Page 2 - Work Force February 2016
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CSEA battling back against misguided policies that jeopardize youths, workers
 of the Month
  The Rev. Peter Cook, executive director of the New York
State Council of Churches, speaks about lifting poverty and ensuring rights and dignity at the 2016 People’s State of the State, which was held at the state Capitol on Jan. 6. CSEA joined the Hunger Action Network of New York State and other allies in fighting for a state budget that gets our economy back into balance. Organizations from across the state addressed a wide range of concerns urging lawmakers to put people first as their priority this budget season. (See pages 3 & 4 for more about the proposed state budget.)
GOSHEN — Management’s disregard for its own policies is putting employees
at increased risk of assault at the Goshen Secure Center but CSEA is pursuing accountability. The situation is representative of the union’s longstanding concerns about the
Office of Children and Family Services operation of youth detention facilities that puts employees at risk.
The state Public Employee Safety and Health bureau previously ordered OCFS to pursue charges against violent youth who endanger staff. The facility has refused to comply with their own policy!
CSEA’s Occupational Safety and health department is now preparing to take
the issue to the state’s Industrial Board of Appeals, with the goal of having the offenders brought to justice for crimes
committed within state youth facilities. The Goshen facility made headlines in recent years, most recently in April 2015
after several hours of rioting there led to three youths and four workers being sent to the hospital.
Out of touch OCFS leadership and inconsistent support from local district attorneys who would prosecute the offenders has frustrated the process of improving workplace safety in youth detention facilities.
CSEA has long challenged New York over working conditions, lack of staff and resources, and deficient management. Staff must contend and try to turn around youthful offenders who have committed serious crimes including murder, rape and armed robbery.
Onondaga County workers reject contract; fight for fairness continues
 SYRACUSE — CSEA members employed by Onondaga County recently rejected a proposed contract agreement with the county, less than a month after
the county legislature voted to give some county officials substantial wage increases.
It’s the third contract agreement the workers have rejected; they have been working without a contract since 2012. CSEA members have repeatedly scoffed at paying substantial increases to health insurance co-payments and premium contributions that would be barely be offset by wage increases.
The workers also expressed their anger and disappointment over the timing and amount of the wage increases for the county officials.
“When our members saw the county executive receive a wage increase averaging 4 percent a year, they were
offended to only be offered less than half of that, especially with health insurance increases factored in” CSEA Onondaga County Local President Kathy Zabinski said. “It was like a slap in the face to us and definitely a factor in rejecting this tentative contract.”
Having exhausted the impasse processes of mediation and fact finding, the county legislature will now impose a settlement for 2013 for the 2,300 county workers. Union and county negotiators will then begin negotiations for a contract to cover 2014 and beyond.
“We’re proud of our members for sticking together to demand better treatment,” Zabinski said. “Hopefully, the county legislature will consider this when imposing a contract for 2013.”
— Mark M. Kotzin
 State contract negotiations: stay in the loop!
Go to
 Official publication of
CSEA Local 1000, AFSCME, AFL-CIO 143 Washington Ave. Albany, NY 12210-2303 Danny Donohue, President
The Work Force (USPS 0445-010)
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2 The Work Force
February 2016

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