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Who we are: Our Union

CSEA is one of New York’s largest worker unions, allowing workers the OPPORTUNITY to come together collectively to build POWER and improve our work and home lives. We are built on the foundation of strength in numbers.

Union membership is an investment in the future for you and your family. The dues you pay now come back to you in many ways, multiplied, now and in the future.

Union membership is also like a good insurance policy: We hope you’ll never need many of our protections, but you’ll be glad they’re there for you if and when you do.

CSEA is the largest affiliate union of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), which in turn is one of the largest affiliate unions of the international house of labor, the AFL-CIO.

More about our union

Who are CSEA members?

CSEA members work everywhere our communities need us, providing the vital services that keep our state working, and improving the quality of life for all New Yorkers, each and every day.

We take care of people in public hospitals, nursing homes, group homes, mental health care facilities and in their own homes. We provide transportation, sanitation and public works in our cities. We support the educational mission of universities, community colleges and our public schools. We protect public health and safety. We build and maintain the infrastructure we all depend on every day. We drive students to school and keep them fed and safe. We help people get back on their feet with access to work, housing, job training, meals, childcare and health care resources. We provide IT and clerical support to make sure systems function smoothly.

We are certified nursing assistants. Social workers. Direct care workers. Higher education employees. Librarians. Childcare workers. School nurses. Highway maintenance workers. Healthcare technicians. Food and environment inspectors. Probation, corrections and law enforcement officers. EMTs and 911 operators. Bus drivers. Clerical workers, and so much more.

CSEA members set the standards for our pay, benefits and working conditions by coming together to negotiate for strong contracts. We fight for justice in the workplace and in our communities. We negotiate not just for ourselves and our families but to meet the needs of the people and we serve. We stand for excellence in public service.

Our Union Values

Despite any differences we may have, our shared core values connect us to each other, as coworkers, as union members, as friends and family. Universal beliefs we all hold creating a common bond and shared purpose.

These values are why our union matters to us, and what keep us UNION STRONG.

Read more about our core values.

A Member-Run Union

CSEA is a member-run union. What does this mean? Simply put, our members are in charge of how our union functions.

Through our union democracy, members exercise their vote to choose their union representatives, and our union is governed by our elected officers, our Board of Directors, and delegates to our Regular Delegates Meeting who make changes to our Constitution and By-Laws.

As a member-run union, our union functions at its best when members take the time to get informed and involved. Almost all of our union representatives in the workplace are volunteers who give up their time to represent their fellow co-workers. They are supported, trained and mentored by our union’s professional staff who provide them the resources to be the best activists and representatives they can be. When our members get involved, we build our strength and power.

Our Union Leadership

CSEA’s statewide leaders are elected to office every four years and work hard to represent you throughout New York.

Meet them here.

How to Get Involved in our Union

CSEA is more strong and effective when our members get involved. We realize that union membership competes with many things in your life for your time and attention, but no matter how little time you have to give, we have ways to become engaged and involved! Here’s a helpful listing to get you started.

A History of Progress

CSEA has a proud 100+ year history of fighting the good fight on behalf of workers in NY. Advocacy isn’t just something we do casually… it’s in our DNA. We are proud of the many accomplishments we’ve made over the years for our members that have led to better and safer workplaces, and better lives for our members and their families. Read more about our accomplishments.

What's the CSEA Advantage?

What do you mean by the CSEA Advantage? Simple. It’s all you GAIN when you join our union. Take a look.