65-2 #55 December 01, 2016

Union Issues

1. Constitution Amendments
The proposed UFA Constitution Amendments were discussed and voted on at the November 3 Union Meeting. All 4 amendments passed with two-thirds or higher votes of the delegates and members in attendance. An updated constitution will be available at the January meeting. The UFA Executive Board would like to thank all the Constitution Committee members that attended the October 7th committee meeting.


2. Counter Terrorism Task Force Update
UFA President James Slevin and UFOA President James Lemonda held meetings with the Department over the implementation of the CTTF. The department has since added information to the FDNY Diamond-plate, and units will be given training prior to going into service. Borough units are expected to begin Day 2 of training.

In addition, UFA filed a formal request with Office of Labor Relations Commissioner Bob Linn to have a bargaining session over the recent implementation of the Rescue Task Force, pursuant to NY City Collective Bargaining Law. We expect to be meeting with OLR in December, and we will inform the membership of any updates.


3. Political Action/GOTV
The UFA Executive Board would like to thank all those members that turned out on Election Day, to help out, and of course all those that voted. Nearly all of the UFA endorsed candidates won their respective elections.


4. PA/ID 5-74 Change
The department recently removed the ability of members to work MSOT while on vacation, a policy which was first implemented in June of 2012, as temporary measure to ensure staffing in all companies. The UFA did not object at that time, because of low headcount and the real possibility of brownouts of field units. UFA President James Slevin updated the membership at the meeting.


5. Dental Changeover in November/December
Healthplex administrator professionals attended the November Meeting and provided info, literature, and answered questions from the Delegates about UFA Dental Plan options during the rollover period at the Union Meeting. UFA Dental Enrollment Period is from October 15th - December 15th, Effective Date January 1, 2017. Any changes received AFTER December 15th will be Effective February 15, 2017. Additional questions, members may call the SBF at 212-683-4723.


6. Tier 3 / Tier 6 Enhanced Plan "Opt In" Info
All current Tier 3/Tier 6 members must "Opt In" in order to be fully covered for 3/4 disability benefits & all current presumptive bills.

  • All members will be covered retroactively to their date of hire.
  • Governor Cuomo signed the Bill into Law on September 8th. Members will have 120 days to opt in. January 5, 2017 is the cutoff date.
  • The earliest members would begin having the additional 2% deducted from their paychecks was October 7th, if they opted in right away.
  • The 2% will only be retro to September 8th, the date the bill was signed.
  • The forms are available via the FDNY intranet & posted on UFA website.
  • Future hires will automatically be placed into the improved plan.


7. WTC Health Program Changes Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM) - Optum
On Tuesday, November 1st, all of the WTC Health Program (WTCHP) Clinics, including the FDNY, will have a new Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM) - Optum.

A letter was sent to our members explaining the change. The letter should arrive to our members by Nov 1st. The letter will include the member's new WTC Health Program I.D. card, for use for WTC prescriptions being filled at a local pharmacy. Our members should place the new WTCHP I.D. card in their wallets and remove any previous (no longer valid) WTCHP I.D. cards from their wallets.

    What does this transition to the new PBM mean?
  • WTC long term maintenance medication prescriptions will continue to be processed and shipped by Walgreens Mail Service, in Tempe, Arizona - No Change.
  • All active FDNY WTC Mail Service maintenance medication prescription refills will be transferred to the new Optum WTC prescription coverage, and will process and ship on the same refill time schedule, without any action required on the part of our members.
  • Our members will be able to fill their WTC local pharmacy prescriptions (i.e. antibiotics and other emergent meds, short term fill-in maintenance med scripts, and controlled substances) at the same convenient local pharmacy they have been using - No Change.
  • For members with active WTC prescription refills at a local pharmacy (i.e. sleep meds, ED meds, meds for members in the Diagnostic Eval status, etc.) those refills will be transferred and processed under the new Optum WTC prescription coverage.
  • Each member's 911 WTC Health Program I.D. number will remain the same - No Change.
  • The toll free contact number for the NIOSH WTC Health Program Pharmacy Plan will remain the same - 1-888-982-4748.


8. Health & Safety Seminar at UFA
UFA Health & Safety Officer Michael Schreiber will be conducting a seminar on Wednesday December 7, starting at 10:30am at UFA headquarters for all Battalion Delegates. A letter was sent to all Battalion delegates, PLEASE REPLY BY EMAILING YOUR NAME AND BATTALION (OR AN ALTERNATE'S NAME) TO dkeeley@ufanyc.org OR CALL 646-839-6533 AND LEAVE A MESSAGE.


9. UFA Delegates Choice of Vacation
As per PA/ID 3-92, Official UFA Delegates may request a "Delegates Vacation" to change only half of their regularly assigned vacation. All Delegates must submit Form BP-550 to the Bureau of Personnel no later than December 20th.


10. UFA Scholarship Fund Awards
The UFA Scholarship Fund mailed scholarship checks this week to over 800 eligible members and dependents who filed by the deadline. Any member who does not receive a check by November 18th should contact Katie Kelly, 646-839-6506.


11. City Council Bill to Raise Age Limit on Entrance Exam
New York City Councilmember Andy King has sponsored a bill to raise the age limit on both open-competitive & promotion fire exams, changing the maximum age to take the tests. The UFA along with reps from the UFOA, EMS & EMS Officers, had meetings with both King and Liz Crowley to discuss this bill and recommended compromises, as the original bill was to increase the age to 36, we expect it now to be submitted with age max of 31. President Slevin will update the membership. On October 19, a city council hearing was held and the Bill was discussed and presented with max age limit of 31. UFA President Slevin was among the FIRE & EMS unions that testified. We anticipate the bill to be passed.


12. UFA Members And Pension Finalization
Many delegates have gotten questions from recent retirees concerning finalization. The following response is from Albert Connolly: We are finalizing the past UFA contracts. We send a member Option Figures and Option Selection Forms with a letter stating that they have 60 Days from the date on the Letter to make a final selection. If a member fails to respond, we send a request to The Board of Trustees to finalize the member under Maximum Allowance. Timica Wilson, our Finalization Supervisor, will send each of you an advanced copy of the list in case you want to check with the members. If a member wants to choose an Option, have them contact Dean Campbell at (718) 999-8015 or Timica Wilson at (718) 999-1201 as soon as possible. If the member contacts you too close to the meeting as a Trustee you can request the member's name be withheld from the list for another month.


13. 2017 Calendars
The 2017 UFA calendars were distributed at the November Union Meeting. Any Delegate that did not pick up their companies calendars should contact his/her Trustee. Calendars will be brought to the January Union Meeting.


14. 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. Members are reminded to also notify the Fire Department of your changes, especially your mailing address.


15. Plaque Dedication
On Monday, December 12, 2016 at 1100 hours, a Plaque Dedication will be held honoring the memory of Firefighter Frank D. Fontaino, E-155, who died on December 11, 2015. The dedication will take place in the quarters of E-155 and L-78, 14 Brighton Ave, Staten Island, NY. All off-duty members and their families are invited to attend. Members are requested to attend in dress uniform.


16. Steuben Association Meeting
On Wednesday December 14, at Plattduetsche Park Restaurant, beginning at 7:30pm. 1132 Hempstead Turnpike, Franklin Square, NY. IT WILL BE OUR ANNUAL CHRISTMAS MEETING. COME ON OUT AND GET IN THE SPIRIT!


17. 44th Annual FDNY Firefighters Ski Race at Hunter Mountain
SAVE THE DATE: Tuesday, January 31, 2017. The 44th Annual FDNY Firefighters Ski Race at Hunter Mountain. Proceeds to NY Firefighters Burn Center.


18. Memorial Mass
On Sunday, December 18, 2016 at 1400 hours, E-257, L-170 and B-58 will host a memorial mass commemorating the 18th Anniversary of the Vandalia Avenue Fire. The mass will take place at St. Jude Church, located at 1677 Canarsie Road, Brooklyn, NY. The mass will honor the memory of the following members who died in the line of duty: Lt. Joseph Cavalieri, FF James Bohan, and FF Christopher Bopp. All off-duty members and their families are invited to attend. Members are requested to attend in dress uniform.


Fraternally,

James M. Slevin
President

LeRoy C. McGinnis
Recording Secretary