After a landslide victory over the constitutional convention, CSEA activists and staff are continuing to reach out to our members to build a stronger union.

During recent member engagement visits in New York City and Ulster County, conversations centered on educating our members, and hearing their concerns about the pending U.S. Supreme Court case Janus v. AFSCME Council 31, which will review the constitutionality of agency, or fair share, fees. The Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments in the case in early 2018.

Spreading an important message
At a Workers’ Compensation Board work site meeting in Harlem, CSEA Political Action Coordinator Matt D’Amico shared copies of a mailer urging people to quit their union that public employees in Washington received.
“These are the kinds of deceptive tactics that are being used to destroy the union movement,” said D’Amico. “We all need to be aware and we need to warn our brothers and sisters.”

“Without our union, we will be lacking our voice,” said Marilyn Valle, an assistant workers’ compensation examiner. “We have great benefits through our union and we don’t want to lose them.”
“We are determined to reach every single member in the region,” said Metropolitan Region President Lester Crockett. “The enthusiasm and support members have for our union is solid but we can’t rest until we’ve reached everyone.”

Strengthening communication
In Ulster County, busy schedules and hunting season made work site meetings and weekend door knocks a challenge, but CSEA activists volunteering for the member engagement visits said the conversations they had with members were overwhelmingly pro-union.

“We need unions now more than ever,” CSEA Ulster County Unit member Ralph Perry told Dutchess County Education Local Secretary Joanne Bardin and CSEA Occupational Safety and Health Specialist Brian Pomeroy, after the two visited Perry’s home.

CSEA Ulster County Local President Amanda Wolfson thanked the member engagement team for coming to the county to reach out to our members. Both the Ulster County Unit and Local are working to strengthen communication with members.

“The members showed a clear interest in staying with our union and even getting more involved,” said Southern Region President Billy Riccaldo, who noted that even when a fire alarm during a work site meeting at the Ulster County Department of Social Services forced an evacuation, conversations continued outside in the parking lot.

— David Galarza and Jessica Ladlee


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