This Week in Albany

Week ending September 7, 2018

Donohue – Cuomo Telephone Town Hall

This week, Governor Cuomo joined CSEA President Danny Donohue for a telephone town hall with CSEA members.

On the call, the Governor and President Donohue discussed several issues of importance to CSEA members. Governor Cuomo discussed the need to improve staffing within the state workforce (especially at the Office of Mental Health and Office for People with Developmental Disabilities) and touched on the need to support good middle class jobs in our suburban and rural areas.

Importantly, the Governor and President Donohue were very open about the contentious relationship between CSEA and the Executive through the Governor’s first few years in office. The Governor acknowledged that the State was in a difficult financial position when he came into office, and he had to make some decisions that went against what he would have liked to do. President Donohue reiterated that when the Governor has been in the wrong, CSEA has and will continue to call him out on it. But when the Governor does the right thing, as he has throughout the Janus v AFSCME attack on our union, we will stand with him.

Thank you to the hundreds of CSEA members who participated.

More Pension Fund News

In addition to last week’s news on the value of the state’s pension fund, Comptroller DiNapoli announced that employer pension contributions will remain steady for the bills that will be due in February of 2020.

The Retirement System always bills employers 18 months before the bill is due so the State and municipalities can include the numbers in their respective budgets.

Kavanaugh Hearings Begin

Confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh began in the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee this week.

The hearings were contentious at times. Democratic Senators objected to the hearings moving forward before documents from Kavanaugh’s time as counsel to President George W. Bush were made public, and protesters interrupted the proceedings several times.

At this time, there is no date set for a vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

Primary Elections

Primary Elections for state and local government races will be held next Thursday, September 13.

In New York City and the counties of Dutchess, Erie, Nassau, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Suffolk and Westchester, polls open at 6 AM and close at 9 PM. In all other counties, polls open at 12 noon and CLOSE at 9 PM.

Don’t forget that in New York, you must be an enrolled member of a party to vote in that Primary. For example, you must be a registered Democrat to vote in the Democratic Primary for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Attorney General.

Not sure where your polling place is? Click here to find out.

Never Quit Fact of the Week

Outside of your workplace, labor unions have an impact on many areas of your life.

With the National Football League (NFL) season beginning this weekend, we should recognize that NFL players, as members of the NFL Players Association, are our brothers as members of the AFL-CIO, the referees are members of the NFL Referees Association, and the footballs themselves are made by members of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW).

Further, CSEA stands with our brothers and sisters in the Building and Construction Trades Council in New York City in their fight against Miami Dolphins owner and Chairman of The Related Companies Stephen Ross for his company’s union busting tactics at its construction sites.

Never Forget

CSEA remembers the lives of all who were lost on September 11, 2001, including CSEA members Yvette Anderson, Florence Cohen, Harry Goody, Marian “Marty” Hrycak and Dorothy Temple.