Please join the family of retired Local President Donald Lynskey in honoring his nephew, Connor Arthur Lynskey’s memory at the 3rd Annual Connor’s way memorial run/walk. This years run/walk will run from September 15th to the 22nd and will be a virtual format due to social distancing requirements. The proceeds will be utilized for a memorial and scholarship program in Connor’s memory. Go to www.facebook.com/connorswaymemorial or www.connorsway.com for further information. A heartfelt thanks to each and every member that participates and keeps Connor’s memory alive and strong.
SICK LEAVE BANK OPEN ENROLLMENT
As many of you are aware the sick leave bank open enrollment period was delayed due to COVID-19. The Sick leave bank committee has had several discussions since March, regarding when to conduct open enrollment. The intention was to wait until as many staff were back in the office, on a regular basis, as possible so that there would be no issues of employees not receiving the information and therefore missing the opportunity to enroll. The committee understands that concerns have been expressed regarding the delay and has decided to move forward with the enrollment at this time.
The attached memo announcing open enrollment was sent out to DE’s, Chief Clerks and HR Admins who will distribute to membership as well, in order to get the word out. Open enrollment will run from August 20th through September 16th and aside from taking place later than usual, the same rules apply. There will be no exceptions to the rules which are: employees must have a minimum of 56 hours of sick leave accruals (prorated for PT employees) by close of business August 19th and enrollment forms must be submitted no later than September 16th.
STATE JUDICIARY EMPLOYEE TRAVEL POLICY
The New York State travel advisory remains in effect, to date 35 States and territories are included on the list. OCA’s policy accompanied by the Governors Executive order, mandate Judicial and Non-Judicial employees travelling into New York from these states, must quarantine (utilizing your own accruals) for 14 days if unable to telecommute. The most up to date list can be found at https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-travel-advisory (under “Restricted States” tab). Should you have concerns regarding how this policy will affect any travel plans, please reach out to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or one of the other Local Officers.
AFSCME FREE BACHELORS DEGREE
AFSCME’S free Bachelor’s Completion program through Central States University has been extended through the remainder of 2020. All new and returning students who enroll for the Fall term are able to earn a bachelor’s degree in either Teacher Education, Business Administration or Criminal Justice, with no out of pocket cost. This benefit is available to CSEA members, their spouse or domestic partner, children, grandchildren, stepchildren, parents and siblings. If a CSEA member has been furloughed or laid off, they are still eligible to apply. Info at: https://bachelorsdegree.afscme.org/
EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
Please keep in mind that all CSEA members have access to the Employee Assistance Program. This is a free, confidential program to help you balance your work, family, and personal life, especially during these unprecedented times. As schools announce their plans for virtual-classrooms or limited, in-person instruction due to COVID-19, many of our members are scrambling for practical solutions. As a reminder, you and your family have access to professional assistance committed to helping you identify local resources, including tutoring and child care. (See attached flyer).
Please call or log-on to the website for extensive information and resources that are available to you.
LOG IN CODE: UCS
CSEA REGION 5 WORKERS MEMORIAL DAY
On Friday, Sept. 11 at 12 noon, CSEA representatives will gather at the Madison County Department of Social Services Building,133 North Court St. Wampsville, NY, to dedicate our Region’s 11th annual “Living Memorial” tree, in memory of those workers we’ve lost on the job.
The brief ceremony will include the installation of a plaque dedicating the memorial, and reading aloud the names of the workers we mourn. Join Central Region President Kenny Greenleaf and our Safety and Health Committee as we pay tribute and renew our fight against preventable workplace injuries and fatalities. Masks and social distancing required. Attached is a flyer to help advertise the event at your workplaces.
Fight for the living! Mourn For the dead!
CSEA SUBMITS TESTIMONY
Last week, CSEA submitted testimony to the New York State Senate hearing on the Unified Court System (UCS) and COVID-19. In the testimony, CSEA stressed the ongoing need to ensure the safety of Union members and the public in all of our courts.
Last week, Governor Cuomo signed into law legislation to allow New Yorkers who are concerned about in-person voting due to COVID to apply for an absentee ballot. If you are interested in applying for an absentee ballot because of COVID, you must submit an absentee ballot application and check the box for “temporary illness or physical disability.”
If you don’t feel comfortable voting in person on Election Day or are worried about your absentee ballot being delivered on time, you can vote early in person. Early voting runs from October 24 – November 1. Check with your local board of elections for polling times and locations for early voting.
The latest report from the Division of the Budget (DOB) made clear how dire New York’s financial situation really is.
The first quarter update to the state’s Financial Plan showed actions already being taken by the state to deal with the economic fallout of the Coronavirus. According to the report:
- The State’s budget deficit has increased to $14.5 billion for this year, and $62 billion through FY2024;
- All funds tax receipts have decreased by 10.2%;
- The updated financial plan includes nearly $10 billion in budget reductions between Executive agencies, the Judiciary, elected officials, and local governments;
- State agencies have been directed to reduce operating expenditures by 10%; and
- From June – July, DOB witheld $1.9 billion in local government payments. These will be converted to permanent reductions without federal aid.
Unfortunately, Congress and the White House are still at an impasse on a new package of legislation to address the Coronavirus and every passing week makes it less likely that any additional federal aid will be provided before November’s elections. Every passing week brings us closer to these proposed cuts becoming actual cuts.