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CSEA President Danny Donohue Look Forward To Retirement After Leading New York State’s Public Union & Its 280,000 Members For The Past 25 Years

Published Sunday, October 20, 2019
by New York State AFL-CIO Podcast & Spectrum News
CSEA President Danny Donohue Look Forward To Retirement After Leading New York State’s Public Union & Its 280,000 Members For The Past 25 Years

In the years Danny Donohue has lead the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA), the Labor Movement around the country has faltered and Membership has declinedbut not so in New York, which remains the highest Unionized State in the United States.  

"The real trick though is the fact across the country Labor Unions have been falling off, I believe because Labor Unions got lazy.  They need a good swift kick to go out and do what they did in the fifties and thirties.  Go and organize, go talk to their Members, go find out what the Members want," said Donohue, the longest-sitting President in CSEA History.  

Donohue announced this Summer he will not seek re-election to the Labor Union he's led for the past 25 years.  

His time in office included fights with both Republicans and Democrats.  

"The truth of the matter is the Democratic Party takes advantage of it because they believe, well, you're a Labor Leader, you've got to be with the Democratic Party.  I like to argue we've been screwed by the Democrats as much as the Republicans.  But we remember both," Donohue said.  

One of the most high-profile disputes was with Governor Andrew Cuomo amid a debate over less generous Retirement Benefits for new State Workers.

At the time, Donohue called Cuomo “a moron and a monkey,” but things changed last year, when a landmark Supreme Court case made it easier for Government Workers to not pay Union Dues.

Cuomo backed efforts to soften the blow and his relationship with CSEA improved.  

"The Governor had to make a choice.  Does he believe the rhetoric we are the enemy?  Or does he believe we can work together?  He stood up for us," Donohue said.  

CSEA represents mostly Blue-Collar Workers Public Service Workers across New York and as a debate rages over Democratic Socialism, Donohue says his Members are skeptical.  

"Most of them are smart enough to understand there are no free lunches.  When people talk about we're going give you free health care, we're going to give you free education, free this and free that, it's nice and it's a great idea (but) somebody has got to pay.  We understand that," he said.

And Donohue says he hopes his successor will listen to the Union's Members and reflect their concerns.  

For More, Listen To The New York State AFL-CIO’s Podcast With Donohue, Go To: https://nysaflcio.org/news/union-strong-podcast-episode-21-csea-president-danny-donohue-retires

To Directly Access The Spectrum News Story On Donohue, Go To: https://spectrumlocalnews.com/nys/central-ny/news/2019/08/30/csea-president-reflects-on-legacy--looks-ahead-after-exiting-office

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