BROOKLYN — When Pamela Caleb received a bill from her insurance provider, she thought it was a simple mistake.

As a CSEA member, Caleb, a developmental aide at Brooklyn Developmental Center, was accustomed to having her monthly premium automatically deducted from her bank account.

After she received a third bill, she suspected something was wrong. That’s when she called the insurance provider and got the disturbing news.

“I was told I was no longer a CSEA member,” said Caleb. “I didn’t understand, but they told me that since I had opted out of the union, they were no longer able to make automatic deductions from my bank.”

She soon discovered that she had inadvertently signed a card sent to her home by out-of-state scammers waging war against unions across the country.

“I would never intentionally opt out of my union,” said Caleb. “I always wanted to have my union.”

A quick call to CSEA’s Member Solutions Center easily remedied her conundrum. Caleb was able to rejoin our union and regain her union standing and benefits.

“It’s so deceptive to the union and members,” said Caleb. “Why would they send someone a card like that?”

Caleb cautioned members to remain vigilant of similar schemes, to never give out personal information and not to sign or mail anything to another state or organization.

“I am so happy to get back into my union,” said Caleb. “You always need a union. I was shocked and devastated over it.”

After a long civil service career, Caleb is well aware of the benefits and privileges afforded by union membership.

“I’m going to wait 25 years to opt out the union?” she asked. “I would never do that.”

— David Galarza


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