Centennial Celebration

Union Meeting President's Report

Thursday, April 13, 2017
President's Report
for Special Membership Meeting
Hilton New York - JFK Airport Hotel, Queens, NY

Special Business

  • 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.

Today's Agenda

UFA Elections
The UFA Executive Board would like to congratulate all candidates who ran for office in this year's general elections. Congratulations to new Vice President LeRoy McGinnis, Re-election of Treasurer Eddie Brown, Sergeant-at-Arms/Health & Safety Officer Mike Schreiber & re-election of Brooklyn Trustee John Kelly. The new term of office begins on May 1st, 2017.

Runoff election for President & Recording Secretary: Due to no candidates receiving more than 50%, ballots were mailed on March 30th, and will be counted on Monday April 17th beginning at 10am, with a 65-2 going out that afternoon announcing the results.

The "Who Voted" lists are at your borough trustee's Table.


DOI Schedules Interviews of Young Firefighters
After its initial session of interviewing UFA members on March 22 , the UFA was informed that the Department of Investigation (DOI) has sent notices to another group of firefighters, (with approximately two years on the job), directing that they appear at DOI at various times in April, 2017 in order to question them to determine if there is a "culture of hazing" within the Department.

Any firefighter who has received a Notice to appear at DOI has the absolute right to legal representation at his/her interview. You should not go there without representation. The UFA's General Counsel, Michael Block, has sat in on all interviews to date.

We strongly urge that you immediately contact Mr. Block at 212-732-9000 if you are amongst those who have been directed to appear at DOI.


    Contract Update
  • The UFA met with Commissioner Bob Linn of OLR, to discuss and review the recently ratified PBA contract, including the costing values of the contract.
  • We have requested additional information concerning the PBA and will schedule a follow-up meeting with OLR.
  • We have sent an Official request for collective bargaining negotiations and once dates are agreed upon, we will notify the membership.
  • Terminal Leave lump sum arbitration: Arthur Riegel was appointed as the Arbitrator, we are awaiting new dates from him, and the matter will be arbitrated in the early part of summer. This concerns members with less than 20 years of service, being deemed not entitled to the terminal leave payout option.
  • Disciplinary Fines: The City, FDNY, and Office of Labor Relations filed an Article 78 in New York Supreme Court regarding the BCB Decision that granted the UFA's Improper Practice Petition which challenged the unilateral change to the calculation of a day's pay for a disciplinary fine. The UFA and Board of Collective Bargaining are co-Respondents and will each separately file Motions to Dismiss the City's Article 78. The City, represented by Corporation Counsel, the UFA and the BCB have agreed to a briefing schedule for such Motions.

    UFA President Jim Slevin will update the membership at today's meeting.


    Labor Management Issues
  • Due to the Funeral for Ret FF Jimmy Lanza, the LM meeting scheduled for Wednesday, April 12th will be rescheduled in May. Some Topics on the agenda include: New Request for read-only access to city time on firehouse kiosks, UFA's concerns with accuracy of the mutual compliance report, new anti-hazing policy, and the continued problems with the UCT system, especially on medical calls.
  • Parking at Metrotech: The department has asked us to remind all members that parking is prohibited in many areas around FD headquarters; cars may be ticketed or towed if illegally parked.

  • Fire & Criminal Services Budget Hearing
    Later today, both the UFA & UFOA will testify at City Council during the Fire & Criminal Services Budget hearing, chaired by Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley. The request by both unions is for an additional set of work boots.


      Rescue Task Force Update
    • The UFA is working jointly with the UFOA, as we move forward on the many concerns we have with the Rescue Task Force.
    • The department recently issued the schedule and agenda for "Day 2" of training. The department agreed to compensate all members at Overtime rates, regardless if it was a member's first day of training.

      UFA President Jim Slevin will update the membership at today's meeting.


      Political Action
    • New York State Budget Passed: Slightly more than a week overdue, the formal 2017/18 budget was passed by the Senate and Assembly. We are reviewing the budget to see how NYC Firefighters may be affected. UFA President Jim Slevin will update the membership at today's meeting.
    • Tax Cut for Union Members: This will increase the number of union members in the state eligible to deduct their union dues on their state tax return. Right now, only a small percentage of union members that itemize deductions on their federal taxes take this deduction due to limitations built into the law. The state budget agreement removes those limitations at the state level. Members will still need to itemize at the federal and state level to take advantage of the deduction. For those who currently do itemize at the federal level, the state will get rid of the current limit on the deduction and allow the full amount of union dues to be deducted. Previously, only the amount in excess of 2% of an individual's adjusted gross income was deductible.
    • Constitutional Convention: Once again, we remind all members active & retired that this November, a ballot referendum asking New Yorkers to vote on having a Con/Con in 2018. Of course we urge all members to VOTE NO, and we will be sending out talking points and additional literature for our members, their family and neighbors. Our Labor Counsel will be holding a workshop at the Delegate Seminar in Atlantic City on this topic.
    • New Bills for Fire: Legislation is being prepared for this session in Albany, concerning improvements to Tier 3 members. Bills support: Adding ITHP, counting prior service time for EMS who are promoted to Fire, and removing the statutory ineligibilities that exist when Tier 3 members become service-retirement eligible.


    2017 UFA DelegateSeminar
    Seminar registration & hotel room reservations must be made by check only, payable to the "UFA" (phone registration CANNOT be accepted), along with the proper form. It must be returned NO LATER THAN APRIL 20th to receive your discounted rate. After April 20th, you'll need to make your room reservation by credit card directly with the hotel at the full-price per-night rate - if rooms are still available. Note: Additional registration forms are on the Trustees Tables.

    Defensive Driving Course
    The Course will take place on Tuesday, May 9 at 5pm SHARP! Pre-registration is required; PLEASE NOTE - SEATING IS LIMITED! Defensive Driving Participants MUST be pre- registered for class by calling Mike Chierico at 631-587-2435 or 516-527-5838 and leaving a message with their Name and Unit Number. DON'T FORGET TO BRING YOUR DRIVER'S LICENSE! Class will start promptly at 5pm & registration will close shortly beforehand.


    UFA Celebrates its Centennial (100th Anniversary)
    On April 4th, 1917, Firefighter Albert Guinness LAD140 unionized New York City Firefighters. On April 4th, 2017, the UFA turned 100. We ask all members to SAVE THE DATE of Tuesday, September 5th, for a special celebration to take place at Chelsea Piers NYC. A special centennial link will be placed on the UFA website, with additional information concerning Journal ads, sponsorship, tickets etc.

    If any active or retired member has any "historic" photos, news articles or any other pertinent info from the past 100 years, please send to UFA Centennial c/o UFA, 204 East 23rd St NY, NY. 10010.


    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 also be obtained from your Delegate, who can assist you, or you can call the UFA SBF at 212-683-4723.

    Additionally, members wishing to receive e-mails from the UFA should add the UFA e-mail address, UFA@ufanyc.org, to their contacts.

    Blank address change forms are on the SBF table at today's meeting.

    • NYCAPS Employee Personal Data Update Form
      All members are reminded that they must fill out separate change of address forms with the Department; these forms are available on the intranet in your firehouse.


    2017 UFA Calendar Correction
    The 2017 UFA Calendar incorrectly lists the September 2017 meeting as September 7th. The CORRECT date is September 14th. Please mark your calendars accordingly.


    Fraternally,

    James M. Slevin,
    President