2016 News Releases

October 2016

  • Oct. 19, 2016 Statement by CSEA President Danny Donohue on PEF’s tentative contract agreement with New York state

August 2016

  • Aug. 30, 2016 CSEA President Danny Donohue’s 2016 Labor Day Message: At-risk children need our attention

July 2016

  • July 10, 2016 CSEA honors workers during “Pretrial, Probation and Parole Supervision Week”

June 2016

  • June 14, 2016 Statement of CSEA President Danny Donohue on the Orlando massacre
  • June 1, 2016 Statement of CSEA President Danny Donohue on signing of Veterans Equality Act

April 2016

  • April 14, 2016 Slow Down to Get Around can help save lives, including your own!

March 2016

  • March 29, 2016 Statement of CSEA President Danny Donohue on U.S. Supreme Court split decision on Friedrichs case
  • March 23, 2016 CSEA endorses McGrath in 9th Senate District race
  • March 17, 2016 CSEA sues New York State Thruway Authority over unilateral action increasing retiree health care costs

February 2016

  • Feb. 11, 2016 CSEA President Danny Donohue will continue to lead
    New York’s leading Union

January 2016

  • Jan. 13, 2016 Statement of CSEA President Danny Donohue
    on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 2016 State of the State and Budget Message

Oct. 19, 2016
Statement by CSEA President Danny Donohue on PEF’s tentative contract agreement with New York state

“Congratulations to our brothers and sisters at PEF on their tentative agreement with New York state. CSEA will continue to work with the governor’s administration to reach a contract agreement that best serves CSEA’s members.”


Aug. 30, 2016
CSEA President Danny Donohue’s 2016 Labor Day Message: At-risk children need our attention

ALBANY — Every day, across New York state, thousands of kids are at risk of abuse and neglect.

Their situation is made worse because the people responsible for their protection – child protective services workers – are overwhelmed by caseloads that threaten the social safety net. Continuing economic challenges for working New Yorkers and an unprecedented heroin epidemic are contributing to the strain. In some places, caseloads can run up to nearly 70 active cases per month.

That is simply dangerous and nearly impossible to handle. But don’t take my word for it. That was the conclusion of a 2006 report by the state’s Office of Children and Family Services. It found that smaller caseloads have a direct benefit for children under supervision.

These at-risk kids deserve better than the attention they’re receiving under current circumstances.

Caseworkers know this and agonize over the working conditions that too often leave them only bad or worse choices. They have difficult work to do under the best of situations, but rarely have the luxury of that reality. They know that one bad decision can have horrific consequences. They also know there can be unacceptable outcomes through no fault of their own. It’s the worst kind of stress.

Last spring, both the Senate and the Assembly acted to address the needs of these kids. Legislation capping caseloads and moving New York in the right direction was approved by both houses. It follows the conclusions of the OCFS report by capping active cases to 15 per month and requiring adequate staffing to ensure appropriate follow-up, investigation and site visits to assess the well being of children in a variety of circumstances.

Now it’s up to Governor Andrew Cuomo to sign it and give these kids a chance at a better life. It’s the right thing to do for the children and our communities. CSEA joins with many other responsible organizations and elected officials in urging the governor to sign and set the standard.

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July 10, 2016
CSEA honors workers during “Pretrial, Probation and Parole Supervision Week”

ALBANY — CSEA is proud to join the recognition of the essential work of criminal justice workers, including thousands of CSEA members, during Pretrial, Probation and Parole Supervision Week, July 17-23.

“On behalf of all CSEA members across New York state, I am pleased to recognize our probation and other criminal justice professionals,” CSEA President Danny Donohue said. “The work they do is so vital to ensuring the safety of the public, and the rehabilitation of individuals seeking to re-enter society. We couldn’t be more proud of their contributions to our communities.”

Pretrial, Probation and Parole Supervision Week is an annual event honoring a respected segment of the work force that often goes unrecognized. Probation professionals are a vital part of every New York state county work force and have an important dual role in the public safety field. Not only do they work with the justice system to protect the public from crime, violence and abuse, but they also provide important rehabilitation and support services to the individuals they supervise. Probation officers often manage unusually large workloads, making the job both stressful and demanding.

“Probation professionals help supervise and counsel offenders so they can face up to the challenges of getting their lives on track,” Donohue said. “They help them focus on constructive goals, which is good for the individuals and our communities. This is demanding and worthwhile work.”

As with all public safety work, these professionals often put their own safety at risk for the benefit of the community. CSEA realizes the high level of commitment, compassion and the special dedication these workers demonstrate every day.

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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June 14, 2016
Statement of CSEA President Danny Donohue on the Orlando massacre

“Events of this past weekend in Orlando, Fla. are more evidence that we still live in a world with too much hate, intolerance and violence. Our polarizing politics contribute to it, and it is time to stop. It begins with each us, in our heart. Gandhi said it best when he urged people to be the change you seek.”

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June 1, 2016
Statement of CSEA President Danny Donohue on signing of Veterans Equality Act

ALBANY — “CSEA achieved a major legislative goal late last night when Governor Cuomo signed the Veterans Equality Act (S. 7160 – Larkin / A. 9531 – Paulin) into law.

This action addresses a long-standing inequity among military veterans serving in the public service and recognizes the importance of respecting all. I am proud that CSEA veterans were in forefront of efforts to ensure this fairness. The unwavering efforts of Senate Majority Leader John
Flanagan, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Senator William Larkin and Assemblywoman Amy Paulin were essential to this tremendous benefit for our veterans becoming law.”

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April 14, 2016
Slow Down to Get Around can help save lives, including your own!

ALBANY – On a city street or an interstate highway, Slow Down to Get Around when work crews are out doing their job. CSEA – New York’s leading union — has broadened its public awareness efforts for roadwork safety to help save lives and limit injury.

“It’s a simple message for everyone to take care,” said CSEA President Danny Donohue. “Distracted driving can cause harm and even death for people working on the roads and cause enormous pain for their families, but it can also destroy the life of the driver who causes the incident by failing to pay attention. It’s not worth all of the consequences.”

CSEA began its Don’t Zone Out campaign in 2010. In conjunction with many other public awareness efforts about the dangers of distracted driving, the campaign is having a positive effect in New York and nationally.

Sadly, CSEA has also seen the tragic deaths of several sanitation workers in roadway incidents in recent years. This has prompted the union’s new effort to reinforce safety awareness with the Slow Down to Get Around message. CSEA is also seeking to have sanitation vehicles included in New York’s amber light Move Over Law. Responsible management that emphasizes proper training, use of safety equipment and following proper procedures is key to safety but the motoring public can also help.

“It’s not asking a lot for all of us to slow down and concentrate on driving when the road crews are out,” Donohue said. “Reducing speed and paying attention can be the difference between life and death.”

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

  • Move over for amber lights;
  • Obey posted speed limits;
  • Put the phone down and drive;
  • Never send or read text messages while driving;
  • In work zones and where there are crews working, slow down and be alert. Focus on your driving;
  • Help spread the word;
  • Learn more at www.cseany.org

Nearly 700 CSEA safety and health activists will renew the union’s road safety commitment at its Statewide Conference on Occupational Safety & Health April 15-17 in Lake Placid. Additionally, CSEA is once again partnering with minor league baseball teams across the state this spring and summer to deliver the message about the dangers of distracted driving.

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March 29, 2016
Statement of CSEA President Danny Donohue on U.S. Supreme Court split decision on Friedrichs case

This is only a short-term victory for decency through a divided court. It should be alarming the plaintiffs plan to file a motion for rehearing, which is permitted within the next 25 days.

For the past generation, there has been a real, sustained and escalating attack on the rights of working people to earn a decent living and have a voice in their working conditions. The Friedrichs case is symptomatic of this trend toward a lack of economic fairness and imbalance that is like a cancer on our society. Friedrichs sought to overturn a long-standing law of the land for the self interest of some individuals, but only at the expense of the greater community good.

The mere fact that this case made it through the Court system as far as it did is a warning to all of the strength of the negative forces in our society today that would for selfish reasons, disregard the well-being of our neighbors and communities.

That should be another warning that CSEA members must work even harder to strengthen the connection between working people, work site by work site.

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March 23, 2016
CSEA endorses McGrath in 9th Senate District race

ALBANY — CSEA – New York’s leading union – has endorsed Chris McGrath in the special election for the New York State Senate 9th District.

“Chris McGrath leads by example in his life and in his community,” said CSEA President Danny Donohue.”CSEA members on Long Island enthusiastically support him because he has the personal qualities that good elected representatives should have.”

“I want to thank the thousands of hardworking members of CSEA for their endorsement and trust in me. The members of CSEA represent the strength and resiliency of the New York state and Long Island work force,” said McGrath.

CSEA’s endorsement was made by the union’s statewide Political Action Committee based on recommendation from the Long Island Region Political Action Committee.

The special election for the 9th District Senate seat will be held Tuesday, April 19.

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March 17, 2016
CSEA sues New York State Thruway Authority over unilateral action increasing retiree health care costs

ALBANY – CSEA has filed a class action lawsuit against the New York State Thruway Authority for unilaterally increasing health care costs on approximately 1,500 retirees. CSEA filed the lawsuit March 7 in the State of New York Supreme Court in Albany.

Last December, the Thruway Authority informed retirees that effective April 1, 2016 they would have to pay 6 percent more in personal contributions to their health care premiums. That action fails to honor obligations to retirees covered by contracts between CSEA and the Thruway.

“It’s another in a continuing series of bad decisions and mismanagement of the New York State Thruway Authority that have undermined their credibility and demoralized the work force,” said CSEA President Danny Donohue. “It says a lot about the misplaced priorities of the authority management that they can be lining up for a huge state bailout while at the same time putting the squeeze on retirees who devoted their careers to state service.”

“Retirees have earned the right to retire with the health insurance benefits they were promised during their years of service at the Thruway Authority,” said CSEA Thruway Authority Local President Karen Wilson.

“Through their callous actions, the Thruway has created chaos and confusion for an already vulnerable group of people,” said CSEA Capital Region President Ron Briggs.

The action comes amid protracted negotiations on a contract for the 500 CSEA-represented Thruway employees working in technical, professional and supervisory titles across the state. The previous agreement expired June 30, 2011.

CSEA also has a pending federal lawsuit against the Thruway Authority for threatening and then terminating union-represented employees while sparing all management personnel. That lawsuit involves 85 CSEA members who were either laid off, forced into early retirement, relocated or bumped. The discovery phase of that lawsuit, filed in 2013, recently concluded.

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Feb. 11, 2016
CSEA President Danny Donohue will continue to lead New York’s leading Union

ALBANY— CSEA members have re-elected President Danny Donohue and his leadership slate to an unprecedented seventh term of office, which begins March 1.

“These are challenging times as CSEA members and other working people continue to be squeezed and undercut by the manipulation of our economy by the greedy few,” Donohue said. “My priority is a stronger union that can better stand up and push back.”

“CSEA members appreciate being part of a statewide organization and a Labor Movement that’s bigger than themselves. But, they need to feel the connection more strongly as individuals where they work and live — and make their voice heard,” Donohue said.

Also returning to office for four-year terms are CSEA Executive Vice President Mary E. Sullivan and Statewide Secretary Denise Berkley.

Sullivan has served as CSEA’s Executive Vice President since 1994 and previously was the union’s statewide Treasurer. Originally from Herkimer County, she also serves as the president of the Capital District Area Labor Federation, which represents 120,000 union members and their families across 11 counties.

Berkley was first elected CSEA Statewide Secretary in 2008. Berkley’s union activism began at the Brooklyn Developmental Center. As a longtime union activist, Berkley remains committed today to the ongoing struggle for social, racial and economic justice for workers and communities.

William “Billy” Walsh was elected CSEA Statewide Treasurer as part of the Donohue slate, replacing Joseph McMullen, who is retiring. Walsh is a member of the CSEA Town of Brookhaven Blue Collar Unit and serves as the union’s Suffolk County Local President and statewide Political Action Committee Chair.

In CSEA’s region elections, Long Island Region President Nick LaMorte, Metropolitan Region President Lester Crockett and Southern Region President Billy Riccaldo were all returned to office. Western Region President Flo Tripi and Central Region President Colleen Wheaton ran unopposed. In the Capital Region, Ron Briggs, a CSEA leader from Fulton County, was elected to succeed Kathy Garrison, who ran against Donohue.

The election was conducted by mail ballot and overseen by the American Arbitration Association.

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Jan. 13, 2016
Statement of CSEA President Danny Donohue on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 2016 State of the State and Budget Message

ALBANY — “Governor Andrew Cuomo used a big show to make his case that New York is on the move. Billions are proposed to move our state forward, but too many New Yorkers are being left behind.

Flawed plans and inadequate funding for state mental health and developmental disabilities services are just two examples of how state agencies have been undermined, leaving tens of thousands of New Yorkers without the care they need. The daily reality in these agencies doesn’t match the governor’s lofty rhetoric.

The budget also shortchanges localities, increases public employee retiree health care costs, and continues wasteful corporate welfare and economic development schemes that fail to produce the jobs they promise.

The list could go on.

It’s time to get real.”

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