Dear CSEA Members, 

As you may have heard, the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations has reported that New York State is going to defer CSEA state workers 2% salary increase for another 90 days (until October 1st). When I heard the news, I was livid. The words I wanted put into my statement would have been inappropriate and unprofessional. This is a slap in the face to all state employees who were deemed “Essential” and reported to work during this ongoing pandemic. This is also a betrayal to the front line state hospital employees who have literally put the lives of themselves and family members at risk; performing patient care and maintaining the facility while hundreds of infected COVID19 patients were being cared for at Stony Brook Hospital. The sacrifices that CSEA Local 614 members have made contracting this brutal virus, and enduring the symptoms well past the COVID19 paid two week leave, as a result had to charge their accruals thereafter. After being symptom free, CSEA employees returned to work to further put themselves at risk, showing our commitment and dedication. We should no longer accept the old cliché, “We are lucky to have a job”. The State of New York is lucky to have a dedicated CSEA workforce. I understand this pandemic crisis is something that has not happened in over 100 years. Folks, we did not sign up for this. CSEA members did not accept their position at Stony Brook Hospital, Long Island State Veterans home and Stony Brook University thinking one day their lives would be at such an unprecedented risk. In my opinion, not only New York State, but the country as a whole, is in this economic and financial crisis because our government at ALL LEVELS, have failed us. Federal, state and local government officials were ill prepared for this crisis. Brothers and sisters, let me tell you, no matter your political party affiliation; Democrat, Republican, Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck they all ROYALLY SCREWED US – the working class.

We are the people that the public depend on every day and don’t even know it. It is because we don’t complain publicly about our pay, we are taken for granted. The governor’s actions are downright insulting – to deny the hard working CSEA workforce at Stony Brook – our 2 percent increase was collectively bargained for over 3 years ago. The collectively bargained raises were built into the budget. There is no reason we shouldn’t receive what we are entitled to under the contract. To have our raise contingent upon the federal government passing a third stimulus bill is bullshit. We don’t have a Collective bargaining agreement with the federal government. Honor our contract! Brothers and sisters, in the near future as your Local President I will call upon you to join me in mobilizing and taking action. We have stayed silent for too long. It is time to have our voices heard. It’s time to demand the respect that we deserve. Enough of being taken advantage of and taken for granted. Throughout this pandemic crisis, the CSEA workforce has been there for the people of New York State. It is time for New York State to step-up to the plate and be there for the CSEA members here at Stony Brook Hospital, Long Island State Veterans Home and Stony Brook University. If we remain silent to the public and only complain amongst ourselves nothing will change. We must mobilize to unite, order to have our voices heard, “Pay Us Now!” We will not be silent anymore. Time to take a stand.

Carlos Speight
CSEA Local 614 President
Stony Brook