Thursday, February 11, 2010


Rochester, N.Y.-- Ove Overmyer, Local 828 VP and Unit President of the City of Rochester Library Workers 7420, fired off a letter to Rochester's City Newspaper describing what he calls unfair and untrue claims by Governor Paterson directed toward CSEA. The article appeared in the February 10th, 2010 edition of the weekly newspaper.

Here is the article:

The Paterson administration and my union, the Civil Service Employees Association, have been publicly trading barbs at one another. We are at different ends of the spectrum over how we can improve the quality of life for all New Yorkers. What particularly disturbs me is the lack of civility of the debate.

In an "Answering to Upstate" meeting in Rochester on January 26, Paterson said state employees' unions have refused to cooperate with his efforts to reduce the state's expenses. This is not true. He also stated, "There are those who are so self-absorbed ... that they thumb their nose at the public's face."

To set the record straight, last summer CSEA membership agreed to the creation of a Tier V system for new hires, long-term employees took an early buy-out on retirement, and we offered several solutions to help reduce the deficit. In turn, the governor revisited the idea of laying off more than 8,900 workers after he had said he wouldn't just four months earlier.

The governor's recent anti-union comments also gave license to others in our community to unleash a barrage of insults and nasty rhetoric about our character and even our relevancy.

This is who we are. We are your tax-paying neighbors who deliver the public services you rely on every day. We are not a special interest. We are your investment. We plow the roads so you can get to work on time. We take care of your aging parents, teach your children, get criminals off the street, and assist you when you need help finding that best seller at the public library.

The majority of public employees who are union members do not have inflated salaries or pensions. We live paycheck to paycheck like most people and are just trying to provide for our families. Union officers are democratically elected workers who represent the best interests of their members, their employer, and the greater community. For starters, my fellow union workers donate countless hours to the membership drive at WXXI and to the Special Olympics.

It deeply saddens me that our community sees public employee unions as the cause of Albany's budget problems. Laying off workers who are already overburdened will not improve the quality of life here in the Empire State. We don't need smaller government. We need smarter government.


Overmyer is president, CSEA City of Rochester Library Workers Local 828, Unit 7420.

1 comment:

  1. I could not agree more! Thank you for taking the time to write this to express the views of 300,000 CSEA members who feel the exact same way.