Thursday, November 13, 2013
for Special Membership Meeting
Hilton New York JFK Airport Hotel, Queens, NY
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 2014 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.
Delegate Jackets Available
Delegates who did not receive a jacket in Atlantic City can pick one up today, Please see Katie Kelly or Jim Dahl at SBF table. Note: Only ONE per Delegate.
UPDATE your Email / Cell Phone Info
A Roster List and return envelopes have been printed and left at each Trustee's Table. Please confirm your contact info (cell phone / email address) and fax back to Denise Keeley at the Recording Secretary's office. The fax number is 212-683-4359.
Quartermaster List Distributed to Delegates (See Item #19)
Battalion Delegates can pick up their Quartermaster list at the Trustee table today.
1. 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 #52 of 2013, which was mailed to all FHs and Delegate residences.
2. UFA Political Action/ Election Results
President Steve Cassidy will update the membership on how the election results will impact the UFA and the new administration going forward.
3. UFA Bargaining Session
The UFA Executive Board met with OLR Commissioner James Hanley to lay the groundwork on contract bargaining at the NYC Office of Labor Relations on October 30, 2013. UFA President Steve Cassidy will update the membership.
4. Legacy Credit Update
President Steve Cassidy and Vice President James Slevin will update the membership.
5. Expiration of Fire Marshal Promotion List
Recently 14 Firefighters were called into FD Headquarters to complete their final steps for their upcoming promotions to fire marshal. Shortly after arriving they were informed that a "mistake" had been made. They were told that due to the expiration of the promotional list, approximately two months earlier, they could not be promoted. President Cassidy will explain further.
6. Improper Practice Case: UFA vs. Department and Bronx Battalion
The UFA Labor Counsel is proceeding with an Improper Practice hearing against the Department and the Battalion Commander from the 15th Battalion, based upon the UFA's claims that the FDNY violated the New York City Collective Bargaining Law (NYCCBL) when it discriminated against Light Duty FFs from L39 by unilaterally transferring them from the previous Light Duty posts on 03/09/12, and again on 08/01/12.
In addition, the UFA claims that the FDNY interfered with the statutory rights of all Union members when the Battalion Commander made inflammatory statements to members of L39 and E63 indicating that he was going to target any and all Union members who sought to protect and preserve their NYCCBL right of participating in protected union activity.
There have been three days of hearings, where the UFA has presented 8 witnesses, thus far. The hearings resume in January 2014, at which time Bronx Trustee Edward Brown and additional Firefighters will testify for the UFA.
7. UCT Case Update & Court Ordered Subpoena Against City
In a favorable decision to the UFA and UFOA dated April 30, 2013, the New York State Court of Appeals denied the City's motion which requested permission to appeal to that Court. Specifically, the City was trying to appeal from the Appellate Division, First Department order that denied the City's challenge to the New York Supreme Court order that required the City to produce all drafts and versions of a consulting report prepared by Winbourne Consulting, entitled "911 Call Processing Review." NYC Corporation Counsel has provided the UFA and UFOA with all drafts and versions of the "911 Call Processing Review," an independent consultant's report that is highly critical of the City's handling of 911 fire-related calls. The UFA and UFOA safety impact case will continue at the Office of Collective Bargaining to determine whether the exclusion and/or restriction of the Fire Alarm Receipt dispatchers on 911 fire-related calls have had a safety impact on our membership.
Finally, after approximately a one-and-a half year delay caused by the City as a result of their frivolous attempts to not disclose the "911 Call Processing Review", final safety impact hearings are scheduled for November 22nd, November 25th and December 20th.
8. Improper Practice and Injunction--Recently Filed Based Upon
Continued Implementation of the City's Emergency Communications
Transformation Program Beyond UCT
As a result of the City's continued transformation of its Emergency Communications Transformation Project, including the 911 UCT system, and based upon the May 2013 implementation of the new ICAD software, the UFA has again challenged the City's actions which are affecting the safety of our membership. A new Improper Practice has been filed, jointly with the UFOA, and the Office of Collective Bargaining has determined that this newly brought action should be consolidated with the continuing action that challenged the UCT system's initial implementation back in 2010.
At the conclusion of the above final UCT safety impact hearings, the Office of Collective Bargaining will schedule additional hearing dates to encompass the new evidence since the ICAD system was incorporated into the UCT System.
9. Night BI Improper Practice Case
UFA Labor Counsel Paul Linzer and Jen Bentley concluded the improper practice hearing with the Department over Night BI on April 25, 2013 before the Office of Collective Bargaining (OCB). The UFA and City have submitted post-hearing briefs and we are awaiting a decision from OCB.
10. Improper Practice Case: Fire Marshal Promotion
After multiple denials of promotions from Firefighter to Fire Marshal, or Fire Marshal to Lieutenant, the UFA brought a proceeding on November 28, 2012 that challenges the unannounced and unilateral decision of the City and FDNY to impose a new policy requiring that members who hold, or ascend to, the civil service title of Fire Marshal, be required to minimally work for at least two years in said rank. The UFA is arguing that this was a unilateral change which required bargaining and therefore a violation under the New York City Collective Bargaining Law.
The UFA rested its case on September 30th and awaits the transcripts before Final Briefs can be submitted.
11. 2014 UFA Workchart Calendar
UFA 2014 calendars will be available at Today's meeting.
12. UFA Scholarship Fund Awards
The UFA Scholarship Fund mailed scholarship checks this week to over 900 eligible members and dependents who filed by the deadline. Any member who does not receive a check by November 19th should contact Katie Kelly, 212-683-4832.
13. 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.
14. City Health/Medical Plan Transfer Period Ends 11/30/13
The Health Benefits Transfer Period for active members began November 1, 2013 and ends November 30, 2013. Health plan changes requested during the Transfer Period will be effective the first day of the first full payroll period in January 2014 for active members. Late changes will NOT be accepted by the City!!! During the annual Transfer Period active members may transfer into any health plan offered for which they may be eligible, add or drop optional rider coverage or add or drop dependent(s). This is the only time changes can be made outside of a qualifying event.
To make changes, (including enrolling in the Buy-Out-Waiver Program), the member must complete a Health Benefits Application. (To elect the Buy-Out Waiver Program or change health premium contribution tax status, members must fill out both a Medical Spending Conversion Enrollment/Change Form and a Health Benefits Application. Conversion Forms must be completed and returned to your agency personnel office or health benefits rep by November 23rd) Forms and assistance are available at www.nyc.gov/olr or through the Health Benefits Unit at Fire Headquarters at 718-999- 2196/2171. Submitting an incorrect form may result in failure of your requested changes to be implemented.
Members who waive their City health benefits, will lose their PICA drug coverage. Certain changes can be made on the City's Employee Self Service (ESS) website at www.nyc.gov/ess. *IMPORTANT NOTE: If adding or deleting a spouse or child using ESS, the on-line updates will be held as "pending" until hard copies of the correct documentation (per Dept. policies) are received.
15. Health Plan Buy-Out Waiver Program
To elect the Buy-Out Waiver Program or change health premium contribution tax status, you must fill out a Medical Spending Conversion Enrollment/Change Form. Members who waive their City health benefits, will lose their PICA drug coverage. This form is available at www.nyc.gov/olr or by contacting the Health Benefits Unit at 718-999-2196/2171. This form must be completed and returned to the Health Benefits Unit by Friday, November 23rd.
16. 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, 2013. 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.
17. Pre-Tax Flexible Spending Accounts for Health Care & Dependent
Open enrollment period (for HCFSA & DeCAP) runs through November 23rd. These programs allow active FF's to deposit a portion of their pre-tax income into accounts maintained for certain health and dependent care expenses not covered by your health plan or SBF. These programs are known as the Health Care Flexible Spending Account (HCFSA) and the Dependent Care Assistance Program (DeCAP). To enroll, you must submit an FSA Enrollment/Change Form for Plan Year 2013, which is available on line at www.nyc.gov/olr or by contacting the FDNY Health Benefits Unit at 718-999- 2196/2171. See Dept. Order 69, Supplement 57 for more info.
18. 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 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 contact address book (to prevent emails going to your "spam" or "junk" folder).
19. Quartermaster Report 2013
At the request of the UFA's Health and Safety Officer, Gerard Fitzgerald, the FDNY Quartermaster provided the UFA with the annual list of members who have not been seen by the Quartermaster this year. Each list is broken down for Battalion and Company Delegates. If you are unable to find your company list, please contact the Health & Safety Office at 212-683-4832.
Stephen J. Cassidy
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