Central Region Board Reports

Region 5 Board of Directors’ Report
April 11, 2019
Ken Greenleaf, President


Greetings brothers and sisters!

Our CSEA Central Region continues to strive to build a better Union every day.

Over the past four months I have been Region President, I have spent a lot of time evaluating and implementing some necessary changes to move our Region forward.

Together with our executive board we have made some positive changes to our Region committees. These changes will help in strengthening the work we can accomplish. By giving better direction and empowering our committees to move boldly forward, I hope we create some very innovative ways to further support our Region and CSEA. I have also created two new committees we are very excited about. Our Community Outreach Committee will allow us to network in every corner of our Region as well as increase our visibility in our communities. We have some great plans and I am hopeful they will come to fruition. Our State Government Committee will give those members an avenue to network and share best practices, concerns and solutions. Our goal is that all our committees will network together to strengthen our commitment to our members.

I have been all over our Region attending various meetings, events and worksite visits; getting out the word about the importance of our union, as well as advising some of those Units and Locals who have requested assistance. It’s been so enlightening to get out and talk with our members. One of my goals has been to be more inclusive and supportive of our Units within our Region and I have been able to reach out and attend many meetings at that level as well. I have been working to act as a connector within our Region, building participation and inclusion, because we are geographically huge, but when people talk with each other and work with each other, we become much smaller and more effective.

On a deeply sad note, our Region family lost a great leader and a true friend with the passing of Gino Scarsciotti in late January. Our heartfelt condolences continue to go out to his family, friends and co-workers. Just recently, we were faced with another member’s tragic death in Tioga County when a tractor trailer failed to move over as our State DOT workers were repairing our roads. Dennis “Matt” Howe succumbed to the injuries he sustained after the tractor trailer slammed in to his work vehicle. He leaves behind his wife, children, family, friends and coworkers. I urge everyone to please take more care when driving around work zones and to heed our state’s Move Over Law. I hate that we now have another name to add to our Workers Memorial Day observance this year, and I pray for the day when there are not any names to read on that day. I hope that anyone available will join us to remember Matt and all other fallen workers at our annual Workers Memorial Day observance being held on Sunday, April 28 at noon at SUNY Cortland.

Moving on to good news, our Region has participated in four successful Polar Plunges around Central New York to support Special Olympics, with our Ithaca Plunge just recently completed. I am proud to have joined our members plunging at all these events and am even more proud to share that over our eleven years participating in these events, our Region has now raised over $200,000 for the athletes of Special Olympics. That is an accomplishment we should all take pride in. Thanks to all our plungers over the years and those who have donated to support this great cause!

Our Region has two upcoming Member Engagement Blitzes planned. One in the Southern Tier where we will be joining Region 6 on May 8 – 11 and getting out to talk with our members in Schuyler, Chemung and Steuben Counties. We will also be out in Oswego County on June 1st during our Spring Conference.

We recently held our first Region Executive Board Meeting of the year in Syracuse, where Region Director Dean Adams gave a presentation on new member orientations. We also honored longtime activist Casey Walpole, as this was her last board meeting. Casey will be retiring in April and we certainly wish her the very best and thank her for her years of service to our union.

Also recently, another longtime activist of ours, Sally Heater, was honored by the Greater Syracuse Labor Council with an award for her community service involvement. I was so proud that I and several other activists and officers from our Region were able to be there to support Sally when she received her award.

Speaking of our Labor Councils, I have also been working to strengthen CSEA’s ties with the Area Labor Federation and recently was honored to be elected as the Central New York Area Labor Federation Executive Vice President.

As part of our regular participation in our state budget process, I, along with our Political Action Specialist Josh Schick and other PAC Committee members, have spent some time conducting in -district lobbying visits with our state legislators, emphasizing our issues and budget priorities so they will hopefully represent our members’ needs more effectively.

This is just a little bit of what’s been going on in Region 5. I will continue to work diligently to make our region bigger, better and bolder.

In Unity,

Kenny Greenleaf, President
CSEA Central Region 5