Union Meeting's President's Report

Thursday, March 6th, 2015
President's Report
for Special Membership Meeting
Hilton New York JFK Airport Hotel, Queens, NY

Special Business

457 Deferred Compensation Table Today
Ronnie Bretscheider will have forms and answer questions at Today's meeting. Pick up Updated Deferred Compensation Booklets and Enrollment Forms Today.

2015 NYS Legislative Reference Guide
The 2015 NYS Legislative Reference Guide will be available to pick up at the 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.


Today's Agenda

Contract Negotiations/Labor Relations
The UFA will be meeting with the Office of Labor Relations Commissioner Bob Linn on March 12th to continue contract discussions. UFA President Steve Cassidy will update the membership.


UFA Political Action
March 16th Press Conference/Tier 3 Disability
The UFA is asking all off-duty members to Turn Out on Monday, March 16th for an 11am press conference on the steps of City Hall, as we continue our fight to restore benefits for our new hires. Please arrive by 10:30am to get through security and wear your Company jacket or sweatshirt.

Special Election to fill Congressional Seat
On Tuesday, May 5th, a special election is to be held to fill the seat formerly held by Michael Grimm. The UFA is asking off duty members to turnout for our candidate. VP Jim Slevin will update the membership.

City Council
UFA President Steve Cassidy and Vice President Jim Slevin met this week with Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley to continue discussion on a Home Rule concerning restoration of full disability benefits for our members.

City Council/UCT Hearings
UFA President Steve Cassidy testified at a city council hearing concerning the continued failure of the UCT-911 system and the incorrect response times. Visit the UFA website for links to recent hearings.

Albany Update
Vice President Jim Slevin will update the membership on pending legislation and tentative dates for the UFA 2015 lobby day trip to Albany.


Saint Patrick's Day Parade - Return of the Green Berets
Recently, COD Leonard has approved the return of Green Berets to the annual St Patrick's day parade in NYC. Formation and other details will be posted on an upcoming department order, however all members should be aware that certain guidelines will be in place for FDNY members. Only FDNY members wearing Solid Green Berets will be permitted to march with the Green Beret Battalion, in addition no extra ribbons or beads or other non-uniformed items should be worn by our members. Please remember that you are still in uniform representing the Department and the City of NY, especially while we celebrate the 150th anniversary of the FDNY. Thanks to the members of Battalion 14, Engine 60, Ladder 17, and the FDNY Emerald Society for their hard work to help restore a great tradition.

Queens County Parade Saturday March 7th
Congratulations to UFA President Steve Cassidy for being named Grand Marshal of this year's event, to be held in Rockaway beginning at 1pm on Beach 129th St & Newport Ave. All Off-Duty members are invited to march.

FDNY Emerald Society
Congratulations to UFA Recording Secretary LeRoy McGinnis for being named Honorary Grand Marshal of the FDNY Emerald Society's 2015 St Patrick's Day Parade.


2015 UFA Delegate Seminar
In accordance with the UFA Constitution, a seminar site was chosen by a majority vote of the Delegate body. The 2015 Delegate Education Seminar will be held May 12th through May 15th in Atlantic City at the Tropicana. The May 2015 Union Meeting WILL be held at the Tropicana. It is scheduled for May 15th.

Information packets with details were mailed out. 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.


Delegate Education Seminar Registration Packages
Mailed Registration packages were mailed to all Delegate residences. Seminar registration and 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 to the UFA NO LATER THAN APRIL 16th to receive your discounted rate. After April 16th, 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 available on the trustees table.

Defensive Driving Course
he Course will take place on Tuesday, May 12th 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 and registration will close shortly beforehand.


New Suffolk Location of WTC Medical Monitoring Center
The address for the new location is : 66 Comack Road, Suite 200, Brentwood, NY 11725. Located Exit 52N off the LIE. They can be contacted at: 631-858-2190 or Fax: 631-858-2197.


10th Annual MDA $1 per Member per Meal Program
The UFA is once again asking members to participate in this fund raising effort, currently in progress, 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 given out at February's Union meeting.


2015 IAFF Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial

The 2015 IAFF Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial Service will be held Saturday, September 19, 2015. The mission of the IAFF Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial, which is located in the shadow of Pike's Peak, is to honor the sacrifice made by IAFF members who serve as professional fire fighters and emergency medical personnel who have given their lives in the line of duty.

Notify the UFA no later than May 15th with the name and number of a contact person. The IAFF will then invite 2 family members to attend the ceremony in Colorado Springs. The family is responsible for their own travel & hotel arrangements (the IAFF website www.iaff.org has section dedicated to this event).

The UFA will continue, as done in the past, with assisting the family members invited to the service. Any additional family members or fire fighters that would like to attend are permitted.


2014 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. This year's W-2 reflects LODI dates between December 16, 2013 and December 14, 2014 and reduces gross wages for all calendar days an employee was out on LODI medical leave (not light duty). 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. To verify that proper deductions were taken by Payroll on your W-2 statement, see the FDNY Salary Chart package, distributed at February's Union Meeting.

Refer to the chart that applies to your grade and dates that you were out on LODI.


SSocial Security Wage Base Increases To $118,500
In 2015 The Social Security Administration (SSA) announced that the 2015 social security wage base will be $118,500, an increase of $1,500 from the 2014 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 2014, wages paid in excess of $200,000 in 2015 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 2015 up to the social security wage base. The maximum social security tax employees and employers will each pay in 2015 is $7,347. This will be an increase of $93 for employees and employers.


Social Security Deduction - 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 TaxRateMaximum Wage BaseMaximum Deduction
Medicare1.45%No MaximumNo Maximum
OASDI6.20%$118,500$7,347
Full FICA7.65%

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.


April Union Meeting Reminder
Next month's Union Meeting will fall on April 9th, which is the second Thursday of the month.


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