MANHATTAN — At the first in-person Annual Delegates Meeting in three years, CSEA Employee Benefit Fund (EBF) representatives were busy meeting with delegates to discuss the many benefits EBF offers.
“The Metropolitan Region was alive and ready to welcome guests with open arms,” said EBF Director of Marketing Geoff Switts.
Switts noted that CSEA Metropolitan Region President Lester Crockett was all smiles as he welcomed delegates and staff.
“One look at the joy and determination in his eyes told you undeniably that the Metropolitan Region is open for business,” said Switts. “After two years of virtual meetings, things seemed back to normal and better than ever.”
During the ADM’s first two days, EBF representatives staffed an information table.
In addition to displaying important benefit information, representatives answered delegates’ questions.
“I sensed more optimism than the past ADMs I have attended,” said Erin Bazinet, CSEA Capital Region senior benefits specialist. “The delegates visited the EBF table with interest in learning about their EBF benefits. Our giveaway cooler bags were a big hit, but I don’t believe that was the primary reason delegates stopped by. We were just delighted to be there and so was everyone else. You could see it in the smiles and hear it in the laughter. The happiness was contagious!”
For both delegates and staff, the ADM provides a chance to connect with other members and strengthen our union.
“As the newest member of the EBF staff, I was honored to have been included in this year’s ADM conference in New York City,” said Andrew Miller, CSEA Central Region senior benefits specialist, who joined EBF in May. “It’s not often that you get to speak with so many members from so many regions all at once. This was a great opportunity.”
“One of the big takeaways for me was just how dedicated the delegates were to members,” said Miller. “Many of the people I spoke with have been representing members for more than 15 years. That kind of commitment is rare in today’s world, and only possible when an organization has a strong sense of unity and purpose. I left the ADM feeling impressed and thankful to be a part of an organization that has such a strong community.”
Giving valuable information
EBF State Benefits Specialist Courtney Sim and Switts also led a workshop, ‘An Overview of the Employee Benefit Fund’s Valuable Dental and Vision Benefits,’ which educated delegates on their negotiated benefits and provided ways that members can use their benefits to stay healthy and save money.
“It is vital for members to understand the true value of their EBF benefits,” said Sim. “The EBF was able to emphasize the use of our member portal, the benefits of using our extensive provider network, and empowered the delegates to help troubleshoot for the members back at their job site.”
The EBF workshop was only one of many sessions held throughout the week that were designed to help delegates boost their knowledge to help lead our union.
“While any local government representative or state benefits representative at the EBF is only a phone call or email away, our presentation was able to drive home the fact that knowledge is power,” said Sim. “The more members know, the more they truly benefit.”
ct that knowledge is power,” said Sim. “The more members know, the more they truly benefit.”