(June 6, 2006, Bob Dillon, CSEA Contract Administration
CSEA and the UCS have settled an Improper Practice Charge filed
by CSEA when the Courts unilaterally changed the Court Reporters
Manual in relation to what material must be turned over when a
Reporter leaves state service.
In a 2003 revision to the Manual, UCS stated that reporters,
when leaving court service, may be required to turn over electronic
notes and CAT (computer aided transcription) personal dictionaries
to their supervisor for storage. This was a change from the
previous practice, which required reporters to give to the UCS only
the paper tapes of court proceedings transcribed by the reporter,
since the tapes were the only material that the UCS supplied
The modification unilaterally changed the terms and conditions
of employment for court reporters, without notice or negotiation
CSEA immediately filed an Improper Practice Charge with the
Public Employment Relations Board.
The settlement calls for reporters leaving State service to sign
an affidavit agreeing to produce all transcripts requested after
separation from service or, alternatively, to provide, on
UCS-provided disks, a copy of electronic stenographic note files
and CAT dictionary to UCS.
(June 8, 2006, Robert Lorenc, Local 332 President and CSEA
Statewide Board Judiciary Representative)
The CSEA/UCS Sick Leave Bank exists pursuant to an agreement
between the parties dating back to February 8, 1994. The agreement
was negotiated by a subcommittee appointed by CSEA, comprised of
Tom Jefferson and Robert Lorenc, and a designee appointed by UCS,
Robert Herrick. That agreement outlined in specific detail the
intent, benefits, guidelines, and operational aspects of the Sick
Bank. The agreement remained unchanged until the contract
negotiations and collective bargaining agreement between UCS and
CSEA agreed to on August 4, 2004 covering the contract period
2003-2007. The newly agreed to agreement, only slightly modified
from the original, is printed in its entirety in the current
contract as Appendix C, pages 99 thru 104. That printed agreement
represents the proverbial "bible"governing the operational aspects
of the bank.
In broad terms, the bank is administered by one representative each
from UCS and CSEA. Each designee has veto power relating to any
particular application, that is, an application requires two "yes"
votes to be approved. The representatives are in more than frequent
contact with each other reviewing applications. On occasion, the
applicant is asked to submit additional medical documentation. All
information in the application is strictly confidential, discussed
neither with local management or local union representatives.
Coverage to an applicant can be awarded for up to a year at either
full- or half-time rate. Given the fact that medical conditions are
not static and, hopefully, subject to improvement and change,
grants are not made for extended periods of time. Rather, a grant
of a mutually agreed to reasonable period of time is made and the
applicant is encouraged to reapply as needed.
When reviewing an application, five criteria are utilized for
evaluation purposes. Said criteria are: 1) length of service, 2)
nature of the disability, 3) reasonable expectation of return to
work, 4) attendance history record, and, 5)the maximum number of
days that can or have been granted.
The bank cannot make retroactive grants to cover any lapsed periods
wherein the employee is on off-payroll status. Thus, it is vitally
important to have completed applications submitted well in advance
of the expiration of total leave credits.
Employees transferring in from another union who were members of
the former union's sick bank may apply to join the CSEA/UCS bank
within sixty days of transfer. They must pay the initial full
contribution charge. It is analogous to changing insurance
carriers. Carrier B will not give you credit or a refund for what
you paid to Carrier A. One would be expected to pay Carrier B's
full charges for coverage.
The bank functions to serve in a fair and equitable fashion to
applicants "in need." It also has an equally important mission, to
shepherd and protect that precious commodity, the time paid into
the bank by all of the members that have joined the bank. Since its
inception and to date, the bank has been a huge joint
labor/management success. Countless members /employees have been
permitted to utilize the grants to get well and return to work,
thus benefiting both labor and management.
(November 22, 2006, James Hennerty, Dep. Director of Contract
CSEA began a lawsuit earlier this year disputing New York State's
decision to make our members pay for the cost of Medicare Part B
premiums for retired employees. Previously, the State and local
governments (for those in the NYS Health Insurance Plan) paid for
the cost of the Part B premiums. CSEA contends that the change
violates the Civil Service Law and is a change in terms of
employment without negotiations, and a violation of the Health
Insurance articles of the various CSEA-NYS Contracts.
State Supreme Court in Albany County ruled that CSEA was wrong and
NYS right. We appealed.
The Appellate Division of Supreme Court, Third Department, has
UNANIMOUSLY overruled Supreme Court and agreed with CSEA 100%! We
expect the State to request the highest court, the Court of
Appeals, to reconsider the matter. In the meantime, it looks like
NYS may not get away with this cost-shifting through a back
(December 18, 2006, James Hennerty, Dep. Director of Contract
The Appellate Division, Third Department, effectively killed the
CSEA lawsuit disputing UCS's decision to change its mind and not
reclassify Court Clerks to Senior Court Clerks when Court Officers
provide security. The Justices insist that the peace officer status
of Clerk titles in the downstate area does provide a "back-up
security" force that makes them different from upstate Clerks. The
fact that that belief is completely untrue does not seem to have
penetrated the judicial mindset.
The Court also pooh-poohed the Civil Service Law mandate that the
State give equal pay for equal work, questioning the ability to
enforce it, and saying that the State can violate the policy in
some cases. This is the kind of "reasoning" that makes the public
think judges are irrational, arbitrary, and capricious!
There will probably not be an appeal of the decision. We would need
Court of Appeals permission to appeal, and they are not going to
find against the Chief Judge and Chief Administrative Judge, their
bosses. CSEA will work on new strategies to address this ongoing
Click on the following link to review the Empire Plan changes
that will begin in 2008 and beyond.
View 2008 Empire Plan Changes
(James Hennerty, Dep. Director of Contract Administration, May
CSEA and UCS have made a tentative agreement on a new contract for
2007-2011. The deal includes increases in compensation, location
pay, and other benefits. More details will follow once final
wording is agreed upon.
(As posted on the CSEA Web Site, www.csealocal1000.org, May 8,
"CSEA Reaches Contract Settlement for 6,000 Court Employees Across
CSEA - New York's Leading Union - has reached a tentative
agreement with the New York State Office of Court Administration on
a new contract covering more than 6,000 non-judicial employees in
the state's Unified Court System.
"CSEA and the Unified Court System have reached a fair and
responsible agreement that recognizes the value and importance of
the court employees who make the system work every day," said CSEA
President Danny Donohue. "These were challenging negotiations and I
am extremely proud of the focus and commitment of the CSEA
The four-year agreement retroactive to April 1, 2007 includes
salary increases in every year of the agreement, improved downstate
and Mid-Hudson Valley location pay, enhancements in longevity
bonuses for long-term employees, improved payments to the Employee
Benefit Fund and Labor-Management programs and increased funding
for body armor for security personnel. There were no significant
changes to health insurance provisions.
Across-the-board cost of living adjustments are as follows:
April 1 2007 - 3 percent or $950, whichever is greater
* April 1, 2008 - 3 percent or $975, whichever is
* April 1, 2009 - 3 percent or $1,000,
whichever is greater; and
* April 1, 2010 - 4 percent or $1,025,
whichever is greater.
CSEA also agreed to a salary increase deferral for employees
earning more than $115,000 annually until a judicial pay raise is
enacted. Employees at or above that level will have their salaries
held harmless but will receive the contract provisions once the
judicial pay raise issue is resolved. If it is not resolved by the
end of the contract, the employees will receive all of the contract
cost of living adjustments retroactively. This issue would affect
about 500 individuals out of the bargaining unit's 6,000
CSEA-represented court employees work in a range of non-judicial
jobs, from court clerks to clerical and administrative staff to
security officers in the court system in every part of New
Additional details about the agreement will be posted on the CSEA
website www.csealocal1000.org shortly. The agreement will be
presented to the CSEA rank and file members for review and
ratification in the weeks ahead. It must also be approved by the
state legislature and signed by the governor.
[Editor's note: Additional details will also be available here at
the CSEA Judiciary web site, www.cseajudiciary.org]
(June 25, 2008)
CSEA members by a 25-to-1 ratio have overwhelmingly ratified a
tentative agreement with the Unified Court System. Members approved
the agreement by 2,876 to 114.
The four-year pact, retroactive to April 1, 2007, includes salary
increases in every year of the agreement, improved downstate and
mid-Hudson Valley location pay, enhancements in longevity bonuses
for long term employees, improved payments to the Employee Benefit
Fund and Labor-Management programs and increases funding for body
armor for security personnel. There were no significant changes to
health insurance provisions.
Ratification ballots were counted June 25.
Click on the following link to review CSEA's "Better Choices"
flyer regarding addressing the budget crisis in New York
Better Choices Flyer
(December 12, 2008, James Hennerty, Dep. Director of Contract
NYSHIP recently mailed to employees a brochure listing its new
rates and transfer deadlines. You may have noticed that
CSEA-represented employees in the Executive Branch and all UCS
employees pay a slightly higher premium for the Empire Plan. The
reason for that difference is that other unions agreed to put
limits on the list of drugs which the Empire Plan covers, while
CSEA insisted on retaining eligibility for all drugs approved by
(December 12, 2008, Donald Lynskey, Local 334 President)
The new Court Reporter Page Rate Agreement and Minute Agreement
Form have been deemed to be effective as of November 18, 2008, the
date upon which the Administrative Board of the Courts approved the
change and Part 108 of the Rules of the Chief Administrator was
amended. CSEA would have liked a smoother transition to the new
rates, so that our members did not have to deal with "retroactive"
negotiation of page rates, but UCS nonetheless has specified
November 18th as the date of implementation. All CSEA members
received a copy of the new agreement with the ratification
materials included in the ratification process earlier this year.
CSEA-represented reporters must still complete the new Minute
Agreement Forms for private party transactions, but reporters now
retain the forms themselves for a two-year period. In the event a
request is made of a reporter for production of a Minute Agreement
Form, that request must be in writing stating a valid reason for
the request. If a reporter feels the reason for the request is
inappropriate, please contact your union representative as there is
a committee in place to review requests, if necessary.
CSEA-UCS 2008 Court Reporter Page Rate
(December 23, 2008, Donald Lynskey, Local 334 President)
A reminder that CSEA EBF co-pay reimbursements must be submitted by
3/31/09 for the 2008 calendar year. Physician office co-pays are
reimbursable up to $125 and Prescription Drug co-pays are
reimbursable up to $100. The form is available on our web site,
under the "Forms & Member Services" link.
(December 23, 2008, Donald Lynskey, Local 334 President)
Despite repeated requests over many weeks asking that UCS produce
a new Court Reporter Minute Agreement Form, we still have not
received one. I have attached the latest CSEA-UCS Minute Agreement
Form (MAF) from 2003, which the UCS Labor Relations Department has
confirmed is accurate with regard to our newly enacted rates
effective 11-18-08. This is NOT a UCS-distributed document,
although their office did create this document back in 2003 when we
were negotiating these same issues. All of the information is
accurate and up to date on this form. Our CSEA-represented
reporters may want to use this form, until eventually UCS may
distribute a MAF to both UCS management and reporters. Once again,
reporters are to retain the form themselves. Do not turn them over
to management. In an earlier notice, a two-year retention period
was mentioned, based on a UCS memo from one of the Judicial
Districts. Please disregard that directive. At this time, we have
not determined with UCS how long the retention period will be. You
will be informed once that is determined.
View CSEA Minute Agreement Form effective
(December 23, 2008, James Hennerty, Dep. Director of Contract
The Governor has vetoed S.5565, which would have made Court
Officers police officers (Veto # 180). He says most CO's are never
called on to perform purely police functions. He also says it would
cost money for additional training and that more expense for
binding interest arbitration would not be far behind.
(December 23, 2008, James Hennerty, Dep. Director of Contract
The Governor's proposed budget would, among other things, depend
on savings to the State by NOT paying the 3% raise employees are
due next April; by DEFERRING (lagging) five days of pay from State
employees; by increasing the premiums paid for health insurance in
retirement by State employees who have fewer years of service than
the average; and by eliminating State reimbursement of Part B
premiums to active and retired employees who must pay it to retain
If some or all of these ideas are not agreed to by the unions
and/or the Legislature, the Governor and Legislature would have to
come up with money equal to these savings in order to balance the
The feeling is that the Governor might very well make up the
difference by lots of layoffs of State employees. He cannot lay off
UCS employees, but if the final budget cuts UCS funding a great
deal, UCS could possibly also lay off employees.
(February 18, 2009, Kathy Guild, Contract Administration
The Office of Court Administration, with input from the affected
unions, has developed a new policy for electronic recording of
court proceedings. This policy has three main tenets. First,
electronic recording may continue in those courts and court
proceedings where it is currently in use. Second, court reporters
are to be used in Family Court juvenile delinquency proceedings
unless it is impractical for operational or fiscal reasons to do
so. Third, in specified courts and court proceedings where
electronic recording is not in use, court reporters will continue
to be used unless reporters are unavailable and efforts to hire a
reporter on a permanent, provisional or per diem basis has
(February 18, 2009, Kathy Guild, Contract Administration
CSEA has instituted a pilot program to provide legal services to
all CSEA members who carry firearms as part of their job
requirements for certain job-related incidents requiring legal
counsel. Under this pilot, CSEA-provided representation to a CSEA
member involved in the use of force will be available 24 hours a
day, seven days a week. A list of CSEA Legal Assistance Pilot
Program Attorneys and further information regarding this pilot will
be published in the CSEA Work Force. Contact your CSEA local
president if you have any questions or need additional
(February 19, 2009, Kathy Guild, Contract Administration
CSEA was successful in getting a Public Employee Safety &
Health Bureau (PESH) complaint against the Unified Court System
sustained. This complaint was filed because there are holes and
depressions, some of which are improperly covered and an electrical
outlet causing a tripping hazard in the UCS Print Shop on the 9th
Floor of 25 Beaver Street, along with various other violations.
These violations caused a CSEA-represented employee to be injured
and represented serious safety hazards to the employees of the
Print Shop. PESH has given UCS until March 12, 2009 to abate the
(Donald Lynskey, Local 334 President)
SALARY INCREASES & INCREMENTS
CSEA has been informed that the salary increases and increments
will be in the April 29th, 2009 paycheck.
SENIOR COURT REPORTER EXAM RESULTS
UCS has found that the computers used in calculating the scores
for both the open competitive & promotional Senior Court
Reporter exams given last April made some sort of grading error.
The faulty lists have been withdrawn by UCS. No appointments have
been made from the faulty lists to date. The old lists will
continue to be used for the time being. UCS expects to have the
corrected lists established "within the next several weeks."
"This is just a reminder about court employees who are designated
'confidential.' UCS designates many non-competitive and some exempt
employees with this label. Legally, any employee who is in a
confidential position has NO disciplinary due process rights and
has NO layoff rights. ALL Court Analyst titles are non-competitive
and confidential. That means anyone who is a Junior Court Analyst,
Court Analyst, Senior, principal, or whatever kind of Court Analyst
can be dismissed or disciplined without charges and a hearing. If
there were to be layoffs, no Analyst would have any seniority to
use in the layoff process.
"Please remember that other job titles are non-competitive but NOT
confidential. Those employees do not have disciplinary or layoff
rights for their first five years in non-competitive service, but
once they have five years they DO get these rights.
"I know this gets very complicated, but it is important to
remember that any 'confidential' employee can be dismissed
(Source: Jim Hennerty, CSEA Dep. Director of Contract
CSEA LEGAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM - FIREARMS
As announced in the latest edition of the CSEA newspaper "The
Workforce," CSEA has introduced a pilot program to provide legal
services to CSEA-represented employees who carry firearms as part
of their job. In the event of an occurrence where the member needs
legal assistance based on the use of a firearm or other use of
force in the line of duty, legal assistance is available 24 hours a
day, seven days a week. Our CSEA Region 5 attorney is Edward Dunn,
Esq., of Syracuse. See the document below for more information. You
may contact the CSEA Legal Department at 1-800-342-4146, extension
1443 for further questions or comments.
CSEA Legal Pilot Program - Firearms
EMPLOYEE FREE CHOICE ACT
You've undoubtedly heard of the Employee Free Choice Act, proposed
federal legislation that gives workers more freedom to join unions
and limits an employer's ability to intimidate workers trying to
join a union. If you would like to learn more about this important
legislation, go to www.csealocal1000.org to view a video that
explains in further detail the background of the legislation.
(This information provided by CSEA Headquarters in Albany,
"ALBANY - CSEA is reviewing a proposal from the state Unified Court
System to offer a separation from service payout similar to what
has been offered to executive branch workers. The court system is
attempting to shed payroll and would target the positions to be
voluntarily vacated. Workers would need to take the offer before
close of business on Sept. 2, 2009. The court system would have
complete discretion to identify the titles and the number of
positions in each title and jurisdiction that will be targeted for
the cash payment. In areas where there are more employees in the
same bargaining unit, title and jurisdiction than the number of
positions that have been identified to receive the payment, the
offers would be made to eligible employees in seniority order
beginning with the most senior workers. For purposes of the cash
payout, seniority is defined as the first date of hire in the court
system. Where an employee's total separation cost (cash payment and
the payout of accruals) does not yield a savings in fiscal year
2009-2010, the employee will not be eligible for the cash payment
and the court system will move to the next eligible employee in
"This is not an early retirement incentive and CSEA has not yet
chosen to participate in the payout offer. As this edition went to
press, CSEA was still reviewing the proposal. If CSEA were to adopt
the payout offer, offers to employees from the Personnel Office
would be generated beginning on July 8. The offers sent from UCS to
payout candidates would include instructions on how to accept the
(Jim Hennerty, Dep. Director of Contract Administration, July 7,
CSEA has agreed to the UCS proposal on a Separation Payment. As
noted already, UCS would have the sole discretion to target
specific positions and offer $20,000 to employees in those jobs to
leave State service. For judicial districts 3-8, offers to targeted
positions will be made based on seniority on a county basis, with
the exception of the Analyst series, where offers will be made
based on bargaining unit, jurisdiction (county), function and then
seniority. Offers will begin to be generated on July 8, 2009
(through July 28) on a rolling basis via overnight mail and through
Groupwise. Employees who are offered the payment are under no
obligation to take it and will have seven calendar days to respond.
The payment would be subject to taxation and would not be added
Naturally, this is a difficult decision to make, and employees will
have little time to decide. CSEA urges members who are faced with
the choice to ask UCS for all possible details of how such an offer
would affect them if they take it, especially in regard to health
insurance coverage and other benefits.
(Jim Hennerty, Dep. Director of Contract Administration, July
On July 29th, the CSEA Unified Court System local presidents were
briefed by the representatives of the CSEA Employee Benefit Fund
(EBF) on some exciting changes affecting both full-time and
part-time UCS employees.
Both the full-time and part-time employees received increases to
the fee schedules for their respective dental plans effective July
1, 2009. These increases in the schedules may translate into less
out of pocket costs for you. Increases were applied to exams,
periodontal treatment, cleanings, bridges, crowns, root canal
therapy, fillings, dentures, extractions, radiographs and
orthodontics. Because of the changes to orthodontics, the lifetime
maximum was also increased from $2580 to $2948 for full time
employees, and the orthodontic maximum for part-time employees went
from $1950 to $2601. As a result of the changes to the dental
plans, new benefit books have been mailed out to all employees and
information is also available on the CSEA EBF's newly redesigned
The second enhancement applies to the co-pay reimbursement
benefit. On July 21, 2009, Chairman Danny Donohue and the EBF
Trustees approved the physician and prescription drug co-pays to be
combined and increased to a maximum $325 reimbursement annually.
Any reimbursement request that has already been submitted for the
current year is being reviewed and a letter sent to the member
stating that they may submit for the higher reimbursement. In a
separate mailing, all UCS covered employees will be advised of the
details of this enhanced benefit.
Should you have any questions, please contact the CSEA EBF at
(Submitted by Former Statewide Rep. Tom Jefferson, now retired,
Feb. 22, 2001)
I know the activists have heard and continue to experience the
questions and answers often asked by membership and a lot of the
questions come without reflection. Once State workers retire, an
opportunity exists for them to reflect upon their work history, the
benefits and salary increases that you have enjoyed as a result of
the collective effort of your union activists.
I started 39 years ago when the only benefit received was an
occasional pay raise and a health insurance program, so I write
this quiz in the hope of enlightening some who still question why I
pay union dues or what does the union do for me or why can't you do
Start by asking yourself, Do I compare car prices when
If the person you ask responds with mostly NAYS, then take a
moment and reflect and say thanks to your union activist. I know I
You control your future…if you are that unhappy, make a career
move! Watch out what you wish for!
(Submitted by James Hennerty, CSEA Deputy Director of Contract
CSEA Political Action advises that the Governor signed into law on
March 24th a bill giving all Court Officers throughout the State
the authority to execute bench warrants. The new law becomes
effective May 24th, 60 days after the new law was signed.
(Submitted by James Hennerty, CSEA Deputy Director of Contract
Administration, April 12, 2010)
Court employees are scheduled to have a 4% salary increase
effective April 1. So are State employees in the Executive Branch.
But there is no State budget in place to pay for raises or much of
anything else. While the powers that be work on finishing the
budget, the Governor has the Legislature pass emergency spending
bills on a weekly basis to enable State funds to flow to essential
The Governor is NOT allowing payment of the 4% raise to Executive
Branch State employees until a budget is in place. (He also wants
CSEA and PEF to give up the 4% permanently, although he needs us to
agree to that.) It is not yet known if he will authorize an
appropriation for the 4% for court employees or not. We will know
when he submits next week's emergency bill. If the bill does not
contain the raise, the governor says it will be paid when a budget
is in place.
Please continue checking in to this website for further
(James Hennerty, CSEA Deputy Director of Contract
Administration, April 15, 2010)
There is no substantial change in the situation from our last
report. As far as we know the Governor will submit an emergency
spending bill on Friday which will provide the 4% raise for court
employees, but not for Executive Branch employees. That could
change, so stay tuned.
The newspapers reported yesterday that a retirement incentive plan
is slated to be part of the completed budget, but details are
scarce. Reports say that there will be two parts to the incentive.
First, those in Tiers 2-4 will be able to retire without penalty if
they are at least 55 years old and have at least 25 years of
service. It is thought that eligible employees will be able to do
this without management consent. The second part will be offers to
targeted employees (those filling positions management feels it can
do without) which would increase service credit by one month for
each year of service, up to a maximum of 36 months.
Please note that this is all speculative, and any proposals will
have to survive the larger battle over the budget deficit.
(James Hennerty, CSEA Deputy Director of Contract
Administration, April 19, 2010)
The latest news we have is that the Governor has submitted an
emergency spending bill to cover the State while there is no
budget. It covers the payday of April 28, the first in which court
employees are scheduled to receive pay based on salaries 4% greater
than the last fiscal year. As we read this bill, employees of the
State in the Executive Branch will continue to be paid WITHOUT the
4% raise, but non-judicial employees in UCS are to be paid WITH the
We believe this is the way it will be come payday, but in the
current atmosphere of fiscal crisis, anything is possible.
(James Hennerty, CSEA Deputy Director of Contract
Administration, April 29, 2010)
WHAT CAN WE DO???
Please get every one of your members to contact their State
Assembly Member and State Senator and urge them to get a budget
done, which will include full funding for the EBF. The more voters
they hear from, the more likely it is that they will settle this
whole mess without hurting us.
(James Hennerty, CSEA Deputy Director of Contract
Administration, May 4, 2010)
Governor Patterson today announced that he will attempt to
furlough State Executive Branch employees one day a week, beginning
May 17, until a budget is enacted. Although he did not say this
today, last week his intention was that furloughs would not apply
to employees of the UCS. We continue to monitor the
The Governor also announced his proposal for an early retirement
incentive. CSEA is reviewing it. The Legislature would have to pass
this bill for it to take effect. Stay tuned for further
(James Hennerty, CSEA Deputy Director of Contract
Administration, February 18, 2010)
The Office of the State Comptroller has kindly given us a preview
of how the payment of deferred salary will occur for those
employees affected. This procedure could change, depending on what
is happening overall with the proposed budget and other actions in
the Legislature and the Governor's Office. Remember, this is the
repayment of salary percentage increases, increments and increments
upon promotion which were deferred (withheld) from employees whose
pay was already at $115,000 a year, or which would have put a
member at or above $115,000 a year. (See Article 7.11 in the
The plan is to implement the salary restoration in April
CSEA does not give advice to members concerning income tax
withholding or filing. Members who are concerned about withholding
rates for the anticipated large check of April 27 should see a
financial adviser or appropriate professional if they wish
assistance in handling the matter.
Could something about this go wrong? If there is no State budget on
time, or no emergency appropriation, or a "shutdown" of State
services, the plan could be upset. It seems unlikely this would
happen, but in the event the State does not pay the money, CSEA
will make efforts to enforce the provisions of our Agreement, as we
have done in the past.
(April 5, 2011)
As Judge Lippman announced yesterday, layoffs will be occurring
within UCS sometime in the near future. As the employer, UCS does
not have to and, indeed, did not consult with CSEA in this regard.
UCS has invited all of the unions statewide to an informational
meeting tentatively set for Monday, April 11th to discuss the
layoffs. Your CSEA representatives will be attending this
On Wednesday, April 13th, CSEA Local Presidents will be meeting in
Albany to discuss the information relayed by UCS and to discuss
layoff and bumping procedures. Soon thereafter, we will update our
members on our statewide Judiciary web site, www.cseajudiciary.org.
Members are asked to please hold off sending specific inquiries
regarding the layoffs until after April 13th.
There have been numerous inquiries regarding the definition of
seniority for layoff purposes. Generally speaking, seniority is
based on years of UCS service, NOT on the years served in a
particular position. More information in this regard will be
available the end of next week.
(April 8, 2011)
We have just been notified that any member whose salary was
deferred under the terms of the 2007-2011 contract will be eligible
to contribute an additional percentage to their NYS Deferred
Compensation for the retro paycheck on 4/27/11. If interested in
doing so, call the Plan at 1-800-422-8463 to speak with a Help Line
representative. (Tip: Press #, 0 to go directly to a
representative) Participants will be asked what percentage they
wish to contribute from that specific paycheck, which will include
regular pay plus the retro pay in one check. Be certain to inform
the representative if you only want to change the percentage
contribution for that one specific paycheck and if you want it
changed back to your normal percentage contribution for the next
paycheck. IMPORTANT: This request must be made by Tuesday, April
12th at 4:00 p.m.
(April 13, 2011)
The Unified Court System (UCS) has formally notified court
employee unions, including CSEA, of its intent to lay off
approximately 400-500 employees, with the possibility of thousands
of other employees being displaced. OCA offices will be laying off
50-70 employees (as part of that total number). UCS asserts that
these layoffs are made necessary by a budget cut of $70 million in
UCS's proposed budget for this fiscal year. All of the unions
representing court employees met with UCS on Monday, April 11th in
New York City. At this point, UCS has not yet determined what
positions will be abolished, much less which employees will be
A number of our members have asked CSEA to negotiate some
agreement with UCS whereby all members would agree to a furlough or
a lag payroll as a way to make the layoffs unnecessary. In our
judgment, that is not possible. UCS has indicated that it would not
consider either a lag or furlough unless all eleven unions agreed
to it and nine of the unions have already vetoed the idea.
Therefore, we are unable even to entertain the idea of either
It is important to note that CSEA is not implementing layoffs. It
is being done by the Unified Court System and it is up to that
system to answer employee questions and explain the process to
affected employees. CSEA Local representatives are available to
double check responses from management if a member has any
questions. Employee inquiries should first be directed to their
personnel office or other appropriate management operation for such
CSEA Local Presidents met today in Albany to review the legal
procedures concerning the layoff process and methods of
displacement. Until UCS publishes their plan of implementing
layoffs, we do not have all the specifics, but we can provide the
following tentative timeline:
OCA Employee (Administrative Offices) Layoffs
All Other Layoffs in UCS
CSEA will continue to monitor the situation and update the
membership through the Local Presidents and the web site.
Vincent Martusciello, Local 010 President,
Donald Lynskey, Local 334 President, Co-Chair
Nicole Ventresca Cohen, Local 694 President
Robert Pazik, Local 335 President
Scott Gartland, Local 333 President
Kevin Mahler, Local 332 President
Kevin Ray, Local 330 President
As announced in the August CSEA "Work Force," elections will
take place January 18, 2012 - February 14, 2012 for the CSEA
Statewide Officers, Region officers, and Statewide Board of
Directors. The following documents are available by clicking
on the link below:
Election Schedule; Nomination Notice; Notice of Nominations and
Eligibility requirements for Statewide Officers' election, Region
Officers' election and Board of Directors' election, including the
signature requirements for each Board Seat; Notice Regarding
Campaigning; Notice of Election Rules; and the Standing Rules and
Regulations, including the Notification of Intent to Observe form,
the Slate Procedures, and the Candidate Printing/Mailing Costs.
Click here for Election Notices &
(Source: James Hennerty, CSEA Dep. Director of Contract
We have just learned that changes in the New York State Health
Insurance Plan, NYSHIP, negotiated by CSEA for its Executive Branch
members will apply to CSEA-represented court employees,
non-unionized court employees, and judges as of October
1st of this year. It is the responsibility of the
NYSHIP Office to inform all affected employees about the
details. We do not yet know if this is being done at
present. Further developments will be posted on the web
(James Hennerty, CSEA Dep. Director of Contract Administration,
Some CSEA members working for the court system are asking why
the Empire Plan is changing before we have completed negotiating a
new contract. The reason is that Article 8 of the CSEA-UCS
contract specifies that CSEA-represented court employees receive
the same health insurance benefits (including co-pays, premium
contributions, etc.) as our fellow NYS Executive Branch State
empoyees do. Now that we have made some changes in the
Executive Branch, they become effective for our court employees
pursuant to Article 8 of the contract. And the expired
agreement stays in effect until a new contract is completed.
"PEP" PROGRAM INFORMATION
A new program called "PEP," Product Enhancement Program, will be
taking the place of the "HOP" program, which expired with our last
contract. This program allows employees Grade 23 and below
the opportunity to exchange six annual leave days for up to $1,000
to be applied to the employee's share of their health insurance
premiums during 2012. The attached file will give you
complete information. Each Judicial District should be
contacting employees to inform them of the program guidelines and
to advise them of the enrollment cut-off date
of November 25th.
here for "PEP" Information
NYSHIP INFORMATION 10/19/11:
The Special Option Transfer Period that is occurring from
September 29 - October 31, 2011, will allow employees to make
changes to their health insurance, if they so desire. This
could be moving from an HMO to the Empire Plan, etc.
The Opt Out or Buy Out in which employees will receive $1,000 if
they had individual coverage or $3,000 if they had family coverage,
if they have proof of other insurance, will not occur until
after 1/1/12. In order to be eligible to receive the buy
out, employees must have been insured through the state
continuously from 4/1/11 until the buy out period. If any
employee drops their state insurance before the buy out period,
they will not be eligible to receive the buy out.
Also, any State employee who retired from 1983 through 12/31/11,
will pay a 2% increase on their health insurance.
The extended collective bargained changes effective October 1,
2011 results in premium contribution increases. This
change resulted in enrollees being responsible for an additional 6%
of the total health insurance premium contributions.
Enrollees with individual coverage (above a grade 10) are now
required to pay 16% of the individual premium (was 10%); enrollees
with family coverage (above a grade 10) are now required to pay 31%
of the dependent portion of premium (was 25%).
The increase in premium contribution affects all NYSHIP Options
(The Empire Plan and various Health Maintenance Organizations),
however, the increase varies by plan due to many factors.
Effective October 1, 2011, for grade 10 and above, New York
State will contribute 84% toward the individual coverage and 69%
toward the dependent portion of the Empire Plan premium.
For enrollees in an HMO, there is an added twist to New York
State's contribution which makes comparison of HMO premiums more
difficult. New York State's contribution to the HMO premium
(hospital, medical, mental health/substance abuse
components) is capped at the State's dollar contribution for
the same components under the Empire Plan. The HMO
prescription drug premium component is not capped at the Empire
Plan contribution; prescription drug component is paid 84% for
individual and 69% for dependent (no cap).
UPDATED "PEP" PROGRAM INFORMATION
"PEP," Product Enhancement Program, has recently been enhanced
to allow employees Grade 23 and below the opportunity to exchange
three days of annual for up to $500 OR six annual leave days for up
to $1,000 to be applied to the employee's share of their health
insurance premiums during 2012. The attached file will give
you complete information. Each Judicial District should be
contacting employees to inform them of the program guidelines and
to advise them of the enrollment cut-off date
of December 30th.
for "PEP" Information
Your CSEA Contract Negotiations team met with UCS on August
10th and September 28th, 2011. The
majority of our contract proposals have been delivered to UCS, and
we have held extensive discussions regarding whether certain
proposals are a mandatory or non-mandatory subject of
negotiations. UCS indicated that any proposals with a fiscal
attached, they would be looking to go in the opposite
We were scheduled to meet with UCS on October 27th,
but the day prior to the scheduled meeting, management cancelled,
saying they were not yet prepared to proceed with their
Please see the attached notice regarding 2012 elections for
Statewide Treasurer, Region Officers (Regions 2 & 4), Statewide
Board of Directors, and AFSCME Delegates (Regions 2, 3, 4, 6).
Click Here for 2012 Election Notice
The link below provides a worksheet for estimating the value of
your sick leave credit only. The worksheet is for full-time
and part-time employees. If you are paid on an hourly basis,
use your hourly salary as the Hourly Rate of Pay.
Click Here - Sick Leave Value Calculation
Click here to email your
The governor's proposed Tier 6 will force people into a 401(k) and
will cause YOUR Pension FUND to go under.
The constitutional guarantee is useless if the PENSION
FUND IS BROKE!
This happened in Rhode Island - current retirees had to take as
much as a 50 percent loss in their pensions.
Oppose Tier 6
Tell Your State Legislators
"Don't put my retirement at risk - oppose Tier
Go to: tinyurl.com/stoptier6
IMPORTANT - PROPOSED TIER 6
"I'm in Tier 4, so I'm not concerned about the proposed new
retirement tier." "Why should I care about Tier 6? It
won't have any effect on me."
Think the new Tier 6 proposal will not affect you?
WRONG. In Rhode Island, current retirees had to
take as much as a 50% loss in their pensions.
We do not want that to happen in New York. A
constitutional guarantee to your pension is completely useless if
the pension fund is broke! The proposed Tier 6 plan 401(k)
option requires no mandatory employee contribution and the employee
carries all of the risk. Even more important, the stability
of our retirement system will be at risk with less people paying
into the system.
What you need to do:
INCREMENTS TO BE PAID
UCS has informed CSEA that increments will, in fact, be paid
based on the salary steps set forth in our contract. To date,
we have not received confirmation that longevity bonuses will be
paid, but presumably, they will be paid at the same time as the
We have received a number of inquires as to the salary schedule
and the definition of "Maximum," "1st Longevity," and
"2nd Longevity steps." Members remain at the
"Maximum" step for four years, then at "1st Longevity"
for four years, then reach the top of their pay schedule in the
"2nd Longevity" step.
"OUTSIDE EMPLOYMENT" IMPROPER PRACTICE CHARGE -
STIPULATION OF SETTLEMENT
CSEA and UCS have signed a Stipulation of Settlement with regard
to the Improper Practice Charge that CSEA filed as a result of a
change to the policy regarding outside employment for UCS
UCS changed their policy to state that every employee must
receive permission from their supervisor before engaging in outside
employment, with no oversight from UCS or any chance to appeal a
supervisor's decision if the request was denied. It also
stated that all Peace Officers and Court Clerks assigned to the
Appellate Division, First Department and Second Departments must
abide by the 2005 Off-Duty Employment Policy for Peace
The Stipulation of Settlement states that Court Clerks assigned
to the Appellate Division First and Second Departments do not have
to abide by the Peace Officer Off-Duty Employment Policy and any
CSEA-represented employee who is not a Peace Officer whose request
to work outside employment is denied by their supervisor shall have
the right to appeal this decision to a three-member panel
consisting of one representative from CSEA, one representative from
UCS, and a Neutral Referee to be agreed upon by both parties.
Appeals will be made by submitting an Appeal Form (to be
established) within ten workdays of receiving notice that their
request was denied to the UCS Panel Coordinator who will also serve
as the UCS panel representative. We have not yet been
notified who that will be. Upon receipt of the Appeal Form,
the Coordinator will acknowledge receipt in writing and forward it
to the neutral referee and CSEA Representative. The Panel
shall hold a review meeting within 20 workdays after receipt or as
soon thereafter as practicable. The Panel will issue a
written decision no later than 10 workdays after the close of its
review or as soon thereafter as practicable.
The Panel's jurisdiction shall be limited solely to determining
if the type and nature of work the employee is requesting to obtain
is restricted under the UCS outside employment policy. The
Panel's award is limited to a written decision either denying or
sustaining the appeal. They do not have the authority to
award any monetary or equitable relief, and their decision is final
and binding and not reviewable in any forum.
In January, 2012, CSEA filed an Improper Practice Charge with
the New York State Public Employee Relations Board (PERB) with
regard to contract proposals that UCS deemed non-mandatory when we
met with them in September 2011. This charge had to be filed
within four months of UCS declaring these proposals non-mandatory
and, since no additional meetings were scheduled before then, we
had to file the charge to preserve timeliness. This put
negotiations on hold, since we couldn't move forward until this
charge was resolved. In August, CSEA and UCS settled the
CSEA is currently in the process of scheduling the next
negotiation session with UCS and will provide updated information
as we move forward.
EXAM FILING PERIOD EXTENDED
The filing period for the Associate Court Clerk 55-773 and
Principal Court Clerk 55-774 promotional exams has been extended to
close of business onWednesday, September 26, 2012.
The exams will given on Saturday, October 13, 2012. The
examination announcements and electronic applications are available
Important: Applications must be filed
electronically. Separate applications must be completed for
Local/Unit 2013 Election Rules and Notice Regarding
Click on the links below for information from the CSEA Statewide
Standing Rules and Regulations
Notice Regarding Campaigning
CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS WITH UCS
(James Hennerty, CSEA Dep. Director of Contract Administration,
March 1, 2013)
The CSEA Negotiating Team met with UCS's team in Albany last
week. For the first time in these negotiations, management gave us
some idea of how they see the process. They believe they do
not have enough money in the upcoming budget, and probably won't
have enough in the budget after that, to fully fund the current
number of employees. They are taking measures to reduce
costs, including the reassignment of employees from administrative
offices to court rooms, more hiring freezes, etc.
In short, they are planning to make "no growth" budgets into a
"no growth" contract. We will need to counter their arguments,
especially with respect to the numbers. CSEA will be able to
get down to the specifics of their ideas soon, as UCS recently told
us that they would finally be presenting their written proposals to
the Team at our next session. Once we have these details, we
will be able to argue that our members need a fair agreement that
meets the needs of both sides, not just those of management.
We plan to meet next in early May and hope to be meeting more
often following those dates for some meaningful negotiations.
(James Hennerty, Dep. Director, CSEA Contract Administration,
May 2, 2013)
The CSEA negotiating team met with UCS on May 1st,
2013. UCS delivered their initial contract proposals.
Discussions were held. No specific salary-related proposals
or compensation matters were proposed or discussed. UCS again
brought up their concerns over budget shortfalls this fiscal year
and next and their further concern over meeting payroll. They
stated that there will be more proposals coming from them. We
hope to meet again at the end of May.
The CSEA Negotiating Team met with UCS on May 28 and 29.
Management gave us new proposals on a number of topics. Both
sides discussed at some length how various proposals would
work. At one point, UCS suggested that CSEA was not willing
to discuss management proposals. Given the fact that UCS had
offered many of its ideas less than 24 hours ago, the CSEA Team
thought we had done just the opposite. UCS also refused to
agree on a final date for new proposals, as we have been asking for
We are scheduled to meet again in the third week of June.
We hope to make some progress, even in light of the employer's
seeming lack of interest in coming to an agreement.
CSEA made a dramatic bid to speed up negotiations for a new
contract on Thursday of last week. We offered management a
proposal for a "total package," one that would resolve all
outstanding issues and result in an agreement on an entire
contract. We attempted to protect our members' pay and
benefits (a difficult task in the current fiscal climate) and
agreed with some of management's proposals to help meet their
UCS did not yet react in detail, but there was a more positive
demeanor on the other side. CSEA hopes to be hearing from UCS
soon in attempt to break the log jam. We will need to meet
again to know if they are ready to negotiate seriously or
not. UCS had indicated that it is unlikely they will be able
to meet before September, due to vacations, etc. We'll know
soon enough if they are interested in our offer.
(James Hennerty, CSEA Dep. Director of Contract
Administration, October 15, 2013)
UCS brought in some management reinforcements from the Budget
and Human Resources Offices to discuss its concerns. While
acknowledging that it now has enough cash to meet payroll for the
current fiscal year (which ends on March 31, 2014), it is seriously
concerned about not having sufficient funding from April 1
onward. Therefore, UCS's position is that an agreement should
provide a "cost of living" pay increase, but also save money by
modifying or eliminating a number of benefits in the expired
The employer acknowledged that CSEA's comprehensive proposal to
settle the contract, which we gave them back in June, was a
dramatic movement in the bargaining process. But it is not
enough to save sufficient dollars. UCS gave us yet another
set of proposals, which would reduce many additional benefits we
now have. What's more, they told us they expected to have
even more proposals along these lines.
UCS is now negotiating in a zig-zag pattern. Every
time the CSEA team tries to hammer out a compromise, management
makes a sharp turn in a different direction. And how can we
make an intelligent response when we don't know all of UCS's
proposals? They apparently believe we are mind readers.
We will meet again in November, if only to receive yet more
management proposals. But the prospects for reaching an
agreement now are bleak, unless UCS takes another "zag" toward a
(James Hennerty, CSEA Dep. Director of Contract
Administration, November 26, 2013)
It is more likely that this will be a lengthy process than a
short one, but we want a contract that is fair and
reasonable. We hope UCS shares our goal.
(Mary Rubilotta, CSEA Dep. Director of Contract
CSEA held negotiations with UCS on 1/30/14 and 1/31/14.
UCS painted a bleak picture of their financial health over the
last four years. Since 2010, UCS has had a negative growth
operating budget, meaning their costs are greater than the money
coming in. Over this time period, UCS has been able to absorb
these increased costs by streamlining administration and
reorganizing or consolidating offices and programs that provide
services to the courts and the public. Other steps that have also
been taken include eliminating or reducing programs that are not
critical to the court's core mission, modifying court operations,
only spending on essential services and significantly reducing the
The UCS submitted a 1.81 billion dollar budget for fiscal year
2014-2015 that they like to call the "Road to Recovery" budget (2.5
% increase over the 2013-2014 budget). The Governor submitted
the UCS budget to the Legislature but included a commentary saying
this proposal is out of step with his goal of a fiscally
responsible New York and encouraged the Legislature to keep any
increase to 2 percent or less. UCS told us that anything less
than 2.5 % could be disastrous for the court system.
UCS indicated at the bargaining table that any increases CSEA
sought to the collective bargaining agreement would have to be paid
for by finding savings somewhere else in the agreement.
CSEA reminded UCS that during these difficult fiscal times,
Judge Lippman has implemented or is seeking to implement several
expensive initiatives like judges' raises, indigent criminal
defense standards, civil legal services, judge extensions,
assignment of judges to Acting Justices of the Supreme Court, judge
conferences, adding new Family Court judges, and keeping court
operations open to 5 p.m. During this same time period, court
employees have endured layoffs, doing more with less, receiving no
cost of living increases, having additional health insurance costs,
and the discontinuation of QTP (Partnership for Education funds)
and child care/elder care programs.
CSEA went on to say that if UCS really valued the non-judicial
employees as much as they say, they would show it by negotiating a
fair agreement. If there is to be pain, then everyone should share
in it - judicial and non-judicial employees.
Additional negotiation dates have been set for the end of
February and early March.
CSEA met again with UCS on 2/19/14 and 2/20/14.
The CSEA Negotiating Team had another tension filled, frustrated
negotiations session with the UCS. UCS continues to seek major
concessions in both economic and non-economic areas of the contract
like compensation, uniform and equipment allowance, workweek and
employee benefit fund, to name a few.
In addition to trying to maintain or increase current benefits
in the contract, the Team raised a number of specific issues it
felt needed to be addressed if the parties are going to reach an
overall agreement. Examples of such issues include disciplinary
process, layoff notice and seniority.
The Team is working hard to find common areas in order to move
the negotiations forward and progress was made on some minor
issues. This process is very fluid, but we will keep you apprised
as we continue to negotiate with UCS for a fair contract that we
can bring back to the membership for ratification.
The Negotiating Team meets again in early March.
NEGOTIATIONS UPDATE 3/21/14
Negotiations continued this week with UCS on March
19th and March 20th.
Both parties focused on areas not involving compensation and
significant progress was made. UCS withdrew a good number of their
proposals concerning time and leave issues and overtime. In return,
CSEA agreed to a number of UCS proposals dealing with direct
deposit, blood donation, personal history folders, printing of the
Agreement and pre-tour prep when on LODI. Other areas were
also discussed where UCS agreed to changes requested by CSEA like
return to duty exam, sick leave bank, layoff notice and jackets
worn in the summer months.
Later in the negotiations, UCS made a compensation proposal to
the CSEA Negotiating Team. UCS started out by telling the Team
again that they expect to receive a flat budget, which means UCS
will start off the fiscal year in a deficit due to other
initiatives (like the legislation creating more NYC Judges) having
unexpected costs that they must absorb. UCS expressed concern that
they will not have enough money to meet payroll the last payroll
period of the fiscal year and living with flat budgets through
attrition and not backfilling vacancies is no longer a viable way
to run the court system. Among other changes, the UCS
compensation proposal contains significant structural changes to
the way employees are currently paid in such areas as step
increases, longevity increments, service bonus awards and across
the board increases. UCS also proposed a lag that would only
be triggered if they could not meet payroll at the end of the
The CSEA Negotiating Team took some time to digest this
proposal. While the Team acknowledges that UCS is facing some
financial operating issues, it is unwilling to agree to all of the
drastic structural changes sought by UCS. UCS has been living with
flat budgets for the last three years and Judge Lippman has done
nothing during that time to scale back on any of his costly
initiatives. It took several years for UCS to get into this bad
fiscal shape and they want to solve it overnight on the backs of
the non-judicial employees. The Team made a counter proposal that
it believes showed some movement in the area of compensation that
will allow UCS to realize some savings in future years. UCS did not
seem to appreciate the counter proposal and said they would have to
review it and get back to us next week. The CSEA Negotiating Team
has additional dates scheduled to meet with UCS on March
26th and 27th.
CSEA-represented Court System Workers:
Don't trust the "OUTSIDERS" when it
comes to YOUR contract! Get the
CSEA Court System workers should learn the facts about the
tentative agreement with the Office of Court Administration and
vote. Ignore the lies and interference of outside groups. Remember,
these are the self-serving people who wouldn't join in
solidarity with CSEA members to avoid layoffs! These other
unions have had three years to negotiate their own contract - most
haven't had a single negotiating meeting with the courts but now
want to tell you how to think and act by circulating untruths about
To support their own agenda, the Outsiders are counting on you
to believe their simple but inaccurate comparison between CSEA's
Executive Branch and Judicial Branch contracts. These are
completely different contracts, and you can't do an honest
apples-to-apples direct comparison between the two in one quick
The fact is, there are many enhancements contained in this
contract agreement that have been conveniently ignored by the
Outsiders. Such as:
● Our proposed contract adds a sixth year with an
additional 2% wage increase for all CSEA workers
for 2016 (Executive Branch workers only had a five year
● Step increments were preserved, and longevity
increments were converted to longevity payments;
● Our proposed contract includes much higher longevity
payments than what Executive Branch workers get;
● No furloughs are contained in this tentative
● Improved Seniority language, and many other
Don't let the Outsiders determine how you vote
or take your rights away.
Talk to any member of our CSEA Negotiating Team
to get first-hand knowledge and facts to assist
you in making an informed decision! Then, make sure you vote.
It's YOUR contract - not anyone else's.
Click Here to Print This Flyer
(As posted on the CSEA Statewide web site 4/11/14, www.cseany.org)
Following a long and challenging set of negotiations, CSEA - New
York's leading union - and the New York State Office of Court
Administration have reached agreement on a contract for 5,700
employees of the Unified Court System.
"This was a very difficult negotiation that demonstrates a fair
agreement can be reached when both labor and management work in
good faith," said CSEA President Danny Donohue. "The result
addresses management's need for long-term reform of the
compensation structure while maintaining the rights and benefits of
the CSEA members who work hard every day."
"I am very proud of the CSEA negotiating team for their focus
and determination to get the job done responsibly," Donohue
The six-year agreement runs from April 1, 2011, through March
31, 2017 with the following highlights:
Changes in health insurance were already made in 2011.
The agreement also establishes a contingency for the possibility
of up to a two-day payroll lag in both the 2015-16 and 2016-17
fiscal years to avoid layoffs in the event that the UCS budget is
not approved by the state legislature and the governor as
Chief Administrative Judge A. Gail Prudenti said, "The Unified
Court System is pleased that it has reached this agreement with
CSEA, which will provide salary increases over the next three years
for approximately 40 percent of the court system's work force. We
believe the agreement balances the state's ongoing fiscal
constraints with the desire to provide increased compensation and
benefits for the court system's hardworking employees. Moreover, it
addresses a number of CSEA's longstanding concerns, including the
return to work process, seniority and expediting the disciplinary
process for alleged time and leave violations. We look forward to
ratification and implementation of this agreement."
CSEA will move quickly in the next few weeks to seek approval of
the tentative agreement by the union's rank and file court
employees. If approved, it must also be acted on by the state
CSEA members, who work in the Unified Court System statewide,
perform a wide range of duties from clerk and administrative work
to court officers and reporters.
Click Here to download Tentative Agreement
TIMELINE AND HIGHLIGHTS FOR THE TENTATIVE CSEA/UCS
2011-2017 Collective Bargaining Agreement:
Timeline for the UCS Contract
There will be an announcement regarding the Agreement in the May
edition of The Work Force, which will include exact contract
Contract ballots will be mailed on May 12,
2014. The package will include a letter from President
Donohue, a ballot, a fact sheet and instructions.
Replacement ballots will be available between May
19th and May 23rd. Members can request replacement
ballots by contacting the Contract Administration Dept. by
The deadline to return ballots is June 9th, by 5
The ballots will be counted and the results announced
on June 11th
CSEA court employees
overwhelmingly approve new contract
Intense focus by CSEA
negotiating team produces strong turnout, support
June 11, 2014
ALBANY - CSEA-represented employees of the Unified Court
System have voted 2-to-1 in favor of a new contract amid strong
"This was a very difficult negotiation and I am proud that CSEA
members ignored outside noise and focused on the facts about this
agreement," said CSEA President Danny Donohue. "The CSEA
negotiating team worked hard at the bargaining table to protect the
rights and benefits of CSEA members. They kept that focus in
presenting the agreement details to our members and it made all the
difference in the vote count.
The six-year agreement runs from April 1, 2011 through March 31,
2017 with the following highlights:
The agreement must now be acted on by the state legislature.
CSEA represents 5,700 employees who work in the Unified Court
system statewide. They perform a wide range of duties, from clerk
and administrative work, to court officers and reporters.
Here to View/Download the CSEA-UCS 2011-2017 Contract
(Mary Rubilotta, Dep. Director of Contract Administration,
October 3, 2014)
CSEA is pleased to announce that UCS has approved our
request to have the Rules of the Chief Judge changed to be
consistent with the civil service rules and regulations for State
Executive Branch employees relating to the number of absences
during a traineeship probationary period that may
be considered as time served.
The following new language will now appear in the Rules - "When
the probationary term for a trainee appointment exceeds one year,
any periods of authorized or unauthorized absence in such
probationary term aggregating up to 20 workdays multiplied by the
number of years, including a fraction of a year, constituting the
probationary term, may in the discretion of the appointing
authority, be considered as time served in the probationary
This rule change goes into effect immediately.
Court Reporters/Electronic Recording
(Kathy Guild, CSEA Contract Administration Specialist,
October 9, 2014)
CSEA, along with DC 37, the 9th JD Court Employees
Association and the Association of Surrogate's and Supreme Court
Reporters, met with UCS Management on September 17th to
discuss electronic recording, the per diem rate for Court
Reporters, Transcription Audits and computer aided realtime
transcription from Hearing Impaired in the Courts.
At that meeting, CSEA informed UCS of the expansion of the
electronic recording equipment in the 8th Judicial
District after the 2009 ER policy was issued that limited where it
could be used. We also discussed the shortage of Court
Reporters in Upstate New York. The following day, UCS
informed us that they were immediately releasing all the PARS
(requests) for the following CSEA-represented Court Reporter
positions: 3rd JD - 1 Senior Court Reporter;
4th JD - 1 Court Reporter; 7th JD - 1 Court
Reporter and 1 Senior Court Reporter. An additional PARS was
later released for the 5th JD - 1 Sr. Court
Reporter. UCS has agreed that we will have further
discussions regarding the shortage of Court Reporters at the
upcoming Statewide Labor/Management meeting in November.
We will keep you updated on any developments regarding these
issues as we go forward.
(Mary Rubilotta, CSEA Dep. Director of Contract Administration,
Oct. 21, 2014)
CSEA has reached an agreement with UCS that in some
instances will no longer discourage an employee from taking a
promotion because he/she fears losing time toward a
longevity payment or receiving the longevity payment itself when
they begin in 2016. This agreement will allow certain
employees who promote to utilize their service time at "job
rate" toward meeting the longevity payment eligibility in
the new higher-graded position.
For instance, a grade 18 employee who has been at or above
max for three years and takes a promotion to a grade 19 and
remains at or above max will get credit for
the three years at or above max at the lower salary grade
toward meeting longevity payment eligibility in
the promotional position. This employee would not have to
start over and work an additional four years of service at or
above max before earning a longevity payment. Instead,
this employee would be credited with three years of
service at or above max and need one more year to earn a
longevity payment in the higher graded position.
UNIFORMED PERSONNEL - NEW AGREEMENT BETWEEN CSEA
(Mary Rubilotta, CSEA Dep. Director of Contract Administration,
November 14, 2014)
After lengthy discussions over the last year between CSEA and
UCS regarding uniformed personnel, CSEA is pleased to announce the
following agreement for our uniformed officers:
"For the reminder of the term of this collective Agreement,
uniformed personnel will have the option from November through
April to wear either the Class (B) summer uniform or Class (B)
winter uniform shirt with tie. A decision will be made by the
Department of Public Safety as to whether this option will be
continued upon expiration of this collective Agreement. The
Association acknowledges that such decision is in the sole
discretion of the court system and determinations regarding the
Prescribed Uniform for uniformed personnel are not subject to
UCS has indicated that they are no longer pursuing
statewide changes to the Kronos protocols. Based on this
new information, OCA and CSEA have agreed to return to the
5/15 minute swipe in/swipe out configuration.
Effective November 20, 2014, CSEA-represented employees will
return to the 5- and 15-minute swipe in/swipe out
configuration. This configuration in no way is intended to
modify the 35-hour work week. Employees are still required to
begin their workday at the start of their shift and stay until the
end of their shift. The configuration simply provides
employees with some flexibility to swipe at a convenient time
within the limited window period
It appears that UCS may not reach agreements with its other
unions, so CSEA has negotiated a modification to the current lag
side letter. UCS will continue to submit timely and responsible
budget requests to provide the funding necessary to support
personnel costs and implement the terms of our Agreement. In
the event a lag becomes necessary but not all the represented and
unrepresented non-judicial employees are lagged, each CSEA
employee who is lagged will receive annual leave credit
equivalent to the amount of the lag, in addition to having the lag
repaid when they leave state service. The credit will be
posted on the time card for the payperiod when CSEA is
notified of UCS's itention to implement the lag. If you have
any questions, please contact your Local President.
CSEA STATEWIDE ISSUES/COMMITTEES:
Lag Side Letter Rescinded
The Lag Side Letter to our contract, for fiscal year 2015-2016
and 2016-2017, has been rescinded. There will be no lag for
CSEA requested that UCS provide us with information regarding
the new UCS Work-Safe Office. We had been informed that this
office was created but were not provided with any additional
We recently received correspondence that stated that the mission
of the New York State Courts Work-Safe Office, which is part of the
Division of Human Resources, is to ensure that UCS promotes and
supports a safe work environment for its employees and the
public. Some of the duties performed by this office are
enforcing the court system's Workplace Violence Policy, ensuring
compliance with the posting of Federal and State Workplace Notices
and addressing any OSHA workplace concerns.
CSEA is currently reviewing the UCS Workplace Violence policy
and program to determine if it is in compliance with the law.
Any workplace related complaints or concerns can be reported to
the Work-Safe office via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or
by calling 646-386-5464.
Time and Attendance Pilot
A subcommittee of the CSEA-UCS Statewide Labor/Management
Committee met with UCS Management on December 3, 2014 to discuss
the creation of a pilot "time and leave disciplinary umpire
process" to address employee attendance issues using an independent
time and leave umpire. This pilot program, negotiated with
UCS during contract negotiations, is contained in Article 12.9 of
the 2011-2017 Collective Bargaining Agreement and is the first time
UCS has agreed to use a neutral umpire instead of a UCS employee
for any type of disciplinary process.
During the initial meeting, the parties discussed the current
procedures utilized by UCS management with regard to time and leave
issues and the process that is currently in place for the NYS
Executive Branch employees and which aspects of those two
procedures should be utilized for this pilot program.
The Management representatives for this subcommittee attended
Executive Branch time and leave hearings in Albany and New York
City. The CSEA representatives of the subcommittee will
attend hearings in the near future. This will provide both
sides with an understanding of the process and what might work for
the UCS pilot program. The committee will schedule another
meeting after the CSEA representatives attend hearings and will
begin to draft the pilot program.
We will continue to keep you updated as this pilot program moves
CSEA, along with other unions representing UCS court reporters,
met in September and again in December of 2014 with UCS Management
to discuss issues related to Electronic Recording and Court
Issues addressed at the meetings included suggested modification
of language contained in the UCS 2009 ER Policy, Per Diem rates for
Court Reporters, Transcriptionist issues and CART (computer aided
realtime transcription) for the Hearing Impaired in the Courts.
Judge Marks informed the unions that 36 Court Reporters had been
hired across the State since January 2014 and an additional 12
Court Reporters will begin employment with UCS after January 1,
2015. In addition, four Court Reporters are in the process of
being hired. CSEA informed Judge Marks that we have been told
that if a Grade 24 Court Reporter position for Family Court or City
Court was vacated in courts Upstate, that the position would
generally not be filled. Judge Marks stated that that was not
his understanding and he would make sure that this message was
corrected to Upstate District Executives.
Judge Marks stated that the current 2009 Electronic Recording
policy is ambiguous and can be interpreted differently and that UCS
is in the process of revising this policy so that it is clearly
He also informed the unions that the per diem rates paid to
Court Reporters would be raised from $120 or $140 per day to $250
or $260 per day, depending on whether the per diem is a Grade 24 or
Grade 27 hire.
UCS also indicated at this meeting that they never opposed the
legislation regarding providing realtime transcription to hearing
impaired litigants in the Courts and requested that the unions
provide UCS with a copy of the legislation for review.
A committee was formed among the unions to create suggested
standards for transcriptionists that would mirror standards for
Court Reporters. That committee will provide the recommended
standards to UCS management for their approval.
A subcommittee of our Statewide Labor-Management Committee was
formed to address issues regarding firearms. The Committee
met in Albany on December 15, 2014 and discussed the procedure for
removal of firearms (now with notification to the
Union) in both emergency and non-emergency circumstances or for
failure to re-qualify. In every instance where a weapon is
surrendered, a receipt must be given by UCS to the employee.
All firearms owned, possessed or acquired by a court officer
must be registered with his/her supervisor no later than the next
regular business day following the date of acquisition.
Court Officer Trainees in the Academy and Court Officers that
attend firearms requalification in 2015 will be given a reminder
read/sign form to acknowledge their understanding that UCS has the
authority, as a term and condition of employment, to require an
employee to surrender both their service and personal firearms if
Before firearm(s) may be returned, the employee must attend a
medical and psychological evaluation and firearms safety
retraining. The Deputy Chief Administrative Judge may
determine that only the on-duty firearm will be returned or that
all firearms will be returned.
We will continue to provide updates as the subcommittee meets in
SICK LEAVE BANK
There will be no annual contribution required from members of
the Sick Leave Bank for 2015. Open enrollment information
will be distributed by UCS next week.
ELECTRONIC RECORDING (ER)
UCS's "Production of the Record" Policy provides very specific
guidelines that must be followed prior to the
usage of electronic recording to make the record in courtrooms
where ER has not been utilized prior to January 2009. If
members become aware of electronic recording equipment being newly
installed or utilized in a courtroom, they should notify their
union representative immediately to be certain that the proper
protocol has been followed prior to the utilization of ER.
EBF CO-PAY REIMBURSEMENT
Reminder - March 31st is the deadline to submit your
Employee Benefit Fund reimbursement form for physician office visit
and prescription co-pays from 2014. See the link below for
EBF - UCS Co-Pay Form
COURT REPORTER OPENINGS - NYC CRIMINAL
The Office of Court Administration is seeking assistance in
filling provisional Court Reporter positions in NYC Criminal
Court. If you know of a Court Reporter that may be interested
or, alternatively, may have an interest in per diem work, please
forward the Court Reporter the information from the link below.
NYC Court Reporter Positions
Revised Job Posting (3/13/15)
Forms & Member Information