This Week in Albany

Week ending August 29, 2014

Record Overtime for State Workforce

Comptroller DiNapoli released a report detailing how New York has dispensed a record high $316 million in overtime payments over the first six months of 2014.

The highest payout comes from the Department of Corrections with almost $80 million in overtime this year, while the Office of Mental Health and the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities have spent $51 million and $67 million respectively.  DiNapoli expressed a need to “get to the root of what is driving high overtime.”  CSEA members serving at these and other agencies know the truth: when the state workforce is cut, those that remain are pressed to tirelessly work longer hours resulting in diminished services and higher costs.

Primary Day Nears

Citing his meddling in the Moreland Commission and failure on ethics reform, The New York Times decided not to endorse Governor Cuomo in the upcoming September 9th primary.

Two days after their decline to endorse Cuomo, the New York Times opted to back Albany-outsider Tim Wu for Lieutenant Governor.  A Fordham Law professor, Wu is running against Cuomo’s pick for second-in-command, Kathy Hochul.  As a former congresswoman, The Times was critical of Hochul’s shifting alliances and troubling record on health reform and environmental deregulation.  Tim Wu’s running mate is Zephyr Teachout, who is challenging Cuomo in the Democratic Primary for governor.

Primary Day is on Tuesday, September 9th.  Don’t forget to vote!

Absentee Voting

If you are unable to vote this Election season, fill out an application for an Absentee Ballot.  Applications must be mailed to your county board no later than the seventh day before the election or delivered in person no later than the day before the election.  A downloadable PDF version of the NYS Absentee Ballot Application form can be found here.

Labor Day Festivities

Labor Day is Monday, September 1st.  Check the CSEA website for a list of events near you.

This Week in Albany

Week ending August 29, 2014

  • Record Overtime for State Workforce
  • Primary Day Nears
  • Absentee Voting
  • Labor Day Festivities

Continue reading…

See our CSEA Leaders at the NYS Fair!



Treasurer McMullen at the 2013 Fair.


In recognition of CSEA Weekend at the New York State Fair, several of our union’s statewide officers will be visiting our booth in the Fair’s Center of Progress Building (to the left of the center entrance doors).

On Saturday, August 30, CSEA Treasurer Joe McMullen will visit our booth from 10 a.m. to 12 noon.




On Sunday, August 31, CSEA President Danny Donohue will visit the booth from 10 a.m. to 12 noon.

President Donohue and Region President Wheaton at the 2012 Fair.

President Donohue at the 2012 Fair.

He will be joined by Central Region President Colleen Wheaton.

Donohue and Wheaton will also lead off the CSEA marchers in the Labor Day Parade on Monday, September 1 at 10:30 a.m. outside the Fair’s Indian Village.





Labor Day 2014: New Yorkers deserve an economy that works for all

DannyThe following is CSEA President Danny Donohue’s 2014 Labor Day message, which is running in publications statewide this week.

New Yorkers are a resilient and resourceful people and we deserve better than we’ve received from our so called political leaders at all levels over recent decades.

We all know strong communities work but there’s been too little focus on efforts to build an economy that works for all.

Instead, we’ve seen cynical schemes staged for superficial media consumption that do little to solve complex problems or help real people. We’ve seen people in serious economic distress, through no fault of their own, ignored or denigrated.


Click on image to download President Danny Donohue’s 2014 Labor Day message.

Meanwhile, corporate welfare for the connected continues as a primary tool of economic development despite clear evidence that it’s actually counterproductive. And tax cuts and loopholes to put the fix in for those who are already doing better than everyone else, are the priorities of the ruling class, whose political contributions and greenmail threats call the shots.

In community after community, we’ve seen schools and community services undermined and elected officials shirking responsibility: Public Nursing homes auctioned off without regard for the consequences; Thousands of people left to wander the streets and end up in local jails at taxpayer expense because mental health and other human services programs have been gutted.

On a national level, the sad reality of our current political landscape is even uglier: Polarizing lies, demagoguery and overt voter suppression are just some of the shameful practices on display day by day. That’s not what America is supposed to be about.

Sadly, those who object to these shocking realities are dismissed or worse by politicians and marginalized by the media. It’s not right and it’s not acceptable.

There are hopeful signs. Despite this political mess, ordinary people are doing extraordinary things all across New York. Many are delivering necessary services amid growing adversity, Others are working harder than ever to raise their families as they struggle to make ends meet and play by the rules. And remarkably, more are helping their neighbors get by and contributing and volunteering for a better community. It’s downright inspiring and deserves support and respect,

There are tremendous opportunities for people and communities to come together and have their voices heard. It starts with voter registration, community by community organizing, and sending notice: It’s time for our political leaders to start serving the people instead of themselves.

Download President Donohue’s Labor Day message

CSEA joins the Moral March to the Polls Rally

CSEA Statewide Secretary Denise Berkley speaks at the Vote your Dreams, Not your Fears rally, as CSEA Statewide Treasurer Joe McMullen, Executive Vice President Mary E. Sullivan and faith, labor and community leaders look on.

CSEA leaders and activists joined hundreds of faith, labor, moral and community leaders and activists on Thursday, Aug. 28, at the State Capitol in Albany to urge New Yorkers to get out the vote for elected leaders who will prioritize morality and compassion for the people over corruption and greed.

The Moral March to the Polls: Vote your Dreams, not your Fears rally was one of many rallies that were being held in state capitals across the country as part of the National Moral Week of Action spearheaded by the Rev. William Barber and the North Caroline NAACP. The event was held on the 51st anniversary of the March on Washington.

New York state has the highest income inequality in the nation, and the policies of many elected leaders has led to poverty and unemployment. Rally attendees called for good jobs, quality public education, fair taxation and a strong social safety net that will strengthen our communities.

Rally participants urged New Yorkers to register to vote, urge others to register and to get out and vote on primary day on Sept. 9 and in the general election on Nov. 4.

CSEA leaders and activists who participated in the rally include Statewide Executive Vice President Mary E. Sullivan, Statewide Secretary Denise Berkley, Statewide Treasurer Joe McMullen, Capital Region President Kathy Garrison and local and unit activists from across the state.

“New Yorkers deserve better than we’ve received from our so-called political leaders at all levels over recent decades but despite this political mess, ordinary people are doing extraordinary things all across the state,” CSEA President Danny Donohue said. “We have a tremendous opportunity to bring people together and to have our voices heard. It begins with voter registration and sending notice: It’s time for our political leaders to start serving the people instead of ourselves.”

>See photos from the rally

Thanks to our fair volunteers


Tiffany Jones, left, and Theresa Rosencrans greet attendees at the 2014 Dutchess County Fair.

For the fifth consecutive year, CSEA was a sponsor of the Dutchess County Fair. We’d like to thank everyone who volunteered in some way throughout the six days of the fair — whether staffing the CSEA booth, offering help, setting up or recruiting volunteers.

Having a presence at this fair, the state’s second largest, enables us to interact with our own union members attending the fair as well as promote to all fairgoers the valuable public services CSEA members provide.



This Week in Albany

Week ending August 22, 2014

New York Receives More Financial Settlement Money

As a result of the largest financial settlement with a single entity in U.S. history, New York will receive $800 million from a $16 billion national settlement with Bank of America. The settlement comes as a result of an investigation by a joint federal and state work group tasked with investigating and prosecuting financial institutions involved with the mortgage crisis. New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is a co-chair of the work group.

Prior to the Bank of America settlement, New York had already received $4.2 billion in financial settlements this year and will add an additional $300 million from Standard Chartered Bank as a result of a money laundering investigation undertaken by the State Department of Financial Services.

It is not yet clear what the Cuomo Administration’s approach to spending the State’s newfound surplus will be.

Study Shows Lack of Retirement Security in America

According to a survey released this week, over one-third of all Americans have nothing saved for retirement. Even more concerning, more than a quarter of respondents aged 50-64 said that they had not yet started saving for retirement.

Businesses and the wealthy continue to push policies that restrict wages and benefits and hold the middle class and our communities back. CSEA will continue to fight for policies that decrease income inequality, protect retirement security, and benefit all New Yorkers, not just the wealthy.

Important Election Dates

Primary Elections for state and local candidates will be held on September 9th. The deadline to register to vote for the General Election is October 10th, and the General Election will be held on November 4th.

This Week in Albany

Week ending August 22, 2014

Headlines include:

  • New York Receives More Financial Settlement Money
  • Study Shows Lack of Retirement Security in America
  • Important Election Dates

Continue reading…

Join in the Moral March to the Polls Rally at the Capitol

Vote your Dreams, Not your Fears
vyd Join clergy, moral leaders, labor union members and community members for the Moral March to the Polls Rally and Press Conference, which will be held Thursday, Aug. 28, at noon at West Capitol Park in Albany.

Thousands of clergy, moral leaders and community members will be rallying at state capitols across the United States on Aug. 28, the 51st anniversary of the March on Washington, to demand representative leadership characterized not by corruption and greed but by morality and compassion.

Learn more about the event
Labor-Religion Coalition of New York State website.

Aug. 18, 1920: 19th Amendment ratified, giving women the right to vote

tumblr_ms5g9x6OTZ1sxq5xco1_1280On Aug. 18, 1920 – 94 years ago today – all American women won the right to vote and hold political office when the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified.

The amendment’s passage not only began to pave the way for women to empower themselves under the law, but would lead to changes in the U.S. political landscape that are continuing today. While many states, including New York, had previously allowed women to vote, that right extended to all women when Tennessee became the 36th state (reaching the two-thirds majority needed for a Constitutional amendment) to ratify the 19th Amendment on Aug. 18, 1920

The 19th Amendment’s ratification was the culmination of a long fight for women’s right to vote. The suffragist movement that led to the 19th amendment began in Seneca Falls, N.Y. in 1848 and intensified in the late 19th century. Leaders in the early suffrage movement included women’s rights advocates Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony and Lucy Stone. Alice Paul became a later leader of the suffragist movement, helping spearhead a suffrage demonstration outside the White House in 1917 that led to her imprisonment.

Suffragists organized numerous demonstrations and other events, made speeches and published writings arguing their right to vote. During the movement, particularly in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, numerous suffragists were not only injured, but died for their right to vote.

With this in mind, it is important for all CSEA members to remember to use their right to vote. If you are not registered to vote, please register today and then please go out and vote!
Learn more about voting