It is vital that all CSEA members realize what they are getting from CSEA, especially for the money they pay in dues every year.

$600 plus dollars a year for dues gets so, so much. The returns are huge. It's the best investment anyone could every make.

We have insurance for our homes, our cars, our lives. Why not for our jobs? CSEA acts as "Job Insurance".

In going through this list, the Safety & Health benefits are paramount and their values are immense.

50 Things That Arose From Unions and Every Union Member Should Know!

1. Collective Bargaining Rights for Employees.

This is priceless. This allows employees to unite and have a single voice to bargain and negotiate for benefits. It leads to everything else on this list that follows:

2. An 8-hour Work Day.

3. A 40-hour work week.

4. Weekends without work.

These items allow for guaranteed hours and set wages as well as limiting hours worked to allow time for working people to live their lives, to raise and spend time with their children and loved ones. It allows for tremendous freedom and it's an important part of the American dream. It allows time for other ventures in business and life.

5. All breaks at work (including lunch break).

This allows for time to remain healthy! Decompression time reduces stress and even increases productivity. Too much stress can lead to illness and cost money to both workers and employers.

6. Paid vacation.

Current negotiated NY state contract allows for six hours paid vacation every two weeks. This equates to 156 hours per year. At $15 per hour, this equals $2,340 per year!

7. Sick Leave.

Current negotiated NY state contract allows for four hours paid sick leave every two weeks. This equates to 104 hours per year. At $15 an hour, this equals $1.560 per year!

8. Personal Time.

Current negotiated NY state contract allows for 40 hours per year. At $15 per hour this equates to $600 per year. Also negotiated is the ability to use this time as desired, whenever, for whatever!

9.Holiday Pay.

Along with leaving time for working people to spend time with their family and loved ones, current negotiated NY state contract allows for 12 paid holidays per year. This equates to 96 hours per year. At $15 per hour, this equates to $1,440!

               (Average $ total so far = $5940, and we are only to #9 on the list! Wait till we hit the insurances farther down the list!)

10. Pregnancy and parental leave.

What's it worth? Priceless! This negotiated benefit provides for health for you and your families. This benefit provides important bonding time for parents and newborns. This strengthens the American family unit and in turn strengthens our nation and way of life!

11. Military leave.

What's it worth? Protects our Freedom! Priceless! Service and protection to our families, fellow citizens and our nation!

12. Overtime pay and its fair distribution.

Current negotiated NY state contract allows for 1.5 times normal rate wage. From an average of $15 an hour, this translates to $22.50 an hour to compensate for extra work.

13. Overtime and meal allowances.

Current negotiated benefit of the NY state contract allows for a compensated meal allowance pay for overtime work after six hours.

14. Minimum wage.

This benefit set a standard of living that lead to the stability of the American work force and the idea of the American dream and all greatness that is this country!

15. Social Security.

This benefit assists and protects countless American workers and provides for a healthier and safer society! This important benefit provides security for our elders.

16. Pensions.

This important and tremendous negotiated benefit allow us to retire after having worked long and fruitful careers. It allows us to enjoy our later years. An example of a retirement at 1/2 wage at $15 per hour equates to $15,600 per year!

17. Unemployment Insurance.

This important negotiated benefit allows an income for laid-off workers which greatly helps workers and their families in time of need. An example might be two months of yearly unemployment equating to $2,000 per year.

18.Employer Health Care Insurance.

This is an invaluable negotiated benefit. An example would be an individual paying about $300 per month, negotiated into their contract, versus a non-unionized worker paying $1,500 per month. This equates to a unionized worker saving $1,200 per month or $14,400 per year!

(Now we are up to $37,940/year so far, using $15/hr. for our examples. Let's keep going...)

19. Employer Life Insurance.

Current New York State pays triple indemnity. At $15 per hour, this equates to $90,000. Current CSEA death benefit adds another $10,000, making a total of $100,000!

20. Vision & Dental Insurance.

Thanks to our Union, CSEA, we save big here too. The average national cost for one pair of eyeglasses is $196. The average national cost of an eye exam is $163. For a CSEA member that wears glasses or contacts and has no other vision issues, that's a conservative benefit of $359/year.

With dental work, using average national data, and the conservative figure with twice a year cleaning and check-up, this equates to $400 per year. This does not include the costs associated with any cavities or other dental work. Anyone who has ever had to pay for dental work knows these costs can skyrocket fast.

21. Compensation increases and evaluations -

Along with pay increases through steps and longevity, employees get Raises. The current NY stated negotiated contract allow for 2% per year. At $15 per hour, this equates to $624 per year.

22. FMLA -

Family and Medical Leave Act. CSEA has negotiated up to 12 weeks leave time which protects and assess the health of family for up to three months per year. This is job protection and holds seniority. This too is valuable and helps keep our families and nation strong.

23. Child Labor Laws.

24. Public education for children.

These two benefits protect our youth and allow for education for all children which in turn strengthens our society and our nation and our way of life!

25. Laws ending Sweatshops in U.S.

Sweatshops are defined as having poor working conditions, unfair wages, unreasonable hours, child labor and the lack of benefits. Laws ending sweatshops led to the Department of Labor to protect workers and their families and the American way of life!

(Now, PRICELESS Occupational Safety and Health benefits! This affects everyone. How much are our lives work!!!PRICELESS)

26. OSHA - Occupational Safety and Health Act.

So much can be said about OSHA. Started April 28, 1971, OSHA keeps business's strong and competitive while protecting workers. This keeps our nation vital, safe and strong!

-Before OSHA in 1970, 38 workers died per day in the US.

-Worker injuries and illnesses are down from 11/100 in 1972 to 3/100 in 2012.

-OSHA led to providing workers with safe and helpful work places.

-OSHA standards.

-PESH evolved for Public Sector workers. All of this led to evaluating the workplace and making them safer. SH 900 logs.

WPV programs increased safety to workers even more.


27. Workplace Safety Standards and Regulations. (Right to Know).

-Protections from hazardous chemicals. SDS.

-Worker Trainings.

-Recordkeeping of injuries.

-Right to complain and to request corrections. Right to trainings.

-Examination of exposures and medical records.

-Right to file complaints. Right to Participate in OSHA and PESH insepctions.


28. PPE -

Personal Protective Equipment. Josh Kemp's hierarchy of controls! All our PPE - gloves, hearing, eye protection, hardhats, face shields, reflective clothing, ergonomics, chaps, boots. All of this helps to reduce injuries. All of this is priceless. What is a finger or a hand worth, or an eye, or our hearing? PRICELESS!

29. Work clothing and tools for all working conditions keeps us safe!

Rain gear, cold weather clothing and protections, retroreflective safety clothes, Nomex clothing! Peer Trainer Program! All PRICELESS!

Danny Donahue - "You can negotiate great benefits and good raises for workers, but none of it is any good if workers aren't around to enjoy it." Very wise words.

30. Workers Compensation.

This benefit provides security and protection to those workers injured on the job. Medical expenses and costs are covered along with job security.

31. Whistleblower Protection Laws.

Provides rights to file complaints without retaliation. Right to participate in OSHA and PESH inspections as well.

32. Sexual Harassment Laws.

This benefit provides protection from sexual harassment in the workplace.

33. Wrongful Termination Laws.

This benefit provides for job protection and security.

34. Civil Rights Act/Title VII - (Prohibits Employer Discrimination)

This act was vital and lead to equality for not just workers, but all people.

35. ADEA - Age Discrimination in Emplyment Act, 1967

Prevents age-related job discrimination.

36EPPA - Employee Polygraph Protection Act.

Allows for protection to employees concerning polygraph tests.

37. VETS - Veteran Employment and Training Services.

This benefit is very important. It provides the rightly deserved and necessary aid to our vets. This leads to increased safety and continued freedoms to the American way of life.

38. ADA - Americans with disability Act.

This act provides necessary access to people with disabilities in both the physical aspects as well as life opportunities.

39. Privacy Rights.

This benefit safeguards employees' right to privacy.

40. Equal Pay Acts of 1963 and 2011. Requires equal pay for equal work for men or women. This important act provides the recognition and justice of equal pay for equal work.

41. Parking.

42. Employment Security. (No Layoffs or firing)

This negotiated benefit protects workers by providing job security.

43. Out-Of-Title work protection.

44. Job Classification Standards.

45. Civil Service Examinations.

These negotiated benefits protect workers and insure proper pay for job duties. This ultimately leads to a stronger more productive workforce.

46. Employee Benefit Fund

Provides help and security to workers in time of need.

47. Labor/Management Meetings and Committees.

This negotiated benefit allows for workers to have a voice as well as management. It greatly helps with the collective bargaining process.

48. Accidental Death Benefit.

CSEA currently provides a $10,000 benefit concerning accidental death.

49. EAP - Employee Assistance Program / Work Life Services.

This negotiated benefit is of tremendous importance and value to the worker. Assistance is offered in a vast variety of subjects to assist employees in time of need.

50. The Right to Strike. (State Government Exempt with Tri-Borough)

The ability to express injustices or needs.

51. CSEA & NYS Partnership for Education and training. (for NYS government employees)

This important negotiated benefit allows for employee education and training at no cost to the employee. It leads to better educated employees and provides a path to tremendous promotional opportunity for workers and in turn leads to a much stronger workforce.

52. CSEA Legal Services

Gigantic benefit to all CSEA members. Staff and lawyers are available to assist members in need.

53. CSEA Peer Trainer Program

This benefit provides for a hugely successful program that utilizes the strengths, experience and knowledge of the people who actuall do the work and greatly increases workplace safety.

50 Things That Arose From Unions That EVERY Union Member Should Know

CSEA Unit 8950, Kingston,

NY 12401

Phone: 845-334-5038