News

Judiciary Members Overwhelmingly Ratify Contract Extension

(Susan Radosh, CSEA Dep. Director of State Operations, July 29, 2019)

CSEA Judiciary members across the state overwhelmingly ratified a one-year contract extension with the Unified Court System. The contract extension runs from April 1, 2020 through March 31, 2021. Extension highlights include annual salary schedule increase for all employees in the unit, increases to longevity payments, location pay increases, Security and Law Enforcement Differential (SLED) payment increases and an increase in Family Sick Leave, line of duty leave, bereavement leave, increased contribution to the Employee Benefit Fund and more.  (See the link below for Highlight Sheet)

Contract Extension Highlights – Click Here

2020 CSEA ELECTIONS

Information is listed below for CSEA Statewide Officers’, Region Officers’ and Board of Directors’ upcoming elections.  This information is also available at www.cseany.org and will be published in the CSEA Work Force publication.  Questions regarding the elections should be directed to headquarters at 1-518-257-1447.

Excused Leave to Vote

EXCUSED LEAVE TO VOTE IN THE JUNE 25th PRIMARY 

(CSEA Received this information this afternoon, June 21st, from OCA.  Please direct all inquiries to your supervisor or district office.)

The New York State Election Law was recently amended to provide all employees, whether full or part-time, up to three hours of paid leave in order to vote in any general election, special election called by the Governor, primary election, or municipal election, excluding school or library elections.  

This paid leave applies to the primary elections being held on Tuesday.

In order to be eligible for paid leave to vote on Tuesday, an employee must be actively registered to vote. Travel time is included in the three hours. Any absence beyond the three-hour maximum must be charged to the employee’s leave credits.  Employees should notify their manager/supervisor as soon as possible if they will require time off to vote in Tuesday’s elections.  Employees already scheduled to be out on any type of approved leave on Tuesday, or that call in sick, may vote on their own time and are not entitled to charge any portion of their absence to excused leave.  

Employees can be required to take this paid leave either at the beginning or end of their regular shift, as determined by the appropriate Deputy Chief Administrative Judge (Courts Within or Outside New York City).  Court managers/supervisors and employees will be notified shortly of this determination.

Employees must furnish proof of active voter registration in order to substantiate the use of excused leave, i.e. copy of voter registration card or online voter registration status, correspondence from Board of Elections.  Such proof may be provided in advance of the leave or upon the employee’s return to work.  In no event shall an employee disclose political party affiliation or enrollment, i.e. this information must be redacted by the employee. Employees may access their voter registration status online at https://voterlookup.elections.ny.gov/

Tentative Agreement

Tentative Agreement – One-Year Contract Extension

(Susan Radosh, CSEA Dep. Director of State Operations, June 15, 2019)

On June 3, 2019 the Office of Court Administration(‘OCA’) and CSEA signed a Tentative Agreement for a one-year contract that may begin on April 1, 2020 and would run until March 31, 2021. The CSEA negotiating team met several times with OCA during April and May to reach this agreement.  The negotiating team was composed of the following CSEA leaders:  Donald Lynskey, Committee Chair, Local 334 President; Scott Gartland, President of Local 333; Nicole Ventresca-Cohen, President of Local 694; Kevin Mahler, President of Local 332; Diane Hansen, President of Local 330; Vincent Martusciello, President of Local 010; and Robert Pazik, Chairperson of the CSEA State Executive Committee; and staff of the CSEA State Operations office.

A comprehensive description of the monetary increases and benefits is available as a fact sheet and will be distributed at membership meetings held by CSEA Locals around the State.  A copy of the fact sheet will also be published in the June/July issue of the “Workforce” and is be posted here as well (see link below).

CSEA will be mailing out ballots the last week of June to all members to vote on the Tentative Agreement.  The negotiating team believes this agreement to be of substantial benefit to our members and, therefore, ask that you vote YES on your ballot!

Click Here – CSEA Tentative Agreement Fact Sheet 2019

Click Here – Tentative 2020 Salary Schedule

Contract Extender Negotiations

(Susan Radosh, CSEA Dep. Director of State Operations, April 8, 2019)

CSEA met with the Office of Court Administration on Thursday, April 4 to discuss their offer of a one-year extension, from 2020-2021, of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement.  The CSEA negotiating team includes Donald Lynskey, Kevin Mahler, Nicole Ventresca-Cohen, Scott Gartland, Diane Hansen,  Vincent Martusciello, and Robert Pazik.  Discussions are scheduled to continue in mid-May.

 

 

Opt-Out Program – Erroneous Notification

CIVIL SERVICE – “OPT OUT” PROGRAM – ERRONEOUS NOTIFICATION

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.”

CSEA-UCS Sick Leave Bank

CSEA-UCS SICK LEAVE BANK INFORMATION

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.

Centralized Arraignment Parts – Improper Practice Charge

(Kathy Guild, CSEA Dep. Director of Contract Administration, October 24, 2018)

CSEA and UCS Labor Relations attended a hearing at the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) on October 22, 2018, regarding an Improper Practice Charge filed by CSEA. The charge was filed when a Centralized Arraignment Part (CAP) in Onondaga County, which conducts arraignments seven days a week from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., included Syracuse City Court arraignments along with the Town and Village arraignments. UCS hired private security to cover the CAP, even though they hired two part-time CSEA-represented Court Assistants to work in the CAP. CSEA’s position is that CSEA-represented employees have exclusively handled Syracuse City Court arraignments in the past and it is our bargaining unit work.

A second hearing day will be scheduled sometime in the future, as UCS did not come prepared to present any testimony at the hearing. We will continue to keep you updated regarding this issue.

Member vs. Non-Member

MEMBER vs. NON-MEMBER

(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!

Welfare Fund Benefit

(Kathy Guild, CSEA Dep. Director of Contract Administration)

The portal to apply for the negotiated UCS Welfare Fund Benefit was closed as of March 15, 2018 at 5 p.m.

The information is being processed for payment and checks will be sent out within four to six weeks. The amount that will be distributed to each applicant is $271.38.

CONTACT YOUR LOCAL

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