Union Meeting's President's Report

Thursday, November 13th, 2014
President's Report
for Special Membership Meeting
Hilton New York JFK Airport Hotel, Queens, NY

Special Business

Flu Vaccinations Available Today
UFA Sergeant-at-Arms / Health & Safety Officer, Gerard Fitzgerald, has arranged with FDNY BHS to have Flu Shots administered before and during today's meeting. It is recommended that all members avail themselves of this opportunity. This is the BEST way for members to protect themselves and their families.

Healthplex Dental Benefits Provider Table Today
Healthplex administrator professionals have a table today to provide info, literature and answer questions about UFA Dental Plan options during this rollover period.

UFA 2015 Calendars Available Today
Delegates should pick up their Company's calendars at Trustees' tables.

Security Benefit Fund (SBF) Help Table Today
Members who require help regarding dental, prescription drugs, optical or any other benefits provided via the UFA SBF, should visit the SBF table today. SBF personnel are there to help you.

Marsh Catastrophic Insurance
Matt Arvanties from Marsh Catastrophic is here to update the membership on the status of its insurance.

January Union Meeting
January union meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, January 14th.

Today's Agenda

Special Order Of Business: Proposed Constitution Amendments Today
The proposed UFA Constitution Amendments will be discussed and voted upon Today. The Constitution Committee will present its recommendations. Also, the Executive Board's vote and recommendations will be presented. The complete text of the Proposed Amendments is contained in 65-2 #34 of 2014, which was mailed to all FHs and Delegate residences.


UFA Political Action/ Election Results
The UFA executive board would like to thank those members that turned out on Election Day to work with the candidates that we support. UFA VP Jim Slevin is happy to report that we were successful in all the races to which we committed resources. President Steve Cassidy will update the membership. Tier 3 Homerule

The UFA is continuing to push city council for a home rule, it is important for UFA members to contact their local councilmember asking for support. UFA Vice President Jim Slevin will update the membership.


UFA Bargaining Session
The UFA Executive Board met with OLR Commissioner Bob Linn to continue contract bargaining at the NYC Office of Labor Relations on October 27, 2014. UFA President Steve Cassidy will update the membership. There will be a Battalion Delegate Meeting to discuss contract demands on December 15th at 11am, committee meeting notices will be mailed to all Battalion Delegates.


World Trade Center Health Program
On November 6th, the UFA & UFOA met with the Dr. Prezant & Dr. Kelly concerning Federal HIPAA guidelines and how it impacts the WTC portion of our members' medicals. Beginning around the end of December, any active or retired member who reports to either BHS or the satellite WTC monitoring locations will be asked to sign consent forms. Both the UFA & UFOA believe that this will not impact our memberships' privacy or Treatments.

In addition there will be physical changes at BHS, creating a separation of the Clinic & WTC treatment program.

HIPAA regulations require that a clear division be established between the World Trade Center Health Program and the Fire Department's Bureau of Health Services.

All members who are participating in the World Trade Center Health Program will be presented with the attached Consent and Authorization forms, which would permit the WTC Health Program to release medical information to the Fire Department's Bureau of Health Services for various employment-related purposes such as fitness for duty evaluation, disability management, reasonable accommodation consideration and Pension Fund medical board evaluation.

  • WTC Health Program Authorization for Use and Disclosure of Protected Health Information
  • WTC Health Program Notice of Privacy Practices
  • WTC Acknowledgment of Receipt of Notice of Privacy Practices
  • WTC Health Program Notice and Consent to Participate form
  • WTC Health Program Consent to Verbal Communications with Family Member


Congratulations to New COD
The UFA wishes to congratulate the new Chief of Department, James Leonard, and wishes him much success going forward.

In addition we wish the outgoing COD, Ed Kilduff, well in his retirement, and thank him for his service to FDNY.


Cuomo Vetoes Veteran's Buyback Bill
After efforts by many groups, including the UFA to get the Veteran's Buyback Bill (S7839) passed, Governor Cuomo recently Vetoed the Bill, citing costs and pensions' reform. UFA Vice President Jim Slevin will update the membership.


Roster Staffing Case
After the Board of Collective Bargaining issued its Interim Decision in June 2011, the UFA (not with UFOA) filed an Article 78 proceeding challenging portions of that Decision. The ensuing Court litigation went through the entire NYS court system. At the final stage, the Court of Appeals declined to hear our appeal from the Appellate Division, First Department Decision relative to the Paragraph Eleventh language in the Roster Staffing Agreement, which we argued gave the UFA the right to bargain the elimination of the 5th Firefighter, and which the City still argues that such Agreement just simply expired. Despite the adverse Court decisions, the UFA was awarded safety impact proceedings which are still pending at the Office of Collective Bargaining. The UFA and UFOA are still awaiting responses to our discovery requests regarding 10-75s from City's counsel, Proskauer Rose. Meanwhile, the UFA is engaged in discussions with the OCB Trial Examiner regarding these proceedings.


Improper Practice Cases- The UFA continues to await decisions on the following cases:

  • UCT Case Update
    Post Hearing Briefs were submitted to the Board of Collective Bargaining on April 14, 2014. We continue to await the Board's calendaring of its decision.
  • Fire Marshal - 2 Year Commitment
    The UFA has filed an Article 78 Petition based on the fact that the Decision by the BCB was not supported by "substantial evidence". The City and the Board of Collective Bargaining each filed Cross-Motions to dismiss the UFA's Article 78 Petition. The UFA filed a response to these motions on 10/24/14. The City and Board filed Reply papers on November 7th. The return date for these motions is November 10, 2014 before the Supreme Court, New York County, and a decision will follow in the next few months. Should the UFA defeat the Motions to Dismiss, the City will be directed by the Court to file an Answer to the UFA's Article 78 Petition.


What Fire Fighters Need to Know About Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever
Since NY's first case of Ebola, we have had no new cases. The one confirmed patient that NY has had, Dr. Spencer, is now Ebola free and has been released from the hospital less than a month since he was diagnosed. His successful recovery was all in part to the flawless transport and decon of EMS and Engine 44. Flu season is upon us and it is likely that EMS will have an increase of fever/travel runs. This also increases the possibility of firefighters responding to fever/travel situations.

Response and protocol are evolving almost daily, therefore we must remain vigilant in our procedures with regard to donning and doffing our PPE. It is of utmost importance. Please refer to diamond plate for any questions pertaining to donning and doffing. As Ebola procedures evolve we will continue to keep the membership up to date.


2015 UFA Delegate Seminar
Due to the uncertainty of the Taj Mahal remaining open as it recently declared bankruptcy, we have been in negotiations with the Tropicana for the week of May 12-15. We will update the delegates after the details are finalized.


Members Only Section on UFA website
Recently all current Delegates, with a valid email address on file received a request to sign up and log into the UFA members' only website. Basically this is a soft roll out, as we continue to test system. Members will be able to make changes online to their contact information; such as mailing address, phone numbers and much more. If you do not have an email address on file, we ask all delegates to contact the Recording Secretary's Office with a valid email.


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.


UFA Life Insurance Open Enrollment
AIG and the UFA executive board have agreed to an open enrollment for all active firefighters, beginning October 15th - November 31st. Any active member who has not previously been denied coverage may increase their current coverage to the max $500,000. Active members not currently enrolled may elect any amount, up to and including $500,000. All members will be receiving a mailing. Each mailing will include a letter of explanation, an enrollment/change card, and return envelope. If you have any questions, please call Maria Zingone at 646-839-6503.


UFA Dental Plan Transfer Period
Healthplex, which manages the UFA Dentcare program (no out-of-pocket) & UFA Family Plan (pay & reimbursement and also no out-of-pocket plan), has a table today in the lobby to distribute literature and answer questions. The Dental Transfer Period for active and retired members, where members may roll over between plans, ends December 31st. Changes become effective on January 1, 2015. Pick up your transfer forms, fee schedules and literature today, or call the UFA SBF office, 212-683-4723. Additional dental information is also available at the SBF and Healthplex tables today. Make sure you pick up for your firehouse, the updated information, transfer forms, and other dental info today. To insure there is no interruption of coverage, we suggest submitting any changes by December 15th.


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 21st should contact Katie Kelly, 212-683-4832.


2015 UFA Workchart Calendar
UFA 2015 calendars will be available at today's meeting.


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.


Change of Beneficiary/Address Checklists
UFA Recording Secretary LeRoy McGinnis reports that Change of Beneficiary and Change of Address Checklists are inside the following three Delegate Manual Booklets: 'Security Benefits Fund', 'NYC Health Plans', and 'Insurances & Free Benefits'. They also include contact information for making changes. More Booklets can be ordered from the Recording Secretary's office at 212-545-6973.

Fraternally,

Stephen J. Cassidy
President