65-2 #6 February 22, 2016

Union Issues


1. GOTV/Political Action 2016
On April 19th, along with the Presidential Primary, Special Elections will take place for the current open seats in both the NYS Assembly & Senate. This includes seats formerly held by Shelly Silver & Dean Skelos. The UFA will be requesting off-duty members to turnout and support the candidates that support us. Turnout in the special elections will be critical, and GOTV 65-2's will notify members of where to report. UFA Vice President Jim Slevin will updated the membership at Feburary's meeting.

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2. Labor Management
On February 1st, as per the UFA CBA, manning was increased on the first 5 engines, the department chose 1 single engine in each borough: E42, E65, E283, E324, E158.

Upcoming Labor-management meetings between the UFA & the department have been scheduled:.

  • February 23rd Special joint UFA/UFOA Meeting on BISP pilot program.
  • General Labor-management is scheduled for March 2nd

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3. UFA 2016 Parking Placard
Reminder: Return Your Placard # List to UFA: Delegates must record placard number assignments and fax, the provided company member list to the Recording Secretary's office, ATTN: LeRoy McGinnis at 212-683-4359 ASAP, noting the placard permit #s given to each member, and company roster changes. Delegate must keep a copy for records.

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4. 2016 UFA Delegate Seminar
Reminder: In accordance with the UFA Constitution, a seminar site was chosen by a majority vote of the Delegate body. The 2016 Delegate Education Seminar will be held May 10th through May 13th in Atlantic City at the Tropicana. The May 2016 Union Meeting WILL be held at the Tropicana. It is scheduled for Friday, May 13th. Information packets with details will be mailed shortly. NOTE: Lectures and classes addressing many important topics will be presented to help Delegates take care of their members' needs. All Delegates are required to attend this education seminar, in accordance with the UFA Constitution.

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5. Complications of Winter Firefighting

    Chauffeurs
  • Increased stopping distances, decreased visibility and unpredictable actions of civilian motorists will have an effect on response.
  • Consideration must be given to snow/ice removal and accessibility of travel routes to/from alarms.
    Water Supply Concerns
  • Water on the ground from cold weather operations will create an increased potential for slips and falls.
  • It is imperative the S.C.B.A. are properly checked and maintained, to prevent moisture buildup that could lead to icing of the internal components of S.C.B.A.
  • Most often the hands, feet, ears, and face of a firefighter are most prone to frostbite. Frostbite will appear as changes in skin appearance, such as discoloration and will be accompanied by numbness and stiffness to the affected area. The best way to prevent frostbite is to protect skin from direct exposure to cold air. Firefighters should dress in layers of loose fitting clothes beneath their bunker gear.

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6. 11th Annual MDA $1 per Member per Meal Program
During the week of February 15th - February 21st, the UFA will once again be asking members to participate in this fund raising effort to help those afflicted with Muscular Dystrophy. Donations received from this go directly to those in our area, including many of our own members' families. All donations can be sent to the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Western Long Island District Office-3231, 5 Dakota Drive # 101, Lake Success, NY 11042. MDA packets were handed out at February's Union meeting.

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7. 2015 W-2: Verifying Annual LODI Tax Deductions
Current IRS regulations provide favorable tax treatment of wages during approved periods of Line-of-Duty Injury (LODI). Wages will be treated on a pre-tax basis. The Department computes your LODI medical leave days automatically and deducts the dollar amount from your taxable income as per prior UFA contractual agreement. The Daily Rate equals annual base, longevity, night shift & holiday pay, divided by 365 days, except during leap years, which are divided by 366 days. This is the Department's standard formula used to determine your per diem deduction for LODI medical leave. It is based on calendar days, not the days you missed tours.

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8. W-2 Tax Information
2015 W-2s and 1127s (non-resident forms) will be distributed with the January 29, 2016 pay checks. A helpful guide, "W-2 2015 Information" sheet is attached. Employees who have left the Department or who are on a Leave of Absence will receive their W-2 in the mail. In accordance with the Affordable Care Act, full-time employees will also receive form 1095-C, "Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage". A helpful guide, "Form 1095-C 2015 Information" sheet is attached. You do not have to file the Form 1095-C with your taxes. This form will be filed for you by the City. The Form 1095-C shows the IRS that the City offered coverage to its full-time employees even if you did not elect health insurance through the City. It should be kept with your tax return copy for IRS review in the event of an audit.

1095-B (Members Health plan & SBF/UFA) Members will also receive these newly created Tax forms as per the Affordable Care Act (ACA). These forms will show that you and any of your covered dependents had Healthcare in 2015. Members can find additional information about the 1095 forms at www.irs.gov/aca also www.NYC.gov/payroll.

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9. Social Security Wage Base Increases to $118,500 in 2016
The Social Security Administration (SSA) announced that the 2016 social security wage base will be $118,500, an increase of $1,500 from the 2015 wage base of $117,000. As in prior years there is no limit to the wages subject to the Medicare tax; therefore all covered wages are still subject to the 1.45% tax. As in 2015, wages paid in excess of $200,000 in 2016 will be subject to an extra 0.9% Medicare tax that will only be withheld from employees' wages. Employers will not pay the extra tax. The FICA tax rate, which is the combined social security tax rate of 6.2% and the Medicare tax rate of 1.45%, will be 7.65% for 2016 up to the social security wage base. The maximum social security tax employees and employers will each pay in 2016 is $7,347. This will be an increase of $93 for employees and employers.

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10. Social Security Deduction - Tax year 2015

    Tax Year 2015 Full FICA deductions are made up of two different deductions:
  • 1. Medicare @ 1.45% (covering the medical insurance portion)
  • 2. Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance @ 6.20%
The maximum wage base and deduction for 2015:

Type of Tax

Total Rate

Maximum Wage Base

Maximum Deduction Medical

Medicare

1.45%

No Maximum

No Maximum

OASDI

6.20%

$118,500

$118,500

Full FICA

7.65%

*see below

*see below

*An employee subject to full FICA at 7.65% would pay $9,065.25 on $118,500. The Medicare Tax Rate increase to 2.35% only applies to wages in excess of $200,000 regardless of the individual's filing status.

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11. Calendar Correction
Unfortunately the Pay-dates listed on the 2016 calendar for the months of September, October & November are incorrect. All members should adjust their calendars. The correct pay-dates are: 9/09, 9/23, 10/07, 10/21, 11/04 & 11/18.

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12. Update Your Address, Email, Phone #s with the UFA
Members and Delegates wishing to receive important information or notifications from the UFA should insure that their residence addresses, email addresses, home and cell phone numbers on file with the UFA are updated and accurate. In order to do this, you must prepare and sign a 'SBF Change of Address Form' and mail to the UFA, Attn: SBF. Forms can be obtained from your Delegate, who can assist you, or you can call the UFA SBF at 212-683-4723, or visit the Forms Section of the UFA web site. Additionally, members wishing to receive e-mails from the UFA should add the UFA e-mail address, UFA@ufanyc.org, to their contacts.

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FDNY Vs NYPD Hockey Game
The 43rd FDNY vs NYPD Annual Hockey Game will take place at Madison Square Garden on Saturday, April 9th at 7pm. Tickets are available through team members, MSG Box Office, and Ticketmaster. For group sales of 8 or more or other questions, email FDNYhockey25@gmail.com. Tickets go on sale to the general public on February 1st. This year's game will be assigned seating NOT general admission, so get your tickets ASAP. The FDNY will be seated on the penalty box side of MSG. Please visit www.FDNYhockey.org for updated information.

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14. 911 Memorial 5k Run/Walk And Community Day
Registration is now open for the 4th annual 9/11 Memorial 5K Run/Walk and Community Day which will be held on Sunday, April 24th. The event begins at Pier 26 in Tribeca and takes participants through scenic Battery Park along the waterfront esplanade before finishing near the 9/11 Memorial Museum. Sign up now through February 29th, for FDNY First Responder pricing of $20, (regular adult registration is $45). Register at: www.911Memorial.org/5K

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New York Sports Club - Discounts available to FDNY Members
Join New York Sports Clubs for a discounted rate of $49.95 per month for full access passport membership. Discount is also available to spouses and dependents over age 14. $0 to join, and once you do, you receive the rest of that month free. For more information, or to join, call 800 611-9833, select option 2.

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Fraternally,

Stephen J. Cassidy
President

LeRoy C. McGinnis
Recording Secretary