Dear CSEA Members, 

Brothers and sisters, September is the month of action. As you know, I’ve been diligently advocating for COVID pay for CSEA frontline essential employees for the past several months. As of this date, the Administrative leadership at Stony Brook Medicine and the Long Island State Veterans Home has not shown our frontline employees who work here the respect that they deserve. Stony Brook leadership is not bargaining in good faith with the labor unions that represent the workforce working at this facility. 

Stony Brook leadership did not even inquire how many employees would be eligible for COVID pay, nor did they make a formal request in writing to the Governor’s office of Employee Relations. They didn’t request in writing to the SUNY Chancellors office to grant COVID19 pay for frontline workers. Does this sound redundant to you, I ask? Stony Brook leadership has failed its employees. 

Some of you have received a response from the email you sent to Stony Brook and SUNY leadership. It states, because of collective bargaining agreements the decision to pay employees COVID pay must come from the leadership of the State of New York. First of all, the events that have taken place in the last 6 months was far from the normal of patient care. Because of these extraordinary circumstances, our collective bargaining agreement has been amended and circumvented during the pandemic. Why aren’t special accommodations being made to compensate public and private hospital employees in the Stony Brook healthcare system network to pay front line workers? At the very least Stony Brook management and the State of New York should pay the 2300 CSEA work force hazardous duty pay covered under the collective bargaining agreement between the CSEA and the State of New York. It’s time for Stony Brook leadership to STOP the double talk. Action speaks louder than words. 

Brothers and sisters,” The bill has come due “, it’s time for a month of action. It’s long overdue for respect to be shown. It’s time to stand as one and stand strong. Governor Cuomo should take the ten-million-dollar performance bonus that was taken away from PSEG for their poor performance during the recent tropical storm that left tens of thousands of Long Island residents without power, and give that money to the frontline workers that are employed here at Stony Brook University. I don’t know about you folks, but who in the hell was going to receive that bonus money from PSEG ~the corporate officers? This has GOT TO CHANGE! 

This September I invite you to participate in ANY upcoming action. If you see an activist holding a sign~ take a picture and post it on social media. When you are asked to wear information accessories~ wear them with pride. If you want to participate in a September action activity~ contact your local union representative. Folks ~ make no mistake, without you there is no CSEA, PEF, UUP or SEIU 1199 union. As members, if you don’t participate, we will not accomplish our objectives. When I ask members to have hope and faith in the union, I’m referring to you to be optimistic. To have a desire towards the goals we have set forth for ourselves. When I say have faith in the union, I’m referring to having confidence and trust in yourself and fellow union brothers and sisters because we ARE the union. We control the failures and successes of the labor movement. Together we can move the labor movement forward here at Stony Brook and receive COVID-19 pay as our just reward.

Together, in unison we stand.

Carlos Speight
CSEA Local 614 Member in good standing