Southern Region President Anthony Adamo’s Message
Sisters and Brothers:
A year ago, we were proudly marching up Fifth Avenue in New York City with thousands of our union brothers and sisters in the NYC Labor Day Parade. If you’ve never had a chance to experience this, put it on your list. It’s a day that always reminds me of why I’m so proud to be union.
This year is quite different. Instead of gathering to show our strength in numbers, we’re purposely social distancing. But we should feel just as energized because we’ve shown over the past year why the middle class workers of America are so important.
The heroes of the past six months are the people we’ve depended upon to treat the sick and provide the necessary services to keep our communities running. Within CSEA, here are just a few examples: direct care workers, nursing professionals, EMTs, 911 dispatchers, sanitation workers, highway workers, school food service workers, community mental health workers, probation officers, and caseworkers. I thank all of you for a job well done.
With Labor Day also comes the start of the school year. There’s been endless discussion about how this is going to play out, allowing students to get the schooling they need and taking into consideration the very real need for childcare that has surfaced with these new hybrid schooling plans. Both as parents and as workers, we’re going to do what we have to do (just like we did this spring), but I ask you to be extra patient with your co-workers juggling this new reality. Everyone is doing their best and this situation is still new to all.
That brings me to a group of workers I feel has gone unrecognized as we gear up for this new school year: The men and women serving our school districts in various support capacities. CSEA members have been working tirelessly as custodians, building and grounds workers, tradespeople, school nurses, and clerical staff, and more. They were working during quarantine and throughout this summer to maintain our buildings, make adjustments for safety purposes, disinfect every imaginable surface, install filtration system upgrades, and call family after family to check on their needs. They’ve been working this whole time and they deserve our thanks.
Other members in our schools are ready to get back to work. Our bus drivers and monitors, bus mechanics, food service workers, teacher aides, and others are looking forward to being back on the job. It’s disheartening, to say the least, to see some districts instituting furlough plans that cause upheaval in workers’ lives without saving a substantial amount of money. I stand with our workers who have been impacted.
There’s value in the work that each of us do. This Labor Day, let’s think of our fellow members who may not work in our industry, but play equally vital roles. We’re unique as a union in the sense that we represent so many different titles, but what we ALL have in common within CSEA is the fact that we better our communities through our work.
Anthony M. Adamo
Southern Region President