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A 100+ year history of fighting for workers

CSEA has been listening, fighting for fairness, empowering workers and making a difference for over a century.

Leading the way in NY from the beginning, members stood to end the 72 hour work week in the early part of the 20th century and later established a groundbreaking Group Health insurance program that is still used as the model for many benefits today.

Ahead of our time, members also helped pass the Worksite Security Act, securing public buildings and worksites across NY, making us safer in the post 9/11 world.

Throughout our existence, CSEA has taken the fight for working men and women from the negotiating table to the steps of city hall, the state Capitol and Washington D.C. During these most recent economically turbulent and uncertain times, we have held our leaders, elected officials and members’ employers feet to the fire; holding them accountable for bad policy, misplaced budget priorities, privatization woes and erosion standards and averting thousands of layoffs with firm action.

Here is just a sample of some of CSEA’s many accomplishments during the past 100 years.

  • Abolished the 72-hour work week for institutional employees.
  • Won sick leave for Public Sector employees.
  • Established state salary plan.
  • Brought local governments into the Civil Service merit system.
  • Established the state Health Insurance Plan.
  • Gained right to disciplinary hearings for competitive class employees.
  • Established grievance procedures for local government workers.
  • Helped bring about the Taylor Law.
  • Addressed comparable worth, childcare initiatives and equality in the workplace.
  • Public Employee Safety and Health Act.
  • Fought for work site protections for ALL workers.
  • Landmark video display terminals and ergonomics standards.
  • Organizing private sector workers.
  • Fought contracting out of public services.
  • Stopped Internal Revenue Service tax on sick leave and vacation.
  • Established Employee Benefit Fund for dental, vision and prescription drug coverage.
  • Stopped raids on pension funds.
  • Sweeping pension reform, including a permanent Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for retirees.
  • Fighting for fair and responsible budgets, affordable prescription drug coverage, preserving quality
    health care and improving public education.
  • Helped establish the New York State Retirement System and first state employee Credit Union.
  • Successfully changed laws to allow organizing of unconventional workers like Home Based
    Childcare providers.