For An Annual Commitment Of Just $5 - Become An Individual Subscriber/Supporter Of
Subscriber Log In
New York State AFL-CIO Click Here for Web Site

Recent News

More news >>

“Involved” - CSEA Syracuse State Employees Local President Diane Burton Selected For The 2020 Danny Donohue Leadership Award For The State Division

Published Tuesday, November 10, 2020
by Nicholas Newcomb/CSEA News
“Involved” - CSEA Syracuse State Employees Local President Diane Burton Selected For The 2020 Danny Donohue Leadership Award For The State Division

(SYRACUSE, NEW YORK) - There is one word that can describe Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) Syracuse State Employees Local President Diane Burton - involved.

Burton’s involvement got her nominated and selected for the 2020 Danny Donohue Leadership Award for the State Division.

Burton, an Office Assistant II at the New York State Insurance Fund, has been a Syracuse State Employees Local Member since 2015, but her Union involvement actually started while working at SUNY (State University of New York) Upstate.

SUNY Upstate Local President Kathy Yeldon approached Burton and asked if she wanted to get involved in the Union.

“It was my ‘first experience with a Union - it was an eye opener,’” Burton said. “We were all trained as Stewards and Grievance Representatives, and Kathy ‘made sure that the Officers were involved in representing the Membership.’”

Before her time at SUNY Upstate and State Insurance Fund, Burton said that she moved quickly between jobs: “My Dad always used to say, ‘you jump a lot of jobs.’  And I said, ‘it’s all a learning experience.’”

Wherever Burton is, she is always able to learn something new and apply it in the future.

Whether it’s being on a Health and Safety Committee on which she is learning about workplace safety issue or helping with various Central Region committees, Burton is constantly learning.

“(When I was at SUNY Upstate), ‘I couldn’t figure out why everyone didn’t think or worked like I did,’” Burton said. “But (I took a) course (through the employer) in which they ‘broke thought processes down by eras and how they changed over time.’  ‘The light bulb went off.’  ‘I was able to change my way of being a supervisor because I was able to think about how others were going to perceive things.’”

Burton humbly said she didn’t expect to be chosen for a prestigious award such as the Danny Donohue Leadership Award.

When Burton reflected on the work she has done for CSEA, she didn’t even realize that she epitomized the ideals of leadership.

“I ‘just figure it was my job.’  ‘Not my job, but just a part of the expectation of being a Member of CSEA and an Officer.’  ‘I didn’t think of it in any other way,’” Burton said. “When I think about someone ‘getting some type of award like this, it’s because they’ve gone above and beyond.’  ‘I feel it’s just the expectation I have for myself and what CSEA would like from its Members and Officers.’”

Burton’s duty as Syracuse State Employees Local President isn’t always easy.

She describes the local as a “catch-all” for numerous state agencies with offices in Central New York.

“(The Local represents Workers in) 41 agencies,” Burton said. “That’s’ challenging right there.’ We go as far as the Gaming Commission at del Lago (Casino in Waterloo) down to Montour Falls.  ‘They’re spread out.’  ‘The biggest challenge is working full time and getting to those Members who aren’t in the local area.’”

To Continue Reading This Labor News Report, Go To:



Leave a Comment