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Part-Time Workers ‘Gain Strong Voice Through CSEA’

Published Tuesday, November 8, 2022
by Wendi Bowie/CSEA News
Part-Time Workers ‘Gain Strong Voice Through CSEA’

(LONG BEACH, NEW YORK) - The Civil Service Employees Association’s (CSEA) City of Long Beach Unit has Union Representation on lock, as most of the City’s Full-Time Workforce are Members of the Statewide Public Employees Union.  But now, thanks to the organizing efforts of the Unit’s Executive Board, 47 Part-Time City Workers have now formed a Union with CSEA as a new Bargaining Unit.

It all started when the CSEA City of Long Beach Unit Representatives decided to approach the Part-Time Workers at their respective worksites to gauge Workers’ interest in joining CSEA.

Eager to have the power of Union Representation behind them, most Workers did not hesitate to fill out a CSEA Membership application.

After sending the signed Membership cards to CSEA Headquarters, CSEA City of Long Beach Unit President John Mooney delivered a letter to the Long Beach City Manager asking the City to voluntarily recognize the part-time Unit.

“It takes (51%) of the Workers to sign Membership cards in order to be recognized as a Union,” Mooney said. “The gold standard is (70% Membership), but here in the City of Long Beach, our standard is (90%) to (100%).”

It was the disparity in the workplace rights between the City’s Full-Time Unionized Employees and Non-Union Part-Time Employees that propelled the Part-Time Workers to join CSEA.

“Part-Time Workers have different needs from Full-Time Workers, so it’s important for Part-Time Workers to have their own Unit,” CSEA City of Long Beach Unit Executive Vice President Maureen Fox said. “We want to work towards getting them accommodations like leave time so Members can still get paid while addressing personal needs like caring for a sick child.”

As CSEA Members, the new Part-Time Unit will now have a strong voice to ensure their rights on the job.

“Without a Union, Workers are At-Will Employees who can be let go at any time,” CSEA City of Long Beach Unit Treasurer Sean O’Neill said. “When Workers become CSEA Members, we (the CSEA City of Long Beach Executive Board) can argue on their behalf.”

The Part-Time Workers are simply looking forward to being in a better position to provide for their families.

“I’m just looking out for what I think is best for my family,” CSEA City of Long Beach Part-Time Unit Member Jacoby Thomas said. “How can I not be happy, knowing that I have a powerful group behind me?”

Thomas is already looking ahead to increasing his Union involvement.

“One of these days, I want to be like John (Mooney) and become an Activist,” Thomas said.

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