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Keeping schools safe and helping fellow members

January 2016

As we return from our holiday season break I hope you took the time to rest, relax, rejuvenate and spend lots of time with your loved ones. It is hard to believe we are now only six months from the end of the school year.

As many of you know, February is CSEA’s Have a Heart Month. This month, we celebrate the many contributions our members make to support each other, as well as the legacy of Dorothy Bjork, the founder of our assistance fund. Dorothy was association president from 1984 to 1986. She adopted the theme “We are Family” and led the union’s first disaster relief effort, which helped scores of members recover from devastating floods in Northern California. Today, her legacy lives on, as members’ donations and volunteer efforts help hundreds of fellow members recover from natural disasters and personal crises.

Our members’ kindness and generosity never cease to amaze me. For more than 25 years that I’ve been a classified employee, I have watched our members—you, my brothers and sisters—open your hearts and wallets to help those in need. It is a well-known fact that classified employees are often some of the lowest paid in our schools but tend to give the most of themselves. It is simply because you all care.

We all recognize the many heroes that garner so much attention for their brave and extraordinary acts. They deserve all the recognition that they receive; and I know that there are 225,000 more of my brothers and sisters that devote their lives to keeping our schools, students and communities safe. Safety comes in many different forms; and often in roles that the public would not normally assume. Our maintenance staff keep our schools clean, germ free and clear of anything that can harm our students. Our administrative professionals know our students and their families, and can spot a campus intruder before any harm can come to a student. Campus security staff know our students sometimes better than their own families. Let’s not forget our bus drivers either. School bus transportation is the safest way to transport students to and from school. All of these workers, and all that I didn’t specifically mention, are the backbone of our schools and colleges, and the reason that our students are kept out of harm’s way each day they arrive on our campuses.

2016 is going to be a busy, busy year for all of us. We have much work to do, but as I think about these challenges ahead, I can’t imagine any group of dedicated, talented and compassionate members and staff that I’d rather be working with. Together we will make 2016 another year of growth and success for the best union for classified employees in the nation!

In strength and unity,
Michael Bilbrey


CSEA Board of Directors
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Michael Bilbrey

Association President Michael Bilbrey