Thursday, June 16, 2011
for Special Membership Meeting
International JFK Airport Hotel, Queens, NY
- Delegate ID Photos to Be Taken at Today's Union Meeting
The UFA will be taking photos today of Delegates who have not yet had their photos taken for UFA Delegate ID Cards. Be sure to go to the photographer's room to take your picture.
- Delegates Unable to Attend Education Seminar
Delegates who were not at the Delegate Education Seminar last week are directed to see Jimmy Dahl at the Security Benefits Fund Table before the meeting begins--to pick up Delegate items distributed at the seminar.
- 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.
1. Guest Speaker from IAFF
International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) General President Harold Schaitberger is our special guest speaker today.
2. UFA General Election Results
The results are listed on 65-2 Fax #50. The new term begins effective August 1, 2011 and runs through July 31, 2014. Ballots were counted on June 13 by the American Arbitration Association (AAA), under the observation of the UFA Election Committee, in accordance with the UFA Constitution. The Election Committee consists of one member per borough, and makes all determinations regarding validity of ballots. Company lists of members from whom the AAA did not receive a ballot in this election will be mailed to Delegates, after the file is received from the AAA, for posting at each firehouse. NOTE: UFA Committee member names and companies are listed on the UFA website in the 'About Us' section.
3. Firehouse Closings
Steve Cassidy will discuss the latest updates regarding the City budget and the Mayor's planned firehouse closings.
4. Municipal Labor Committee (MLC) Update
Steve Cassidy will provide the latest update regarding important issues discussed at this week's MLC meeting.
5. Proposed Tier 6 Legislation
Steve Cassidy and Jim Slevin were up in Albany yesterday to meet with State legislators regarding the Mayor's and Governor's proposed Tier 6 legislation. An update will be provided today.
6. Pension Protection Bill Home Rule
The City Council has approved its Home Rule for our proposed Pension Protection Bill legislation. This is a necessary step before State legislators can consider the bill. If approved, this legislation provides that if a member with at least 20 years of creditable police or fire service in the retirement system is dismissed for reasons other than a felony convictions, that member shall not be precluded from any rights.
7. Roster Staffing Case Update
We are awaiting either an order from the BCB granting practical safety impact hearings, or an interim decision from the board addressing the legal claims.
8. Zadroga Bill Update
A new special master, Sheila Birnbaum, Esq., has been appointed to supervise the award process under the new Victim Compensation Fund created by the Zadroga Bill. She is a highly experienced and respected attorney who is very familiar with the evaluation of injury/illness claims. We expect that the new regulations for the fund will be published at the end of June and that the actual claim process will start in October 2011. A town hall meeting to discuss this new Victim Compensation Fund will be held on June 29, 2011 at UFT headquarters at 52 Broadway in Lower Manhattan from 5:30pm to 8:30pm. Miss Birnbaum will be present to answer questions. It is open to the public should any members wish to attend.
9. 3rd Day of BI Improper Practice
The UFA and City submitted final briefs on this case in April and we continue to await a ruling from the Board of Collective Bargaining. Details of the case were discussed with Delegates during special workshops at the Delegate Education Seminar in May. If successful, the City will be required to bargain with the UFA over the safety impact created by expansion of the AFID program.
10. Asbestos Abatement Negotiations
As was previously announced to all members, the BCB ruled in 2010 that the City of NY and the FDNY violated NYCCBL 12-306 (a)(4) when they refused to bargain in good faith concerning their decision to assign Firefighters to asbestos-abatement related duties, for approximately one week, after the 2007 Con Edison steampipe explosion on Lexington Ave. in Manhattan. Negotiations, as mandated in the ruling, are scheduled for next week, on June 22.
11. Police & Fire Public Safety Alliance--VSF Update
The UFA/PBA's Fire & Police Public Safety Alliance continues to combat Mayor Bloomberg's outright lies and misinformation campaign to adversely influence the public and elected officials about police and fire pensions and the Variable Supplement Fund (VSF). We have used our resources to educate our elected officials and the media regarding issues that affect Firefighters and Police Officers, including press conferences, political lobbying and paid advertising. With the Legislature's session close to an end, there is no sign that any Albany lawmaker is willing to introduce a bill.
12. UCT Case Update
The next scheduled dates for our Unified Call Taker hearings are June 21 and July 19. The UFA and UFOA are working together on this case.
13. Start-of-Tour Under / Reduced Staffing Grievance Filed
The UFA filed its case this week and would like to thank all Delegates who provided documentation each time this occurred in their units. Start-of-Tour under/reduced staffing occurs most frequently on night tours immediately following Company Medicals or Annual Education Day, and also after a member is injured late on any tour. Units are being placed in service while still awaiting details to start the tour, in violation of AUC 287. If your Engine is ordered to ride Under Staffed (3 or fewer FFs) or Ladder Reduce Staffed (4 FFs) at the start of the tour, you are still encouraged to fax the 'Starting Tour Understaffed' Form and your Officer's Unusual Occurrence Report (if available) to the UFA, Attn: Joseph Miccio, Recording Secretary, at 212-683-4359, which will help our case. Also, immediately notify the UFA if any Firefighter or civilian is seriously injured due to this staffing reduction!
14. Understaffed Unit Injury Reporting
Any member who becomes injured in the Line-of-Duty while working in an *Understaffed Engine or Under/Reduced Staffed Ladder is requested to notify your Delegate. The Delegate or another member of the unit should fax a copy of the Officer's Unusual Occurrence Report (if prepared by your Officer) and any additional pertinent information to the UFA at 212-683-4359 or 212-683-0710, ATTN: Joe Miccio, Recording Secretary. Immediately notify the UFA if any firefighter or civilian is seriously injured due to this staffing reduction!
*UNDERSTAFFED UNIT: Per AUC 287, any engine or ladder riding with fewer than 4 Firefighters (3 or less) is Understaffed. A ladder riding with 4 Firefighters is defined as Reduced Staffed Unit.
15. Deutsche Bank Hearings Conclude
The hearings have concluded. The defense and prosecution summations are taking place this week and a ruling could take place shortly.
16. Firehouse OOS Notification System Pilot Goes Live!
The UFA's Mobile Media Firehouse Out-of-Service Alert System pilot program goes live on Monday. Any member of your unit (with a system recognized cell phone) can now have the UFA send instantaneous warning notifications to your local elected officials and community activists and organizations. All you need to do is send a text message to 51684. Enter in the message field your 4-digit unit code (L127, E004, S041, R005,...). Then add a space plus the 2-digit OOS code (01 = Relocate, 02 = Repairs, etc.) and hit send! When back in service use the '00' code. Let your voice be heard each and every time your company is taken off the grid.
17. OOS Code Key
|Code & Explanation
|| Message sent out
||_____ is back in service.
||_____ is relocated to protect another neighborhood because their fire company is not available to respond.
||_____ is closed for Repairs of the fire truck.
|03 Public Event
||_____ is closed for a public event. The company is on stand-by in another neighborhood.
|04 Drug Testing
||_____ is closed for random drug testing of all working members today.
|05 Lack of Manpower
||_____ is closed due to a lack of manpower.
||_____ is closed for other reasons.
||_____ is closed for training classes.
||_____ is closed 9am-6pm for medical exams of all working members today.
18. 100+ Companies Still Needed
If you have not done so, fax your list immediately to UFA Recording Secretary Joe Miccio at 212-683-4359, or hand in today. The system is unable to recognize messages from your unit unless your unit members' cell numbers are uploaded. See attached list for all companies that have not returned their form yet.
19. Opting In to Receive OOS Notifications
Anyone can opt in to receive email notices every time their neighborhood company is OOS by going to www.firesafeny.com and registering. There is no cost. This site also displays a Google Map of all five boroughs and all unit locations. Each time your company is OOS, the Google 'Heat' Map will reflect the closing in real time and show unit % availability pie charts, as well as sending out notices to participants. The UFA will also be providing text message opt-in instructions to elected officials, media and other affected organizations and activists.
20. Fire & Criminal Justice Chair Liz Crowley Fundraiser
Elizabeth Crowley has been a major UFA advocate in our battle to keep firehouses open. On Monday, June 20th City Council Member Elizabeth Crowley (Fire & Criminal Justice Chair) will be hosting a summer kick-off bash to raise support for the 2013 elections. It will be held at Woodhaven House located at 63-98 Woodhaven Blvd. NYC residents' contributions of up to $175 will be matched six times by the NYC Finance Campaign Board. Recommended FF contribution to attend is $50. For FFs who live in the 5 boroughs, your $50 contribution will be matched with an additional $300. Checks should be made payable to Elizabeth Crowley 2013 and mailed to Elizabeth Crowley 2013, 77-24 83rd Street Glendale, NY 11385 or handed in at the event. Let's turn out for Elizabeth, who has been a great friend to NYC Firefighters!!!
21. Brooklyn Bridge March & City Hall Rally to Save Firehouses
The UFA and UFOA would like to thank all efforts put forth by the members for the large turnout for our joint 'Save the Firehouses' march over the Brooklyn Bridge and City Hall Rally on June 3rd. 1,000 members marched over the bridge and estimated 15,000 Firefighters, Fire Officers and civilian supporters filled up the rally area along Broadway from Barclay Street all the way up to Chambers Street. Speakers included the presidents of the UFA, UFOA, IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger and scores of New York's elected officials, including New York State Assembly members Nicole Malliotakis, Richard Gottfried, Peter Abate, Speaker Sheldon Silver; State Senators Diane Savino, Eric Adams, Anthony Avella, Martin Malave Dilan, John Sampson, Martin Golden; Borough Presidents Scott Stringer and Marty Markowitz; City Council Members Elizabeth Crowley (Fire & Criminal Justice Chair), Diana Reyna, Domenic Recchia Jr, Annabel Palm, Letitia James, Gale Brewer, James Vacca, James Oddo, Daniel Garodnick, Daniel Halloran, Margaret Chin, James Sanders, Erik Dilan, Leroy Comrie, Maria del Carman Arroyo, Deborah Rose, Brad Lander, Robert Jackson, Vincent Gentile, Karen Koslowitz, Joel Rivera; Citywide Elected Officials Comptroller Bill Thompson and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio. Extensive favorable media coverage was generated as a result of the great turnout by the membership and all our supporters.
22. Firehouse Rally Lists
Upcoming firehouse rally lists continue to be faxed to all units, emailed to all Delegates and posted on the UFA website as the dates/times locations are announced. Check the UFA website for the latest confirmed rally dates and locations. Rallies will be continually updated on the UFA website events calendar. Rallies have already been held for E-205, E-60, L-161, E-328, L-53, E-161, E-294, L-104, L-128, E-157, E-306, E-218, E-220, E-271, E-4 and E-70.
23. Age Extender for FDNY Hiring
The City Council passed a bill May 26th extending the age limit for hopeful firefighter candidates who would have been ineligible for hiring after their 29th birthday by an ongoing legal battle over the entry exams. The extension--from age 29 to 35--would allow job-seekers who took the 2007 entrance exam to remain age-eligible for the next test. The last firefighter exam was administered in 2007, but the results were invalidated by Federal Judge Nicholas Garaufis, who ruled that the last three entrance exams discriminated against African-American and Hispanic candidates. Judge Garaufis mandated a quota-type interim hiring system until a new exam could be administered. The City has suspended hiring rather than using a quota-type system, while it participates in drafting a new entrance test. The UFA continues to be included in efforts to make sure that the next test is competitive and results in hiring of the best qualified candidates.
24. UFA Financial Statement
UFA Treasurer Bob Straub reports that the UFA Financial Statement was mailed on June 10th to all Firehouses and Delegate home addresses.
25. Marsh Catastrophic: New Policies Hold Update
Marsh (US Life) informed the UFA on Monday that it expects a determination next week from the federal government to see if the plan can continue to offer coverage exactly as it is today, or if it falls under Federal Healthcare Reform guidelines. Until then, the temporary hold will continue on new policy applications for catastrophic policies. Members will be informed as soon as a determination is made.
26. World Police & Fire Games 2011 NYC--Volunteers Needed
The WPFG 2011 is looking for volunteers to make these the best Games ever. New York is hosting the Games, the 2nd largest sporting competition in the world, to respectfully coincide with the 10th anniversary of 9/11. The 2011 WPFG NYC Organizing Committee is looking for both active and retired members (family members as well). The Games are New York's way of honoring all the brothers who we lost on 9/11 and continue to lose from working at Ground Zero and also thanking Fire and Police Departments from around the world that showed their support. The WPFG 2011 is looking for firehouses to adopt-a-sport, which entails help in running the sport by supplying volunteers. Some houses have adopted sports they are familiar with, while other houses have adopted sports that are relatively close to their firehouses. There are many venues in the five boroughs, Nassau, Suffolk and upstate. The three main venues are The Javits Center, Randall's Island and Lehman College. The dates of the Games are August 26th - September 5th. Step up and help make this a first and world class event. Please contact rmckeon@2011WPFG.org or call Rob McKeon @ 516-582-7384. Please spread the word to the retired members from your houses!
Stephen J. Cassidy,