Defensive Driving Classes for Union Members


The New York Safety Program offers defensive driving classes to CSEA members and their families at a reduced rate of $19.00 per person in a classroom setting or $23.95 per person over the internet. Call (800) 942-6874 or visit to register, and use the code shown on the flyer posted on your branch’s CSEA bulletin board (or email Richard Riis for the code).

After completing the six-hour course, you will be entitled to a 10% reduction of your collision, liability and no-fault insurance base rate premiums each year for the next three years. Additionally, up to four violation points may be reduced from the total on your driving record if you have incurred violations during the 18 months prior to completing the course.

In-person classes are held at the CSEA Region One Headquarters, 3 Garet Place, Commack, NY 11725, and are scheduled as follows:

Saturday, September 13, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Wednesday-Thursday, September 24 & 25: 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, November 8, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Wednesday-Thursday, November 19 & 20, 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, December 6; 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Wednesday-Thursday, December 17 & 18; 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

CSEA Employment Benefit Fund News for Retirees

Effective July 1, 2014, The Library will no longer be administering the CSEA Benefit Fund for retirees covered under COBRA at the current monthly cost of $162.52. The CSEA EBF will instead be administered for all current and future retirees by CSEA.

Retirees will no longer make out and send monthly payments for the CSEA EBF to The Library. All transactions will be handled directly with CSEA EBF.

Retirees will be receiving a packet from CSEA EBF with all the information needed to ensure a smooth transition.

Questions may be directed to Jean DeLauro or Joanne Grove in Administration. More in-depth information may be obtained by contacting CSEA EBF; contact options will be included in the packet.

Legal Expenses? Your Contract Provides Coverage


Full-time employees covered by our Collective Bargaining Agreement are entitled to benefits that include full or partial reimbursement for many common legal expenses, including consultations, wills and trusts, estate matters, real estate closings, foreclosure proceedings, adoption, contracts, family, traffic and criminal matters. You are free to use the attorney of your own choosing.

Full details and claim forms are available here.


Summer Is Vacation Season! Check Out These Member Benefits

Stilllife on the beach with sunglasses cocktail in coconut and flip flop

Summer will soon be here  and there are some budget-stretching benefits available to union members planning vacations or other recreational activities.

Vacation Tours

The Union Plus Worldwide Vacation Tours has teamed up with GoAhead Vacations, a leading global travel company with more than 100 offices in 43 countries. Take $150 off the vacation of a lifetime or get a free trip for members who organize a trip with 12 or more participants. For more information call 1-800-590-1104 or visit Union Plus Website for more information.

Tickets to Plays, Movies, Theme Parks and Sporting Events

Through Working Advantage, union members can use Union Plus Entertainment Discounts — including movie tickets, theme park discounts, Broadway shows, sporting events and much more.

Call 1-800-565-3712, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. EST or visit the Working Advantage website.

Visit your CSEA Region Page for details on great offers right in your backyard including, in season game discounts with Penn Minor League Baseball teams across NY,  Major League New York Yankees, discounts to NASCAR, Saratoga Performing Arts Center, The Times Union Center, Six Flags Great Escape, The Buffalo Zoo and much more.

Discounts on Hotels, Airfare, and More

Visit the Union Plus Travel Center where you are able to search for hotels, airfare, condos, cruises and much more.

To access the Union Plus Travel Center just visit the Union Plus website.

Need New Tires, Auto Parts or Maintenance?

tireCash in on the following union members-only deals for Goodyear discount tires and more: 10% off all Goodyear tires, including car tires, snow tires, all-terrain, truck tires and more. Save 10% off car service, maintenance and auto parts or 5% on preventive maintenance.

To take advantage of Goodyear discounts,  download a Goodyear coupon here  and take it along with your union membership card to your local Goodyear Gemini Auto Service Center or call 1-888-439-7786 to find a center near you.

Retiring? Join the CSEA Retirees

For only $2 a month, retired members can maintain their CSEA membership. As a retiree member you enjoy the following benefits:

  • Legislative and political action programs designed to enhance and protect retiree pension and health benefits.
  • Participation in a Retiree Local of CSEA.
  • Access to insurance plans at CSEA’s low group rates.
  • Money-saving member benefits.
  • A discounted consumer items buying service.
  • Discounted Dental and Vision Care Programs.
  • A personal legal services referral network.

Our upcoming retirees have already received CSEA Retiree Membership Applications. Additional copies may be downloaded here:

Download a CSEA Retiree Membership Application

Read the CSEA Retiree Guide Online

All members now have a toll-free number to call for information regarding your pension. Call 1-866-805-0990.


Dental and Vision Benefit Information for Retirees

Does the EBF offer a Retiree Dental Benefit?

Yes,  a Retiree Dental Program is available to retirees who were previously covered by a CSEA Employee Benefit Plan dental plan such as our unit’s Dutchess Dental Plan. Members meeting have a maximum of 90 days from their retirement date or COBRA expiration to elect the EBF Retiree Dental Plan. Participants pay a monthly fee. Participating dental providers accept the Retiree Dental Plan as payment in full for covered services.

Click here for the Retiree Dental Booklet

Does the EBF offer a Retiree Vision Benefit?

While the EBF does not provide vision coverage for retirees, CSEA does offer a vision program for retiree members. The plan utilizes the Davis/Empire network of participating providers. Benefits include an eye examination, frames and lenses every 12 months. Monthly rates for the program are $10.70 (member only) and $18.45 (member and spouse). For more information or to enroll call Pearl Carroll & Associates at 1-(888)-507-1368.

Member Benefits Q & A

It is every individual’s responsibility to be familiar with their benefits as members of our Collective Bargaining Unit. Consult your building’s CSEA bulletin board, brochures distributed to each building and take a few minutes to check the CSEA Employee Benefit Fund’s excellent website. Benefit updates and highlights are communicated regularly via posts such as this one on our own unit’s website and emailed directly to members who have subscribed to receive them. As always, all our unit board officers are able to answer your questions or direct you to the information you need.

Many of your co-workers have availed themselves of benefits to which they are entitled, from maternity benefits to discounts on new automobile tires.

Addressed today are some frequently asked questions about member benefits:

What benefits do I have?

Benefits for members of Unit 8349 – The Smithtown Library are summarized here. At present, most of these benefits are available only to those unit members who have completed three months of full-time employment.

Dutchess Dental Plan

Dental coverage does not require use of a participating dentist. When using a non-participating dentist, services will be reimbursed based upon your dental plan fee schedule. The dentist has the right to bill the difference between his/her charges and the fee schedule. The CSEA Employee Benefit Fund website provides a list of providers, both in and outside of New York State, who accept our dental plan fee schedule as payment in full for services covered in the plan. A printed list of participating providers is available by calling 1-800-323-2732 or by visiting the Provider Search Utility. When searching for dental providers on the CSEA EBF website, choose “Dental” from the Provider Type. Completed dental claims must be submitted on a universal ADA claim form. The claim should include the patient’s name, address, EBF ID#, date of service, service rendered, the ADA code for the procedure and the dentist’s name, address and license number. Claims can be submitted electronically or mailed to the CSEA Employee Benefit Fund, P.O. Box 489, Latham, NY 12110-0489.

Prescription Drug Co-Pay Benefit

$200 per family, per calendar year. Download Form

Legal Services

There is a $1,000 annual cap for legal services which are divided into three categories: services with no deductible, services with a $50 deductible and $20 consultation fee services. Charges over the allowances are the responsibility of the member and the member retains all rights to choose any attorney according to individual need and type of case. Download Form

Hearing Aid

Provides for an allowance of $450 per ear towards the cost of a hearing aid once every three years. Download Form

Maternity Benefit

$200 per child. Download Form

Platinum 12 Vision Care

Fund vision care benefits provide you with fee scheduled reimbursement for eye care services both in and outside of New York State when a non-participating provider is used. Call the EBF at 1-800-323-2732 or visit Download Forms and select “Vision Care Reimbursement Form” from the menu. You must have this form with you when you have vision services provided. A signed, itemized receipt from the provider must be attached to the claim form, along with the doctor’s signature. Vision care reimbursement forms can be mailed to CSEA Employee Benefit Fund, P.O. Box 516, Latham, NY 12110-0516. Should you have any questions regarding any of the above information, please contact the EBF toll free from throughout the United States at 1-800-323-2732 and press 5 on the phone menu for a customer service representative in the Member Services Department.

Anti-Reflective Coating

A coating which allows a higher percentage of light to pass through the lens and reduces surface reflections that can hinder your vision.

Occupational Rider

As employees whose job duties require 50% or more of their work hours on a computer, driving a vehicle or performing other work duties while using corrective eyewear, our members are entitled to a second pair of glasses. At the time of the regular service, the participating provider will determine if a different prescription is needed. (Example: a different prescription to use on the computer or prescription sunglasses for driving.) OCC/VDT glasses must be obtained at the same time as the regular services and only through a participating provider. Dependents are not eligible for this benefit.

How do I use these benefits?

You must first be enrolled in the EBF to be eligible for benefits. An enrollment form must be completed by the member to activate your coverage. Once enrollment is established, you will receive a membership ID card which you will present to panel providers at time of service.

How do I order a replacement ID card?

To order a replacement ID card, go here. Enter the required information and you can print your card right from the screen. You can also select “Mail me the ID Card” to have a card mailed to you but processing will take 4-to-6 weeks to arrive. There is no charge for replacement ID cards and your number will not change.

Do our union dues pay for our benefits?

No. Your union dues do not pay for your dental and vision benefits with the CSEA Employee Benefit Fund. These benefits are negotiated on your behalf with your employer and provided pursuant to our CSEA contract.

CSEA Employee Benefit Fund Debuts New Mobile Web App

csea ap 1

The CSEA Employee Benefit Fund (EBF) has announced the release of a new mobile web app to help CSEA members get the benefit information they need from the EBF’s website.

The new feature is available by accessing from a mobile device and provides ready access to all of the important information needed to obtain your EBF ID number (which also appears on your EBF membership card), search for participating providers, or utilize the live chat feature to ask a question about your benefits.

Not all of the information on the EBF’s main website is available via the mobile link, but the feature is intended to provide the most commonly requested information for CSEA members who are increasingly reliant on mobile devices as part of their busy daily life.






What Are “Weingarten Rights”?

The question was recently asked, what are an employee’s Weingarten rights and when may they be invoked?

The right of employees to have union representation at investigatory interviews was affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court in a 1975 case (NLRB vs. Weingarten, Inc. 420 U.S. 251.88 LRRN 2689). These rights have become known as the Weingarten rights.

Employees have Weingarten rights during investigatory interviews. An investigatory interview occurs when a supervisor questions an employee to obtain information which could be used as a basis for discipline or asks an employee to defend his or her conduct.

If an employee has a reasonable belief that discipline or other adverse consequences may result from what he or she says, the employee has the right to request union representation. Management is not required to inform the employee of his/her Weingarten rights; it is the employee’s responsibility to know and request. Your certified union representatives are listed here.

When an investigatory interview occurs, the following rules apply:

Rule 1 – The employee must make a clear request for union representation before or during the interview. The employee can’t be punished for making this request.

Rule 2 – After the employee makes the request, the supervisor has three options. He or she must either:

1. Grant the request and delay the interview until the union representative arrives and has a chance to consult privately with the employee: or

2. Deny the request and end the interview immediately; or

3. Give the employee a choice of: 1) having the interview continue without representation (this is not recommended) or 2) ending the interview.

Rule 3 – If the supervisor denies the request and continues to ask questions, this is an unfair labor practice and the employee has a right to refuse to answer. The employee cannot be disciplined for such refusal but is required to sit there until the supervisor terminates the interview. Leaving before this happens may constitute punishable insubordination.

The Union Representative’s Rights Under Weingarten

Your union representative is not required to merely be a “silent witness”. The union representative has the right to:

1. Be informed by the supervisor of the subject matter of the interview

2. Take the employee aside for a private conference before questioning begins

3. Speak during the interview

4. Request that the supervisor clarify a question so that what is being asked is understood

5. Give employee advice on how to answer a question

6. Provide additional information to the supervisor at the end of the questioning.

The union representative does not have the right to tell the employee not to answer nor, obviously, to give false answers. An employee can be disciplined for refusing to answer questions.

Weingarten rights do not apply when:

1. The meeting is merely for the purpose of conveying work instructions, training, or communicating needed corrections in the employee’s work techniques.

2. The employee is assured by the employer prior to the interview that no discipline or employment consequences can result from the interview.

3. The employer has reached a final decision to impose certain discipline on the employee prior to the interview, and the purpose of the interview is to inform the employee of the discipline or to impose it.

4. Any conversation or discussion about the previously determined discipline which is initiated by the employee and without employer encouragement or instigation after the employee is informed of the action.

Even in the above circumstances, however, the employee may still ask for representation, particularly if he or she believes the meeting may escalate into a disciplinary situation. Most employers will permit a representative to attend even when not required to.


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