BEAR MOUNTAIN — The Palisades Parks Local runs from the New Jersey border up to the lower Catskills, so Local President Danny Corigliano finds labor-management safety meetings to be an integral part of growing workplace safety.
Corigliano and other CSEA activists from the vast Palisades Region sit down each month with management and safety officers. Attendees bring up safety concerns, address ongoing issues and resolve issues that might otherwise have to be brought more formally to the state.
Despite the physical distance between some of the local’s many work sites, safety and health meetings help pull CSEA members, other workers and management closer together.
“We discuss a wide range of things,” Corigliano said. “The type of work we do can be really dangerous, so it is important that we are in regular contact. Our parks manager has been very supportive of having our members step up and get involved in health and safety.”
One issue resolved through this collaboration, Corigliano said, was high radon levels in a parks administration building. Corigliano brought CSEA Occupational Safety and Health Specialist Gary China in for assistance and the group worked toward a resolution. Now the group is working together on safe lifting practices.
Committee members have been very supportive recently of the CSEA Peer Trainer program, which equips CSEA activists with the skills needed to train their co-workers on a number of safety issues. That cooperation has encouraged new or previously uninvolved CSEA members to step up in their union.
“We were able to bring three younger members up to the CSEA Occupational Safety and Health Conference in Lake Placid, which they loved,” Corigliano said. “They brought a lot of good info back to their work sites, including info on ticks and tick-borne illness, which is a huge thing in Parks. This has been a good way of getting people to step up.”
— Jessica Ladlee