorkers and in the process undermining their own authority to hold private sector lawbreakers accountable for labor violations. On top of it all, the governor ought to be ashamed of the way he is cheating these temporary workers who are victims.

    “CSEA is baffled about why the governor wants to quibble about our facts – he should just fix this disgraceful mess.”

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    Jan. 19, 2010
    Statement of CSEA President Danny Donohue on Gov. David Paterson’s proposed state budget

    “Governor David Paterson’s unwillingness to address the misuse of $62 million in taxpayer money on temporary state workers should be evidence that there are still better budget choices to be made. Hiring and shortchanging temporary workers in dozens of state agencies for years on end is a misguided priority and a violation of the law. Before the governor asks union-represented state employees for concessions, he needs to change his own administration’s practices that undermine working people.

    CSEA will address these issues and so many others in the course of the weeks ahead with the objective of protecting jobs and services and their impact on the quality of life for New Yorkers.”

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    Jan. 15, 2010
    Statement of CSEA President Danny Donohue in response to the Paterson administration’s attack on CSEA over the union’s revelation of $62 million being spent on temp agency workers

    “It’s mind-boggling that the Paterson administration would try to dismiss CSEA’s legitimate issue about the wasteful, exploitive and excessive use of temporary employees by attacking the messenger.

    Of course CSEA will address the flaunting of civil service requirements and union contracts, that’s our responsibility. But it’s just one outrage among many in this situation.

    The administration is cheating the workers, some of whom have been stuck in temporary status for years while paying millions to the temp agencies. These workers deserve better.

    Just as important, the Paterson administration is not being honest with taxpayers about how tax dollars are being spent and is clearly not focused on securing better value. New York taxpayers deserve better.

    Tired, old insults questioning CSEA’s motives won’t change the facts. The governor ought to know that actually trying to manage his work force is better than trying to score cheap political points.”

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    Jan. 14, 2010
    Outrageous – Gov. Paterson exploiting temporary workers, wasting tax dollars

    ALBANY – CSEA is blowing the whistle on the Paterson administration’s exploitation of temporary workers and undermining of state workers. CSEA has uncovered over $62 million tax dollars being used to systematically hire temporary workers through temporary personnel agencies in place of state workers in almost every state agency.

    These workers, who receive no benefits and have no rights, have been used for years to hide the fact that the state work force has been depleted to such an extent that the agencies are no longer able to deliver promised services to the citizens of this state. What’s more, the Paterson administration is paying a premium for these workers with the bulk of the money going to the temp agencies. Taxpayers should question this clear lack of leadership and this misuse of the public trust.

    CSEA brought this matter to the attention of the administration months ago and there has been no response. The governor has proclaimed the need to create jobs in the state and to spur economic development and yet is not willing to address this misuse of workers or the overburdened state agencies who have been unable to fill positions. It is a underhanded way to avoid the civil service law and to deceive the taxpayers as well.

    The “winter of reckoning” should start with the governor looking at his own administration’s failure. “I don’t even think the governor knows the workload of his own work force,” CSEA President Danny Donohue said. “This is apparently another example where Governor Paterson wants to be judged by what he says, not by what he does.”

    More than 12 state agencies and facilities have spent millions on temporary workers hired through temporary service agencies since April 2008. The worst offender is the state Department of Health, which has spent more than $13 million taxpayer dollars on temporary services, followed by the State University system at $9 million, Office of General Services at $5.6 million, state Education Department at $4.7 million, Law Department at nearly $3.4 million and the Department of Transportation at more than $3 million.

    CSEA is preparing legal action immediately to stop the exploitation of these workers and to uphold the integrity of the civil service law. CSEA is committed to organizing these workers and upholding the standards that every worker of the state should have.

    Any temporary worker assigned to New York state through a private contractor should contact CSEA at 1-800-342-4146, ext. 1401.

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