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May 22 2015 State’s pension fund up to $183.5 billion The state’s major pension fund ended its fiscal year worth an estimated $183.5 billion, according to state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. The nation’s third-largest public pension fund showed a 7.16 percent rate of return for the year ending March 31, missing its targeted return of 7.5 percent. DiNapoli’s office said the latest estimated value is the highest in the fund’s history. “The fund performed well over the past year despite the challenges in the market,” DiNapoli said in a statement. “We achieved a solid return on investments in the midst of global volatility thanks to our talented investment staff and our diversified asset allocation.” Capitol Confidential blog
May 18 2015 Clinton says she'd make Supreme Court picks aimed at campaign finance reform "The Supreme Court made a grave error with Citizens United," Clinton said before a roomful of party activists in Mason City, Iowa. “I will do everything I can to appoint Supreme Court justices who protect the right to vote and do not protect the right of billionaires to buy elections." Clinton has made rolling back the court’s controversial 2010 campaign finance law decision – which enables corporations and unions to spend unlimited amounts to influence an election – a key pillar of her campaign. She talks about it frequently, lamenting the corrupting influence of big money in politics.
15, 2015 Connecticut
Workers to Receive Up to $125M in Layoff Settlement
than 2,700 Connecticut public employees are about to receive justice
after a 12-year fight as the Legislature is set to approve an
out-of-court settlement for up to an estimated $125 million in back
pay and additional leave time. The settlement stems from
Gov. John Rowland’s decision in 2003 to fire 2,300 unionized
workers and force an additional 400 to take lower paying jobs. Under
the guise of fiscal savings, the three-term governor attempted to
break the unions by targeting only bargaining unit members for
Council 4 members didn’t back down, working in concert with the 16
unions that comprise the State Employees Bargaining Agency Coalition
to take the state to court and fight the injustice. The U.S.
Court of Appeals ruled in 2013 that the state violated the
employee’s First Amendment right to freedom of association by
discriminatorily laying off only union members. They concluded that
the state employees were fired because of their union membership. “Rowland’s
disrespect for the Constitution and the laws he swore to uphold
devastated our communities and deprived Connecticut citizens of
vital public services,” said Sal Luciano, Council 4 executive
director and also an AFSCME International vice president. “We
other unions to fight back and seek justice, and we won.”
May 14 2015 Fast-Track Trade Measure Clears Key Senate Hurdle Two days after rejecting a measure to take up a bill granting President Obama fast-track trade authority, the Senate voted to move ahead with considering the legislation. The vote was 65-33. As Bill reported Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said an agreement had been reached to move forward on the vote. Bill wrote: "The solution calls for separate votes on bills that Democrats had wanted to move as a single package on the floor, according to NPR's Ailsa Chang. Ailsa says the Senate will vote on a customs enforcement bill that includes Sen. Charles Schumer's safeguards aimed at reducing currency manipulation." On Tuesday, the fast-track bill fell eight votes short of the 60 needed to avoid a filibuster. It was seen as a major rebuke to Obama. NPR's Brian Naylor reported at the time: "Democrats — even some who support the trade agreement, like Ron Wyden of Oregon — voted to block the Senate from taking up the bill, because they want Republicans to agree to take up other trade-related measures." The fast-track authority would pave the way for passage of the Trans Pacific Partnership — a complex trade agreement that supporters say will create new markets for U.S. goods. The deal's critics say it will hurt U.S. jobs.
Apr 10 2015 Going the Extra Mile: N.Y. CSEA Sanitation Workers Save a Life Two sanitation workers from Elmira, New York, Mike Waters and Ed Wood, took time out from their early morning route to save a life. Joseph Myers, 73, lay unconscious in his driveway for more than five hours in 10-degree weather before the two CSEA Local 808 members pulled up in their garbage trucks on their morning run. Waters noticed Myers lying in the snow under his car, jumped into action and ran over to lend a hand
CSEA Headquarters web page on TPP Trans Pacific Partnership Bad Trade Deal Please play the video to become informed; please call the number to leave your message to your Congressional House representative to save American jobs. This TPP trade deal is BAD NEWS for American jobs in the USA. Vital info on the TPP BAD Trade Deal
Mar 11 2015 Economist Krugman Gives the TPP Trade Deal a “Thumbs Down” …it doesn’t look like a good thing either for the world or for the United States, and you have to wonder why the Obama administration, in particular, would consider devoting any political capital to getting this through.
Feb 20 2015 After years of avoiding confrontation, the U.S. labor movement is reasserting itself. From the ports of Los Angeles to the car plants of Detroit, unions are demanding payback for sacrifices they say helped revive the economy. “Employers seem to think that they can push unions, the roots of the American working class, off a cliff,” said Dave Campbell, whose union local represents oil-terminal workers at the Port of Long Beach. “Well, these corporations have made a significant miscalculation in our ability to fight back. There’s a lot of labor strife now, and they could have a major confrontation on their hands.” Campbell’s combative rhetoric evokes an era when unions had the clout to win significant lifestyle upgrades for their members. Wielding the threat of strikes and work slowdowns, organized labor helped generations of Americans join the middle class and stay there.
Feb 19 2015 Guess Who’s Turning 40 – Our Weingarten Rights Did you know that the boss cannot question you without your union representative present? It’s your right as a union member! But, you have to ask for one, according to the U.S. Supreme Court. Forty years ago, on Feb. 19, 1975, in a case called National Labor Relations Board vs. J. Weingarten, the high court ruled that an employee has the right to request union representation in any meeting that she or he feels could result in discipline or termination. The employer must suspend the meeting until a representative arrives or end the meeting all together.
Feb 19 2015 NYTimes Op Ed: The Cost of a Decline in Unions More broadly, I disdained unions as bringing corruption, nepotism and rigid work rules to the labor market, impeding the economic growth that ultimately makes a country strong. I was wrong. The abuses are real. But, as unions wane in American life, it’s also increasingly clear that they were doing a lot of good in sustaining middle class life — especially the private-sector unions that are now dwindling. Most studies suggest that about one-fifth of the increase in economic inequality in America among men in recent decades is the result of the decline in unions. It may be more: A study in the American Sociological Review, using the broadest methodology, estimates that the decline of unions may account for one-third of the rise of inequality among men.
Jan 29 2015 Senator Gillibrand's Plan to Fix Parental Leave Audio Report Unlike many other countries, the U.S. has no laws requiring paid maternity or parental leave. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is trying to change that with the Family Act, which she introduced in 2013. She discusses the particulars of the bill and why it has languished in Congress.
Nov 2014 Unions: Among the Few Interest Groups Representing 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.
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.
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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Civil Service Employees Association
CSEA Unit 9200 - Westchester Employees Union 112 East Post Road, Suite 428 4th Floor White Plains, New York, 10601-3311
Hours: 7:30 AM to 5 PM (if visiting; call first to make sure) Phone (914) 995-2151 Fax (914) 995-5629