State Department of Transportation workers gather with state DOT Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez at the Clifton Park event. From left, Department of Transportation (Albany) Local President Jennifer Murdza, Transportation Region 1 Local President Mike Garfolo, Transportation Region 1 Local Treasurer Tom Greenough, Transportation Region 1 Local Vice President Dawn Anderson, Transportation Region 1 Local activist Jim Nichols, state DOT Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez and CSEA Capital Region Executive Vice President Shana Davis.

‘Every worker deserves to make it home’

During the recent National Work Zone Awareness Week, CSEA members who work at the state Department of Transportation (DOT)participated in news conferences in Clifton Park and Rochester, alongside officials from DOT, the New York State Thruway Authority and the New York State Police, to urge the public to use extra caution when driving in work zones.

Transportation Region 1 Local President Mike Garfolo and Department of Transportation (Albany) Local President Jennifer Murdza spoke at the Clifton Park event, held at a I-87 rest area. They were joined by CSEA Capital Region Executive Vice President Shana Davis and DOT local officers and activists.

CSEA Transportation Region 4 (Rochester) Local President Brian Ossont speaks at the Rochester news conference.

 

 

In the Western Region, CSEA Transportation Region 4 (Rochester) Local President Brian Ossont also spoke about the need for caution in work zones.

Last year, there were 378 work zone incidents on New York State Department of Transportation and Thruway Authority-maintained roads, according to State DOT Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez.

State DOT Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez speaks about work zone safety, surrounded by workers and officials from the state DOT, New York State Thruway Authority and New York State Police.

More than 50 of those crashes resulted in injuries to highway workers or drivers. Historically, 56 highway workers have died in such work zone crashes, with the most recent one occurring in March 2019 in Tioga County, claiming the life of CSEA member and DOT employee Dennis “Matt” Howe.

Last year, 175 work zone crashes occurred on the Thruway alone, said NYS Thruway Director of Maintenance and Operations Jim Konstalid.

At their respective events, Garfolo, Murzda and Ossont delivered a statement by our union.

“CSEA is proud to partner with New York State DOT to advance our shared mission of work zone safety. Too many workers are injured or killed in highway accidents each year in New York. Through this partnership, we have been successful in educating the public, raising awareness and enacting needed safety legislation to protect highway workers. Every worker deserves to make it home at the end of the day.”

— Therese Assalian and Madison Ruffo

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