As I see the hatred that seems to be bubbling up in places like Charlottesville and elsewhere, I’m reminded of just how inclusive CSEA has been, and how much better we’ve made New York state
because of it.

CSEA has always been a diverse group, and we must continue to remember that and stand together to protect all of our rights. That’s at the very heart of why CSEA members never quit on each other, but it takes every one of us.

It’s easy to say the Never Quit movement is about our right to bargain collectively, negotiate contracts and maintain workplace representation rights. It is. But Never Quit is about more than that. It’s about fair treatment, respect, dignity and honor for every CSEA member. Being part of CSEA means you are part of a group of 300,000 people throughout the state from every walk of life and from many backgrounds, all of whom stand together every day.

It is these differences that make us the best at what we do — provide vital services that keep New York running every day.

The attacks on labor are still as real as ever. It’s important to look at the positive side of things, too. When we all work together, CSEA can prevail over those who stand against us, because we never quit!

For example, 60,000 of you working for the state Executive Branch just held the line. It took hard work, but we now have a fair contract that keeps health care increases at a minimum, includes longevity improvements and many other enhancements. At a time when labor is under attack in our country, we prove that when we stand together, we come out ahead. The recently ratified state contract proves that unions are as strong as ever in New York.

Each day, your leaders, officers, grievance representatives and shop stewards work hard to ensure that you get fair treatment in the workplace. Member negotiating teams around the state regularly ensure fair contracts for you. These agreements give us the respect we all deserve as CSEA members and hardworking Americans.

Make no mistake — we have to be on our guard. The mandatory question of whether or not to hold a constitutional convention is a very real threat to us. At best, it would cost us all greatly as taxpayers of New York.

At worst, it jeopardizes our pensions, rights as workers and existence as a union. We must vote NO on November 7, and we must urge our families, friends and co-workers to also vote NO.

It was wonderful hearing from so many of you while I was out, but I can assure you all I am now back and right in the swing of things. I’m renewed with energy, because despite our challenges, your work every day is a reminder that we’ll continue to stand together and show our state that we are united in solidarity, will fight for what we believe in and deserve and demand respect. Every day, each of you clearly show the world that CSEA never quits!

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