Editor’s Note: Village of Wappingers Falls Unit President Ken Crusie understands the value of our union membership, particularly the many resources our union has to offer our members. He recently spoke with The Work Force’s Jessica Ladlee about why he will stick with our union.
“It’s huge just to have the ability to negotiate what you want. Everything is negotiable. You have a say about workplace safety raises, and terms and conditions of employment.
If someone were looking to quit our union, I would advise them to think about what might happen if they are disciplined at work and no longer have our union there to represent them. All of that money they saved on union dues would go to a private attorney to defend them, plus a lot more because it’s very expensive for lawyers and arbitration. Having our CSEA Legal Department behind us is a tremendous value.
Other unions don’t have the resources we have at CSEA. We have no idea how lucky we are to have them.
I approached our Occupational Safety and Health Department when I found out that a water main replacement we were undertaking was in an area where there was soil contamination. [CSEA Industrial Hygienist] Mark
Stipano told us had the right to know what kind of conditions we were working in. He later helped us monitor the site.
To work in the area, we had to take a 40-hour training course that the village paid for us to take and have an emergency response plan.
If we didn’t have our union, we would have been working in these conditions with no protective gear. Just having our Occupational Safety and Health Department is a major factor in what makes our union such a great value.”