The Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) is a labor union representing state and local government employees across the state of New York. The CSEA reported 230,353 members across New York in 2018, making it the largest state level labor union in the nation. The CSEA is affiliated with the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and is AFSCME’s largest chapter, Local 1000. Through AFSCME, the CSEA is also an affiliated member of the AFL-CIO union federation.
The CSEA was founded in 1910 in Albany as the Association of State Civil Service Employees. In 1930, during the Great Depression, then-New York Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt recognized the group as an official representative group of state employees. In the 1940s, the association grew to include local chapters and local government employee members. The CSEA boats ties to many historical Democratic Party politicians on its website including President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Governor Mario Cuomo, President Jimmy Carter, and President Bill Clinton.
In 2000, an internal report from the CSEA was made public that detailed widespread corruption and abuse among 35 leaders of the union. The report detailed a total of $4.6 million in misappropriated or embezzled funds. The various union officials allegedly misused amounts ranging from $2.2 million to $51,000.
The CSEA is often described as one of the most politically powerful organizations in New York and almost exclusively supports Democrats for elected office in New York. In 2002, while discussing the gubernatorial race, the New York Times noted that the association had “a formidable electioneering organization and can put thousands of workers on the streets during an election to encourage Democrats to vote” and noted that the CSEA “is generally regarded as having one of the three most effective political operations in the state.”
In 2018, the union endorsed incumbent Governor Andrew Cuomo over “Sex and the City” actress Cynthia Nixon in the Democratic Gubernatorial primary, after opposing him in the prior two elections. Union leader Danny Donohue had previously called Cuomo a “monkey and a moron.” 
The CSEA has been led by president Danny Donohue from Long Island, NY since 1994. Donohue started his career as a government worker as an attendant at a Psychiatric Center in the 1970s and became a local union chapter President in 1975. Donohue has a history of extreme comments; he has called New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) a “monkey” and explicitly suggested President Donald Trump would have “mentored” Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, and Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler.
In 2018, Donohue received total compensation of $170,461 to lead the CSEA.
Salary data from 2015 shows over 50 CSEA employees earned total compensation exceeding $100,000 from the union.