Union Meeting President's Report

Thursday, March 9, 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.
  • Delegate Photos Today
    New Delegates should have their photo taken today for your ID card.

Today's Agenda

FDNY to issue revised Anti-Hazing/Anti Bullying PA/ID
Due to recent incidents, news stories and pressure from the Federal Judge, the Department will be issuing a revised PA/ID 1-2013 Anti-Hazing/Anti-Bullying Policy. The Policy will now define hazing/bullying and list numerous examples of each. UFA/UFOA Boards, along with our attorneys, are reviewing the draft and will voice our concerns over this policy. UFA President Jim Slevin will update the membership.

UFA DOI Schedules Interviews of Young Firefighters
The UFA has learned that the Department of Investigation (DOI) has sent written notices to numerous firefighters, directing that they appear at DOI at various times on March 14th, 2017. The UFA's General Counsel, Michael Block, communicated with DOI and was informed that they had randomly selected a number of firefighters (with approximately two years on the job), to question them in order 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. 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.

Battalion Advisory Committee Meeting
On Monday, February 27th, the Battalion Advisory Committee was brought in as per the UFA Constitution, for a preliminary discussion over the next round of negotiations. The UFA's current contract expires on July 31st, 2017, and we will begin strategizing and accumulating information from our members as we move forward. UFA President Jim Slevin will update the membership at today's meeting.

Board of Collective Bargaining Decision on Disciplinary Fines
The UFA was successful in an Improper Practice Petition against the department on the calculation of the "daily rate" when used in disciplinary cases of our members. The department had unilaterally changed the calculation of a day's pay to 1/261 instead of 1/365, which led to higher fine totals for UFA/UFOA members. The BCB arbitrator agreed with the UFA, that this was a mandatory subject of bargaining and ruled in our favor. We expect all members who were charged an incorrect amount to be reimbursed in the near future.

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.

IAFF Legislative Conference
On March 6-7, the annual IAFF Legislative conference was held in Washington D.C. attended by nearly 700 firefighters from across the US & Canada. In addition to many guest speakers (that included Mayors, Senators, Governors & Representatives of both Parties), we heard from John F. Kelly, Secretary of DHS and Elaine Chao, Secretary of DOT.

    Some of the issues discussed and supported by the IAFF include:
  • Establishing a Fire Fighter Cancer Registry: which would create a national cancer registry specifically for firefighters, managed by the CDC, to improve the data collection and research on cancer in firefighters. House bill: H.R. 931. Senate S. 382.
  • Reauthorizing SAFER and FIRE Grants: Both of which help with equipment and staffing of fire departments throughout the Country, including many here in New York State.
  • Healthcare Taxation: The IAFF opposes eliminating or capping the tax exclusion for employer-provided healthcare. Congress had tried taxing healthcare with the Cadillac Tax, which has not worked. So by eliminating or reducing the tax exclusion, it would result in a large tax increase for the middle class. Additional information concerning the above issues, can be found on the www.iaff.org website, click the Legislative Conference link.

  • Constitutional Convention
    The UFA will continue to remind all Active & Retired members of the importance to turnout on November 7th, 2017 and VOTE NO to a NYS constitutional convention ballot referendum. We are working with the Municipal Labor Committee (MLC) along with the NYS AFL/CIO on "talking points" and informational literature that we will pass along to our members.

    Verification of Veteran Status
    The Bureau of Personnel is in the process of updating military information for our employees who are either serving, or have served in the US military; and for those who may have not been properly coded for their recognition as a veteran. If you are one of these employees, please complete an HR-10-05 form, Verification of Veteran Status for FDNY Employees, and forward it, along with a copy of your DD-214 and/or enlistment oath of office page to FDNY Headquarters, 9 Metro Tech Center, 6th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201, Attn: Mr. Lisandro Murphy, Military Leave Desk.

    The HR form can be located on the FDNY Intranet under Admin Forms/ Human Resources (http://www.fdny.org/forms/pdf/hr/hr_10_05.pdf). The information obtained from the completed forms will allot military leave for our Reservists and Guardsmen as well as properly code those who are entitled to Veterans Day, Memorial Day, and/or the 4th of July compensation. For additional information, please contact Mr. Murphy at 718-999-2655.

    As always, it is a good idea to keep copies of everything you send to FDNY HQ, and when mailing any documentation, be sure to send it certified, return-receipt.

    Honor Emergency Fund Automatic Payroll Check-Off
    The Honor Emergency Fund is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1921 that provides monetary grants to distressed active/retired Firefighters and their dependents, active/retired EMS employees and their dependents and active civilians, for costs related to medical needs and dedicated treatment programs. Over the past five years the Fund has awarded 250 grants totaling over $2 million to help employees from all areas of the FDNY to cope with significant family hardships. (UFA NOTE: Most of the awards have been to UFA members and their families.) To maintain this vital service for all members, the Department is asking each member to consider participating in a voluntary Automatic Payroll deduction of $2 per paycheck to keep the Fund viable. This deduction is tax-deductible and will help the Honor Emergency Fund continue helping those in our FDNY family who find themselves in extraordinary financial need. To enroll, click on Employee Self Service, located in the Workplace-Related section of the FDNY Homepage. After logging on, navigate to Payroll and Compensation, click on Deduction Information and select FDNY Honor Emergency Fund. For information about the Fund or questions about eligibility, please contact: Stan Reimer, Director, 9 Metrotech Center - Room 5E, Phone: (718) 999-2531, Email: reimers@fdny.nyc.gov, Fax: (718) 999-1609.

    2017 UFA Delegate Seminar
    Reminder: In accordance with the UFA Constitution, a seminar site was chosen by a majority vote of the Delegate body. The 2017 Delegate Education Seminar will be held May 9th through May 12th at the Tropicana in Atlantic City. Information packets with room registrations & details have been mailed to delegates. If you do not receive your packet, please contact Denise Keeley at 646-839-6533.

    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.

    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.


    James M. Slevin