With the recent retirement of CSEA Region 5 President Colleen Wheaton, our new Region President is now Ken Greenleaf, a long-time activist who has held positions as a Local President in Oswego County, Local 838, Region Exec. Vice President, as well as various positions on statewide committees. We wish Kenny well in his new leadership position. You can read Kenny’s welcome message at


It’s time to go out and “freeze for a reason” again at the Polar Plunge this Sunday, December 2nd , plunging into Oneida Lake to raise money for the Special Olympics. The money raised will help send athletes to compete in the games. Please consider donating – any amount helps, large or small. You can click on the link below to go to my fundraising page or to make a donation to one of our other Local Officers or fellow members on the CSEA Region 5 team. Better yet, sign up to join us. Many thanks to those that have already contributed. Thank you!!


The Sick Leave Bank (SLB) was established through contract negotiations to cover illness, injury or disease that would require the employee to be out of work for an extended period of time while maintaining their pay status and health insurance.

Once an employee becomes eligible (having eight days of accrued sick leave on the books by open enrollment period, usually in April of every year), they would be eligible to draw from the bank for an illness, injury or disease, once they have exhausted all other leave accruals. Approval of said time is required by the SLB Committee. The SLB Committee consists of one management representative and one union representative. A unanimous vote on each grant is required, and there is no appeal process. Once your grant is approved, it can be renewed for additional periods of time as needed, up to a maximum of 229 days or 1603 hours. Each renewal also requires SLB Committee approval.

Though you may be a member of the SLB, it is important to note that not all situations will qualify for a grant, which is why it is so important to save your accruals, especially sick leave. Sick Leave can also be used at retirement to help offset health insurance premiums and add to your service credit. Please also note that minor illness, injury or disease requiring a short period of absence from work are generally covered by your personal accrued leave. Travel is not permitted during the SLB grant time unless it is related to the injury/illness/disease (ex: obtaining a second opinion or seeing a specialist from another area).

The SLB exists to help those who encounter unforeseen illnesses, injuries or disease and, to that end, the Committee has an obligation of making sure grants are given to the members it was created to help while also looking out for the interests of the other bank members.

We strongly encourage all members to join upon eligibility as the SLB acts as an insurance policy, hopefully one that you will never have to use, but if you do, it will be there.


CSEA was recently informed by UCS that “the Department of Civil Service has generated notices confirming enrollees’ ‘Opt-Out’ for the 2019 Plan year, which are erroneous as the 2019 Option Transfer Period has not yet occurred.

“As we are not yet sure whether Civil Service will be sending anything out to enrollees notifying them of this error, please ensure that your members are aware that they must re-enroll in the ‘Opt-Out’ Program for 2019 even if they received one of these letters.

“Any questions regarding health benefits should be made to your local Health Benefits Administrator.”


Lights On The Lake is Central New York’s premier drive-through holiday lighting show, with two miles of breathtaking displays proudly setup and maintained by our CSEA Local 834 members working in the Onondaga County Parks Department. It’s always fun for the whole family!

For one night only, on Monday, December 3 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Onondaga Lake Park in Liverpool, CSEA members and their families throughout Central New York can get advance sale admission at the special discount rate of $4.00 per car, a member-only savings of $6.00 off the regular rate!

Come see our CSEA logo in lights and join us for a free family holiday party with refreshments and Santa visiting and taking pictures with the kids from 5 – 8 pm at the Salt Museum at Onondaga Lake Park.

Advance sale tickets are available through Onondaga Local 834 by calling (315) 446-0330 and will also be available for purchase that night at the Salt Museum. Show a copy of your CSEA membership card or download your digital membership card on the My CSEA smartphone app as evidence of your CSEA membership. We’ll also be collecting donations for the Food Bank of Central New York, so please help us by bringing your generous donation of non-perishable food to the Salt Museum.

Happy holidays from CSEA and enjoy Lights On The Lake!