(Don Lynskey, CSEA Judiciary Local 334 President, July 31, 2018)

A number of people have contacted me to discuss and comment on “membership” versus “non-membership” in our Union. The reasons for maintaining your membership are voluminous, but here are a few important factors to consider:

As one of the largest unions in New York State, CSEA IS strong and we need to keep it that way. Remember, if our membership drops even one person below 50%, the employer can decertify the Union – which means no representation, no “table” to sit down to discuss matters or negotiate a contract. As a matter of fact, no CONTRACT at all in that situation, which means all terms and conditions of employment are subject to the whims of the employer, including hours of employment, salaries and percent increases, health insurance rates, accruals, use of annual/sick leave, etcetera. This, alone, should be reason enough to Stay Union and Stay Strong.

As a member of your Union, you are able to elect your representatives, vote on your contract, attend Union meetings and events. If you have reason to be formally counseled, encounter disciplinary charges or an investigation by the Inspector General’s office, you will be able to count on Union representation throughout these type of proceedings. Remember, no one ever plans on running into these issues, but if/when you do, we have your back and also have access to our Labor Relations Specialists and our Legal Department, if needed. Non-members have no access to Union representation in these type of matters unless it involves a “contract” issue and they will need to hire and pay for their own counsel – who typically do not have the familiarity with dealing with the employer and its agencies and policies. Non-members are not able to attend our meetings/events or access the information we provide. And we do have a list of members and non-members that we check before providing our services or information.

Our members also have access to Pearl Insurances, our CSEA Health Benefits Department, Membership Benefits and Contract Administration Departments – all staffed by experts to help you get clear and concise answers to any issue you may have.

The list goes on and on as to the benefits of membership versus not being a member. If you want more information, let me know. Or you can call CSEA Headquarters and speak with a representative there, 1-800-342-4146. It’s OUR Union – let’s keep it Strong!