Holding the line on health care costs

The Governor continues his demand that our members take more of the burden of healthcare costs. Your CSEA team continues to fight to hold the line! The CSEA team presented the state with proposals that would remove the cost barriers CSEA members face when seeking essential medical care.

We are focused on cost containment and prevention so we can prevent extremely costly healthcare visits down the line. The Governor and his staff still don’t get it! And, your team will continue to hammer home why our proposals are the way to tackle healthcare costs.

Your Team continued to fight the Governor and his staff that our proposal on an Alternative Prescription Drug plan saves taxpayers millions, provides affordable and accessible prescription drugs to our members, and takes on the greedy pharmaceutical drug manufacturers. We demonstrated that in the municipalities across the state that have implemented our alternative drug proposal, MILLIONS OF DOLLARS ANNUALLY have been saved.

The Governor seems more interested in protecting the pharmaceutical companies than saving tax payers millions of dollars and provide the essential New York State work force affordable and accessible prescription drugs.

This week the team also argued with the state on their use of “Temporary and Seasonal” workers. The team provided examples in Parks, OMH, Tax and Finance, Gaming, State Police, OGS, and others where the state intentionally is exploiting these workers. We will continue to fight on these members’ behalf.

The State also continued to resist our injury prevention program proposal to address the fact that New York State injures its employees two and a half times the national average.

The team also made a proposal making the Partnership’s programs more effective and available to all members. The State indicated they would consider our proposals.  
The CSEA team also spent time this week on the OSU bargaining unit. The team discussed Article 45 (Posting & Job Bidding) and Article 51 (Winter Maintenance) in addition to other proposals. The State seemed to be unwilling to agree to our proposal on Article 45 and on Article 51 they wanted to have further discussion on this topic.

The Team will be back negotiating with the Governor staff the week of May 23. 
Thank you again for standing with us.

A message from Western Region President Flo Tripi

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Florence “Flo” Tripi

CSEA: We Never Quit

WNY– It’s important for our communities to know that CSEA public service and private sector workers never quit. The potholes on our streets need to be filled, our drinking water needs to be purified, garbage needs to be picked up, our kids need to be cared for by accredited day care centers and educated at our dynamic public schools. Our cities, towns and villages also need to be safe at all times of the day and night. We don’t get rich doing our jobs– we do it because it improves everyone’s quality of life. We honestly care about our communities and we take our work very seriously.

The way public service workers speak with one voice is through our collective bargaining efforts and our union. It’s through CSEA that workplace democracy exists. In some of our most dangerous institutions, corrections and public safety workers get a seat at the table with management to help prevent unsafe work conditions. It’s through CSEA and our political action efforts that we can provide a necessary voice for all working people when legislators create public policy. It’s through CSEA that emergency medical workers can improve the life-saving services we provide for our loved ones and for our communities. But let’s not kid ourselves– there are many rich and powerful people trying to pass legislation and sway court decisions to diminish the power of working people— while spending billions of dollars doing it. No matter how vicious and ugly the attacks are against us, we’ll always stand up for our communities and our families.

Never quit– this is our CSEA history and it will always be a fundamental characteristic of who we are and what we do. This will always be our message. The next time you are introduced to someone and they ask you what you do for a living, tell them you deliver vital public services and you will never quit on them. I’m sure you will make a good impression.

Major threats to our existence will continue

If the US Supreme Court sides with wealthy special interests in upcoming cases designed to diminish our right to financial resources and to have a strong voice on the job, America and our economy as we know it will be in real trouble. This is just one of a hand full of reasons why we need to exercise our political muscle as one– to make sure we elect a President in 2016 that protects our right to collectively bargain and have the ability to join and form unions in the workplace.

Regardless of the outcome of these court cases in the pipeline, we’ll never quit fighting for our rights and to have our voices heard. There are many more battles to come, but I can tell you this now– if we stick together we will win the war. We’re building member power through our CSEA Never Quit Campaign, and we urge all CSEA families to get involved. You will be hearing a lot more about this effort in the very near future. CSEA Western Region is gearing up for our member blitz in the next few weeks.

It’s up to us to stand stronger than before. We are stronger together. Without a strong voice for all working families, communities all across America will suffer. Please commit to join your union brothers and sisters in solidarity to keep the American Dream alive for all working people.

Remember—we are CSEA and we never quit.

Respectfully yours,

Florence “Flo” Tripi
President, CSEA Western Region

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Federal Issues Update

AFSCME Legislative Weekly Report

Week ending May 13, 2016

Headlines include:

  • Latest Legal Challenge to Affordable Care Act (ACA) Would Not Bring Down the Law
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Bills Passed
  • Clinton Proposes Plan to Boost Wages for Child Care Providers and to Ensure Affordable, High Quality Care

Continue reading…


Fruit Belt parking remedy in sight

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Flo Tripi, 2nd from left, attends press conference with Buffalo area elected officials and neighborhood residents on May 13 to discuss details of the Fruit Belt parking agreement. Photo courtesy of BuffaloTWC News.

Buffalo– CSEA helped broker an agreement with community partners on a residential parking permit system in the Fruit Belt neighborhood. CSEA believes the recent talks between our union officials, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, New York State Senator Timothy M. Kennedy, New York State Assemblywoman Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes, Buffalo Common Council President Darius G. Pridgen and the Fruit Belt Neighborhood representatives is a decent act of compromise and a good start to finding a long term solution. Details of the plan can be found on the Western Region homepage.

The May 12 memorandum of understanding takes the concerns of all parties involved while at the same time protects the interests of all of our hard working CSEA members that depend on safe, affordable and reliable parking spaces near the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

Residents who live in this neighborhood will receive parking permits at no cost, and as such, CSEA employees who work for Roswell Cancer Institute will continue to park at no cost on city streets. Each block throughout the legislated area will have a sign in the middle of the block, effectively cutting the block in half where half of the block is designated as residential permitted parking only and the other half of the street is parking on a first come first served basis. The agreement also calls for alternating parking on the side of the street similarly to how parking alternates throughout the rest of the City of Buffalo.

CSEA Western Region President Florence “Flo” Tripi says this agreement is a good start to solving the ongoing parking issues in the medical corridor.

“We still have a lot of work to do on this issue. CSEA has always been 100 percent sympathetic to the concerns of the Fruit Belt neighborhood residents. After all, some of our members live in the neighborhood too,” said Tripi. “CSEA is and will always be committed to partnering with our elected officials, local residents and community stakeholders to come up with workable, comprehensive solutions that take into consideration the tremendous growth that we are experiencing in this area of our city.”

With CSEA officially backing the plan at a press conference May 13, and other unions agreeing not to oppose it, Buffalo’s city and state officials believe the necessary enabling legislation will be approved by the State Legislature before its session ends in mid-June, and then be signed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. Once approved, it’s expected to take another 45 days or so for the city to work out details and implement a residential parking permit system, according to city Parking Commissioner Kevin Helfer.

Since the agreement is only a two-year pilot, CSEA is encouraging all community partners to remain engaged so we can eventually create a plan that will match the promise and vision of a 21st century Buffalo.

 

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CSEA is New York State’s leading union, representing employees of New York State and its counties, towns, villages, school districts, library systems, authorities and public corporations. Together with a growing population of private sector members and retirees, CSEA forms a union 300,000 strong. It is also the largest affiliate (and Local 1000) of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) which, in turn, is one of the largest affiliates of the AFL-CIO.

This Week in Albany

Week ending May 13, 2016

Headlines include:

  • Election Update – State Legislature
  • Farmworkers
  • At a Glance

Continue reading…


This Week in Albany

Week ending May 13, 2016

Election Update – State Legislature

This week, Assemblymembers Janet Duprey (R-Peru) and Angela Wozniak (R-Cheektowaga) announced that they will not seek re-election this fall.

Additionally, Assemblyman Sean Ryan (D-Buffalo), who was considering running for the 60th Senate District seat being vacated by Democrat Marc Panepinto, announced he will instead seek re-election to the 149th Assembly District.

All 213 state legislative seats will be on the ballot this November.

Farmworkers

Workers on New York’s farms have long been denied a fundamental right afforded to nearly all other employees: the right to collectively bargain.

This week, the New York Civil Liberties Union filed a complaint in the State Supreme Court arguing that it is a violation of the state constitution to deny these workers the right to organize. Surprisingly, Governor Cuomo released a statement declaring that his administration will not fight the lawsuit.

CSEA has long supported legislation that would grant farmworkers basic rights and protections enjoyed by other employees in New York. See our support memo here.

At a Glance

The legislature will be in session for three days next week. There are 15 scheduled days remaining in the 2016 legislative session.

Send A Kid To Camp

What better way for a child to enjoy the summer than at summer camp? Unfortunately, fees for camps can be steep. Region One would like to lesson that load by helping 10 families cover the cost of camp enrollment. Complete the scholarship form and return it to Region One Headquarters by August 19, 2016 to be considered.

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Memorial Day Observances

Region One’s Veterans Committee will be meeting on May 28, 2016 for Memorial Day Observances. If you are interested in helping them honor our fallen heroes, contact Maryann Phelps at 516-971-4629.

 

Veteran's Committee-Memorial Day Observances

Save The Date

The Region One Golf Classic will be held on October 13, 2016 at the Rock Hill Golf Course, in Manorville. More information will be given as details become available.

 

2016 R1 golf classic

Register for our one day workshop

Save the Date Words Circled on Calendar Red MarkerCSEA Southern Region President Billy Riccaldo has announced that a one day Southern Region conference will take place Saturday, June 18, 2016 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Suffern.

The event is a great opportunity for local and unit officers and activists to broaden their skills and strengthen their leadership capabilities.

Registration materials are being mailed, but you may also download and print a registration form by clicking here.