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The CSEA Agenda

Organizing Workers
Quality, Affordable Healthcare for All
Quality Education
Maintain a Guaranteed Social Security Benefit
Safe and Healthy Workplace
Representing and Bargaining Just Contracts
Making a Difference in Our Communities
Diverse Constituencies
Worker Solidarity
The Environment


Organizing Workers

CSEA supports the principle that there is dignity in all work and that every worker has the inalienable right to join with co-workers and form a union. We advocate workers’ rights, recognize that there is strength in numbers, hold employers accountable, and will commit the necessary resources to organizing and support all AFL-CIO affiliates’ organizing efforts.


Advocate Workers’ Rights

We are a voice for workers to affect the balance between the employers’ expectations and the worker’s right to respect and fairness.

We advocate for all workers, leveling the playing field between working people and the corporate interests which control America’s wealth, often at the expense of America’s workers.


Strength in numbers:

We enhance our strength by organizing the unorganized in the public sector, in areas connected to employers with whom we already have collective bargaining relationships, in industries where CSEA currently has a presence, as well as affiliating independent worker organizations.


Hold employers accountable:

We use our power and influence to ensure that employers who receive taxpayer dollars to provide services are held accountable for the use of those dollars that there is dignity and justice in the workplace for those providing services that quality care is available for everyone, including those unable to care for themselves.


Commit necessary resources to organizing:

We will commit the necessary resources at National, State, Local and Unit levels to fully implement our overall organizing agenda.



Quality, Affordable Health Care for All

CSEA is committed to ensuring that all have access to affordable health care that prescription drug costs are contained that our aging population is cared for that there is adequate funding for health care facilities and that a meaningful patients’ bill of rights is enacted. We will form coalitions with other groups to ensure that these issues are addressed.

We stand for a health care system that ensures everyone who needs quality health care receives it.We believe that no one should be denied quality health care because of ability to pay or ailment.

In addition to ensuring that our members have access to quality, affordable health care, we will take up the fight for those who are unable to do so.


Prescription Drug cost containment:

We stand for a system that contains the costs of health care and allows doctors to make health care decisions.

We stand for government regulation of this 120 billion dollar industry. Our current Health Care system is exploding, and the increased costs for both the insured and uninsured must be addressed.In order to contain the escalating costs, we must take action to regulate the cost of drugs nationally as well as on the state level.

We will educate our members and the general public about prescription drug costs and the need for regulation and reform.We will show that people power will prevail over the financial power of drug companies.


Care for the aging population:

We stand for the right of our senior population to live with dignity and in comfort. Care should not be premised on the ability to pay for expensive life-saving drugs. No one should have to choose between food, clothing, housing or medical care to live the remainder of their lives with dignity.

In order to preserve the standard of living for our elderly and retiree population, which is increasing at a rapid rate, we need to control the cost of quality health care by working to enact legislation that will provide our seniors with an effective and affordable prescription drug program.


Adequate Funding for Health Care Facilities:

We stand for quality care for all.It is essential and necessary to ensure that funding and staffing levels of health care facilities are adequate, taking into account the needs of the clients being served.

We will work to improve the lives of the workers in all health care facilities to include nursing homes, hospitals, mental health institutions, mental retardation facilities and community homes.


Meaningful Patient’s Bill of Right Enacted:

We stand for a National Patient’s Bill of Rights that ensures qualified doctors are determining the treatment an individual receives and includes protections for health care workers who “blow the whistle” on improper care being rendered in their workplace.

We believe that quality care is about protecting the most vulnerable and making sure that decisions made by HMO’s are based on medical need without regard to cost.


Building Coalitions:

We stand for mobilizing the members and joining together with other labor unions, community groups, national and state organizations to ensure that all voices are heard on this issue.

We will use these new coalitions to raise the bar for all health care workers grow our ranks and political clout improve health care for the masses and ensure that quality health care becomes a right for all people.



Quality Education

It is a fundamental right of every person to have access to quality education in a safe and secure environment. We will work to ensure that there are quality, affordable early childhood development programs quality public education effective English as a second language programs effective worker education programs community education programs and effective internal union activist programs.


Quality Early Childhood Development Programs:

We stand for the right of every child to a quality Early Development Program. It is well known that the younger a child is, the faster he/she retains and processes information. Therefore, the earlier the child is enrolled in an effective development program the more he/she will retain for future learning opportunities.


Quality Public Education:

We stand for the right of every person to a quality public education. Children should not be limited in their educational opportunities based on the school district in which they reside or the tax base of that school district.

We will use our influence in the community and political arena to ensure that all school districts have the resources to provide quality education opportunities for the students they serve.

We will work to ensure that the contributions made by the labor movement to our American way of life are included in the curriculum of every public school.


English as a Second Language:

We recognize that there is a great influx of immigrants into this country who do not speak, read or understand the English language. Additionally, we recognize that we have a diverse membership and our organizing efforts are increasing the number of members who do not have English as a first language.

We will use our resources and influence to make certain that English as a second language programs are readily available to all.


Effective Worker Education Programs:

We stand for the right of every worker to receive the education and training necessary to maintain employment and/or to advance themselves. Economic trends are leading to the need for workers to change jobs/careers in order to maintain meaningful employment.

We will work to secure the necessary and appropriate resources to support education programs for entry into the workforce, retention of employment and employment advancement.


Community Education Programs:

We stand for the right of everyone living in our communities to have information relative to issues that affect all working people. We believe that an informed community is an effective ally in our fight for better overall wages and benefits.

We will employ various strategies to educate our community about issues such as social security reform, minimum wage, living wage, outsourcing/contracting out the work performed by our members.


Internal Union Activist Education Programs:

We stand for the right of every member to be represented by well-educated and informed officers/activists.We believe the heart of the union is at the grassroots level of the organization, and we will ensure that officers and activists are equipped to handle the issues that arise.

Our officers and activists will have available comprehensive training programs to develop and enhance their leadership and representation skills.



Maintain A Guaranteed Social Security Benefit

We strongly oppose, and will fight, attempts to privatize any portion of the Social Security Fund through individual retirement accounts. We recognize any number of solutions exist that will make the Fund solvent for the next 75 years.

The Social Security system is the major source of retirement security for most Americans. Current debates suggesting Americans should have personal discretion over a portion of their payroll taxes to invest in individual accounts to enhance their post-retirement income are misleading, albeit enticing, to a large portion of Americans.

We support the three tiered approach to financial security after retirement.A guaranteed Social Security Benefit, a guaranteed Pension Benefit, and individual investments through deferred compensation plans.


Importance of the Social Security System:

Two out of three Americans receive more than half of their retirement income from the Social Security system.Women and minorities rely on the system in even greater percentages. A change in the benefit levels could leave millions of Americans without the financial security that the current system was created to deliver to the most vulnerable segment of our population.


Effects of Withdrawal from the Current System:

A 2% withdrawal from the current system would necessitate benefit cuts of 41% if such cuts were implemented uniformly.If cuts to the fund were phased in, older workers would experience a smaller reduction in guaranteed benefit levels, but workers currently under 30 years old could experience cuts to their guaranteed benefit levels as high as 54%.

Americans would be expected to earn the difference through their individual investments. Individual investments incur risks such as fluctuation in the stock market.In the past century, there were 15 years in which the stock market fell by more than 40% over the preceding decade.


The Diminished Benefit:

Investment accounts incur administrative costs as high as 14% unlike the Social Security system that has administrative costs of just 1%.

Investment accounts do not include COLA’s nor do they benefit individuals who live longer than average life expectancy.This would be detrimental to women since, on average, women live six years longer than men. Investments for women would have to be spread over a longer period of time, reducing their monthly payment.


Solvency of the System:

The current Social Security system is solvent through 2038. After 2038, payroll taxes collected will be able to pay out 73% of benefits to beneficiaries.The shortfall after 2038 amounts to approximately 1.86%. This deficiency can be eliminated by increasing income caps, raising the payroll tax by ?% or by the Federal Government committing future budget surpluses to the system to achieve complete solvency for 75 years. Any of these solutions would ensure the solvency of the Fund for 75 years without affecting guaranteed benefit levels, retirement age, disability or survivorship benefits currently being paid.



Safe and Healthy Workplace

We stand for the right of every worker to have a safe and healthy workplace.We will educate workers advocate for laws to protect workers establish workplace safety & health committees and form alliances with other groups to meet these objectives.


Educate workers on safety issues:

We will continue to educate our members, and other workers, on issues such as asbestos, ergonomics, indoor air quality, confined spaces, trenching and evacuation, blood borne pathogens, violence, hazardous chemicals, and laws that protect workers.

This will education be completed by regional training programs, informational booklets, and statewide conferences and workshops.


Advocate for laws to protect workers:

We will continue to be a watchdog for laws that are enforced by regulatory agencies established to protect public and private sector employees.


Coalition Building:

We will continue to partner in coalitions with unions and organizations that strive to make workplaces safer and healthier.We will form coalitions with unions and other safety & health groups throughout the state.

We will continue to be an integral part of a network on the cutting edge of protecting workers.


Work site Safety and Health Committees:

It is clear that the best way to keep a workplace safe and healthy is to have regular monitoring of the workplace.To that end, we will work to ensure that every CSEA workplace has an active and well-educated Safety & Health committee.



Representing and Bargaining Just Contracts

We will work to maintain and enhance the quality of life of workers through bargaining equitable and just contracts. All our members will be given the best possible representation by the union.


Just and Fair Contracts:

We stand for the right of every worker to have a just and fair contract.We will use every resource available to ensure our members get the best possible contracts.


Member Involvement:

We stand for the right of every member to be a part of the negotiation process. We will ensure that processes are in place to allow members to submit contract proposals sit on negotiating committees and receive regular updates on the progress of negotiations.

We value the fact that our members are interested in improving their wages and working conditions.We strongly believe that the key to success in the negotiation process is predicated upon full communication between members, leaders and staff. We will facilitate and plan for success by using all resources available.


Utilization of Resources:

We will take advantage of every possible resource available to us to successfully bargain just and fair contracts and represent our membership. This includes, but is not limited to, written communications, the media, the internet, political resources and our membership. We know our members are our most valuable resource.

We will actively oversee our Locals and Units to ensure that all our members are properly represented.We will work with Local and Unit leaders to ensure they have an active role in leading our union and that they have full access to resources available to represent our members.In addition, we will providetraining for both activists and staff.


Employment and Financial Security:

We stand for the right of every individual to have employment and/or financial security. We are committed to negotiate and lobby for legislation that will provide sufficient funding for social programs (such as quality affordable childcare) that positively affect American society.

We will take steps necessary to ensure pension programs are administered properly. We will also ensure that funds invested in pensions are secure for current and future retirees.



Making a Difference in Our Communities

We are committed to being a part of our members’ lives, at the worksite as well as in their home communities. We have the responsibility to speak on behalf of workers everywhere, because an injustice to one is an injustice to all! We must show our commitment to the general welfare of our communities through our actions.


Identification of Need:

There is no shortage of worthwhile community projects in need of money and volunteers. While raising money can be a difficult challenge, we will use our numbers and strength to help organizations in need.


Participation and Involvement:

We will encourage the participation of our staff and members in building close ties with their communities to fight for the continued advancement of workers and Human Rights. We will encourage our members and staff to participate in community projects and service.

We believe members working together toward common goals will enhance team building and therefore loyalty to the union.


Statewide Activities:

We will identify and adopt a single project on a statewide basis. This will enable us to maximize our financial impact, mobilization effort and exposure within our communities.


Local Activities:

We will encourage every Local and Unit to adopt at least one community project. This will benefit the Local/Unit’s home community and identify CSEA as an organization of caring people.



Diverse Constituencies

We are a democratic union committed to protecting the rights of all members regardless of culture, race, creed, color, age, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, gender, geography, politics, physical challenges, marital status, or work. Our collective strength lies in our diversity.


Inclusiveness:

We stand for the right of every member to establish the union’s Agenda and the ability to participate in it’s implementation.

We are committed to breaking down any barriers to full member participation in the union.


Understanding:

We will strive to eliminate prejudice and racism by ensuring access to training programs such as those offered by the National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI).

We will work in coalition with and support participation in AFL-CIO constituency groups (A. Phillip Randolph Institute (APRI), Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU), Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW), Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA), Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA), Pride at Work) to:

  • Promote mutual goals
  • Promote Labor solidarity
  • Enhance skills of our members through trainings
  • Promote a better understanding and an appreciation of our differences


Worker Solidarity

We stand for building worker solidarity by working with other unions on issues of common concern and by supporting the struggles of CSEA workers as well as other workers. We are committed to educating members on the importance of being union, buying union and supporting union goods and services.


Sweat Shop Goods:

We stand for the right of every worker to earn a living wage. Too many merchants are selling items made by exploiting workers in “sweat shops” for sub-standard wages. We will work to expose the misuse and abuse of “Made in the USA” by large chain stores.

Goods or services purchased with dues dollars will be union made, where available, with visible union labels.


Union Service Providers:

We will use unionized hotels, motels and restaurants for meetings, workshops and social events when they are available to us.We will promote and publicize unionized hotel chains and any other motels or resorts by area of availability.

In areas where no union sites exist, we will work with and promote union organizing drives and initiate union contact as a resource to fellow workers.


Union Boycotts:

We stand for an increase in union density. We know that an increase in union goods sold is good for American workers.

We will use our resources to publicize and educate our members on union boycotts. This will be accomplished by publishing articles in The Work Force, Region/Local/Unit newsletters, and on the CSEA website.



The Environment

We stand for a healthy and clean environment free from pollutants whether it be affecting our land, sea or air.We believe in sustainable growth and better community planning.


Land:

We are committed to educating our membership and the community on the effects and impact of poor waste management.


Air:

We support limits on pollutants to the atmosphere. We are concerned about the affects of global warming on our atmosphere.


Water:

We support the protection of our open spaces, watersheds and barrens that filters and purifies our ground water. We will fight against the polluting of our oceans.We will work to educate our members about the problems associated with dumping hazardous material into our waterways and its affects on all living things.

    What We Do

     

      Who is CSEA?

      ghealthc_webWe are workers who join together in solidarity to have clout at the negotiating table, in the political arena and in our communities. We are individuals who know that you have to belong to be strong, and we negotiate with our employers from a position of strength that comes from union membership.

      Negotiating contracts is our number one priority. Everything our members have earned on our jobs, including fair wages, health insurance, benefits, leave time and our workplace rules, is the result of contract negotiations. To ensure our contracts are enforced, CSEA provides members with numerous resources including labor relations, legal, communications and field services.

      CSEA, the Civil Service Employees Association, is proud that we are a grassroots union where members themselves elect their officers and where only members can serve on negotiating teams and vote to ratify contracts.

      CSEA also has a respected political action network to represent your interests before elected officials. As Local 1000 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, we belong to the most powerful international union in the United States.

      To our members we say:

      Get involved. The more involved you are, the more rewarding your membership will be.

      Interested in becoming a member?


        View, Download the CSEA Agenda

        CSEA has engaged in a renewal of purpose reflected in the priority agenda. It is an agenda for the future to ensure our union will continue to take the lead on issues that make a positive difference in our members’ lives and our communities.

          CSEA: Entering Our Second Century

          Our union has had a great impact on New Yorkers’ lives since a group of state employees formed the Association of State Civil Service Employees on Oct. 24, 1910. More than 100 years later, the Civil Service Employees Association (as the association was renamed in 1946), is one of the largest, most influential unions in the United States.