Wednesday, October 3, 2012

It's your right. VOTE.

Tomorrow marks the first presidential debate, an opportunity to hear our president and Governor Romney discuss the country's most pressing issues. This election, do more than vote. Be informed. Watch tomorrow's debates at 9pm EST and discuss the issues with your friends and family.

Stream the debate online: CLICK HERE!!

To Register to VOTE: CLICK HERE!!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Contract Ratification Results Are In!

Picture by Bess Watts

The independent committee tallying the results of the Contract Ratification Vote have certified the results.

All ballots postmarked by 9/27/12 have been verified and counted. 

The results are as follows:

65.51%  Yes
34.49%  No

The Tentative Agreement reached between CSEA and Monroe County has been ratified by the membership.

This agreement runs through 12/31/13. We will start negotiations for a successor agreement in early April 2013. Check back here often for updates.

Committee Members counting the vote.


The contract ratification ballot count started at 8:30am this morning and is underway at the time of this post. To ensure the integrity of the vote, a committee of CSEA Retirees and Members not directly involved in negotiations are doing the tally of secret ballots.


The votes will be tallied today (Monday, 10/1/12) in the CSEA Rochester Satellite off Winton Road (behind Winton Plaza). REMINDER: All CSEA members are welcome to observe the secret ballot vote count. The count will start at 8:30am and continue until completed. If you have any questions please call the Union Office at 328-5250.

The address where the votes will be counted is:

Rochester Satellite Office 
3495 Winton Place, Building E -
Suite 3 Rochester, NY 14623
Phone: (585) 272-0800

For directions: CLICK HERE

View Larger Map

Saturday, September 15, 2012

How can I stay informed????

There are many methods to stay informed on what your CSEA Unit 7400 is doing. Here they are:

  •  Register for periodic e-mail updates by CLICKING HERE! Then fill out the simple form.
  • Contact the Union Office by calling 585-328-5250.
  • Watch your mail: Postcards are frequently sent to members announcing major events and actions.

Friday, September 14, 2012


The mail-in ballots have been sent to all CSEA Unit 7400 full time members to the address of record.

If YOU DO NOT receive your ballot by Thursday, September 20, 2012 please call the CSEA Union Office at 328-5250 and another ballot will be mailed out to you.  At that time we will also confirm your home mailing address to ensure it is correct.

REMEMBER in order for your vote to count your envelope must be postmarked no later than September 27, 2012.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact the office.

Thank you.

Unit 7400 Negotiating Team
CSEA Local 828

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


During the informational meetings held on the Tentative Agreement, many CSEA members brought up good questions. We are going to take some of the questions raised, post them on this blog, and distribute them around the county. Feel free to submit any additional questions to unit7400@rochester.rr.com.

Q) If the Tentative Agreement is ratified, when will the changes in health insurance rates be instituted?

A) The Tentative Agreement requires the rate changes to go into effect on 1/1/13.

Q) Will there be a health insurance open enrollment period before 1/1/13?

A)  Open enrollment this year (2012) will be the same as last year. It will run from mid-November to mid-December. Flex spending open enrollment is done earlier, in mid-October. 

Q) What happens to our other benefits not referred to in the Tentative Agreement?

A) Unless there are changes referenced to in the Tentative Agreement, the terms of the agreement expiring on December 31, 2008 will be continued in the new agreement.

Q) If the Tentative Agreement is ratified, when will it run through?

A)  December 31, 2013.  Negotiations for a successor agreement will commence In April of 2013.

Q) Why is the union doing a mail-in ballot?

A) This is a big county with employees throughout. The mail-in ballot is being used simply to ensure everyone has a right to vote. The ballots will be counted on October 1, 2012, at the CSEA Rochester Satellite office off of Winton Road. If you would like to observe the vote count, please call the union office for directions and times at: (585) 328-5250. Ballots will be mailed on 9/14/12. If you do not receive a ballot by next week, please call the union office to acquire a ballot.

Q) In the *CSEA labor settlement insurance rates based on 2012 rates info sheet provided at the informational meeting Category 1, some of the rates appear mixed up. Is it accurate?

A) Yes. Category 1 is a combination of two former groups, Pre-05 and Pre-86. They both paid 4% for Value, but Pre-05 paid 8% of Select and Pre-86 paid 4% of Select. The chart prepared could only reflect one of the prior classes, which is Pre-05, the much larger group. 

In any case, the "New" column amount is correct for both. The $48 amount is 8% of premium. The $24 amount is 4% of premium. Combined it’s 12%, $72. So for the vast majority of Category 1, the chart is correct. For Pre-86 folks, $24 is current, $48 is change and $72 is new. 

*For a copy of the CSEA labor settlement insurance rates based on 2012 rates info sheet, email the word FORMS to unit7400@gmail.com.

To download a copy of this Q & A - CLICK HERE and share with your co-workers.


A number of questions came up during the information meeting Monday night. We will post answers to those questions here as soon as practical. Please check back often.

For information on additional meetings: CLICK HERE

If you are unable to attend any of these informational meetings and want the handouts, please call the union office at (585) 328-5250


To have the documents e-mailed to you, send an e-mail with the words HANDOUTS in the heading to unit7400@gmail.com

Ballots will be mailed to each CSEA Member's home on Friday, 9/14/12. Read the provided 
voting directions closely. 

To follow Unit 7400 on Twitter: CLICK HERE

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


         President and Mrs. Obama observe a moment of silence 
on the South Lawn of the White House this morning.

As millions of Americans took a moment this morning to remember the tragedy that occurred 11 years ago on Sept. 11 in New York City, Virginia and Pennsylvania, military veterans who’ve found careers through the Ironworkers, Laborers (LIUNA), Heat and Frost Insulators and Bricklayers (BAC) are rebuilding the World Trade Center in New York.
Read more and comment.

Monday, September 10, 2012


There will be two additional Informational Meetings regarding the Tentative Agreement to be held on:

  • Wednesday, September 12, 2012 @ Auditorium B - Monroe Community Hospital 2:30P.M. To 4:00 p.m.

  • Friday, September 14th, 2012 - City Place - 3rd Floor Auditorium – Room 3139 - 12:00p to 2:00p

You need only attend one of the meetings

Please feel free to bring your lunch and have it during the meeting.
If you are unable to attend any of these informational meetings and want the handouts, please call the union office at (585) 328-5250


To have the documents e-mailed to you, send an e-mail with the words HANDOUTS in the heading to unit7400@gmail.com

Ballots will be mailed to each CSEA Member's home on Friday, 9/14/12. Read the provided voting directions closely. 

Your CSEA Negotiation Team is recommending a YES vote on the Tentative Agreement.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Friday, August 31, 2012

CSEA Wishes You a Safe and Happy Labor Day

CSEA members will celebrate Labor Day throughout September through parades, picnics and other events to honor workers. Please join an event near you to support workers. 

Read President Donohue’s annual Labor Day message here.

Rochester Labor Day Parade Info: CLICK HERE!

CSEA Unit 7400 - General Membership Meeting Info: CLICK HERE!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

CLICK HERE to read an interesting article that appeared in the City Newspaper this week.

The Tentative Agreement between CSEA Unit 7400 and Monroe County will be  sent to each member's home address of record no later than August 31st. If you don't get a copy by next week please call the union office. 

Remember the membership meeting scheduled for 9/10/12 at 5:30pm CLICK HERE for details.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Labor Day Parade - Walk with the 99%

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I hope you can join us for the Labor Day Parade on Monday, Sept 3rd.  Our line-up will be at 10:00AM with the kick off at 11:00 - be sure and be there by 10:30 as they close the streets.  We will be in our regular spot across from Strathallan Hotel on East Avenue.     We will have a float and signs to carry as well as t-shirts, coffee & donuts.  We hope to see you on Monday! 

Bess Watts  
President Monroe County CSEA Local 828

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

CSEA Unit 7400 - General Membership Meeting

The purpose of this meeting is to discuss the Tentative Agreement reached by and between CSEA Unit 7400 and Monroe County.

A full copy of the signed Tentative Agreement will be sent to each member next week.

DATE:  Monday, September 10th 

TIME: 5:30pm

1956 Lyell Avenue, Rochester, NY

Pizza, Wings and Refreshments will be provided.

Negotiation Update

CSEA Unit 7400 and Monroe County have reached a tentative agreement in the current negotiations. This agreement is only tentative and the decision is now yours. 

The full text of the tentative agreement will be sent to each CSEA Member next week.  A full membership meeting will be scheduled to discuss the details of the tentative agreement as soon as practical.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Union Negotiation Team Meets to Prepare For Tuesday

The Unit 7400 Negotiation Team met today to prepare for the negotiation session next week.  As stated before, the Union and Management Team will meet at 9:00am on Tuesday August 21, 2012 in yet another attempt to reach a fair agreement. The Union Negotiations Team is ready to discuss any ideas the County may have to reach an agreement.  

The Union Negotiation Team remains determined to get a fair pay increase and to protect our member’s benefits. Check back on this page for updates next week.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Few Words From Danny Donohue

Presidential candidate Mitt Romney's selection of Wisconsin U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan is another measure of the attack on the middle class. Ryan is the architect of the congressional budget proposal that would cut essential services to give tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires at your expense. The non-partisan think tank Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) in Washington D.C. says the Ryan budget would shift very substantial costs to states. States are already hurting and more cuts would further the slow economic recovery. Education, transportation, public safety, community development, housing, workforce training, child care, and health would all suffer cuts.


FPI and CBPP: Ryan Budget Takes Billions out of New York

Last week the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities released a new report showing that a “Cuts Only” approach to reducing the federal deficit would drastically cut federal investments in education, roads and bridges, and disaster relief. Cuts of this magnitude would do great damage to the economy. FPI’s press release highlights the fact that the House-passed “Ryan Budget,” a prime example of the “Cuts Only” approach, would cost New York state and local governments $2.7 billion in 2014 alone and $21.2 billion from 2013 through 2021.

Friday, August 3, 2012

There is Unfinished Business in Monroe County

CSEA is starting a new campaign in Monroe County to aid in the membership in getting the fair contract they and their work is worthy of. “There is Unfinished Business in Monroe County” will highlight that the Monroe County Workforce is one of highest quality, valuable to the community it serves and that working for 4 years without a contract is ridiculous by any person’s standards.

The new campaign will begin in August with public billboard advertising and new web page, http://unfinished-biz.com.

The Union is still barred from moving forward with the fact-finding process due to a previous frivolous improper practice charge filed by the County that has yet to be resolved by the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB). However, after requests from CSEA, the County has agreed to re-enter negotiations with the CSEA negotiating team on August 21st.  Both parties have agreed to do a “marathon session” in an attempt to reach the fair agreement that both sides can accept, meaning that the negotiations will be scheduled to run the entire day. As always, CSEA will inform the membership via the “Blast” as to the results of that meeting.

CSEA Unit 7400 President Cris Zaffuto said, “The County Administration needs to understand that this process has gone on for an extremely long period and our members are tired of being economically paralyzed just because they are public employees, we can and will have an agreement if the County is truly willing to work with us.”

If this upcoming negotiations meeting does not produce a viable agreement for the membership, then CSEA will continue to move forward with the new campaign. The campaign will alert the public to the facts that the County Administration, has continued to stall the negotiations process, continues to devalue and demoralize their employees and continues to attempt to divide the union membership.

CSEA remains vigilant with sending our message to the entire County Legislature and urges all members to come to the next legislative meeting. Tuesday, August 14th, 5:45 - Monroe County Legislative Meeting, Monroe County Office Building

Please print off the Unit 7400 Negotiation Update (BLAST) and distribute it to your co-workers. You can access the BLAST (to print) if you CLICK HERE!!

A very Important message to all members of Monroe County Employee Unit 7400!!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Wages aren’t stagnating, they’re plummeting

Between 1960 and 2009, the share of men working fulltime fell from 83 percent to 66 percent

By Dylan Matthews , Washington Post: July 31, 2012
Many economists have expressed concern that median wages have stagnated since the 1970s, as illustrated in the following chart from the Economic Policy Institute. …. As you can see on the black line in the above graph, median earnings for men in 2009 were lower than they were in the early 1970s. And it gets worse. The decline shown above is actually too mild, because it doesn’t take into account the massive exodus from the workforce of men since that period. Between 1960 and 2009, the share of men working fulltime fell from 83 percent to 66 percent, and the share not making formal wages tripled from 6 percent to 18 percent.

Public-sector belt-tightening: thrift, or long-term drag on US economy?

By Ron Scherer, Christian Science Monitor / July 31, 2012

… For three years, city governments have been shrinking their workforces. Most communities pay their municipal employees and fund their schools and other services using tax revenues and fees collected for licenses and other things. … The resulting cuts in local government have subtracted almost one-quarter of a percentage point from annual gross domestic product (adjusted for inflation) each of the past four years, Moody's Analytics estimates. The total impact during that period: about $150 billion. Moreover, the cuts have accelerated over the past year, according to Moody's. … "A lot of the private sector depends on the public sector," says Chris Hoene, director of research and innovation at the National League of Cities in Washington. "There are estimates that for every $3 spent at the municipal level, there is $1 in new private-sector activity."

Economic Outlook: Potential for 2013 ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Recession Already Hurting U.S. Economy, Analysts Say

By Larry Swisher, BNA, Daily Labor Report, 147 DLR AA-1, July 31, 2012

Six months from now, the U.S. economy is poised to fall over a fiscal “cliff” and into another recession, resulting in the loss of an estimated 2 million jobs and pushing the unemployment rate back over 9 percent, according to several government, private, and academic analysts. However, forecasters do not expect this worst-case scenario will actually happen, instead predicting Congress will intervene later this year to prevent the automatic federal spending cuts and expiration of income tax cuts from occurring.

Monday, July 30, 2012

James T. Hancock (1931 - 2012)

Our long time attorney James Hancock passed away Saturday July 28th. Many of our members were served by Jim over his many years of service to Monroe County CSEA. Jim was a unique man with big heart who always went the extra mile in service to our folks. Jim may be gone, but his legacy lives on. Thank you Jim for all you did for each and every one of us.

For the official obituary and  information on Jim's service: CLICK HERE

Monday, July 23, 2012

Tell Congress: End the Bush Tax Cuts for the Richest 2 Percent

Check out their site:  http://westandwiththe99percent.tumblr.com/

It simply isn’t right that working families often end up paying a higher tax rate than the richest 2 percent of Americans. 
Republicans in Congress and Mitt Romney don’t get it, though, or they just don’t care.  Their plan is to hold the middle class hostage and insist that the Bush tax cuts not only be extended for the wealthy, but made permanent!
That’s why it’s so important that you pick up the phone and call Congress today. Urge your senators to let the Bush tax cuts expire for the wealthy – families making over $250,000 a year – and pass a one-year extension of tax relief for middle-class families.
CLICK HERE to fill out the form to get started, and we’ll provide you with talking points before connecting you to the Senate.  

Friday, July 20, 2012

Probation, Parole and Community Supervision Week

CSEA President Danny Donohue today recognized union members across the state who work in probation services by declaring July 15 - 21, 2012 as "Probation, Parole and Community Supervision Week."

"On behalf of the 300,000 CSEA members across New York State, I am pleased to recognize our members who are probation professionals," Donohue said. "Probation, Parole and Community Supervision Week is meant to honor a segment of the work force that deserves great respect."

Friday, July 13, 2012

CSEA President Danny Donohue's Messages

To paraphrase Mark Twain: Reports of labor's death are greatly exaggerated. While some might like to write our obituary, there's too much at stake for us to let that happen.

We live in a challenging time, when extremism is undermining our democracy and the ability to find reasonable and responsible common ground.

It's made worse by the increasing power of money to buy influence and ignore people. Just consider the staggering amounts of money being spent to misrepresent the truth about working people and manipulate public opinion. Keep in mind that no one spends that kind of money without looking for something in return, and you better believe their payoff is at your expense.

Do we really want a country where the super wealthy get richer and richer while the rest of us get poorer and poorer? Do we want a country where working in public service isn't valued and damns you to second-class citizenship? Do we want a country where facts don't mean anything, especially if you've got the money to drown everything out with lies? Do we want a country where you're either born into affluence or tough luck? The answer is no. We need balance, community and opportunity. But all of those things listed above are coming to reality in America and it's up to all of us to change it.

More than ever before, we need a strong labor movement to stand up for what's right because the future of the American Dream depends on it.

You don't need a Nobel Prize in economics to understand that working people do better in terms of wages, benefits and working conditions when they have a union. And it's just as clear all Americans do better when unions are strong.

We need to work together to make America better.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

An Independence Day Message From CSEA Monroe County Local 828

Tell Congress: Hands Off Our Health Care!

In an historic ruling, the conservative Supreme Court of the United States affirmed the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare") and the individual mandate as consitutional.

It's an enormous win that has drawn cheers from middle class families all over America. Unfortunately, House Speaker John Boehner and other right-wing members of Congress are already saying they will keep trying to repeal Obamacare.
Send a letter today -- tell your senators and representative in Congress that they need to respect the decision of Chief Justice John Roberts and the highest court in the land and stop trying to take health care away from millions of Americans. CLICK HERE to help!!

For more information: CLICK HERE!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

CSEA and Monroe County agree to meet again in negotiations…

Monroe County responded positively to Cris Zaffuto’s letter requesting that the CSEA Monroe County Employees' Unit and Monroe County resume negotiations.  Zaffuto stated, “the only way for these negotiations to reach a just conclusion is for the parties to keep meeting”. Zaffuto added, “the negotiation team will approach this new opportunity with cautious optimism”.

The mobilization and all efforts underway to secure a fair contract will continue while the parties meet. Sign up for mobilization/negotiation updates by CLICKING HERE!

Discussions on a meeting date are currently underway. Please keep checking this blog for up to the minute negotiation updates.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Struggle for a Fair Agreement Continues

CSEA Unit 7400 leadership continues the fight to protect our membership’s rights and benefits.  Last week CSEA Unit President Cris Zaffuto again advocated (in a letter to Monroe County) to get negotiations moving. In this letter, she pointed out the following:
CSEA has made it clear that we have continuously been willing and open to sitting down with the County at any time to work toward a fair settlement.
The letter from President Zaffuto went on to offer Monroe County several options to move the negotiations along:
While CSEA stands by the communications we have had with our members, the County Legislature and the press, we remain willing to meet with the County anytime, anyplace in an attempt to get a fair agreement. 
We are so ready to meet that we offer the County the following three alternative options to re-start negotiations; if any of these are acceptable to the County, we will agree to do so:
1.         As stated above, the parties can meet with the fact finder immediately, even while your charge against CSEA is pending. 
2.         A preferable option is that you withdraw your charge against CSEA and let the fact finder decide the proper issues that need to be addressed.  This way, we leave the issues in the hands of the fact-finder, without the uncertainty of litigation hanging over our heads. 
3.         Another option is to meet prior to going to the fact-finder to continue negotiations voluntarily to resolve our differences.
Please check back to this blog often. We will update you as soon as we get a response from the County on our legitimate request to get these negotiations back on track.

Rest assured, your negotiation team and union leadership will use every tool available to protect your benefits and encourage the County to come to the bargaining table with reasonable proposals. These negotiations have gone on far too long. There is unfinished business in Monroe County and it is high time the Brooks Administration prioritize these negotiations and works towards a fair settlement.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Monroe County needs to drop their IP charge against CSEA and get back to the negotiation table.

A message from Danny Donohue and Alice Goff

To Our AFSCME Brothers and Sisters-

This has been the most hard-fought and spirited national election ever held in AFSCME.

We want to thank all of you who took time away from the crucial struggles you are fighting on the frontlines every day to help choose a new leadership team for our union.

For us, from day one, this election has been about restoring this union to the members-to ensure that democracy remains AFSCME's hallmark and that all voices are heard, all views respected.

We've been deeply disturbed during the course of this election-and on the floor of this convention-to see how frequently violations of fundamental democratic rights have occurred.

Every one of us has a stake in ensuring that our union holds itself to the highest standards of fairness and integrity. 

We have no interest in promoting or prolonging division within our union.  But we, like every AFSCME member, do have a strong interest in promoting democracy, fairness, and integrity-- and we are determined to continue to do so.

While we may have conceded this election, we are not conceding our fight for a better union.

The enemies of working families are unrelenting in their determination to weaken union rights, to decimate the public services on which so many citizens depend, and to drive down our standard of living.

We can only combat them if we build our power from the grassroots up, if we strengthen councils and locals to make the critical fights at the local level, and if we firmly uphold democracy and integrity at every level of our union.  You have our promise to do everything possible to advance those goals.

In solidarity,
 Danny Donohue Signature                         Alice Goff Signature
Danny Donohue                                               Alice Goff


Thursday, June 21, 2012

An interview with Danny Donohue

Originally posted in Blogging Blue in Wisconsin (We in NY know Danny) This is written by an AFSCME member in Wisconsin:

No doubt you’re probably wondering, “Who the heck is Danny Donohue?” Donohue (pictured, left) isn’t an elected official, nor is he a candidate for elected office, but he is a candidate for AFSCME International President.
As many of you know, I’m a proud member of AFSCME (Council 24, to be exact), and I’ve taken a great interest in this week’s elections in Los Angeles to choose the next President of AFSCME International. Donohue is running against Lee Saunders, who currently serves as Secretary-Treasurer of AFSCME, and the race to become the next President of AFSCME International has really become a race of the establishment (Saunders) vs. the change candidate (Donohue).
Last week Friday I had an opportunity to chat with Donohue about his decision to run for President of AFSCME International, as well as his thoughts on how he’d move AFSCME forward and grow the union, which has seen its membership decline, especially here in Wisconsin in the aftermath of Gov. Scott Walker’s assault on public employee collective bargaining rights. “We have to do things a different way,” Donohue responded when asked he decided to run, adding that AFSCME has traditionally been a strong organization because of its grassroots operation. Donohue noted he wants to focus on rebuilding AFSCME from the bottom up, saying, “We’ve become a top-down operation. We have to do things a different way,” Donohue added, saying that while the country has changed dramatically over the past five years, AFSCME has not adapted as well.
When prompted to talk about how he’d move AFSCME forward if elected, Donohue started by mentioning that he’d review the resources the union currently has and how it spends its money, in order to ensure resources are being allocated efficiently. Donohue cited the union’s decision to spend $1 million on ads attacking Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in Florida as an example of the union allocating its resources unwisely, and he noted that AFSCME members in Florida have questioned why their union leadership only visits their state in election years. “We need to be invested in our members’ lives every day,” Donohue said, adding that the members of AFSCME are neighbors, friends, and people who live down the block from the general public, a fact that needs to be reinforced. Donohue also made a point to mention that he feels union leadership needs to listen more to its members, instead of telling members what to do.
Asked what he brings to the table that his opponent, Lee Saunders, doesn’t, Donohue was quick to point to his experience as a rank and file member of AFSCME, having come up through the ranks of AFSCME in New York state. “I know what it’s like to be one paycheck from being laid off,” Donohue said, adding that he’d bring a rank and file member’s mentality to his position as President, specifically when it comes to how the union’s money is being spent. “I want more transparency from International,” Donohue said to emphasize his point.
When asked how he would respond to criticisms that he did not come to Wisconsin to stand with our public employees in the aftermath of Act 10, Donohue said that he made a point to ask what was needed here in Wisconsin – and he was told we needed money and people. “They didn’t want another person to give a speech,” Donohue said, adding that in response to requests he wrote a check and sent about twenty of his members and staff to carry their banner and help the effort. Donohue added that he didn’t want to come to Wisconsin just for the photo op, saying he responded to what he was told was needed – nothing more and nothing less.
Here’s more about Danny Donohue, from his One AFSCME website.