Read CSEA’s recent news releases
- March 16, 2017 CSEA members help New York weather the storm
- Jan. 18, 2017 CSEA President Danny Donohue slams Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 2017-18 state budget proposal
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.”
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.