Employees Association - Unit 9200 -
2014 College Year Tuition Reimbursement Application and Rules Deadline: Monday, Jan 12, 2015
Dec 18 2014 Anti Union Forces Try Their Luck in County Laws Conservative groups are opening a new front in their effort to reshape American law, arguing that local governments have the power to write their own rules on a key labor issue that has, up to now, been the prerogative of states. Beginning here in the hometown of Senator Rand Paul and the Chevy Corvette, groups including the American Legislative Exchange Council, the Heritage Foundation and a newly formed nonprofit called Protect My Check are working together to influence local governments the same way they have influenced state legislatures, and anti-union ordinances are just the first step in the coordinated effort they envision. A carefully devised plan began to unfold last week, when the Warren County Fiscal Court met here and preliminarily approved, in a 6 to 1 vote, a “right to work” ordinance that would allow employees represented by a union to opt out of paying union fees. This week two more Kentucky counties, Fulton and Simpson, followed suit, and a dozen more are expected to do the same in the next six weeks. “There are literally thousands of targets for the initiative,” said Brent Yessin, an anti-union consultant and lawyer who is on the board of advisers for Protect My Check, said at a recent meeting in Washington. “Doing this county by county, city by city is more time consuming, but it’s also more time consuming and draining for the unions to fight.”
Dec 16 2014 New York City Teachers Score Highly Under New Evaluation System Nine out of 10 New York City teachers received one of the top two rankings in the first year of a new evaluation system that was hailed as a better way of assessing how they perform, according to figures released on Tuesday. The system, enacted into state law in 2010, was created, in part, to make it easier to identify which teachers performed the best so their methods could be replicated, and which performed the worst, so they could be fired. Although very few teachers in the city were deemed not to be up to standards, state officials and education experts said the city appeared to be doing a better job of evaluating its teachers than the rest of New York State. “Two percent is worrisome,” Sandi Jacobs, the vice president and managing director for state policy at the National Council on Teacher Quality, said of the number of teachers found to be “developing” in the rest of the state. The council has pushed for states to do a better job of identifying ineffective teachers.
Dec 13 2014 View: Astorino's 'borrow for tomorrow' budget Catherine Borgia and Ben Boykin pdf version The Westchester Board of Legislators recently passed a $1.76 billion budget for 2015.This budget is bad for the people of Westchester because it contains excessive borrowing for operating expenses that will yield big tax hikes, which will be paid with interest, for taxpayers in years to come. Borrowing for operating expenses is like using your credit cards to pay your rent. It should only be done in the direst of circumstances. Holiday spending is the perfect metaphor for this type of budget: it feels good now but will cost dearly in the near future. Independent watchdogs like the Citizens Budget Advisory Committee noted the structural imbalance in this "borrow from tomorrow" budget when it was first submitted to the Board of Legislators in November by County Executive Rob Astorino. Their report cautioned that an unprecedented reliance on borrowing and "one shot" revenue sources to fund current year operating expenses was leading Westchester County to a dangerous, fiscally irresponsible future.
Dec 12 2014 Why I voted "Yes" to the 2015 Westchester Budget. by John Testa, Bernice Spreckman, Sheila Marcotte On Tuesday December 9th, the Board of Legislators passed a bipartisan coalition budget for 2015 by a vote of 10-7. The 2015 budget keeps taxes flat, does not raid the County’s reserves, and increases funding to many social safety net programs. Here are the some of the highlights of that budget and why I voted “yes.” This was a tough budget that required us to make difficult decisions, but at the end of our negotiations with the County Executive and Democrats on the Board, we were able to craft a plan that keeps taxes flat, protects the County’s favorable credit rating, and provides a strong social safety net for our low income families. Some legislators have criticized and complained about this budget throughout the negotiation process, but at the end of the day, those same legislators never offered their own solutions until after the fact, when they said we should have raised taxes. Adding to the tax burden of Westchester families was something we were not willing to do.
Dec 10 2014 Bipartisan Coalition Passes 2015 Budget The Westchester County 2015 operating and capital budgets were passed by the Board of Legislators (BOL) on Tuesday afternoon (Dec 9) . The $1.75 billion bipartisan compromise budget keeps taxes flat for the fifth consecutive year, protects the County’s favorable credit rating and strengthens social programs for lower income families and individuals. County Executive Rob Astorino is expected to sign the Budget Act into law this week. The BOL received the County Executive’s proposed budget on November 10th. Since that time the BOL has met almost daily with commissioners, department heads and budget staff to craft a budget that restores or increases funding to a number of programs like legal services, youth shelters and many other of our social safety net programs. The County Executive’s proposed budget called for an approval to borrow $8 million to cover the cost of tax certioraris. The BOL was able to identify savings throughout the budget that lowered the figure to $5 million. The BOL budget also creates four new positions within the County Department of Public Works for minor repairs and maintenance to the 130 plus miles of county-owned roads in Westchester. This work had previously be done through bond acts and is anticipated to save millions of dollars in repair costs and financing. Full Press Release
Dec 9 2014 Westchester
passes $1.8B budget; no tax hike
No Layoffs of workers Westchester County
Executive Rob Astorino's $1.8 billion no-tax-hike budget was passed
Tuesday by the county Board of Legislators in a bipartisan agreement
that saw three Democrats join seven Republicans to ratify the
spending plan. The board eliminated borrowing $5 million
for road repairs. It added $700,000 in county funding for child care
and provided $60,000 to fund a position at Child Care Council of
Westchester to help families with the application process for county
subsidized child care. "It's a balanced opportunity
to protect the families of Westchester County," said board
Chairman Michael Kaplowitz, D-Somers. Legislator Catherine
Borgia, D-Ossining, called the budget "irresponsible,"
citing Astorino's decision to borrow for ongoing
Dec 5 2014 Hundreds attend Garner protests in Nyack, White Plains pdf version On a frigid, rainy Friday night, more than 150 people held a candlelight vigil outside the Nyack Center in memory of countless black men across the nation who, they said, have been killed by police without justification. It was a solemn protest — peaceful, with few speeches and songs, lasting only 30 minutes — but charged with a call for change. Kristin Walsh said she was in "disbelief" after a Staten Island grand jury decided not to indict an NYPD officer in the chokehold death of Eric Garner. "Racism and the issues of race in our country have to be on the table and we all need to talk about it," the Nyack woman said. Hours before the Rockland vigil, some 40 to 60 peaceful demonstrators waved signs, chanted and laid down on the frigid Renaissance Plaza concrete in a lunchtime protest against the Garner ruling and what they deemed the lack of justice in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
Dec 4 2014 Renewed
Protests Over Garner Case In New York, Beyond
Frustration about two recent cases in which unarmed black
men were killed by police brought new protests and road closures to
New York City, Chicago, Washington, Boston, Cleveland and elsewhere
Thursday. Many of the demonstrators timed their
marches to disrupt rush hour traffic. In New York, the iconic Brooklyn
Bridge was shut down, and protesters crowded the terminal for the
Staten Island Ferry.
Dec 2 2014 Westchester Legislators Announce Progress Toward Bipartisan 2015 Budget The Westchester County Board of Legislators (BOL) Budget and Appropriations Committee made their additions to County Executive Rob Astorino’s proposed 2015 budget. The Budget and Appropriations Committee will make their corresponding deletions to the budget and then release the final budget report on Friday. In what Legislators described as a productive and bipartisan, all-day negotiation, a number of important issues were hammered out including an increase to the subsidized childcare program, added capital projects to improve infrastructure and the restoration of some Curator positions at the County’s nature preserves.
Nov 2014 Unions Are Among the Very Few Interest Groups that Represent the Middle Class The efforts of unions and other groups that represent the interests of the middle class and the poor are critical for making democracy work. Few individuals have the time or resources for sustained engagement with the political system, especially among the poor and middle class. Interest groups provide the structure for individuals to pool their resources on behalf of their preferred policies, provide legal and regulatory expertise, and ensure effective implementation of policies—working not only to help pass legislation but also lobbying for implementation once policies have been passed. They also can mobilize members, and often the general public, at key points throughout the legislative process.
Nov 28 2014 Democrats criticize $1.76B Astorino Westchester budget pdf version The Democratic majority on the board has criticized the budget on several fronts, including: •Borrowing: Astorino proposed borrowing $15 million to cover pension costs, along with $8 million to pay refunds to property owners who get their assessments reduced. "This budget is paid for with our children's credit card," said Legislator Peter Harckham, D-North Salem. •Capital project backlog: The projects are worth $1.36 billion and little spending is scheduled for 2015, according to Legislator Mary Jane Shimsky, D-Hastings-on-Hudson. Delaying repairs will end up costing taxpayers more, she said.
Nov 25 2014 Republican Legislators See Good News in 2015 Budget Review The Republican caucus of the Westchester County Board of Legislators (BOL) announced on Friday that based on their review of the 2015 Westchester County Budget thus far, the BOL will pass a budget that delivers no tax increase for the fifth straight year, does not draw down the reserve fund and increases aid to non-profits and protects social services. One week into the review of the proposed 2015 budget, the BOL Budget and Appropriations Committee, Chaired by Legislator Sheila Marcotte (R) Eastchester, New Rochelle, Tuckahoe, have met every day with Commissioners and Department Heads to discuss operations and planning related to the 2015 budget.
Tom DiNapoli, NYS Comptroller endorsed by both the CSEA and PEF unions, talks about the value of the credentialed and qualified CSEA workers in his office, the record high NYS Pension System fund balance, and, at the 10 minute mark, defends the importance of keeping the current Defined Benefit pension system we all contributed to as municipal workers.
Tom DiNapoli: NYS Pension Fund Rises to Estimated $180.7 Billion The New York State Common Retirement Fund’s (Fund) value grew to an estimated $180.7 billion in the first quarter ending June 30, 2014, according to New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. The Fund had ended the state’s Fiscal Year 2014 on March 31 with a value of $176.8 billion. The net growth in the value of the fund reflects earnings over the quarter, offset by benefit payments. In August, it lowered contribution rates by 0.8 percent for most municipal and state workers and 1.3 percent for police and firefighters. Seventy eight percent (78%) of retirees with a NYS pension stay right here in New York after retiring. Those retiree funds keep adding to the local economies.
Sept 24 2014 Rye
Playland Rides Summer Profit, Attendance Increases
Aug 20 2014 12 Recent Victories for Workers in Raising Wages and Collective Bargaining AFSCME President Lee Saunders announced that the union has organized more than 90,000 workers this year, nearly doubling its 2014 goal of 50,000.
her Community in New York Every Day as a CSEA Member
Hourlies Need Unions Also: 98 Minute Wait for Medical Care
audio report also
AFSCME: A Force to
Be Reckoned With
DiNapoli: N.Y. pensions are worth defending
DiNapoli's Fall 2014 NYS Pension UPDATE
DiNapoli's Video Re: the Strong Condition of the NYS Pension System
Nov 19, 2011: Women Becoming Unions' New Voices 3 page NY Times article on powerful women in unions
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