GREAT NECK — Our CSEA family recently grew again when about 100 Great Neck Public Schools Buildings and Grounds employees joined our union.

Our new members were already part of an association, but they found that they needed the kind of representation and resources that only union membership can provide.

“A lot of our members came up to me and asked me about unionizing,” said Rob Loughlin, who served as president of the Great Neck Buildings and Grounds Association. “We felt that we weren’t being treated fairly during negotiations. I felt that we needed help with representing workers during negotiations and that we should seek out professionals.”

Loughlin also found himself having to protect members’ jobs, which is not something that he felt he had the skillset to do alone.

Now that the Great Neck Buildings and Grounds employees are part of CSEA, those worries are a thing of the past. The newly organized unit now has a large network of people who can lend them the guidance and support that they need.

One such person is Nassau Educational Employees Local President Monica Berkowitz, who will be the new unit’s local president. Berkowitz said she is looking forward to working with the new members.

“We, as a local, are so very happy about welcoming the Great Neck Buildings and Grounds Unit to our CSEA family,” said Berkowitz. “Together, as CSEA family, we can fight for job security, paid time off, free legal representation on the job, which is a benefit afforded only to CSEA members. Because of our union’s strength, we can advocate for our members on a myriad of issues such as safety and health, workers’ compensation and retirement security. I’m sure that we are headed down a very successful road together.”

Not only has unionizing helped build the new unit’s strength, it also has brought on a stronger sense of camaraderie.

“The value of union representation is that we’re all coming together to establish fairness and equity at the worksite,” said Loughlin. “This is the first time that we have looked beyond things that separate us, like job titles, to establish something better for our entire group.”

— Wendi Bowie

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Wendi Bowie

Wendi Bowie is an award-winning journalist who has focused the majority of her career on covering Long Island news. Her efforts have earned her the Press Club of Long Island Media Award for Public Affairs and the Long Island Coalition for Fair Broadcasting Folio Award. Wendi was drawn to her current position as Communications Specialist for CSEA’s Long Island Region because it speaks to her strong desire to champion the rights of the common man and woman.

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