Thursday, March 8th, 2007
for General Membership Meeting
JFK Ramada Inn, Queens, NY
1. Pre-Meeting Health & Safety Training Today at 9:30am
The proposed collective bargaining agreement between the UFA and the City is, of course, of utmost importance to our members. We had previously scheduled the constitutionally required meeting of Battalion Delegates to discuss the proposed contract today at 10am for 90 minutes before the General Membership meeting at 11:30am. We do not want to limit discussion and explanation of the proposed agreement by setting a time limit that proves too short. As a result, the Executive Board decided to reschedule the Battalion Delegate meeting to Tuesday, March 13 at 10:30am at UFA Headquarters. The meeting will continue as long as necessary to answer all questions and fully explain the contract. Battalion Delegates will discuss the tentative agreement with the Executive Board and take a non-binding vote, in accordance with UFA Constitution requirements.
2. Security Benefits 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.
3. Delegate Seminar Registration at Recording Secretary Table Today
Delegates must return registration forms and payment to the UFA no later then March 31 or lose the special hotel discounted rate. The UFA can only accept Seminar Registration Forms with a check via US Mail or in person (not by phone). For newer Delegates, this is an extremely important seminar that will help educate you on many matters of importance, including workers' rights, health, safety, work issues & financial matters. Rush your registration forms in the prepaid envelope well before March 31 and save over $100 per night!!! You can submit your reservation forms and payment-and verify your registration-at the Recording Secretary/SBF Table today. Ask for Kev or Denise. After today, Delegates should call or email Denise at the Recording Secretary's office ASAP if help is needed.
4. UFA Tentative Contract Explained
Within the first 24 hours after the UFA Executive Board signed the tentative agreement last Friday, the UFA office was flooded with calls reacting to over a dozen rumors about the contract. One particular rumor is that specialty pay is funded by Homeland Security and that the differential could have been spread among the other FDNY units. These rumors are entirely false. Today you will be provided with a complete copy of the 'Memorandum of Agreement', including all available Articles, Schedules and Attachments and also a 'Contract Summary' (at your Trustee Table). Steve Cassidy and UFA Labor attorney Mike Axelrod will explain each item and answer questions regarding the tentative agreement.
5. Contract Ratification Process and Dates
One Battalion Delegate meeting and 3 Union/Delegate meetings will take place over the next 6 and 1/2 weeks regarding the tentative contract. The timelines of all meetings and mailings, as required by and in accordance with the UFA Constitution, are scheduled as follows:
- 03/07: Mail complete copies of original Memorandum of Agreement with all attachments (tentative contract) to all Delegate residences and FHs, including each Executive Board Member's vote regarding the agreement
- 03/08, 11:30am (Thur): General Membership Meeting, address all contract questions, address general issues
- 03/13, 10:30am (Tue): Battalion Delegate meeting, discuss agreement, take non-binding advisory vote
- 03/20, 10:30am (Tue): Special Delegate Union Meeting, explain and discuss contract only
- 04/19, 10:00am (Thur): Delegate Meeting, roll-call vote on contract
- 04/19, 11:00am (Thur): General Membership Union Meeting, general union issues
- 04/25: If approved by Delegates at 04/19 meeting, mail to all member residences terms of the entire collective bargaining agreement, including each Executive Board Member's vote regarding the agreement.
- 04/30: Ballots mail from American Arbitration Association to all member residences (and email to all overseas military members) if Delegate roll-call contract vote is approved at 04/19 meeting.
- 05/10: Ballots counted at American Arbitration Association with UFA Election Committee and Recording Secretary oversight. A majority of members must vote in favor of the tentative agreement to ratify the contract.
- Week of 05/21: Expected announcement by Dept of dates for retroactive $$ pay and implementation of increased salary scales.
6. 2006 W-2: Verifying Annual LODI Tax Deductions
Per DO #16, in response to the UFA's request, paragraph 2.1.1 of Supplement No. 6 to DO #8, dated January 25, 2007, titled Understanding Your 2006 W-2 Forms, was corrected and replaced as follows: "IRS regulations provide favorable tax treatment of your wages during the approved leave period of injury. Wages for all LODI incurred during 2006 will be treated on a pre-tax basis. LODI will reduce gross wages and SS/Medicare wages for all days an employee is out on LODI. TDA contributions will also be affected by LODI wages. Affected employees who believe that an error exists on their W-2 form should contact Robin Hirschhorn, LODI Administrator in the Medical Division."
7. LODI 1989-2005 FICA Refund Letter Deadline April 5th
Notice Mailing: To be eligible for a refund for years 1989 thru 2005 you must sign and return the consent form by Thursday, April 5, 2007. Certified mail is highly recommended. NO EXTENSIONS WILL BE GRANTED and NO EXCEPTIONS WILL BE MADE. Refund checks for 2006 LODI FICA are not related to filing this form, do not require any further action at this time and will be issued on a separate date to be announced by the Dept.
- 2006 LODI FICA Refunds: Per DO #16, in response to the UFA's request, paragraph 2.1.1 of Supplement No. 6 to DO #8, dated January 25, 2007, titled Understanding Your 2006 W-2 Forms, was corrected and replaced as follows: "IRS regulations provide favorable tax treatment of your wages during the approved leave period of injury. Wages for all LODI incurred during 2006 will be treated on a pre-tax basis. LODI will reduce gross wages and SS/Medicare wages for all days an employee is out on LODI. TDA contributions will also be affected by LODI wages. Affected employees who believe that an error exists on their W-2 form should contact Robin Hirschhorn, LODI Administrator in the Medical Division."
- Correcting LODI Dates:
To dispute the amounts listed on your FICA refund notice, you must first inquire to NYC Office of Payroll Administration (OPA) at 212-669-2333 or by email to LODI_FICARefund@payroll.nyc.gov. If OPA records differ from your documentation, you must follow up with Mary McLaughlin at FDNY BHS, 9 Metrotech Center, Rm 2N-5, Brooklyn NY 11201 or by email to email@example.com, tel: 718 999-1940, fax: 718 999-0170. All requests to FDNY BHS must first be submitted in writing. Copies of BHS Duty Determination Form (MD211), CD72 and/or journal entries are the ONLY acceptable documents of verification. BHS will ONLY take calls AFTER documentation is provided. BHS Decisions are FINAL. No appeals will be granted.
- Retired Member Records:
BHS does not possess retired member files. It will be incumbent upon the retired member to provide the documentation of the LODI incident, such as copies of the CD-72, journal entries or any other documents that verify your LODI status for the claimed dates.
- Additional Info: Refer to the 5-page Special 65-2 #14, dated February 8, 2007, titled 'LODI FICA Refunds' and also the Dept's Fact Sheet, which are both published on the UFA web site home page. All info was provided by the NYC OPA and FDNY Payroll.
8. Brooklyn Junkyard Fire CD-73 Preparation
To All Units that Responded to Brooklyn Third Alarm Box 2379 in February: Attached to 65-2 #19 is a sample CD-73 for the Brooklyn Third Alarm Junk Yard Fire, which was prepared by UFA Health & Safety Officer / Sergeant-at-Arms Bill Romaka. Bill strongly advises all of members who responded to file this CD-73 Exposure Report to safeguard their health now and in the future. It is important to remember that any time you feel you have been subjected to an exposure you should be filling out and filing a CD-73 to properly document the event and protect yourself in the future.
9. World Police & Fire Games Uniform Pick- Up Info
Pre-ordered uniform bags are now available for FDNY athletes traveling to the 2007 WPFG in Australia. Uniforms may be picked up at the UFA office, 204 East 23rd Street, 4th Floor. Call Ann Elizabeth (917-880-1050) to schedule pick-up. PAYMENT MUST BE MADE AT TIME OF PICK-UP OR UNIFORM WILL NOT BE ISSUED. Uniform Cost (UFA members, active or retired): $70.00 each. Uniform Cost (Officers, active or retired): $140.00 each. Checks should be made out to: UFA.
10. Muscular Dystrophy Donations
This is a reminder that all donations to the Muscular Dystrophy Assoc that were collected as part of the UFA's annual $1 per member per meal program should be submitted as soon as possible to the MDA. Please make checks out to the MDA and send them to: MDA, PO Box 3178, Grand Central Station New York NY 10163. Last year with less then one-half the firehouses in the city participating we were able to raise nearly $32,000 to support the MDA, this year nearly three weeks past the cut off date we stand at slightly more then $12,000. Thanks to everyone who participated!
Stephen J. Cassidy,