Stories: Unions, Workers, Issues

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Sept 21, 2017   CSEA member’s quick thinking saves a life in White Plains NY
When they made that stop on one recent summer day, however, Jay Gonzalez, a motor equipment operator at the City of White Plains, remained in his work truck as his co-worker went inside.  That decision may have saved a life.  “As I was sitting there, a lady came running and knocked on the window,” Gonzalez said. “She was knocking hard and crying. I opened the door and she said, ‘Do you have a knife, do you have something that can cut a seat belt? My daughter is choking!’”


August 2017 Union’s Loss Is the South’s Loss, Too

With employers and anti-union politicians telling them that unionization would threaten their jobs, Southern workers choose to stick with what they have rather than risk sharing the fate of their poorly paid neighbors. And while the threat does not square with reality, since major car plants worldwide are typically unionized, a majority of workers are not willing to call this bluff and organize for better wages and conditions.

This dynamic stubbornly depresses wages in the South, and throughout the country. Even within Nissan in Canton, pay is trending down: While workers hired in the plant’s early years make about $26 an hour, workers hired more recently top out at $24 (and often make less). In addition, Nissan has hired thousands of contract workers who are paid less than employees.



July 18, 2017  Nyack Library workers face opposition to unionizing

In June, workers organized the Nyack Library Staff Association, which is open to all staff and has about 50 members. In a blog post, the group said it was “excited to form an organization which will improve their jobs and enable the library to continue to attract and retain the most qualified and dedicated staff for years to come.”
They also designated as a parent union the NYSUT, (New York State United Teachers) which is made up of more than 600,000 people employed in education, human services and health care.  Shortly after, a petition signed by 80 percent of workers was submitted to the National Labor Relations Board, requesting the federal agency conduct a secret ballot election.  More


July 13, 2017   Why Millennials Should Lead the Next Labor Movement  “At a time when the government wants to disembowel public and private health care and when wages are on the decline, our best recourse to these threats is to join existing unions or unionize ourselves.
We show higher support for unions than previous generations, and with good reason: Unionized employees typically enjoy better benefits and have made about 27 percent more than their non-unionized counterparts for roughly the last 15 years.”



June 21, 2017   New York State CSEA members will vote on proposed 5 year contract settlement.   pdf version below  CSEA is New York’s largest state workers union with about 60,000 mostly blue collar workers, has been without a contract since their last agreement expired at the end of March 2016.
While neither side was speaking publicly about details of the contract … union members would get 2 percent annual raises for five years…..  Additionally, the bill spells out increased automatic longevity increases and bonuses.  One new feature is a bonus for 15 years of continuous service which starts at $2,500 per year to $4,500 by April 1, 2019.   Additionally, overtime for those working in institutions such as psychiatric hospitals will rise from 1.5 to 2 times the hourly rate.   CSEA HQ story 



June 12, 2017   Unions Come into the Supreme Court Crosshairs, Again
Unions again have reason to be nervous. Having already determined that the issue in the case warrants the court’s attention, the justices will probably agree to hear it.  And if Justice Gorsuch votes with the court’s more conservative members, which seems likely, millions of government workers in more than 20 states could be allowed to opt out of paying for collective bargaining, depriving unions of vast sums of money and making them less powerful and effective.


May 26 1937   May 26 2017  Today is the 80th anniversary of The Battle of the Overpass. The United Auto Workers president Walter Reuther and union members were attacked, bloodied, and injured by hired Pinkerton private security guards from Ford Motor Co. as they tried to hand out union leaflets to workers at the Ford factory in Michigan.  Front page photos of the beatings appeared in all newspapers and the popularity of unions grew strongly.



May 19 2017   $14M budget deficit projected for Westchester by Astorino administration through spokesman McCormack.  Each year the administration talks deficits, each year the books close with a surplus.


May 17 2017   Strong odor prompts Labor Department visit to Westchester Board of Elections   CSEA 9200 contacted NYS Labor Dept PESH unit to conduct a safety inspection due to worker complaints re ill effects from fumes and odors.



April 14, 2017    2017-18 Enacted New York State Budget Summary from CSEA headquarters


March 27 2017  Westchester Democrat Legislators propose paid sick days law





March 26 2017  Westchester to pay ex-employee $380,000 over firing





March 23 2017  An Era of Scorn for Our Government Workforce





March 23 2017  Very Few Unions in Alabama Auto Parts Firms; Rate of Injury Much Higher for Workers

Mar 17, 2017 Video:  CSEA workers on the job for Winter Storms

Dec 29 2016  Story: Plow Drivers Provide Vital Service