ALBANY — Throughout her union career, CSEA Executive Vice President Mary E. Sullivan has been dedicated to fighting for equality for all working people.

She was recently recognized for her longtime labor activism with awards from the American Labor Studies Center and the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU) New York Chapter.

“I am honored to receive both of these awards,” Sullivan said. “CBTU and the American Labor Studies Center are playing key roles in helping preserve labor history, as well as keeping the labor movement alive today.”

‘Woman of Valor’
CBTU’s New York Chapter recently presented Sullivan with its ‘Woman of Valor’ award, which recognizes women in labor unions for outstanding service and leadership qualities. CBTU, an AFL-CIO constituency group, is dedicated to advancing social and economic justice.

Sullivan takes seriously her union responsibility as a union leader to represent all members equally.
“I’m proud to be a CBTU member and be a small part of this great organization,” she said.

Honoring a pioneer
Sullivan was also recently honored with the American Labor Studies Center’s Kate Mullany Medal, named for the 19th century Irish immigrant who organized and led the Collar Workers Union in Troy.
“Mullany was a true pioneer in the labor movement and importantly, was a female in a male-dominated environment,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan, whose union work includes serving as the officer liaison to our Statewide Women’s Committee, believes union women are key to positive change and urged more women to become active in our union.

“Women are still less valued in society than men,” she said. “However, the majority of our members are women, who are stepping up and engaging our members to move our union forward.”

— Janice Gavin


About Author

Janice Gavin is the editor of The Work Force and CSEA’s special interest publications. A graduate of SUNY Plattsburgh and Syracuse University, Gavin has been a journalist and public relations professional for more than 25 years. She worked as a newspaper reporter and bureau chief at the Plattsburgh Press-Republican, where she was honored with Associated Press and New York Newspaper Publishers Association awards. Gavin joined CSEA as a communications specialist in the union's Southern Region in 2000. In 2004, she became The Work Force's associate editor, a position she held until becoming the publication's editor in 2017. Growing up in a union household, she is dedicated to improving workers’ lives through telling their stories.

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