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PEOPLE Frequently Asked Questions

PEOPLE LOGO - use this oneWhat is PEOPLE?
What does PEOPLE do?
How does PEOPLE affect me?
Why can’t you use my dues money?
Why should I be concerned about federal legislation?
How much does it cost?
How do I join PEOPLE?
What do I get for joining PEOPLE?
Can I become more involved in CSEA’s political action activities?
What if I have more questions?

Q. What is PEOPLE?
A. PEOPLE stands for Public Employees Organized to Promote Legislative Equality.

Q. What does PEOPLE do?
A. People helps you by giving CSEA and AFSCME a strong political voice throughout New York State and in Washington, DC.

Q. How does PEOPLE affect me?
A. We are able to lobby on your behalf to make sure that your collective bargaining rights, benefits and safety and health are protected. We also endorse candidates and support legislation that is worker friendly. For public employees, the people we elect determine the quality of our lives and our livelihood. Our wages, benefits, working conditions, health and safety, and even whether we have jobs at all, are in the hands of elected officials who influence our future. Our activism in politics is incredibly important. CSEA’s PEOPLE Program enables our union to be strong politically and help enact legislative programs that protect our jobs.

Q. Why can’t you use my dues money?
A. Federal election law prohibits using your union dues for campaign contributions and other political activities on a federal level. If we were not able to raise additional funds, we would not be able to fight back against the billions of dollars that anti-union forces have at their disposal to lobby on their behalf and push their anti-union agenda.

Q. Why should I be concerned about federal legislation?
A. A portion of the funding for New York State comes from the federal government (approximately 38%). This funding helps support CSEA jobs in school districts, transportation and healthcare to name a few. If we don’t have voice through PEOPLE on a Federal level, some of our funding sources could go away.

Q. How much does it cost?
A. PEOPLE only asks for a small donation of $100 per year (MVP Level). Depending on how frequently you get paid, it is as little as $1.93 a week, $3.85 every two weeks or $8.35 per month. Consult your collective bargaining agreement to determine if your PEOPLE contribution can be deducted from your paycheck (check with your local officials, if you are unsure).

Q. How do I join PEOPLE?
A. Simply fill out an application, send it to the CSEA Political Action Department (143 Washington Avenue, Albany, New York 12210). There are several applications so please make sure you use the correct one: (use links to apps.)
Payroll Deduction Application (Active Employees with PEOPLE Deduction in the contract)
Direct Contribution Application (Checking/Savings/Credit Card) (Active or Retired Members who do not have PEOPLE deduction in their contract or retired members who wish to utilize a non-pension deduction)
Retiree Application (Direct Withdrawal from your Pension Check)

Q. What do I get for joining PEOPLE?
A. The most important thing you get is the satisfaction of making sure your voice is heard. You have collective bargaining rights by being a member of CSEA; this gives you a voice in the decisions that are made by politicians that affect every aspect of your life. In addition, you will receive a jacket and once deductions start or we receive your one-time payment of $100, you can enroll in the AFSCME PEOPLE MVP Rewards Program. For more information on the MVP Rewards program, please click on the following link:

Q. Can I become more involved in CSEA’s political action activities?
A. Yes, contact your Region Political Action Coordinator: Long Island Region 1, Susan Castle (631) 462-0030; Metropolitan Region 2 (NYC), Matt D’Amico (212) 406-2156; Southern Region 3, Chris Ludlow (845) 831-1000; Capital Region 4, Bryan Miller, (518) 782-4400; Central Region 5, Rick Noreault (315) 433-0050; Western Region 6, Chris Rackl (716) 691-6555.

Q. What if I have more questions?
A. Simply call 1-800-342-4146 and ask for the Political Action Department or feel free to email us at

    Become a PEOPLE Recruiter!

    Our recruiters are who we rely on to make the PEOPLE Program Strong.  We currently have approximately 90 active recruiters across New York State who are helping to spread the word and have their brothers and sisters in CSEA join the PEOPLE Program.

    There are benefits to being a recruiter for CSEA, first and foremost you are helping to educate our membership on important issues that affect their livelihood and that of their families. CSEA members who assist in PEOPLE recruitment will start earning cash rewards. You must sign up a minimum of 25 MVP members to collect the cash rewards. CSEA members who sign up another member to donate to PEOPLE will earn the following:

    • Recruit a member to donate $50 – earn $2
    • Recruit an MVP PEOPLE member to donate $100 – earn $12
    • Earn $12 for having a member increase his or her current membership to the MVP level.
    • Earn $12 for a member increasing to any one of the Champion Levels.

    CSEA members are able to accumulate the cash rewards from year to year. Please contact the Statewide PEOPLE Coordinator by email or by phone 1-800-342-4146, Extension 1404.

    If you are a current PEOPLE Recruiter, here’s some Information for Current Recruiters

    How PEOPLE Works for You

    • Protects your collective bargaining rights, civil service laws and works to stop harmful legislation that attempts to erode the rights and benefits of public employees.
    • Protects the quality and access of health insurance for active and retired members (passed legislation that created a task force to recommend cost-effective strategies for protecting affordable health insurance coverage for retired public employees).
    • Stands up against hostile editorials, anti-labor organizations and holds politicians accountable for their decisions.
    • Fights against demands to give back contractual raises and reopen contracts.
    • Fights against layoffs, consolidation and outsourcing of public services.
    • Maintains a safe and healthy workplace and protects employees from unnecessary harm with the passage of the Workplace Violence Prevention Act.
    • Passed cancer screening legislation.
    • Protects Social Security from privatization.
    • Works to defeat proposals to force school consolidations that jeopardize employee’s jobs.

    There are many more issues that your PEOPLE contribution helps CSEA and AFSCME work on.  If you want to be kept up-to-date on what’s going on politically in Albany, subscribe to This Week In Albany, CSEA Political Action Department’s weekly email blast.  There are additional options to get even more detailed information on regional and national political action efforts by CSEA and AFSCME when you sign up. Just click on this link:  Sign Up for This Week In Albany