Unions are under attack. The anti-union groups that are funding Janus v. AFSCME Council 31 have us in the fight of our lives, and we are not expecting the U.S. Supreme Court to decide this case in our favor.
We’ve been talking about this a lot lately. I urge all of you to learn more about the issues facing us — and what you can do — through our new CSEA Never Quit Toolkit on our website at cseany.org/neverquit.
We are facing serious challenges, but positive things can rise from adversity. During the last month, we celebrated a big win for CSEA and for labor in New York.
Here in New York State, labor has worked hard to ensure our state continues to be a model for how hardworking Americans should be treated. The state legislature and the governor recently enacted changes to the state Taylor Law that greatly benefit working people. This is a sign of our state’s strong commitment to hardworking Americans.
These changes didn’t happen simply because our political leaders are charitable. This happened because elected leaders in New York recognize the power of unions here, which we demonstrated clearly last November by defeating the Constitutional Convention vote.
The changes to the Taylor Law most notably include removing our requirement to represent nonmembers in disciplines, interrogations and other non-contractual legal matters that may arise as a result of employment. Let me be clear: for as long as you pay your dues and stay union, you will not lose any of the representation or services as a result of the change to the Taylor Law.
Moving forward, CSEA will be under no obligation to represent anyone in a disciplinary action or a legal matter if they are not paying their share of the money. I can’t emphasize enough how important this is. There is no free lunch here; this is about fairness to working people.
The new rules provide some other benefits to us as well, such as requiring employers to notify us about new employees in CSEA titles within 30 days of their employment, and allowing members to come back as members after going on leave for a period of time.
In New York, these are big wins for labor. It’s important to recognize that elected leaders continue to recognize how important workers like you are to our state. The fact that these changes were passed and signed into law is another clear demonstration of how strong and influential unions are. Stay Union and Stay Strong!