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Turning a corner after a very tough year: A message from CSEA President Mary E. Sullivan April 2021

CSEA President Mary E. Sullivan

Sisters and Brothers

Maybe it’s the changing of the seasons from what seemed like a very long winter to a long-awaited spring.

Maybe it’s the feeling that COVID-19 is starting to diminish its horrible stranglehold over our country, as infection rates go down, vaccines become more available, and workplaces and businesses start to reopen.

Shanna Siegel, a public health nurse with the Putnam County Department of Health, prepares a vial filled with the COVID-19 vaccine. To Siegel's right are Jeanette Baldanza and Diane Liscia.

Maybe it’s the fact that after a series of disappointments, together we finally convinced our elected officials in Washington, D.C. to provide federal stimulus aid for our state, localities and school districts to prevent wholesale cuts to our jobs and services and allow our economy to recover.

It’s probably a combination of all of those that are making some aspects of life finally start to feel more positive, after a very tough year behind us.

For that, I am very appreciative.

I appreciate the possibility of not hearing more names of CSEA members and their family members taken too soon from this horrible virus.

I appreciate the thousands of CSEA members who took the time and effort to fight alongside me and our union leaders in advocating for the funding needed to protect our jobs and services.

The truth is our union power comes from union members putting pressure on our elected officials to do the right thing. Union leaders cannot do it on our own. I am so proud to say that your efforts have paid off. We will now see the federal funding that will bridge the huge budget gaps the pandemic created at all levels of government, and this will result in a state budget that will be nowhere near as harsh as initially proposed.

Rockland Psychiatric Center Local 1st Vice President Herbert Taylor Jr. fights for restoring children's mental health services in the state budget.

I know some members believe we shouldn’t be involved in politics, but I hope those members understand that state budgets get decided by politicians. We don’t have the option of ignoring the budget process, not if we are doing our best to protect your jobs and services. To that extent, we all must be involved in politics to do what’s best for ourselves and our communities, and we should take a moment to congratulate ourselves for a job well done in this case.

Also this month, I am appreciative of all the dedicated DOT, DPW and highway department workers who put their very lives on the line as we get back into road construction season. In April, we recognize National Work Zone Awareness Week, and I urge all union members to slow down around work zones so that all workers keeping our roadways safe and drivable can go home at the end of each day. Sadly, we’ve lost enough members in work zones that we need to issue this type of reminder.

Keep workers safe: Don't Zone Out!

I hope this spring season finds you with things to appreciate in your life.

In Solidarity,

Mary E. Sullivan, President
Created By
Mary E. Sullivan
Appreciate

Credits:

Created with an image by Laura Pashkevich - "Beautiful white flowers of anemones in spring in a forest close-up in sunlight in nature. Spring forest landscape with flowering primroses."