CSEA members overwhelmingly approve new agreement with Health Research, Inc.

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Representatives from the American Arbitration Association and members of CSEA’s HRI negotiating team, including CSEA HRI Buffalo Division Local President Laura Porter, far left, and CSEA HRI Albany Division Local President Deborah Hanna, seated, third from left, count ratification ballots on April 29.

BUFFALO — After swift negotiations, CSEA members overwhelmingly approved a new agreement with Health Research, Inc. (HRI), a not-for-profit corporation affiliated with the New York State Department of Health and the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, a leading cancer research center in Buffalo.

CSEA represents more than 1,000 HRI employees, who perform daily, key functions in keeping important, cutting-edge medical research like cancer and biomedical research, rehabilitation medicine and disease and infection research moving forward.

The new four-year contract (previous contract expired March 31, 2015) includes wage increases and an increase in employer contribution of health insurance premiums in all years of the agreement, addressing the two top issues workers identified as concerns through a pre-negotiations survey.

CSEA members also maintain steps and longevity in the new agreement, which also enhances benefit programs, time off, severance packages, and cost of living adjustments for workers in downstate locations.

“Good things result when labor and management work towards everyone’s best interest,” said CSEA President Danny Donohue.

“This contract brought back a lot of good things for the members of both CSEA locals at HRI and this, all after a very rough time of transition and change,” said Deborah Hanna, president of CSEA’s Health Research, Inc. Local, Albany Division. “We are very pleased. This contract not only has additional benefits gained, but we are also holding on to key benefits that were at risk. We are back to where we want to be. We are back on track.”

“It was good to see this high level of engagement from our members,” said Laura Porter, president of CSEA’s Health Research, Inc. Local at Roswell Park, Buffalo. “There were so many members taking interest and continually involved throughout the process, from voicing opinions throughout negotiations to voting on this contract. To that, we can attribute this success.”

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Impressive Hempstead Charity Team raises $ for babies.

767 JL_08An impressive turn out from the Town of Hempstead CSEA Local 880 March of Dimes Team at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow last weekend for the 2015 March for Babies. They are seen here joined by Hempstead Receiver of Taxes, Donald X. Clavin and Hempstead Town Clerk, Nasrin G. Ahmad. March of Dimes helps local moms take charge of their health and supports families when something goes wrong. Globally, March of Dimes promotes best practices in perinatal health, helping improve birth outcomes where the needs are the most urgent.

May 15 Work Force

May_15_thumbRead the May Work Force
See previous Work Force editions

2015 Oppose Memos

OPPOSE

Pension Forfeiture

S.4611 – Budget / A.6722 – Buchwald: This legislation would subject public employees and elected officials to pension forfeiture if convicted of a felony relating to public office.

Education Tax Credit

Governor’s Program Bill #2: Would establish an education tax credit and tuition tax credit.

A.2551 – Cusick and S.1976 – Golden: Would establish the education tax credit.

Health Care Issues

S.4790 – Hannon: Would allow up to ten for-profit business corporations to operate an unlimited number of hospitals in NY.

Unemployment Insurance Issues

S.4847 – Martins: Would exclude certain individuals from the definition of the term employment in the Unemployment Insurance Law when providing temporary services to the state or a political subdivision in connection with a recovery from a disaster emergency.

Local Issues

S.5306 – Kennedy / A.7574 – Peoples-Stokes: Would authorize the City of Buffalo to adopt a residential parking system.

 


2015 Support Memos

SUPPORT

Worker Protection Issues

S.1291 – Espaillat / A.4762 – Nolan: Provides farm workers with protections under New York State law.

A.1548 – Gottfried / S.782 – Hannon: Establishes basic staffing ratios for nurses and other direct care staff.

A.2480 – Brindisi / S.3913 – Griffo: Provides that a Class D felony would be imposed against anyone in an Article 10 secure treatment facility who assaults another person.

S.1974 – Griffo / A.2401 – Brindisi: Provides that a Class D felony would be imposed against anyone who assaults an employee of OCFS secure and limited secure residential facilities in the performance of his or her duties.

S.3621 – Funke / A.1034 – Gunther: Would include the assault of non-nursing direct care staff within the offense of assault in the second degree.

A.7721 – Peoples-Stokes / S.5130 – Martins: Would require not-for-profit corporations who receive at least fifty percent of their budget from government sources to address the alarming problem of violence in the workplace.

OMH and OPWDD Issues

S.4094 – Libous / A.7332 – Lupardo: CSEA introduced this legislation to compel OPWDD to show a true commitment to individuals with developmental disabilities by requiring a list of options that must include state-operated services in all areas of the state.

A. 3860 – Brennan / S.5272 – Ortt: This bill would require the commissioner of mental health to ensure the development of comprehensive plans, programs, and services to meet the mental health and treatment needs of children and adolescents in need of appropriate services.

Healthcare Issues

A.6390 – Simon / S.2472 – Parker: This legislation would require a study of the impact that the closure of a long-term care facility would have on the residents and their families.

Transparency/Accountability Issues

S.2054 – Flanagan / A.4729 – Colton: Forbids a public benefit corporation from establishing a subsidiary corporation without prior approval from the State Legislature.

A.5935 – Pichardo / S,5215 – Savino: This legislation would require state contractors to annually report the average weekly wage paid to employees.

A.7056 – Magnarelli / S.5690 – Marchione: Gives the State Comptroller statutory authority to audit local development corporations (LDCs).

A.7915 – Magnarelli / S.5867 – Marchione: Allows for increased oversight and effectiveness of Industrial Development Agencies (IDAs) throughout the state.

Child Care Issues

A.6568 – Lupardo / S.5009 – Felder:  This legislation would require that local social services districts reimburse child care providers for at least 12 absences every six months for children in subsidized care.

Child Protective Services Issues

S.2691 – Golden / A.4613 – Clark: This legislation would require OCFS to promulgate regulations relating to workload standards for CPS workers.

S.3226 – Golden / A.7459 – Persaud: This legislation would grant non-supervisory child protective service employees five days of paid time off and be offered counseling or psychological assistance immediately after a child suspected of being abused or maltreated dies.

SUNY Issues

S.5246 – Martins / A.7243 – Abbate: Would require that the SUNY Research Foundation adhere to Civil Service Law and that all future employees be placed in appropriate civil service classifications.

Veteran/Military Issues

A.8174 – Paulin / S.5937 – Larkin: Allows public employees to purchase up to three years of pension credit for military duty by removing all existing requirements that such military service be performed during certain war periods, during certain hostilities while in theater of operations, or upon the receipt of an expeditionary medal.

A.6453 – Magnarelli / S.4546 Croci: Would allow public employees who are military veterans of the war in Afghanistan to buy up to three years of additional pension credit.

A.7824 – Abbate / S.4852 – Croci: Would allow all members of the military who miss the application deadline for a scheduled competitive civil service examination to be eligible for a special military make-up examination.


Federal Issues Report

AFSCME Legislative Weekly Report
Week ending April 24, 2015

Headlines include:

  • Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Compromise Reached; Vote Likely Next Week
  • House Appropriations Committee Divides Federal Spending Among 12 Subcommittees
  • Fast Track Legislation Clears Senate and House Panels
  • Senate Finally Confirms Loretta Lynch for U.S. Attorney General

Continue reading…


This Week in Albany

Week ending April 24, 2015

Headlines include:

  • Tell Your Legislator to Protect Public Employee Pensions
  • New Yorker Confirmed as U.S. Attorney General
  • At a Glance

Continue reading…


This Week in Albany

Week ending April 24, 2015

Tell Your Legislators to Protect Public Employee Pensions

A resolution in the Senate and Assembly would require a constitutional amendment to retroactively take away the pensions of public employees and elected officials upon the conviction of a felony related to public office. The legislation specifically singles out members of the New York State and Local Employees’ Retirement System and the New York City Employees’ Retirement System.

New York clearly needs to look for ways to reduce corruption in public office, but it is difficult to understand how taking away pensions from non-elected public employees will help to advance the public’s trust in government.

Read CSEA’s memo in opposition to this legislation, and then call your legislators and ask them to ensure that public employees and their families aren’t made to suffer the loss of a constitutional right in an effort to send a message about ethics reform for elected officials.

Call your Senator at 518-455-2800 and your Assembly member at 518-455-4100.

New Yorker Confirmed as U.S. Attorney General

Loretta Lynch, the United States attorney for the Eastern District of New York, was confirmed as the U.S. Attorney General this week. Ms. Lynch’s Senate confirmation had been tied up in the politics of human trafficking legislation that was passed earlier in the week.

Ms. Lynch is the first African-American woman to hold the position.

At a Glance

The legislature will be in session for three days next week. There are 24 legislative days remaining in the legislative session.

CSEA Opposes Pension Forfeiture for Public Employees

A resolution in the Senate and Assembly would require a constitutional amendment to retroactively take away the pensions of public employees and elected officials upon the conviction of a felony related to public office. The legislation specifically singles out members of the New York State and Local Employees’ Retirement System and the New York City Employees’ Retirement System.

New York clearly needs to look for ways to reduce corruption in public office, but it is difficult to understand how taking away pensions from non-elected public employees will help to advance the public’s trust in government.

Read CSEA’s memo in opposition to this legislation, and then call your legislators and ask them to ensure that public employees and their families aren’t made to suffer the loss of a constitutional right in an effort to send a message about ethics reform for elected officials.

Call your Senator at 518-455-2800 and your Assembly member at 518-455-4100.

Click here to read CSEA’s opposition memo on pension forfeiture for public employees


Mourn for the dead, fight for the living: Workers’ Memorial Day is April 28

On April 28, CSEA members and workers around the world will mark Workers’ Memorial Day to remember those who have died or became seriously injured on the job.

One of your most basic rights on the job is the ability to work safely, yet thousands of workers are denied that right when they die or become seriously injured or ill on the job.

Workers’ Memorial Day is also an opportunity to renew the ongoing fight for safe and healthy workplaces. Nearly 5,000 American workers die each year while doing their jobs, and thousands more are injured.

Among those workers who have passed away since Workers’ Memorial Day 2014 are the following CSEA members:

grumbach_news_12 George Grumbach, 55, a grounds worker at Mid Hudson Forensic Psychiatric Center who died June 18, 2014, while planting trees on the center’s grounds.

 

 

Jarred A. NewalloJarred Newallo, 25, a CSEA-represented Town of Hempstead worker who died June 20, 2014, while doing sanitation work.

 

 

polomceanChristopher Polomcean, 28, a Southern Tier State Employees Local member who died Nov. 7, 2014, in a automobile accident on Oquaga Creek State Park grounds involving a state vehicle in which he was riding.

 

 

tonnyteskeraTonny Teskera, 38, an Orange County Unit member and laborer who died April 1, 2015, in a tree-clearing incident at the Hickory Hill Golf Course.

These workers died doing their jobs; providing essential public services to their communities. They were also community members who had loved ones.

It is more important than ever to fight to ensure that corners are never cut when it comes to safety and health.

CSEA members need to continue the fight toward the day when we are all safe at work. We need to stand strong together to help put an end to preventable deaths and injuries.

Workers Memorial Day remembrance ceremonies will be held across the state on or around April 28. Members are strongly encouraged to participate, remember fallen workers and fight for workplace safety.

Find a Workers’ Memorial Day event near you