2017 News Releases

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  • Read CSEA’s recent news releases

    December 2017

      • Dec. 23, 2017 Statement of CSEA President Danny Donohue on the passing of Jerome Lefkowitz

    September 2017

      • Sept. 28, 2017 Statement of CSEA President Danny Donohue on Janus v. AFSCME

    August 2017

    June 2017

      • June 20, 2017 Governor Cuomo announces five-year contract agreement with CSEA

    March 2017

    January 2017

      • Jan. 18, 2017 CSEA President Danny Donohue slams Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 2017-18 state budget proposal

    Statement of CSEA President Danny Donohue on the passing of Jerome Lefkowitz

    “It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that CSEA mourns the loss of Jerome “Jerry” Lefkowitz, former CSEA deputy counsel and state Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) chairperson.

    Jerry had a long, distinguished career as an advocate for labor and public employees. He was a driving force behind the 1967 Public Employees’ Fair Employment Act, commonly known as the Taylor Law. This law gave New York’s public employees the right to negotiate fair wages, strong health benefits and workplace protections.

    As a key member of the commission that drafted the law, Jerry’s contribution to its development and the protections it offers cannot be overstated. After the Taylor Law was enacted, Jerry was employed as deputy chairperson of PERB, the state agency that administers the law. He served in that position for 19 years before joining CSEA in 1987.

    Jerry was a valued colleague, a champion of labor and a dear friend to us at CSEA and to working people everywhere. He will be deeply missed.

    In 2007, Jerry left CSEA after he was appointed as chairperson of PERB. His tenure at the agency was marked by fairness, balance and neutral application of the very laws he helped craft.

    We at CSEA extend our most heartfelt condolences to Jerry’s family and friends during this difficult time.”

    Statement of CSEA President Danny Donohue on Janus v. AFSCME

    ALBANY — “It’s no surprise that the Supreme Court has announced it will hear the case of Janus v. AFSCME. This case is nothing more than a crusade to weaken unions by people with a lot of money. Their goal remains taking away rights, benefits and pay from hardworking Americans.

    Regardless of this case, CSEA members will do what we have always done: have conversations about what it means to stand together. If the Supreme Court decides to change 40 years of their own precedent, we will work that much harder to make sure working people have the freedom to negotiate for everything they deserve so they can continue to provide for their families.

    Janus aims to take away the freedom of – and opportunity for – working people to join together in strong unions to speak up for themselves, their families and their communities. CSEA has played a critical role in building and protecting the working families in New York. CSEA provides hardworking people economic stability for their families and give them the tools to build a good life, home and education for themselves and their children. We are committed to continuing to stand strong on behalf of all working people.”


    Aug. 9, 2017
    CSEA members ratify five-year state contract

    ALBANY— CSEA-represented state Executive Branch employees have ratified a comprehensive contract agreement with New York state. Each of CSEA’s four bargaining units (Administrative, Institutional, Operational and Division of Military and Naval Affairs) individually approved the agreement.

    “CSEA’s negotiating team worked tirelessly to secure a well-rounded agreement that provides hard-earned cost-of-living increases while keeping health insurance expenses reasonable for working families,” said CSEA President Danny Donohue. “This contract is the product of members negotiating as a team for what is fair, and it recognizes the exceptional value of our members’ innumerable contributions across the state. Our dedicated public-sector employees are the often-unrecognized backbone of our communities.”

    The five-year agreement includes the following provisions:

    • Yearly 2 percent wage increases (with retroactive pay)
    • Improvements to the longevity payment structure
    • Modest increases in health insurance co-payments
    • Double-time overtime pay in the Offices of Mental Health and People with Developmental Disabilities to control the excessive mandated overtime rampant in that sector.

    The Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) is the largest public-sector union in New York, representing more than 60,000 state employees. CSEA’s members come from all walks of life and provide skilled, valuable support to the public, including road maintenance and construction services, waste management, transportation, school district administrative support, mental health services, probation and public safety services and so much more. CSEA’s role is to give workers a voice on the job, ensuring fair and safe work practices for working people across all of New York.


    June 20, 2017
    Governor Cuomo announces five-year contract agreement with CSEA

    ALBANY — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that his administration has reached a five-year contract agreement with the Civil Service Employees Association. CSEA represents over 60,000 state government employees across New York.

    “The contract agreement reached today is a major step forward for the state and the thousands of public servants who work tirelessly each and every day to make New York the strong leader that it is,” Governor Cuomo said. “This agreement is fair for taxpayers and fair for our work force, and will keep New York moving forward for years to come. I thank everyone who made this contract agreement possible and I look forward to our continued work together.”

    “CSEA and the Governor’s administration worked to produce a tentative agreement that is fair to public service workers and taxpayers alike. We held the line, in a very tough environment, in order to provide a comprehensive health insurance program that protects working families across the state, and pay increases that help working families keep up with the rising cost of living,” CSEA President Danny Donohue said. “It is an agreement earned through tenacity and hard work, which provides long-term stability for workers and the daily operations of our state. We are very proud to have reached this point for our members who often go unrecognized for the contributions they make in our communities every day.”

    The contract must now be approved and ratified by CSEA membership, and authorizing legislation is expected to be passed before the end of the legislative session.


    March 16, 2017
    CSEA members help New York weather the storm

    ALBANY — On March 14, 2017, Winter Storm Stella dumped more than two feet of snow on much of New York state, leading to blizzard conditions, as well as record-breaking snowfall in parts of the state.

    While many New Yorkers were home safe and warm, CSEA members employed by the state Department of Transportation, county and municipal highway and public works departments and numerous health, human services, emergency responder and corrections agencies were on the job providing vital services.

    In the days before the storm, CSEA members prepared for the snowfall by pre-treating roads, and ensuring adequate supplies of items such as salt solution, highway vehicles and sandbags were ready for action.

    As the storm hit, CSEA members worked tirelessly at clearing the blinding snow and treating the roads, clearing the way for emergency vehicles and other CSEA members to get to the jobs that provide essential services for all of New York.

    “While we can’t control the weather, we can do all we can to support the state Department of Transportation and local government workers whose efforts before, during and after the storm not only quickly got our roads back to normal, but helped keep our communities safe,” CSEA President Danny Donohue said. “I can’t emphasize enough the importance of ALL the services that our members provide during storms like this. They literally go into the eye of the storm to keep their neighbors safe. Please join me in thanking our workers who sacrifice time with their families to go out into extreme weather to serve all of us.”


    Jan. 18, 2017
    CSEA President Danny Donohue slams Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 2017-18 state budget proposal

    ALBANY — “The governor’s proposed budget for the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) shows a reckless disregard for existing clients and the state work force trying to care for them. Governor Cuomo thumbs his nose at the state work force and tells them to do more with less – again. At the same time, the waiting list for services continues to grow, with more than 11,000 families waiting in need of services. Families in need don’t care about a $70 million gondola ride at the state fair. They care about services for their loved ones,” said CSEA President Danny Donohue.

    More than 4,300 positions have been lost since 2008, forcing nearly a decade of mandatory overtime, with an all-time high of more than 45 percent of OPWDD employees working overtime.

    According to the New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s 2016 New York State Agencies’ Use of Overtime report, between 2007 and 2015, overtime totaled more than $4.8 billion, with 2015 expenditures alone reaching $716 million.

    The governor’s 2017-18-budget proposal outlines hundreds more jobs lost in mental health services, exacerbating the problem.

    “On top of this breakdown, state mental health services have shifted, along with the blame and cost, placing a burden on local governments – the very same local governments the governor is trying to reduce and control. Municipalities have already done whatever is necessary to meet service demands in the face of zero growth budgets, a .68 percent tax cap and an incentivized tax freeze. The idea that New York’s high taxes are due to excess municipal spending is just misleading and not based in reality,” Donohue said.

    As options run out, all that is left to cut is vital services such as emergency response or child protective services or consolidating governments, which residents have already indicated they do not want.

    “At a time when the governor seems to have an endless flow of dollars to failed economic development programs like START-UP NEW YORK (now renamed the Excelsior Business Program) the legislature shouldn’t be complicit in this reckless budget,” said Donohue.