Page 9 - Work Force February 2017
P. 9

CSEA welcomes 200 new members from Averill Park School District
 AVERILL PARK — Workers from the Averill Park School District voted decisively to join CSEA in an election that took place a few months after reaching a majority and certification from the state Public Employment Relations Board
(PERB) earlier this year.
The new bargaining
unit comprises all non- instructional titles in the district. Several reasons to join CSEA motivated their choice.
The main
reason was to
tap into CSEA’s negotiating strength. Knowing they had nearly 300,000 members statewide to back them up, and having a designated labor relations specialist at the bargaining
table with them along other experts such as access to a legal team during contract negotiations, reinforced their choice.
“We have started negotiating with the district. Having great labor
relations specialists to help us through the negotiations has been wonderful. We have good support from our local leadership and have high hopes that
we can deliver for our members,”said Dennis Weatherwax, Unit President.
CSEA’s uniquely democratic system of representation
offers union members more local control that the workers at Averill Park School District see as extremely valuable.
Our member-driven union, with
New CSEA members from across he non-instructional unit including Unit President, Dennis Weatherwax, third from the right.
 “I’m excited we are getting into a union with more resources. I really like that college benefit from AFSCME. That could really help my family. We wouldn’t have things like this if we didn’t join CSEA”
Depew voters reject village dissolution
DEPEW — Village of Depew voters recently rejected by a 3-1 margin a move to dissolve their village government, maintaining public services.
The vote result is not only a victory for our members who work and live in the village, but for the village residents who rely on the vital public services we provide.
Election officials said it was a record turnout of registered voters, with some people waiting up to an hour to vote.
Village of Depew Blue Collar Unit President Lou Heltman,
a Department of Public Works employee, said his neighbors made the right decision. “The residents
of Depew sent a strong message that they love their village and they love their public services,” he said. “When we knocked on doors during this campaign,
everyone knew what
was at stake. We were
determined not to lose
our village.”
Western Region
President Flo Tripi
called the Depew vote
to dissolve the village
services unlike any
recent village dissolution
effort in that there were
few details released to voters about the overall plan for village services and taxes. “Evidently, the
residents of Depew knew better and overwhelmingly made the right choice,” she said.
CSEA members and pro-village coalition
groups canvassed neighborhoods and
staffed phone banks since last October to educate residents about keeping their village whole.
“We are very pleased all our
advocacy and hard work paid off,” said Erie
County Local President Denise Szymura.“Dismantling village public services, especially emergency fire,
unit officers and an independent treasury, puts power back into
the hands of the members; this is important to them and exactly what they were looking for.
“I’m excited we are getting into a union with more resources. I really like that college benefit from
AFSCME. That could really help my family. We wouldn’t have things like this if we didn’t join CSEA,” said Nancy Hajduk, a cook at Algonquin Elementary School.
— Jill Asencio
police and snow removal, was just too much for voters to approve.”
In recent years, the governor has been urging government bodies to dissolve or consolidate, focusing on village, town, city and county charter revisions, education, utility and water services, transportation and public safety. The state has also been providing incentives
for communities considering consolidation, noting that it would save taxpayer money.
But there is no evidence to date that the benefits outweigh the risks, and voters have overwhelmingly shown support for keeping their villages intact.
— Ove Overmyer
  February 2017
The Work Force 9

   7   8   9   10   11