Dear CSEA Members, 

I have been thinking about a timeless quote from Dr. Martin Luther King which refers to the labor movement. It goes like this:

“The labor movement was the principal force that transformed misery and despair into hope and progress. Out of its bold struggles, economic and social reform gave birth to unemployment insurance, old-age pensions, government relief for the destitute and, above all, new wage levels that meant not mere survival but a tolerable life”.

These are the core reasons why we join, to be part of a union. The same exact reason why I run for office; to represent members and fight for workers’ rights, not only locally but also nationally. If union leaders and members truly embrace the labor movement, we can make a major impact in the lives of all union members. Strides in increase wages, affordable medical insurance, safer work environments and opportunities to advance through educational vouchers. Being part of a union gives us all the opportunity to play on a level playing field. To have a chance at achieving the American dream for our families and ourselves. To purchase that home with the white picket fence and provide more than the necessities in life other than the basics food, water, shelter and clothing for our families. This is why I’m an active member of CSEA Local 614 union. To provide a better life for myself, my family and co-workers.

This is why CSEA Local 614 was the only CSEA State employee Local in New York STATE that publicly rallied for our contractual raise increase, COVID pay and hazardous duty pay (currently going to the 3rd step contract grievance process).

During the pandemic CSEA Local 614 was the only union whose office doors were open onsite at Stony brook making sure management was providing members with the proper PPE and safe guarding our members’ health and well-being. This past year there has been a lot of despair, but I am optimistic that if we all embrace the labor movement together through it all, we will find hope. Through our struggles, there will be progress. If we stand together as one, there is nothing we cannot achieve.

It is TIME to change the culture of our work place and union. Guide the upper union leadership out of the political arena and into the arena that serves its dues paying members. Back to basics, “Us against Them” or “Either you’re with us or against us.” So let’s get to it brothers and sisters. Be a part of the change in course of the labor movement. A change for the better.

Carlos Speight
CSEA Local 614 President
Stony Brook