Your CSEA Negotiating team met with OCA in August and September. We have made great strides towards reaching a tentative agreement but still have several important issues that need to be addressed before we can present a tentative agreement to the members. We expect the structure of our contract to have many similarities to the CSEA Executive Branch contract that was overwhelmingly ratified. We are scheduled to meet again with OCA in October. Upon reaching a tentative agreement, we will be scheduling ratification meetings ahead of ballots going out to the membership. Remember, only members of CSEA will be allowed to have a vote and final say on the contract. We thank all of you for your continued support as we work toward obtaining the best contract, we can for you.
CSEA met with OCA on August 3rd and had a productive negotiating session. We will meet again for negotiations on August 24th and will keep the membership updated. Enjoy the end of summer!
CSEA is aware that some health insurance plans have ceased paying the cost of surveillance COVID testing and are now only covering the cost of symptomatic testing. CSEA is discussing this issue with the Empire Plan and as members notify us of other health insurance plan notifications, we are speaking with them about this issue. As you may know, CSEA was the only Union that filed an Improper Practice charge at PERB last October specifically claiming that the cost of testing was a mandatory subject. That IP was consolidated with the mandated vaccine IP and was heard in April; CSEA is awaiting a determination on both cases from the Administrative Law Judge.
In the meantime, CSEA asked OCA last week whether members could perform home COVID tests and then if positive, be tested at a pharmacy. OCA said no, they would not accept the results of home tests. CSEA will continue to push for changes to this policy.
As you know, the CSEA negotiating team representing the Executive branch agencies has a Tentative Agreement and votes to ratify it will be counted on August 2nd. The contract is a good one with many improvements for members in those agencies; a description of the contract is in the current Workforce.
Meanwhile closer to home, our Judicial unit negotiating team is back at the table with OCA on August 3rd.
CSEA Judiciary/UCS Contract Negotiations Update:
Your CSEA Contract Negotiating Team finally returned to the bargaining table with UCS on Thursday May 12th and Wednesday May 18th, since being told in January by UCS they could not meet in February, March, or April. CSEA came into the first May meeting with a full package of proposals; UCS’ proposal for a short-term agreement with increases matching those already being paid to non-CSEA bargaining units in the Executive Branch was almost word-for-word the same as their January 5 proposal to CSEA with some tweaks. CSEA is seeking a longer-term agreement with increased benefits for members.
Please remember that it would be unduly detrimental to the bargaining process to set forth the specifics of all of these proposals. But rest assured that the CSEA Bargaining Team will continue to make proposals to address your concerns and issues.
Thank you for your patience and continued support!
CSEA-UCS Contract Update:
As members are aware, CSEA and UCS have been holding negotiating sessions which began in August, followed by five subsequent meetings. CSEA has given OCA proposals on over 20 articles covering issues ranging from salary increases to telecommuting; our proposals have included monetary and non-monetary items. Our team has acted professionally as we represent all of you at the table across from OCA.
From August until December, OCA had not provided one proposal to CSEA. Suddenly at the recent negotiating sessions, OCA provided a proposal which predicated contract negotiation settlement on CSEA’s withdrawal of our pending Improper Practice charges regarding COVID 19 vaccination, and additional agreement that any future COVID booster mandate would not be challenged, even if not negotiated with the Union.
CSEA’s Team informed OCA we did not want to link the non-contract COVID 19 mandates to contract negotiations. Both should be negotiated, but without linking one to the other.
Ultimately, OCA told CSEA they were no longer interested in continuing negotiations at this time, because they are too busy! OCA provided dates in May and June to meet.
The CSEA Local Presidents are meeting this week to consider what actions to take next –stay tuned!
Following the announcement by Governor Cuomo on Friday that COVID 19 vaccinations will be rolled out by Counties beginning on Monday January 11, CSEA has been notified that vaccinations will be available to eligible CSEA members in accordance with the Governors implementation plan. The Office of Court Administration has confirmed that Court Officers and members with Peace Officer status will be eligible to register and receive the vaccine doses where available. OCA is also discussing with the NYS Department of Health which court staff will be considered staff who “support” public safety officers as described by the State DOH requirements https://covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/phased-distribution-vaccine#phase-1a—phase-1b and therefore are also eligible for the vaccine.
CSEA strongly encourages all members interested in receiving the vaccine to visit the NYS Department of Health website at https://covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/ to check eligibility status and learn more about your options. Please be advised prior to receiving the vaccination, you must complete the New York State COVID-19 Vaccine Form. This form can be completed online and you will receive a submission ID. You can also fill out the form at your vaccination site. Individuals being vaccinated must bring proof of eligibility to the vaccination site. This may include an employee ID card, a letter from an employer or affiliated organization, or a pay stub, depending on the specific priority status.
NEW YORK STATE INFORMATION :
Please use this for COVID19 Vaccination
NEW YORK CITY :
Please use this for COVID19 Vaccination More COVID-19 vaccine appointments are now available. You can sign up for an appointment here:
Currently, only certain groups are eligible to be vaccinated. You will be asked for proof of eligibility at the vaccination site.
On November 12th 2020 Scott Gartland, President of CSEA Local 333 and Diane Hansen, President of CSEA Local 330 spoke about Budget Cuts in the Judiciary Branch.
The unions representing UCS employees met with the Office of Court Administration this morning via Skype. With the Governor’s 10% reduction to the Unified Court System’s budget for this current fiscal year resulting in a $300 million dollar shortfall, OCA has been taking steps to make up for the shortfall and it was related today that of the $300 million shortfall, they have been successful in reducing it to $28 million. OCA had proposed several options today to the unions some of which could possibly involve workforce reductions and/or an agreement on the 2 percent salary increase and retroactive monies. We are scheduled to have a follow-up meeting with the other court unions to discuss these proposals further on Monday, October 5th. We are also scheduled to meet again with OCA in December to get further information on what the future may hold and any other progress on the shortfall. As always, CSEA is committed to the best interest of our membership and as further information becomes available, we will share it with you.
On Friday August 28th 2020, OCA had a conference call with all the unions statewide. We were informed of the fiscal constraints OCA is facing for the rest of the year. The unions were not given any hard numbers or facts, just generic comments without any specifics. CSEA and the other unions are waiting for specific information regarding budget constraints. CSEA is committed to our membership and will keep you posted as more information comes available.