LAKE PLACID - Nearly 1,000 members of the state's largest public employee union will renew their commitment to on-the-job safety at the Civil Service Employees Association's Statewide Conference on Occupational Safety and Health this weekend.
The conference starts Friday and continues until Sunday at the Conference Center at Lake Placid.
CSEA members will join other unions of the AFL-CIO to mark Workers Memorial Day on Saturday. The event features a ceremony remembering workers who have passed away while doing their jobs. Workers Memorial Day was established in 1989 as an international day of remembrance observed on the anniversary date of legislation establishing the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
CSEA was instrumental in the 1980 passage of the landmark Public Employees Safety and Health Act, extending OSHA protections to public employees. More than 24 states do not have similar specific protections for public employees today. The union intensified its fight for safer work sites in 1992 after a disgruntled client murdered four CSEA members working at the Schuyler County Department of Social Services.
CSEA President Danny Donohue said in a press release that "safety on the job is one of CSEA's top priorities and something we have to fight for every day.
"That's especially true today, with misguided politicians trying to take away protections workers have fought long and hard to achieve," he said.
"Despite the strides we have made, going to work is still too dangerous for too many people," Donohue added. "We still wait for the year when we no longer have to 'mourn for the dead' on Workers Memorial Day."