December 2014 Work Force

12_2014_Pg_1_thumbRead the December Work Force
See previous Work Force editions

 

Support Low-Paid Workers

Come support our low-paid brothers and sisters in the fast food industry as they fight for a decent wage and the right to organize a union/

First: meet the workers who are standing up for their right to work with dignity on:

Monday, December 1st at 5:30 pm

CSEA Metropolitan Region Office

125 Maiden Lane, 5th Floor

Then: Join the rally on

Thursday, December 4th near City Hall (Location TBA)

CSEA push for accountability after park worker fatality yields state PESH violations, safety improvements

LanceGaytonBEAR MOUNTAIN – An investigation into the tragic workplace death of CSEA member and state parks worker Lance Gayton, who died in 2013, has resulted in the New York State Department of Labor issuing five serious violations to the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP).

CSEA, the union representing Gayton and the majority of state parks workers, has worked cooperatively with representatives from the Department of Labor’s Public Employee Safety and Health Bureau (PESH) to ensure both a full investigation of the incident that led to Gayton’s death and accountability from OPRHP officials in the wake of this preventable tragedy.

“Had proper training, equipment and resources been provided, this tragedy would have been prevented and Lance’s family would not be without their husband and father,” said CSEA Southern Region President Billy Riccaldo. “A safe workplace is a right, not a privilege. Our CSEA Occupational Safety and Health Department representatives have been working closely with PESH and our CSEA local leaders to ensure OPRHP comes into compliance with the violations that resulted from Lance’s death, and stays in compliance.”

Gayton, 61, of Highland Mills, died Aug. 7, 2013 after an incident that occurred while working alone in Harriman State Park. Gayton was at the Youmans Flats Garbage Transfer station on Seven Lakes Drive using a front loader to place a 3,500-pound Wimmer hydraulic hammer upright when the hydraulic hammer fell, striking Gayton and pinning him to the ground. A short time later, a co-worker discovered Gayton and called for help. Gayton was later pronounced dead at Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern.

The violations issued to OPRHP in Albany describe violations of the Public Employee Safety and Health Act of 1980. The five violations, rated by PESH as serious, resulted from issues including failure to train workers on proper use of the hydraulic hammer, failure to properly identify and inspect the alloy steel chain slings used to lift the hammer, unauthorized modification of the front loader by welding D-rings to the loader bucket, and the unsafe practice of allowing an employee to work under or beneath the front loader bucket and the hydraulic hammer.

PESH first issued the violations Sept. 11, 2014. At a follow-up meeting held in early November, PESH officials determined that OPRHP had come into compliance.

“Everyone that goes to work expects to be safe and to return home,” said CSEA Palisades Parks Local President Danny Corigliano. “This accident was a wake-up call. Lance was very well-respected, a gentleman and a role model. We are working diligently with PESH and OPRHP to ensure the violations are resolved and that the park remains in compliance.”

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See the PESH violations

Let’s All Shop Small!

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As part of CSEA’s Strong Communities Work initiative, our Region will be focusing our efforts in the coming year on a “Go Local” campaign that we’re kicking off this weekend with Small Business Saturday.

More info…

 


 

Shopping Small to Strengthen Communities

 

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As part of CSEA’s Strong Communities Work initiative, our Region will be focusing our efforts in the coming year on a “Go Local” campaign that we’re kicking off this weekend with Small Business Saturday, November 29th.

We are urging all our members to make the conscious choice to spend their money at locally-owned independent businesses to strengthen our communities, instead of sending more money and jobs out of our communities by shopping at the big box or corporate chain stores.

Instead of shopping online or big-box to save a buck, we all need to focus on shopping local to save our communities.

When you’re out shopping locally on Small Business Saturday (or afterward), grab a selfie, and post a picture online. Please use the hashtags “#CSEA” and “#ShopSmall for #StrongCommunities” to help spread our message on social media. Let’s start a movement within the movement!

Please share this flyer and one of our Strong Communities Work window cling stickers with the shop owners, urging them to display the sticker in their front window to show their support for our efforts.

 

 

 

Federal Issues Report

AFSCME Federal Legislative Weekly Report
Week ending November 21, 2014

Headlines include:

  • President Obama Announces Broad Executive Action on Immigration
  • Fiscal Year 2015 Decisions Still Pending
  • Additional Funding Needed to Implement New Child Care Law Requirements
  • House Panel Advances Emergency Ebola Aid
  • President Saunders Participates in CAP Policy Conference
  • House Democrats Elect Leaders

Continue reading…


This Week in Albany

Week ending November 21, 2014

Headlines include:

  • State Legislature Update
  • CSEA Participates in Child Protective Services Roundtable
  • Happy Holidays

Continue reading…


This Week in Albany

Week ending November 21, 2014

State Legislature Update

The Senate Republican conference was in Albany this week to discuss its plans for the upcoming legislative session after taking sole control of the chamber in this month’s elections. The conference re-elected Long Island Senator Dean Skelos as its leader and Senator Tom Libous from the Southern Tier as deputy leader.

The conference also discussed what role, if any, the five-member Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) will play in the majority next session. No coalition agreement has been made public yet. Democratic Senator Simcha Felder from Brooklyn announced that he will again conference with Republicans next year.

Additionally, lawmakers are discussing the possibility of returning to Albany for a special session before the end of the year. The issues that could be addressed in such a session include an infrastructure investment package using surplus funds from financial settlements, as well as a pay raise for legislators.

CSEA Participates in Child Protective Services Roundtable

CSEA participated in a roundtable with the Assembly Committee on Children and Families to discuss supports needed for Child Protective Services (CPS) caseworkers.

CSEA argued that the high number of cases faced by CPS caseworkers is unsustainable and that a cap on caseloads must be accompanied by an increase in funding for additional staff. Additionally, attention was brought to CSEA-supported legislation that would address the trauma caseworkers encounter, including granting time off after the death of a child in care and providing mental health counseling for caseworkers.

Happy Holidays

This Week in Albany will return in two weeks. Have a safe and happy holiday.

Federal Issues Report

AFSCME Legislative Weekly Report
Week ending November 14, 2014

Headlines include:

  • Lame-Duck Session of Congress Convenes
  • GOP Will Control Both Chambers of Congress
  • Child Care Bill Proceeds in Senate
  • Senate Panel Examines Emergency Funding Request to Fight Ebola
  • Senate GOP Leaders Block Current NLRB Member; President Obama Nominates Former Sen. Harkin Staffer
  • Rumors Abound on Timing and Content of President Obama’s Executive Action on Immigration
  • Affordable Care Act Enrollment Period Set to Begin
  • U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Rule on New Challenge to Affordable Care Act

Read the report here.


This Week in Albany

Week ending November 14, 2014

Headlines include:

  • Legislative Update
  • CSEA Submits Testimony
  • New Yorker Nominated to be Next U.S. Attorney General

Continue reading…