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CSEA Education and Training Classes Filling Up Fast!

workshopR6WNY– The CSEA Education and Training Department has scheduled a number of dynamic and interactive workshops from January – March 2016 that are sure to energize our activists. Workshop topics include steward training, public speaking, grievance representation and more. For a complete list of workshops, please use this link:

Workshop Registration and Information

Western Region Steward Training

Three steward workshops have been scheduled in our area over the next couple of months. If you have any members interested in becoming a steward, now is the time to get them certified and trained. All workshops both evenings run from 5:30 pm -6:00 pm (registration) and 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm for the training program.

The strength of our Union rests with the recruitment and education of new activists– often defined by the role of steward. This two-part workshop provides the skills needed to carry out the responsibilities of the steward, including communicating, organizing and leading employees in the workplace. This workshop is designed for local/unit officers, stewards, activists and grievance representatives who are interested in building and strengthening the union. Participants must complete this workshop and be appointed by their Local/Unit President to be certified as stewards in CSEA.

Members can register by calling the Rochester Satellite Office 585-272-0800 or the Amherst Office at 716-691-6555.

Western Region steward workshop details:

  • Tuesday, 1/26 & Wednesday, 1/27: CSEA Rochester Satellite Office, 3495 Winton Place, Building E, Suite 3 Rochester, NY 14623
  • Monday, 2/8 & Tuesday, 2/9: CSEA Local 862 Office, 100 Main Street, Penn Yan, NY 14527
  • Monday, 2/8 & Tuesday, 2/9: Union University Church Hall, 29 North Main Street, Alfred, NY 14802



Giving a nod to those who give high school sports a boost: Excelsior Award nominations sought

NYSPHSAA-logo-cleanDo you know a CSEA member who is making a difference in high school athletics, whether through promoting school spirit, coaching a team or volunteering time in school sports programs?

If so, nominate him or her for the 6th annual Excelsior Award, co-sponsored by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) and CSEA. The union is a longtime supporter of NYSPHSAA’s high school state championships.

CSEA and the athletic association developed the Excelsior Award to recognize a CSEA member in a NYSPHSAA school who has helped promote and foster athletic spirit in their local school district. The award also honors an individual who has displayed extraordinary dedication and support of high school athletics in any role as a parent, coach, booster or staff member volunteering or performing above and beyond their daily job in a school.

“High school athletics make communities strong,” said CSEA President Danny Donohue. “CSEA members who work in school districts play an important role in supporting athletic programs in every part of New York, but so do our members who are parents, coaches and boosters.”

“We are excited to team with CSEA once again to offer this award to those who go outside their daily routines to promote athletics in their community,” said NYSPHSAA Executive Director Robert Zayas. “For five years, we’ve recognized individuals making a huge difference and this year we are looking forward to honoring a CSEA member in a NYSPHSAA school once again.”

Nominations will be accepted through Feb. 1, 2016. Fill out a nomination form by clicking on the link below.

The Excelsior Award will be presented at the NYSPHSAA Boys Basketball State Championships at the Glens Falls Civic Center on March 11-13, 2016.

The New York State Public High School Athletic Association is a non-profit, voluntary, educational service organization composed of public, parochial, and private schools dedicated to providing equitable and safe competition for the students of its member schools. The organization conducts 32 championship events and governs the rules and regulations of high school athletics in New York state. Membership is open to secondary schools providing interschool athletic activities for boys and girls in grades 7-12.

Excelsior Award Nomination Form
Visit the New York State Public High School Athletic Association website

Previous Excelsior Award recipients
2014: Michael Paz, Newburgh Enlarged City School District
2013: Jimmy Colgan, Johnson City School District
2012: Gary Van Asselt, Haldane Central School District
2011: Lisa Vanderburg, Levittown School District
2010: Judy Young, East Rochester School District

We plunged… we froze… we’re #1!


CSEA once again had the number one fund-raising team at the Special Olympics Polar Plunge in the Syracuse area!

Thanks to all our “Polar Peeps” we raised more than $14,000 at this plunge, and donations are still being accepted (please give if you can).

Here’s a shot of our Peeps in Oneida Lake:



CSEA also had great results at the Special Olympics Polar Plunges in Massena and Binghamton, raising more than $3,500! Congratulations to our Northern and Southern Peeps!



CSEA members make holidays happen for New Paltz kids


CSEA members collected 270 toys from staff and students through a drive at SUNY New Paltz. Present for the dropoff were: Ron Darnley, Mike Steed, Dan Maier, Steve Rider Jr., Gary Buckman Jr. and Local President Anthony Adamo.

NEW PALTZ – CSEA union members working at SUNY New Paltz couldn’t stand the thought that local children might wake up Christmas morning and find Santa’s itinerary didn’t include their home.

That’s how they got involved several years ago in collecting toys each December. Workers wanted local children to have a happy holiday season, no matter their family’s financial situation.


Union members unload one of the two truckloads of toys they collected for local children.

“This is just amazing,” said Icilma Lewis, assistant program director for Family of New Paltz, as CSEA members began carrying two truckloads of toys into her organization’s headquarters.


CSEA members from SUNY New Paltz with Icilma Lewis of Family of New Paltz. Members involved, but not pictured, are: Steve Holohan (Chair), Fred Destefano and Heather Jones.

Lewis said the toy drive at SUNY New Paltz, which reached a record this year of 270 toys collected, is expected to fulfill her organization’s needs. Family of New Paltz invites the parents receiving services there to come themselves to select and wrap gifts, reducing the possible stigma associated with needing assistance and getting parents involved in the gift-giving process.

“We’re happy we can do our part,” said CSEA SUNY New Paltz Local President Anthony Adamo. “New Paltz is such a great community. So many of our members grew up here and now work right at the college. It’s important that we’re able to give back.”

Displaying a felt sack his aunt sewed years ago to hold donations, Adamo noted that the collection started on a smaller scale. While CSEA activists make the collection happen, they reach out to students, professors and management/confidential staff on campus and receive cooperation from all. Workers set up collection boxes on different sites around campus, in addition to collecting toys at the union’s annual holiday party.

“Not only are we helping out our neighbors in need, we’re building relationships with our co-workers and community members in the process,” said Adamo. “This is one of the times when our campus really comes together. It shows how strong we really are.”

-Jessica Ladlee

Registration is open for The Family and Medical Leave Act Workshop

A new workshop is available to you if you want to learn about your rights under The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The class is meant to help CSEA Activists be prepared if they plan on taking leave under FMLA. If there’s even a small possibility this applies to you, register now!


Dutchess carolers bring more than holiday spirit

DutchessCountyCarolers_Dec2015 (3)

The County Carolers visit the office of the Dutchess County Clerk.

POUGHKEEPSIE – There’s one late-December day that many Dutchess County workers are sure not to miss.

That’s the day that a group of caroling co-workers, mostly from the county Department of Public Works, parade through each county department as they belt out a collection of holiday favorites. Not only does it bring smiles to many faces, the nearly 20-year tradition collects donations to aid fellow community members needing a helping hand.

This year’s collection, to which workers and visitors to county offices gave generously, was directed to homeless veterans served through the Hudson River Housing, Inc. non-profit and to the family of baby Ava, a local nine-month old little girl receiving medical care at the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital for a rare form of muscular dystrophy.

The majority of the carolers spend most of their days maintaining county buildings and roadways, but on their annual caroling day they used their leave accruals to visit each work site and get their colleagues in the giving spirit. One caroler estimated that the group has collected nearly $40,000 from workers’ generosity over the years.

While a career in public service often includes some challenging work, the annual visits from the group known as the County Carolers have become for many a December highlight.

    -Jessica Ladlee




White Plains backpack program gains Strong Communities Work support

SlaterCenterdonationContinuing with our theme of allying with organizations aiding childhood hunger, Southern Region President Billy Riccaldo recently visited the Thomas H. Slater Community Center in White Plains to present workers there with a donation toward their backpack program.

Backpack programs have popped up recently in many communities. Organizers identify students in need, and send them home each weekend with a backpack filled with non-perishable, kid-friendly items. The goal is to keep children nourished over weekends and holidays, when they don’t have access to school free and reduced-cost breakfast and lunch programs.

The Southern Region Strong Communities Work task force has been identifying backpack programs to support in each of the seven Southern Region counties.

Patterson outreach saves jobs


CSEA members and community supporters at a public hearing on sanitation services.

Our CSEA members in the Town of Patterson Unit did a tremendous job engaging with residents recently over the issue of sanitation outsourcing.

Those efforts paid off, as town officials recently delayed any decision on the future of town-run sanitation and recycling, keeping CSEA members on the job performing this service through 2016.

Read more about these union members’ efforts, and the allies they made during this campaign, in the January 2016 edition of The Work Force.

Westchester activists fight for, secure job restorations


Westchester County Unit President Kwabena Manu, second from left, thanks CSEA/VOICE providers for supporting his members.

CSEA leaders were front and center during hearings on the 2016 Westchester County Budget, held in late November and early December. Following impassioned speeches on behalf of CSEA members and the vital services they provide, legislators opted to restore the majority of CSEA-represented positions in the final 2016 budget.

Many of those speaking at hearings expressed concern over job cuts, especially those positions in the county’s Parks Department and Planning Department.

Present at the White Plains budget hearing standing in solidarity with their fellow union members were family daycare providers represented by CSEA/VOICE. The daycare providers have had the support of their fellow CSEA members in past years as they lobbied on issues that concerned them, including a slow turnaround time on payments to them from the county. See more pictures here in our public Facebook album.