Western Region Family Picnic August 18

SAVE THE DATE! For ticket information, please call 585-461-8921.

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2018 REGION 6 PICNIC FLYER-page-001

    CSEA Member Benefits at your service


    WNY– Are you planning a CSEA membership meeting or event in the near future? Would you like to request our Member Benefits Department and family of vendors to attend your event? It’s as easy as submitting an email– just follow these instructions. Here is a simple checklist to guarantee a successful event.

    In an effort to streamline the process, all requests should be made via email to CSEA’s Member Benefit Department at member.benefits@cseainc.org

    In order to increase the chance that the various vendors will be able to attend, or that there is enough time for shipping, please provide a minimum of four weeks notice and include the following event details in your email:

    Local/Unit Name and Number
    Event type – membership meeting, picnic, lunch & learn or other
    Calendar Date
    Location including meeting room and full GPS address
    Is internet access and power available at this location?
    Event start and end time for members
    Vendor start and end time – two hour blocks.
    Number of people expected
    Is this event open to all endorsed CSEA vendors?  If not, please specify the vendors you would like us to notify
    Is there an option to ship supplies directly to the location of the event?  If so, please provide contact name and shipping instructions. 
    RSVP contact and date
    Note if parking, gate or security clearance is involved for entry into the event


    SUNY Albany Local 691 Membership Meeting
    September 30, 2016
    11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
    Patroon Room, Campus Center, University at Albany uptown campus, 1200 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY
    Internet access and power is available
    Vendor set-up by 10:45 until lunch at 12:30 PM
    175 members
    RSVP by 9/21 to Sharon Burns at sburns@sunyalbany.edu or call 442-7814

    Any questions or concerns about scheduling events with vendors and Member Benefits representatives, please contact Latonya Brown at 518-257-1363 or the Member Benefits Department at 518-257-1359 member.benefits@cseainc.org

      Attica Police Officers Go Above and Beyond


      CSEA members James F. Prusak Jr, Stephanie A. Ingles, and Karl E. Zufall are given proclamations from NYS Senator Patrick Gallivan after receiving the Attica Police Department’s Medal of Valor. Photo: Ove Overmyer, CSEA ©2017

      ATTICA — The Village of Attica Police Department is not your ordinary public safety unit— on any given day they are asked to do extraordinary things. And on February 2, Chief Dean Hendershott held an awards ceremony to honor outstanding accomplishments for their work in the line of duty.

      Hendershott said, “Today, we’re here to honor my officers. They have gone above and beyond several times and they need to be publicly recognized for their bravery and professionalism.”

      The police department has a full time staff of three personnel and nine CSEA part time officers, and serves a population of 3,000 residents who live in a 2.5 square mile area. The village sits within two counties, Wyoming and Genesee in Western New York.

      Hendershott explained there were three types of awards that are given to village employees and upstanding citizens– the Merit of Accommodation, a Distinguished Service Award and the Medal of Valor.

      The latter is the most prestigious award for an officer to receive, and its one Hendershott himself received while serving as an officer earlier in his career.

      The first officer honored with the Medal of Valor was Stephanie Ingles. Ingles responded to a call without backup where one man was unresponsive following an opiate overdose. She had the other person at the scene assist her in performing CPR until the fire department and EMS arrived to administer Narcan. The patient has fully recovered, and is reportedly doing very well.

      Hendershott said that Wyoming County Director of Emergency Management Tony Santoro commented on Ingles at the time of the incident saying how her “quick and decisive actions, which on all accounts prevented a heroin overdose from being a fatality.”

      The second officer to receive the Medal of Valor was James Prusak Jr. for saving a suicidal man. Prusak arrived at the scene where a man had hung himself with an electric cord from a tree in the man’s backyard. Prusak lowered the man to the ground by cutting the cord and begin lifesaving measures.

      “Without the immediate and direct intervention by Officer Prusak, the victim would have succumbed to his attempt and would have perished,” Hendershott said.

      The third CSEA represented recipient of the Medal of Valor was Karl Zufall. Zufall was responding to a call of a man with a severe laceration to his leg. It was determined that the man’s trailer had fallen of a rig while he was trying to connect it to his vehicle. The wound cut open an artery and the victim immediately went into shock. Hendershott said Zufall applied a pressure dressing and bandage in an attempt to save the man, who died a week later from his injuries.

      However, Hendershott explained, “Due to Officer Zufall’s lifesaving measures, the victim survived the day which allowed his family members precious time to gather and have time to say goodbye,” Hendershott said.

      State Senator Patrick Gallivan was also in attendance, who served as a state trooper and Erie County sheriff earlier in his career. He openly blushed at the accomplishments of the police officers who were being awarded at the ceremony.

      “I am in my seventh year in the Senate right now, and I will tell you this is the first award ceremony for law enforcement that I’ve been to out in the district,” he said.

      The senator presented the three Medal of Valor winners with a NYS Senate proclamation and stated, “Those dedicated public servants, who unselfishly devote their lives to the preservation of order and the protection of others, are worthy of dutiful praise for their commitment and noble endeavors.”

      After the ceremony, Ingles said being recognized for just doing her job is great, but remained modest in her observations. She said, “We do the best we can and rely on our training to get us through our day. It’s a great feeling to know you can help save a life—that is what we are trained to do.”

      The recipients of the Merit of Accommodation were Prusak and Zachary Fleiss. Police Officer Gregory Kellogg also received the Distinguished Service Award.

      -Ove Overmyer

        Start a Never Quit Conversation Today

        Start a Never Quit Conversation Today

          Christmas Eve Fire Guts Irondequoit DPW Building

          img_2340Irondequoit (Dec. 25, 2016) — A massive Christmas Eve fire in a Rochester suburb overnight did what is being described as millions of dollars in damage to the Irondequoit Department of Public Works building. CSEA represents five collective bargaining units and hundreds of employees who work for the Town of Irondequoit– one of them being the Department of Public Works. According to town officials, no injuries were reported during or after the fire.

          Florence Tripi, CSEA Western Region President said, “Our hearts go out to the families and town residents who are affected by this tragedy. We are thankful no one was injured or harmed while fighting this fire. CSEA stands ready to assist our town partners and employees in every possible way.”

          This morning Town Supervisor Dave Seeley told local reporters firefighters found a fire in the roof when they got there at about 10:30 p.m. on Saturday. The fire quickly spread and all five Irondequoit fire departments were called to the scene. Firefighter units from neighboring towns were also called in to assist. The building houses the town’s fleet of highway department vehicles including snow plows and sanitation trucks.

          Approximately 25 vehicles are stored in the building and some of them were lost in the fire. Bob Riley, the Commissioner of Public Works for the Town of Irondequoit, said that seven plow trucks and a majority of the sanitation fleet have been damaged beyond repair. The building is adjacent to the town hall and library, but the flames were contained to the DPW facility.

          Seeley says the equipment and building are insured but he was mainly concerned about the safety of the firefighters who remained on the scene into the morning.

          The DPW building is a 100 year old structure. “It’s terrible to have to see this happen, but more terrible to have to see our firefighters spend their Christmas Eve doing this,” Seeley told a local news station. “Many of our firefighters are actually highway department employees so it’s ironic that they’re working here. They certainly know the building and this building means a lot to them.”

          Seeley is requesting all town employees scheduled to work on Tuesday report as usual.

          -Ove Overmyer


          Town of Irondequoit DPW building in the aftermath of the Christmas Eve blaze. Several service vehicles were destroyed in the fire. Photo by Ove Overmyer, CSEA ©2016.

            CSEA Activists Honored at Labor Dinner


            Kim Whitlock

            Rochester—On December 8, the Rochester & Genesee Valley Area Labor Federation, AFL-CIO held it’s Annual Delegates Awards Dinner at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center. Hundreds of delegates and labor allies from an 11 county area attended the event which featured a keynote address by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author David Cay Johnston.

            CSEA was well represented at the awards ceremony—two political action committee members received special recognition for their efforts this election cycle. Kimberly Whitlock, a Rochester State Employees Local 012 activist who works as a Worker’s Compensation Examiner, and Sean Gibbons, a Monroe County Local 828 Pure Waters Laboratory Assistant were honored for their outstanding achievement, commitment, dedication and extraordinary efforts for 2016. Western Region President Flo Tripi, who also serves as Vice President of the R&GVALF, was one of the presenters at this year’s event.

            Here is a list of the 2016 honorees:

            The Working Families Advocate of the Year

            • Adam Bello

            The Mother Jones Award for Sacrifice Above and Beyond

            • Steve Panton, RGVALF
            • Shirley Sobczak, Workers United RRJB

            Outstanding Achievement in Political Action

            • Kimberly Whitlock, CSEA
            • Sean Gibbons, CSEA
            • The Rochester, NY Building and Construction Trades Council, AFL-CIO

            The Jim Schmidt Community Solidarity Award

            • CWA Local 1170
            • NYSUT

            The Labor Coalition Advocate of the Year 

            Workforce Development Institute

            • Bob Trouskie & Lynn Freid

            The Jon Garlock Labor Educator of the Year Award

            • Mary Denise Schneider, CWA 1141

            Apprentice Organizer of the Year

            • Christopher Roesch, NALC 210

            Retiree of the Year

            • Betty Beverly, UAW 1097
            • Martin Horowitz, APWU Local 215

            Rochester Labor Council, AFL- CIO Labor Day Parade Award

            “Best Message”

            • Justice for Farm Workers

            Rochester Labor Council, AFL- CIO Labor Day Parade Award

            “Best Float”

            • Teamsters Local Union #118

            Rochester Labor Council, AFL- CIO Labor Day Parade Award

            “Most Spirited”

            • Senator Joe Robach and the Monroe County Wolverines

            The Rochester Labor Council, AFL- CIO Lifetime Achievement Award

            • Denise Young, USW, PEF & Metro Justice

              Lawmakers call on Cuomo to keep WNYCPC open

              Community outraged over Cuomo’s move to close WNYCPC


              West Seneca– Western Region President Flo Tripi addresses media at a press conference on Nov. 22. Photos by Ove Overmyer, CSEA ©2016

              West Seneca—On November 22, CSEA Western Region President Florence Tripi joined CSEA WNY DDSO Local 425 President Tom Weston, the entire Western New York delegation of the state legislature, the Public Employees Federation, town officials and dozens of concerned families and citizens to denounce Governor Cuomo and the NYS Office of Mental Health’s (OMH) effort to move the Western New York Children’s Psychiatric Center (WNYCPC) services in West Seneca to the adult Buffalo Psychiatric Center on Forest Avenue in the city of Buffalo.

              NYS Senator Patrick Gallivan, NYS Assemblyman Mickey Kearns, NYS Senator Robert Ortt, NYS Senator Tim Kennedy plus other elected officials held an afternoon press conference today at the West Seneca location calling on Governor Cuomo and NYS OMH to keep the children’s facility open indefinitely.

              “Efforts by the Office of Mental Health to close this center and move these patients to an adult oriented facility like the Buffalo Psychiatric Center make no sense,” Gallivan said in an opening statement at the press conference. “I have worked with families of patients, mental health experts and others who believe such a move will jeopardize the mental health and wellbeing of children who receive care at the West Seneca location. These adolescent patients deserve and require special treatment in an environment that allows them and their families to feel safe and comfortable.”

              CSEA Western Region President Flo Tripi said, “CSEA represents more than 2,100 workers who deliver mental health services to an 18 county area of Western New York. No one knows how to deliver these services better than the employees who are professionally and occupationally trained to do so. Not one member who works for DDSO or OMH thinks this move will help families in crisis—as a matter of fact it, those in the know say it will create more barriers to treatment. Why are we trying to fix something that isn’t broke?” Tripi added, “For the Governor and the Office of Mental Health to dictate policy to us knowing full well our community’s long standing opposition to this move is undeniably offensive and reprehensible.”

              In a prepared statement, NYS Assemblymember Michael Kearns said, “It is not a difficult decision to permanently keep this facility in West Seneca. On virtually every metric, this institution excels and exceeds other similar institutions in New York State. WNYCPC has the lowest 30 and 90 day readmission rates in all of New York State. This is important from a long term cost perspective because readmissions for mental health case over the course of a lifetime can result in many thousands of dollars for the treatment of a single person. The savings to New York State are long term and real. Not keeping the facility in this setting is penny wise and pound foolish, because it overlooks the long term savings and the input and voices of those treated by the state and surroundings.”

              Meanwhile, as the state presses forward with releasing Requests For Proposals (RFP’s) for construction to begin at the 444 Forest Avenue location, local lawmakers said this fight is far from over.


              WNY DDSO CSEA Local 425 President Tom Weston attended a press conference Nov. 22 calling on Gov. Cuomo to keep WNYCPC permanently open.

              -Ove Overmyer, CSEA ©2016

                CSEA Monroe County Sheriff Command Unit Ratifies New Deal

                Rochester– On November 18, a majority of members of the CSEA Monroe County Sheriff Command Staff voted to ratify the terms and conditions of a tentative collective bargaining agreement that was reached on September 13. Approximately 32 public safety employees in the supervisory unit were working without a contract since the previous deal expired on December 31, 2012. The vote was a mail-in ballot conducted November 1 through November 10. Of the 31 eligible ballots received, 25 voted yes and 6 voted no.

                The new five-year deal guarantees a 7.5 percent cost of living increase over the life of the contract. Effective after complete ratification, all employees shall receive a bonus of 1.5 percent of their annual base salary to be paid 60 days following the County Executive’s and Monroe County Legislature’s final approval of the agreement.

                Depending on an employee’s hire date, some employees represented by CSEA under this contract will pay a slightly higher contribution percentage for healthcare over time. Additionally, employees who join this bargaining unit after September 13, 2016, must have 20 years of continuous service with the County to qualify for retiree health insurance.

                “We would like to express our sincere appreciation to our CSEA members, staff and county management team for their commitment to the negotiations process,” said CSEA spokesperson Ove Overmyer. He added, “The new agreement required compromise and sacrifice on both sides and we believe it’s respectful to both taxpayers and employees alike.”

                The new contract will expire December 31, 2021.

                  Veterans Day Ceremony November 12

                  168Buffalo– CSEA is once again hosting a Veterans Day Memorial Service on Saturday, November 12  at the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park, 1 Naval Park Ctr, Buffalo, NY 14202. The Air Force Honor Guard will be in attendance folding the American flag and the VFW 1419 out of Hamburg, NY will be providing a 21-gun salute. The CSEA Western Region Veterans Committee will also begin the day’s events with a wreath laying ceremony complete with bag pipe accompaniment. A carnation dedication will follow plus brief remarks will be made by local elected officials and union dignitaries.

                  Refreshments will be donated from the Western Region Planning Committee, various Local and Units, Paula’s Donuts and Famous Dave’s Bar-B-Que.  There is no cost associated with this event. Please join us and dress warm! Anyone attending the ceremony will also have a chance to access the park and museum at no charge.

                  For more information, please call the Amherst Western Region Office at 716-691-6555.


                  Bob Pyjas, Flo Tripi and Tim Finnigan install a remembrance wreath at a Veterans Day Ceremony November 14, 2015. Ove Overmyer, CSEA ©2015

                    Steward Update: Return-to-Work Strategies


                    Ove Overmyer

                    WNY– The 2016 fall edition of Steward Update (Vol. 27, No. 5) features an article written by Western Region Communications Specialist Ove Overmyer. The report details strategies and tips for stewards when assisting fellow co-workers who return to work after trauma or tragedy.

                    Steward Update is published six times a year by Union Communication Services (UCS) — The Worker Institute at Cornell ILR. To order a subscription of Steward Update, you can go here or call 1-800-321-2545.

                    To view or download Ove Overmyer’s article, please-use-this-link.