CSA History


CSA was created in the turbulent 1960s. The many professional organizations that represented supervisors and administrators formed the Council of Supervisory Associations in 1962 to fight for collective bargaining rights with the then NYC Board of Education. CSA celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2012 with a number of events that culminated in a gala dinner/dance at the Waldorf-Astoria in NYC.

In 1968, CSA became a labor union and changed its name to the Council of Supervisors and Administrators. In 1971, CSA was granted a charter by the AFL-CIO to organize school supervisors in NYS and on the national level; it became Local 1 of the School Administrators and Supervisors Organizing Committee (SASOC). In 1976, SASOC held its first convention in NYC and became the American Federation of School Administrators (AFSA). AFSA holds its convention every three years. The NYS Federation of School Administrators (NYSFSA) was also formed in 1976.

Today CSA has 6,100 in-service members. They are Principals, Assistant Principals and Education Administrators in the city’s 1,800 NYC public schools and central offices and 200 Directors and Assistant Directors in city-funded Early Childhood Education Centers. More than 10,000 retirees and their spouses have joined our CSA Retiree Chapter.


Jack Zuckerman, one of CSA’s founders and a former president, compiled this list of highlights from the union’s history.

The seeds for a concept of a union are planted as salary committees from 11 supervisory groups agree to fight for a salary index.

January 1962 
Presidents of unaffiliated supervisory associations meet at the High School of Art and Design on Jan. 30. From that meeting comes the formation of the Council of Supervisory Associations (CSA). Dr. Benjamin Strumpf, assistant superintendent in Districts 17 and 18, is elected as part-time president. Presidential terms are initially set at one year with a two-term term limit.

January 1963 
The Board of Education gives the Council de facto recognition.

September 1963 
Walter Degnan, the principal of DeWitt Clinton High School, is elected part-time president. Al Morrison, a high school assistant principal, serves as part-time executive director.

February 1964 
Al Morrison becomes the union’s full-time executive director.

April 1964 
The first annual convention is held at Grossinger’s April 10-12.

July 1964 
The CSA major medical expense insurance plan goes into effect on July 1 with more than 900 supervisors enrolled.

May 1965 
After three years of work, CSA achieves de jure recognition on May 5, and hammers out CSA’s first legal recognition agreement with the Board of Education, the first of its kind granted to supervisors in the nation.

September 1965 
Stuart Lucey, an Assistant Superintendent in the Bronx, becomes CSA’s part-time president.

Spring 1965 
The CSA Welfare Fund is established; the five trustees were Robert B. Harris, Joseph H. Aaron, CSA President Stuart C. Lucey, Harry Kase and Walter Degnan. The Board of Education agreed to provide $140 per CSA member to the Fund. In June 1966, the trustees decided to provide the following benefits: supplemental major medical insurance; extended Blue Cross coverage and life insurance. Al Morrison, CSA’s legislative representative is selected to serve as the Fund’s first administrator.

September 1966 
CSA establishes a full-time office at 186 Joralemon St. in downtown Brooklyn. Al Morrison was assisted by several full-time secretaries and a part-time assistant administrator for the Welfare Fund.

Joseph Brennan, a high school principal, becomes CSA’s part-time president.

September 20, 1967 
Assistant principals hold a one-day strike in support of the UFT.

February 1968 
Michael Romano, an elementary school principal, becomes CSA’s part-time president.

Fall 1968 
Walter Degnan becomes CSA’s part-time president. The NYC teacher strike closes schools for 36 day; the focus of the dispute – the experimental Ocean Hill-Brownsville decentralized district.

Elinore Jaffe is hired as Welfare Fund administrator. That fall sees the first written contract between the Board of Education and the Council of Supervisors and Administrators; it is the first comprehensive contract for school supervisors in the United States.

In the spring, in CSA’s first contested election, Walter Degnan is re-elected president for the 1970-71 school year, his third successive year as CSA’s leader. The state legislature ends salary index and tenure for school supervisors, although those who have it are grandfathered in. The Board of Education changes the title of all department “chairmen” to assistant principal, supervision. CSA looks to become part of a national organization telling members, “As the NEA and AFT move in the direction of a merger, the need for a national union of supervisors becomes increasingly apparent.” While the NEA and AFT never merged, the national organization for supervisors was born the next year.

The Board of Education attempts to reclassify principals and other supervisors as managerial or confidential employees under the Taylor Law. The NYC Central Labor Council denounces the Board’s union-busting tactics. The AFL-CIO grants a charter to the newly formed School Administrators and Supervisors Organizing Committee (SASOC) to organize; CSA President Walter Degnan is elected its president, and CSA is Local 1, AFSA, AFL-CIO. (In 1976, SASOC becomes the American Federation of School Administrators.) The first general membership meeting of the Retired Supervisors Group/CSA was held on Nov. 18. Total membership was 268 including 109 spouses. Benjamin Mandel is the first chairman. This group will eventually rename itself Retired School Supervisors Association in 1972, which, in turn, merges with the CSA Retiree Chapter in 2005. CSA changes its term of office for elected officers to two years beginning with the new officers elected In December. Walter Degnan, who ran unopposed, and Emanuel Munice are re-elected to their respective positions.

Check-off dues begins in February. The monthly deduction for members is $9.98 with the exception of elementary school Principals ($8.40) and attendance supervisors ($5). The Executive Board admits Day Care Center Directors and Assistant Directors as members. The Board of Education rejected the demands of the Association of Assistant Principals to bargain separately for their own members. To comply with the AFL-CIO rules, CSA begins steps to restructure its Executive Board to comply with one- man, one-vote representation.

The 10th Annual Convention was held May 12 at the Statler Hilton Hotel. PERB rules on June 1 that NYC principals are not managerial employees and are entitled to collective bargaining rights and union membership. In June, Walter Degnan announces his intention to resign as CSA president to focus on SASOC and its 17 locals. Executive Vice President Emanuel Munice assumes the presidency at the start of the 73-74 school year, but does not run in the fall elections. In September, CSA’s membership approves a new three-year contract making NYC school administrators and supervisors the highest paid in the country. Principals can earn up to $35,000. Peter O’Brien, the principal of PS 17, Queens, wins a three-way race for CSA president. Jack Zuckerman is elected executive vice president, while continuing to serve as principal as PS 151, Manhattan. The team takes office Feb. 1, 1974.

In the late fall, the Professional Association of Day Care Directors, an affiliate of CSA since 1973, votes to select CSA as its collective bargaining representative. Nearly two years later, a contract is signed. (See 1976.) CSA also organizes its Committee on Political Education (COPE).

Gov. Hugh Carey signs legislation restoring tenure for supervisors. CSA supports the UFT’s week-long strike, marching in picket lines with teachers. Day care directors, in a first, picket the Day Care Council on Nov. 20 during the council’s annual meeting. Despite the state NLRB’s recognition in 1974 to allow CSA to represent day care directors, the council still hasn’t agreed to a contract. Peter O’Brien and Jack Zuckerman are re-elected to their respective positions in the fall elections and take office Feb. 1.

SASOC emerges as the renamed American Federation of School Administrators (AFSA) and officially receives its charter from the AFL-CIO at AFSA’s first convention in July. Walter Degnan is elected president, Al Morrison is elected executive vice president, and Martin Kalish is secretary-treasurer. In September, Day Care Director Lydia Tait is hired to work part-time as a special liaison with day care directors. Ms. Tait was instrumental in organizing Day Care for CSA (as was DC Director Gladys Weekes.) Day Care Directors sign the nation’s first Day Care Directors’ contract negotiated by a union on Sept. 28. The most significant aspect of the contract is the formation of a collective bargaining agreement.

Peter O’Brien resigns as the president of CSA. Executive Vice President Jack Zuckerman becomes the president. Ted Elsberg is elected president of CSA and Blanche Schwartz is elected as executive vice president.

The Day Care Council/CSA Welfare Fund is established; eventually it covers prescription drugs, expanded hospitalization coverage, dental plans and some emergency services not covered by the employer.

Donald Singer is elected as the president of CSA and Joseph Kovaly is elected as executive vice president.

Joseph Kovaly resigns as executive vice president. Jill Levy becomes the executive vice president.

A CSA constitutional amendment approval added the full-time position of first vice president. John Gentile becomes the first vice president. A new CSA contract, running from 1992-1996, is ratified by a 2-1 margin.

On August 31, 1999, at a contract demonstration in front of the Board of Education Headquarters located at 110 Livingston Street in Brooklyn, Donald Singer, President of CSA, was arrested for disorderly conduct.

A new CSA contract, running from 1996-2001, is ratified by a 2-to-1 margin. This contract presented a major change in supervisory base salaries. Donald Singer resigns as the president of CSA. Jill Levy becomes the president, John Gentile becomes the executive vice president and Ernest Logan is tapped to be the first vice president. Jill Levy is elected as the president of CSA, Ernest Logan as the executive vice president and Peter McNally as the first vice president.

CSA changes its name to the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators. CSA also introduces a professional development organization, the Executive Leadership Institute, and eventually opens Educational Leadership Centers in five boroughs. (The Manhattan ELC closes in spring 2009.) Over the next seven years, ELI will establish itself as a premiere program offering training for all its members with a wealth of single topic workshops as well as targeted programs for the new and experienced Assistant Principal, aspiring Principals, Education Administrators and Day Care Directors. In 2008- 09, ELI begins a collaboration with and receives funding from the Leadership Academy to provide training for Principals.

With no opposition, CSA President Jill Levy is re-elected to a three-year term with Executive Vice President Ernest Logan and First Vice President Peter McNally. They are sworn in on Feb. 1, 2004, in a celebration at the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge.

May 2004 
The Executive Board approves forming the CSA Retiree Chapter. Long-time Welfare Fund Administrator Irwin Shanes becomes the Chapter’s first chairman.

June 2004 
With no contract in sight, Day Care directors go on strike in conjunction with Day Care workers from Local 1707 shutting nearly all the city’s 350 city-subsidized Day Care Centers.

May 2005 
Day Care members overwhelmingly vote to ratify a new contract. The contract offers members $1,200 upon ratification, and a 14.5 percent raise over the length of the deal, which expires June 30, 2006. It also adds tens of thousands of dollars a year to the CSA Day Care Welfare Fund.

June 2005 
The CSA Retiree Chapter reaches a milestone with 5,000 members. The Executive Board votes to merge the CSA Retiree Chapter with the Retired School Supervisors Association. Later this month, the RSSA votes for the merger as well.

Jill Levy does not run for president of CSA after her election as the president of the American Federation of School Administrators. Ernest Logan is elected as president, Peter McNally as executive vice president and Randi Herman as first vice president.

November 2006 
Ernest Logan and his slate are elected to office by acclamation. His slate included First Vice President Peter McNally and Vice President Randi Herman. They take office on Feb. 1, 2007 in a ceremony at Brooklyn Borough Hall.

A new CSA contract, running from 2007-2014, is ratified.

CSA Presidents 
1962 Benjamin Strumpf
1963 Walter Degnan
1965 Stuart Lacey
1967 Joseph Brennan
1968 Michael Romano
1968 Walter Degnan
1973 Emanual Munice
1974 Peter O’Brien
1977 Jack Zuckerman
1978 Ted Elsberg
1989 Donald Singer
2000 Jill Levy
2007 Ernest Logan
2017 Mark Cannizzaro