Dear Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano, Yonkers City Council Members, Yonkers Board of Education Board of Trustees, and Superintendent Dr. Edwin Quezada By LIONEL TURNER

Hezi Aris Education, Finance, Governance, Letter to the Editor, Politics, Radio, Westchester County, NY, Yonkers, NY 24 Comments

Lionel Turner is CSEA 9169 President.

Lionel Turner is CSEA 9169 President.

I am writing this letter to you on behalf of the 1,500 CSEA 9169 members and their families that I have been given the honor to represent. CSEA 9169 are composed of the most hard working and dedicated workers this city has. They are the BACKBONE of the Yonkers Public Schools District’s education and functions. They are the Nurses, Clerks, Aides, Technology, Maintenance, Custodians, Bus Monitors, Safety Officers, and Food Service workers. They come to work everyday, mostly as unsung heroes, doing in part the job that goes unappreciated until their tasks are not completed; then their true importance is revealed. Ninety percent of our work force Live, Work and Shop in Yonkers. Most have been Yonkers residents for generations, having attended Yonkers Schools, met their lifelong friends and loved ones here, sent their children and grandchildren to attend school here, as well. Our members are invested in the City of Yonkers with no comparable comparison. Our members are Yonkers!

I am duty bound to represent and make sure the demands and needs are met by such a dedicated and hard working work force. Currently CSEA 9169 workers are working without a contract. It would be 3 years without a raise for workers who have a huge responsibility – the care, protection, and education of our future, our children, the students of Yonkers. It is even more imperative when you factor in the salaries of such a workforce. CSEA 9169 members of the Yonkers Public Schools live on meager salaries. The average salary of our members is $26,000 a year. For example, our full time School Aides whose duties are immeasurable receive $12.13 an hour, our Foodservice workers who feed our children receive $12.13 a hour, our Bus monitors who are out first thing in the morning (6:30 am) picking up our children and guarantee travel to and from schools receive $22 per run. There is more value placed on paying a fast food worker a living wage, than it is on those who sole responsibility is the care of our children, our future! That is the shame of it; it is disgraceful. Our Safety Officers, Custodians, Technicians, Clerks and Maintenance workers all contribute to a school district that COULD NOT FUNCTION without them showing up to work and performing their duties at such a high functional level. These are the WOMEN AND MEN who perform herculean tasks on a day-to-day basis to ensure the safety, security, and well being of our children while serving the Yonkers Public Schools. I have firsthand knowledge of the role our members play in maintaining the schools and YES formally/ informally teaching and guiding all 27,000 students! These Women and Men love and appreciate their jobs. The way they perform is nothing short of exemplary!

As so-called leaders of this City and School District, it is your responsibility to take care of the CSEA 9169 workforce. It is a slap in our face. It is arrogant. It is disgraceful. Knowing the IMPORTANCE and DEDICATION of CSEA 9169 and knowing CSEA 9169 have not been given a raise, a REAL LIVING WAGE, to people who you live next to, shop next to, are seen at the local gas station, and take care of your children and family members is unimaginable. For the record, it is unfair, unjust and morally wrong not to match the CSEA Members with a decent, living wage increase for the work that they do. Did we complain when the City Commissioners received raises over 5%? Did we speak out against the part time City Council Members received raises over 20%? Did any CSEA member mismanage funds? NO! Didn’t CSEA 9169 members ENDORSE Mayor Spano while he served in the New York State Assembly, as well as supporting his 1st and 2nd Mayoral elections? YES! To balance the budget on the backs of working poor, taxpayers, and citizens is a crime!

When we receive a raise, we essentially pay for it just by being tax payers and residents. For example, the recent sales tax increase affected our members while shopping in Yonkers. Have the Leaders of this City become so parochial that they hide behind numbers that don’t correlate to human beings and the basic well being of its citizens? Does anyone acknowledge that all of this is interconnected? Are we so removed from reality that we lack the understanding that when you open stores and restaurants, build malls, etc., people need a BASIC living wage and raise in order to patronize new businesses, and more importantly, to keep up with the increasing costs of food, clothing and housing? Henry Ford once said “I will pay my people enough money to buy my car”. Political Economics 101.

What I am saying is, if no one will stand with us, we MUST and WILL STAND UP for ourselves!!
Fannie Lou Hammer once said “We are sick and tired of being sick and tired”.

 

CSEA 9169Join us in raising these imperative issues and others. Please call the CSEA 9169 office at (914) 378-4084 and join us to promote Accountability, Transparency and a FAIR CONTRACT!
Lionel Turner is CSEA 9169 President.

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Hezi ArisDear Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano, Yonkers City Council Members, Yonkers Board of Education Board of Trustees, and Superintendent Dr. Edwin Quezada By LIONEL TURNER

Comments 24

  1. CSEA stronger together

    Mr. Lionel,
    Please continue to stand up for what is right! It’s time to unite with the YFT and together we can voice our concerns louder for all to hear.
    CSEA & YFT stronger together

  2. Thank you Mr Turner

    Very well said Mr Turner. Thank you for fighting for our members of CSEA 9169 , And for the ignorant comments…your either a hater or you have not been taught better. Such a shame in this day and age to criticize.

  3. Park Hill

    He’s also just trying to fight for his membership who are making 38k-40k a year…these people are just trying to eat…they are not high paid city workers…just doing honest work and trying to get by…settle this contract and move on….

  4. BJ

    not nice to talk about people but having read this comments and seen the Beatle juice remarks. I can’t help but laugh because he really looks like that guy!!

  5. Taylor law

    The Taylor Law was enacted as yet another attack on unions by making it illegal for NY public workers to strike. But it’s like that line in the movie “The Untouchables” – what are you prepared to do?

    It might be illegal and there might be fines, but others have gone out on strike illegally and it can be incredibly effective. Is it worth it to shut down the school system for a day or a week, assuming your members do it in large numbers and can afford it given their limited salaries (which is another form of control)?

    What are you prepared to do, Mr. Turner?

  6. CSEA should CRUSH Spano

    President Turner should lead CSEA and the other unions in Yonkers to CRUSH Mike Spano and teach every other useless Politiican what happens when you mess with working men and women. The teamsters and firemen and other unions would love to join in on the trouncing and pouncing of traitor Mike Spano.

  7. Spano Machine is about to seize up

    How does Jeb Bush sound Mile? You dopey crooks are enjoying your last days in politics. This is it! No more lentil soup for you greedy slobs.

  8. Member and Citizen

    Thank you Mr. Turner for caring about CSEA Local 9169 and highlighting what is necessary. Continue the fight for we stand with you. The ignorance of others means NOTHING to the struggle!

    1. ...........

      Of 17% of actual registered voters. Which means the other 83% stayed home and rearranged their sock draws knowing the fix was in!

      1. Bonkies

        Also there was no choice. We got tweedle dee and tweedle dumb.
        We need choices. We have them everywhere from supermarkets to airlines but not with politicians.

        Yonkers and actually the US elections system is so corrupt it’s a farce.

  9. Three times!! Dam

    I live every time I hear his name or see Lionel picture!!

    Beatle juice
    Beatle juice
    Beatle juice!!!!!

  10. Proud of You for Standing Up, Lionel

    You guys endorsed Spano after he sold you a bill of goods with his perpetual disingenuous smile the first time. Then you guys figured he would win again and you would have to deal again with the devil you know, so you endorsed him against against your conscience. Well, it is very apparent the Mayor does not give a shit about you. His staff receive huge raises on top of their almost $200,000 salaries and City Council gives themselves a 45% raise. Do what you gotta do now, Lionel. Strike or go throw your support behind Astorino or anyone but Spano for County Executive. Spano out-politicked you. In Solidarity

  11. Resident

    You have made some salient points but until you take decisive action and not just talk you will remain where you are now-these local pols are all about mugging it up for the cameras and getting free meals on the arm-only when some calamity takes place will these so called pols come out of their hideouts and do something-the bottom line is thy got theirs and they could a damn about anybody else.

  12. Some observations

    There are some excellent points raised in this piece. Below are a few quotes with some remarks.

    “There is more value placed on paying a fast food worker a living wage, than it is on those who sole responsibility is the care of our children, our future!”

    Fast food workers fought for their raises by going on strike. They are not your enemies, but stand in solidarity with you in your collective fight against the political/financial ruling elites, all of whom seek to undermine labor unions (see next comment).

    “Did we complain when the City Commissioners received raises over 5%? Did we speak out against the part time City Council Members received raises over 20%? Did any CSEA member mismanage funds? NO!”

    You should have.

    “Didn’t CSEA 9169 members ENDORSE Mayor Spano while he served in the New York State Assembly, as well as supporting his 1st and 2nd Mayoral elections? YES!”

    You shouldn’t have.

    “Fannie Lou Hammer once said ‘We are sick and tired of being sick and tired’.”

    And Groucho Marx said, “the secret of success is sincerity. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.”

    If you think the City Council and Mayor Spano care about your members, then you’re kidding yourself. Historically, labor strikes have been very effective in forcing politicians to care. Walk out and see how quickly they take notice when the schools are unable to function without your members. You’ll get your contract then.

    In solidarity

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