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We’ve accomplished a lot, and there’s more to do

September, 2015

Welcome back, from what I hope was a productive and restful summer. If you worked this summer, I hope you have the opportunity soon to take some time to recuperate.

CSEA has had a productive and engaging year. After years of budget deficits, furloughs, no pay raises, takeaways and increasing healthcare caps, we turned the corner last year and this year started down an even better road. We have shown the Power of Us and it feels good. Our members are seeing the fruits of their labor. Today, we are negotiating pay raises and restorations, and our laid off members are being hired back to work!

When I was elected, I pledged to you that your Board of Directors would be accessible. I have continued to keep that promise this year, while remaining fiscally responsible. I’ve committed to reach out to the smaller, more remote chapters who have not had the opportunity to have a state officer visit. It’s important to me that each member knows that all members matter, no matter where you live or what position you hold. I will continue to bring the message of the union to all corners of this state to be sure that anyone who wants to can see the leadership of their association.

Training continues to be a one of our association’s highest priorities. CSEA has a rich history of recruiting and developing members and deploying them in leadership roles. I am pleased to report once again that we saw an increase in participation in many of our trainings, with more than 21,000 members participating in training events last year.

After last year’s conference, we put together our Young Worker Group. Because we will not all be in the positions we now hold forever, we must mentor and cultivate our next generation of leaders if we are truly to last for another 89 years. The Young Worker Task Force worked hard this year to put together our first-ever CalGen Summit. I’m so proud of the work they did this year, and can’t wait to see what they come up with next.

In the coming months, CSEA will have one of our greatest challenges. The Supreme Court of the United States has agreed to hear a case that will challenge public unions. This case is about an Orange County teacher, Rebecca Friedrichs, who does not want to be a member of the teacher’s union nor does she want to pay her fair share of negotiation and representation costs. She is asking the court to rule that unions have to provide services to public workers that they would normally represent even if they don’t pay for those services. The case is scheduled to begin during the Supreme Court’s next term, which starts in October.

Public employees unions nationwide are eagerly awaiting and cautiously preparing for the court’s decision. CSEA’s elected leaders, executive staff and legal department have been actively following this case. We have been making preparations in the event the Supreme Court does not find in our favor. You will be hearing much more about this case from me, member leaders and staff. You’ll also see a strong connection in Focus Magazine’s feature article on the Rodda Act (40 Years of Collective Bargaining) to what’s at stake in this case. Our history is rich; our activism is historic; but we must continue to fight if we wish to remain the best union for classified employees in the nation.

In strength and unity,
Michael Bilbrey


CSEA Board of Directors
Who's Who in CSEA

Michael Bilbrey

Association President Michael Bilbrey