Buffalo — On October 1, Robert “Bob” Pyjas was tapped as CSEA Western Region President after the retirement of longtime activist Kathy Button, who served in that role since July 2018. Pyjas, a Town of Lancaster resident, has been an employee of Erie County and a CSEA member for more than 32 years. Most recently, Bob has served as the Executive Vice President of CSEA Western Region 6.
Before his association with CSEA and Erie County, Bob was an active member of the International Association of Longshoremen and a Teamsters member from Local 375. Pyjas is a distinguished U.S. Army Veteran who was a Sergeant and a Platoon Leader in a Mechanized Infantry Division. He served six years of total military service and was honorably discharged in 1972.
Pyjas is presently employed by the Erie County Sheriff’s Office as a Correction Lieutenant at the Erie County Correctional Facility in Alden, where he served as the Watch Commander running the day to day operations of the jail. Bob is also a graduate of the Cornell University Industrial and Labor Relations program and a graduate of the 2007 CSEA LEAD program.
Bob has been very active serving the CSEA membership, holding several key leadership positions in many statewide, region and local committees. During his stint working at the correctional facility, Bob served as the CSEA 2nd Vice President and eventually became President winning three consecutive terms. Bob has held the office of Treasurer for Erie County Local 815 since 2000, and was also Vice President of Erie County Unit. Additionally, Bob has also dedicated his day to day union work representing the members interest as the Erie County Grievance Chair.
Other titles and committee assignments held by Pyjas include the Erie County Board Representative for the CSEA Board of Directors, a seat on the Statewide Veterans Committee, Chair of the Region Veteran’s Committee and he also served on the AFSCME Corrections United National Steering Committee.
Arguably, Bob’s body of work and depth of institutional knowledge when it comes to the overall delivery of public services and to the organizational management of CSEA union business are second to none.
CSEA’s Western Region covers 14 Western New York counties, supporting workers in more than 80 locals and 220 units in state government, local government, school districts, library systems, public authorities and the private sector. The region has approximately 46,000 members.