Page 13 - Work Force October 2021
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 2021 Annual Delegates Meeting Officer Reports
ANTHONY M. ADAMO Southern Region President
Empowering union leaders during challenging times
Capital Region President
Empowering You to Empower Others
SWisters and Brothers,
hen I prepared my Annual Delegates Meeting report for 2020, I had hoped we would be gathering for our 2021 ADM in person and that the worst of COVID would be behind us.
Sadly, we had no choice but to keep this year’s ADM virtual, but I’m grateful to all of the staff and activists who’ve worked to ensure we have quality programming for this ADM, especially the officer trainings that all elected CSEA officers must complete each term.
That’s why this year’s ADM theme, “Empowering CSEA Leaders,” is so appropriate. While there have been downsides to meeting virtually, including online meeting fatigue, we have seen some positives.
For starters, the pandemic forced us to
courage and initiative when they reached
out to CSEA to learn about the organizing process. I was proud of those workers when they voted almost unanimously to have CSEA represent them. The next step is getting their first contract finalized, which
is always a challenge in every organizing campaign, but these workers are fired up and we are behind them all the way.
In keeping with our ADM theme, I
was impressed by the energetic, motivated bunch of members who stepped up this
year to run for local and unit offices. We have many seasoned activists serving, as well as a new crop of leaders who are ready to learn and excited to become leaders in this union. I thank everyone who stepped up and encourage them to get their officer training in as soon as possible. In addition, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your region officers
Thank you to all of Region 4 for the hard work and leadership that has moved
our union forward during a difficult time. Whether through drive-thru events, outdoor events, Zoom meetings or calls to members, activists in the region continue to “get it done.”
The region even made t-shirts with that slogan on it, but we will have to wait a
bit longer to distribute those at in-person meetings.
A special thank you to Region Officers: Shana, Scott, Danielle, Mike, Cindy and Stacey for all you do to strengthen our region.
To the committee chairs: a job well done! You have perfected virtual meetings and continually create ideas to engage members. And to the staff in the region, you have been there above and beyond your job and I can’t thank you enough.
that they count for something and are important to someone. I know
it can be hard sometimes because as leaders, we rarely hear positives but remember, you have someone who appreciates everything you do to keep our union strong — me!
Have the right attitude. I know it may be hard with all that is put
on your plate by others, but if you want to be successful at empowering people, you need to be aware of how you act, respond, react and how
you deal with conflict. Attitudes are contagious — and that fact is especially important when you’re working to empower others. Model your way of empowerment. The best leaders let others see, hear and experience what empowerment
up our game when it
comes to online education,
something we had begun
to implement before the
pandemic. By embracing
online learning, we’re
able to meet CSEA
leaders where they are.
Not everyone can take
a weekend away for trainings or drive to a local or region office in a different county on a weeknight. We all have busy lives. The local or unit officer who might have put off getting trained is now able to easily do so by logging onto the computer at night, maybe after fixing dinner or getting kids started on their homework.
The bottom line is that we’re empowering union leaders in the midst of these challenging times. We’re getting people trained and, as we all know, knowledge is power.
As I reflect on the last year, one of the most satisfying things for me as a region president has been seeing people step up and become empowered union leaders.
We have union leaders ready to go at Easter Seals NY’s Project Excel preschool in Monticello, where CSEA recently organized several dozen workers.
The workers at Project Excel showed
October 2021
as resources. We are happy to answer questions and provide guidance to any officers needing advice or encouragement.
That same union leader empowerment came into play this spring when we faced closures
of three facilities in our region. Thanks to member mobilization and engaging our
state leaders, we were able to keep Goshen Secure Center and the Rockland Children’s Psychiatric Center open. Sadly, the Red Hook Residential Center was approved for closure in the budget, but we have worked hard to ensure staff at Red Hook have positions at neighboring facilities. We are grateful for the leadership shown by the state lawmakers from our region who stepped up on CSEA members’ behalf, including Sen. Mike Martucci, Sen. James Skoufis, Sen. Elijah Reichlin-Melnick, Assemblymember Aileen Gunther, Assemblymember Mike Lawler, Assemblymember Ken Zebrowski, and Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus. It’s important that we don’t let our guard down when it comes to protecting the services our members provide. Not only is it important to retain the services themselves, it
Southern Region President, continued on page 16
is. Just about everyone has the potential to empower others. Be aware at the next union event or as members ask you questions, look for opportunities today and
see your leadership and our union grow tomorrow.
• Lead from within.
“One of the most satisfying things for me
as a region president has been seeing people step up and become empowered union leaders.”
This year’s theme “Empowering CSEA Leaders” comes at just the right time. We have been through so much these last months and unfortunately, it looks like it is going to be a long fall and winter.
“I will do my best to help empower you and in turn, I hope you will go back and empower your members.”
The goal of this week is provide you some tools to build your unit/local. Empowered leaders translate to empowered members. Empowering others is a concept we don’t often discuss but one that is essential to union building.
How we build that bridge from concept to action will be the focus of our work this week. I am excited for the skill-building that will take place. Here are some ideas I have on concrete ways to empower others.
• Help others reach new heights. Share your knowledge and wisdom. Don’t hoard it. Identifying potential in others and helping them to cultivate skills is a hallmark of successful leaders. The next time you want to delegate a task, don’t just depend on the activists that you always have. Find someone different and start that process.
• Appreciation. Everyone wants to feel
When you empower people, you’re influencing not only them, but also all the people they will influence in turn through their leadership. That is building this union for the long haul. Long after you and I are retired and collecting our pension, our hard work will be paying dividends. We can be sitting in our yard, maybe with a beverage, feeling content knowing that our union — that we helped build — has our back. That can be our success!
There is no better way to build an empowered unit/local than re-committing to New Member Orientation. You can help build the future of our union in a way that protects you long after you are enjoying the fruits of your labor. The last year and a half have given you a multitude of challenges when it comes to signing up those new
Capital Region President, continued on page 16
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