Page 15 - Work Force May 2020
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Welcome our new CSEA Region Presidents
Anthony Adamo, Southern Region President
BEACON — CSEA members working in the seven counties of the Southern Region have elected Anthony M. Adamo for a full term in office as Southern Region President.
Last July, Adamo stepped up into that role following the retirement of Billy Riccaldo. A longtime SUNY New Paltz Local President and Southern Region officer, Adamo also served until recently as Statewide Political Action Chair.
Born in Flushing, Queens, Adamo graduated from New Paltz High School. He started working at SUNY New Paltz as a stopgap measure after being laid off from another job. He
wound up making a career of it and is now a grade 12 trades specialist with the state.
Adamo’s introduction to union activism came via family.
“My stepdad went from being a Wall Street stockbroker to a union president,” said Adamo. “He came up here to take a temporary job at the college and got involved with CSEA.
I went along to a union meeting
with him and got to hear [former statewide president] Danny Donohue speak. He was firing up our members about our Peanuts from Pataki campaign. That got my attention and I knew I wanted to be involved.”
Adamo worked his way up from shop steward to local president, representing his members on campus and helping organize the
private sector food service workers at the college as members of CSEA. He takes pride in the effort he and his fellow officers at SUNY New Paltz devoted to building a stronger labor- management relationship, something he said has paid off.
“Because of that solid relationship, management was very proactive in working out safety measures with this pandemic,” Adamo said. “They did not want our people getting sick. Our contract is our most important resource, but because we have a strong relationship, we are able to work things out just by keeping the lines of communication open.”
With a full term ahead as region president, Adamo said his priorities are to unify the region and empower our rank-and-file members to step up.
throughout the union.
To that end, Briggs has worked
toward building an inclusive and responsive region with emphasis
on engagement and leadership development. These lessons have come into handy as Briggs and other union officers find a new way to lead our union during the pandemic. (For more about this, see page 11.)
“We can no longer count on the standard membership meeting, the workplace meeting or water cooler talk [during the pandemic],” Briggs said. “More and more, technology is becoming the answer. There is
a learning curve to this form of communication and I am dedicated to making it work. I know that
the region executive board has committed to making it work, not only by them attending meetings, but by each local president starting the process of hosting a meeting.”
While the pandemic is not only
a threat to public health, but to our economy, Briggs sees an opportunity
“We’ve done a great job developing our leaders and now it’s time to do the same with our rank- and-file members,” said Adamo. “We’re all on the same team, as officers and staff, and we can work together to develop our membership. We have so much knowledge amongst our officers and staff that can be passed along to engage a new generation of empowered activists.”
From the time he heard Donohue speak at a membership meeting to fulfilling his own hope to become region president, Adamo said his ultimate goal hasn’t changed.
“I feel for people who don’t have a voice on the job,” he said. “I want to be that voice.”
— Jessica Ladlee
for working people to advance. “The challenges ahead can seem
overwhelming, but what we have going for us is our union,” Briggs said. “Looking at the history of pandemics, one sees that right after it settles down, workers have been able to make progress collectively.
I believe that if we remain united and strong, this moment will be a time when workers’ rights were advanced.”
Briggs cited a recent article in The American Conservative, in which blogger Rod Dreher writes, ‘There
is a greater poverty than being materially poor, and that poverty is death.’
“We must take those words and help the rich CEOs and the federal government understand that way too many frontline workers have suffered or died due to greed and inaction,” Briggs said. “We can and will get through this crisis together.”
— Therese Assalian
 Ron Briggs, Capital Region President
LATHAM — CSEA Capital Region members recently re-elected Ron Briggs unopposed as our union’s Capital Region President.
As he began his second term as Region President on March 1, Briggs thought he was ready for the next four years.
“Boy, was I wrong,” Briggs said, referring to the COVID-19 pandemic. “I sincerely hope that everyone reading this, and your families, are well.”
Briggs, who lives in Gloversville, has plenty of experience in leadership roles. He worked for the Fulton County Department of Social Services for 11 years before joining the Probation Department, where he worked until his election as Capital Region President. Before joining CSEA, Briggs was a member of UUP for eight years.
In 1997, Briggs was elected to his first position as 2nd Vice President for CSEA’s Fulton County Local. He later served as 1st Vice President, and then as Fulton County Local President.
He also rose through our union’s ranks on the region level, serving as the Capital Region’s 1st Vice President for one term and as the region’s Executive Vice President for two terms before he was elected Region President.
Briggs is also active in his community, also serving as chair
of the Gloversville Community Development Agency, president
of the Fulton County Children’s Committee and a volunteer at Mohawk Harvest, a co-operative focused on bringing local products to the marketplace.
A Leadership Education and Development Program (LEAD) Program graduate, Briggs has long been involved in numerous CSEA committees and initiatives
  May 2020
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