CSEA Capital Region members, including Capital Region President Shana Davis, fourth from right, second row, join in a rally on the New York State Capitol’s Million Dollar Staircase.

ALBANY — CSEA members are urging state legislators to Fix Tier 6.

As New York State budget negotiations were underway as this edition went to press, CSEA and other public unions called for positive reforms to the pension system in the final budget.

CSEA members participated in rallies and sent thousands of emails to urge legislators to support the reforms.
Tier 6 has made public sector jobs less attractive and has also made it harder for the state and local governments to recruit and retain workers.

“We are struggling to recruit and retain staff, and CSEA members are working a lot of overtime due to understaffing. Our pensions were once a major reason that workers took public jobs and stayed at them, but Tier 6 has fewer benefits than the other tiers,” said CSEA President Mary E. Sullivan. “Under Tier 6, employees are less likely to take a job in the public sector and, if they do, are less likely to stay.”

CSEA helped achieve positive changes to Tier 6 in 2022 through members’ phone calls, emails and meetings with state legislators, but now it’s time to build on these changes to make Tier 6 a fair pension plan.
Throughout the state, CSEA members made their voices heard.

Taking part in the Port Chester Teachers Association March on the 6th rally are, from left to right, White Plains Teachers Association President Kara McCormick-Lyons, CSEA White Plains School District Unit President and Westchester County Local Treasurer Adele Herzenberg, and CSEA Westchester County Local and Unit President Hattie Adams.

CSEA Westchester County Local officers joined Port Chester School District Unit members and other union members for a rally urging for the changes. Westchester County Local and Unit President Hattie Adams spoke on behalf of our union at the event.

In Albany, CSEA Capital Region members joined other union members, allies and lawmakers for an early March rally at the New York State Capitol’s Million Dollar Staircase in support of improving Tier 6 benefits.

During the rally, speakers shared stories of the impact of inequity between workers in various tiers and demanded the right to a dignified retirement for all. Many speakers pointed out that public workers shortages and high vacancy rates are only exacerbated by the watered-down benefits currently in place for Tier 6 workers who pay more, work longer and get less in retirement.

CSEA Capital Region President Shana Davis, who attended the rally, said she worries what message is being sent to current and future employees.

“The future of our state workforce depends on tier reforms,” said Davis. “Workers in Tier 6 are required to pay more to invest in their own careers, but where is the investment in employees?”

For more information and the latest news as the final state budget comes together, sign up for the This Week in Albany e-alert at cseany.org/twia.

— Therese Assalian, Jessica Ladlee and Janice Gavin


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