Page 14 - Work Force October 2021
P. 14

 2021 Annual Delegates Meeting Officer Reports
KENNY GREENLEAF Central Region President
Moving us forward
Western Region President
Empowering CSEA Leaders: Education and training a top priority
MAy CSEA Brothers and Sisters,
s 2021 began, it seemed as if we were nearing the end of the COVID-19 pandemic as vaccines started to roll out. But as the summer wound down, it felt as if we took a few steps in the wrong direction with the rise of the Delta variant. It is vital that in the midst of this continued pandemic that we keep our great union moving forward.
I think I speak for everyone when I say that I cannot wait for a time when we are rid of this virus completely. But that’s going to take getting everyone vaccinated so we can return to our normal lives and union functions. The importance of getting the vaccine cannot be understated.
In a continued effort to reach the membership, we are still holding a number
of drive-thru information day events across the region. This method has proved to be
an effective and efficient way to reach our members throughout COVID-19. We have also utilized our activists to help us make wellness calls to members in different
areas across the Region. I think that even post-pandemic these methods can continue to be effective. Even if we’re able to reach just one member, we’re making a difference.
Reaching the membership is arguably
one of the most important things we must continue to do. Whether it’s our seasoned members and activists that have heard from us for years or if it’s newly hired employees in our bargaining units, we need to ensure they all know the union is here fighting for them. While we might not win every battle, we’re
On behalf of the 46,000 members of CSEA Western Region, we welcome everyone to our virtual 111th Annual Delegates Meeting.
As we convene online this week and in the days that follow, I am asking all our delegates, members and guests to rededicate efforts to improve the lives of all working people.
We also ask for our community partners and allies to help us bring economic justice
to the workplace and to improve social justice outcomes in New York State and across this great nation.
I am extremely honored to be your Western Region President. Nonetheless, I certainly did not expect the past two years to be one of the most troubling and problematic times in the history of our union.
and have changed how we CSEA members communicate with each other. It has tested our abilities to adapt and learn new skills.
I sincerely believe this happenstance can make us even stronger and can provide our union members the ability to connect leadership with members through an energetic series of webinars, email updates utilizing Action Network, social media connections, conference calls and video conference meetings.
In-person or virtual conferences and region meetings enable union members to connect with their peers, other union leaders and subject matter experts. Data shows
these events are valued highly by our CSEA members and staff. Considering the fact that we are spread over a very large geographical area, we still have the opportunity to grow,
Due to the rise of the Delta variant, Region 5 had to make the difficult decision to withdraw our participation from Labor Day parades and our annual union booth at the New York State Fair.
Although this event is always
a great opportunity to talk
to members and inform the
public about the important
work our members do each
day, nothing should come
before anyone’s health and
I’d like to thank each and every member that signed up to volunteer at our booth. Your active participation in union events like these is why Region 5 continues to be successful.
Speaking of union events, we also made the decision to cancel our Fall Conference again. We were looking forward to this
event so we could gather all of our new and returning officers for some important training classes. A lot of those classes will now be
held virtually, but it’s important, particularly for our new officers, to be armed with the information to effectively represent our membership to the best of their ability.
It reminds me of the saying, “Give someone a fish and they eat for a day. Teach them to fish and they eat for a lifetime.” If we give everyone the tools, and empower
our leaders and membership, everyone will prosper and we’ll be able to move Region 5 and our union forward in the right direction.
A never-ending global
health care crisis, an
ever-changing landscape
of workplace mandates
and directives, aggressive
attacks by anti-union forces,
dissent among each other,
massive uncertainty about
our futures and the inability
of lawmakers to deal with
several crises all at the same
time has created a very complicated world.
To define our statewide and region strategies moving forward, our union’s statewide officers, plus the Western Region’s executive board and I have concluded that educating and training our leadership and bolstering our committee work will be a centerpiece of doing the business of our union as we move into 2022.
Here in the Western Region, we believe our committee work is really the heart and soul of who we are and what we do — and living up to measurable short and long-term goals will be part of this plan.
One key benefit that can help deliver more value to our members is a strong, engaging education and training program that keeps learners coming back for more useful experiences.
And, as most of you know, consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic still linger,
connect and discuss challenges and ideas with other union members who share similar experiences.
Cloud-based learning platforms, our website and social media channels offer opportunities to connect in real time through discussion forums, online communities or other collective learning
features. Providing the technology and
tools to help our members build strong connections, continue conversations and learn from each other can strengthen our union, and ultimately improve the way we do business.
It must also be stated we are stronger as a union when we invest in our most precious resource — the people and families who take an active role in making their communities better by delivering on the promise of a job well done. When CSEA members are offered personal enrichment tools and resources to be successful on and off the job, good things happen.
Another primary effort we will be advancing in the Western Region is a leadership succession plan. A succession
or replacement plan will ensure our union will continue to operate efficiently after Western Region President, continued on page 17
14 The Work Force
October 2021
“Reaching the membership is arguably one of the most important things we must continue to do.”
fighting every single one. I’d like to highlight the
efforts of our Oswego County White Collar Unit. In an effort to reach their membership, they piloted a non-member outreach program where officers spent time reaching out to employees in their bargaining unit that were
not signed up as CSEA members. In a lot of cases, they weren’t members simply because they hadn’t been approached by the union yet.
It’s important that we reach these new hires as soon as possible and express to them the importance of having union protections and all the great benefits that come with being a CSEA member. If we don’t keep our numbers strong and stay united, we lose some of our union power that we’ve worked for years to grow.
Our members across the state have
helped make sure we keep moving forward throughout one of the wettest summers we’ve seen in a long time. A lot of people and areas across the state have seen some disastrous flooding due to rain, tropical storms, and the remnants of a hurricane. It’s a reminder of just how important public work is.
Also moving the state forward will be our
Central Region President, continued on page 16
“When CSEA members are offered personal enrichment tools and resources to be successful on and off the job, good things happen.”

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