Thursday, September 10, 2009
for General Membership Meeting
JFK Ramada Inn, Queens, NY
- UFA Delegate & Battalion Delegate ID Card Photos Today
- 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.
- FREE Seasonal Flu Inoculations at Today's Meeting (see item #20)
- FREE Blood Pressure Readings at Today's Meeting (see item #21)
- Handouts Today
65-2 #84 Fax of 2009: 9-11 Memorial at FF Monument
65-2 #86 Fax of 2009: Upcoming Events
65-2 #87 Fax of 2009: 1st Annual Walk to Commemorate George Martin's Historic Walk Across America Supporting The Heroes of Ground Zero
1. UFA Delegate & Battalion Delegate ID Card Photos Today
The UFA will be taking photos of Delegates who did not have their photos taken at the Delegate Education Seminar in May. See the photographer station which is set up outside of the meeting room before and during the meeting. You will also need to fill out an information form.
2. Sept. 11 Memorial Service at Firefighters Memorial Monument
On Friday, September 11th, 2009, there will be a number of services through the city to commemorate the eighth anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center. The members of Battalion 18 will be hosting the 8th Annual Memorial Service at the Firefighters Memorial Monument on Riverside Drive & 100th St., Upper West Side, Manhattan. All members and their families are welcome to attend the service to honor our 343 brothers. Members assemble at 0930 hours. There will be parking on Riverside Drive between 94th St. & 104th St. Refer to 65-2 #84 at your Trustee table today or contact Engine 45/Ladder 58 at 718-430-0245 with any questions. For memorial activities at or near Ground Zero and other locations, and also firehouse protocol, please refer to Supplement #50 to Dept Order #74, dated Sept. 3, 2009.
3. Election Day Update
The UFA would like to thank all members who turned out last week at City Hall for the UFA's endorsement of John C. Liu for City Comptroller and Bill de Blasio for Public Advocate. Both candidates expressed their sincere thanks for our help and support. A list of endorsed candidates is posted on the UFA website and available at your Trustee table today. We will be very active politically right up until the November General Election and all members will be needed to help out. There will be a Battalion Advisory Committee Meeting for Political Action on Wednesday September 16. All members of the Committee must attend and they should bring another member from the Battalion with them.
4. Primary Day – September 15th
There will be political operations in all 5 boroughs. The complete list of locations will be faxed and posted on the UFA website later today. For Manhattan we will be operating out of UFA Headquarters at 204 E 23rd St. from 6 am – 9pm. The other locations will be posted as soon as they are confirmed later today. Every Delegate that is not working should turn out and should get members of their company to also turn out. The UFA supported candidates need our help to win.
5. Tier II Pension Update
The UFA continues to work towards a solution to the Governor's veto of the Tier II pension extender. We have been talking with the legislators regarding the passage of another Tier II bill or a possible veto over-ride. We are working with all of the Uniformed unions to come up with a solution. We will continue to update the membership on this status in both Firelines and 65-2's.
6. Unified Call-Taker Problems
On August 12, at the UFA's request, the UFA and UFOA held a joint meeting with the Department regarding the multiple problems that have continued to occur since the City implemented its Unified Call-Taker Program in the Fire Department. The Department has admitted that the new system has resulted in inaccurate addresses and partial ticket information to FDNY field units, among other things. The Department explained that it has provided details that have been compiled from Officer's Unusual Occurrence Reports to the UCT and 911 ranking officials, and has had meetings with them to get the matters resolved. However, many times an Officer's Unusual Occurrence Report is not prepared, which results in incidents going unreported. The UFA expressed its serious concerns that while our dispatchers are tenured and experienced specialists at addressing FDNY dispatching needs in localized neighborhoods, using UCT operators in their place has directly contributed to many of the problems.
7. Swine Flu Pandemic Predicted
The U.S. Center for Disease Control, White House's PCAST Report, World Health Organization and the FDNY Medical Office have all published official severe warning communications regarding the H1N1 Swine Flu. The official report to the President on U.S. Preparations for 2009-H1N1 Influenza (White House PCAST Report) is predicting that it will produce infection in 30-50% of the U.S. population this fall and winter. First responders to medical emergencies are cited as a high risk exposure group. The UFA has asked the City Labor Commissioner and Fire Commissioner to exclude any medical leave statistics relating to H1N1 from its calculation data that is used to reduce manning in accordance with the 1996 RSOT/Manning Agreement. This topic is on the agenda for the next Labor-Management Meeting.
8. LODI FICA Refund $$ Update
The NYC Office of Payroll Administration (OPA) reports that the IRS still owes refund monies to the City for 1991 and 1992 because the IRS has yet to resolve all its issues for tax years 1991 and 1992. The UFA will announce additional information as it becomes available. For information, refer to the Office of Payroll Administration website. Any questions should be referred to the Office of Payroll Administration FICA Refund Claim Unit, which can be reached through email at Lodi_FICARefund@payroll.nyc.gov or by telephone at (212) 669-2333, (212) 669-4133, and (212) 669-3669. Fax inquiries can be sent to (212) 669-3377.
9. 4% Pay Increases
Per Dept Orders: The Bi-Weekly Payroll of August 21, 2009, included the general wage increase of 4% for UFA members effective 8/1/09. Payment included an increase for all grades in basic maximum salary, special assignment differential and CFRD and overtime rates. Payment also included a one day retroactive adjustment for regular gross and special assignment differential. The Bi-Weekly Payroll of September 4, 2009, included the increase in Night Shift Differential for UFA members and increase in Special Assignment Night Shift Differential for eligible UFA members due to the general wage increase of 4% effective 08/01/09. Payment includes retroactive adjustments covering 08/01/09 through 08/15/09. Inquiries may be submitted to the Bureau of Payroll in written form only.
10. Rally for Passage of 9/11 Health & Compensation Act
The UFA, New York State AFL-CIO, the New York City Central Labor Council, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Congressman Jerrold Nadler and Joseph Zadroga thank all members who turned out in support of this legislation rally on Tuesday, Sept 1. The 9/11 Health and Compensation Act would establish a federal health and compensation program for 9/11 responders and community members to assist with long term care, monitoring and compensation for their economic losses.
11. Lawsuit Claiming Discrimination in Hiring Exams
Judge Garaufis ruled in favor of the U.S. Department of Justice and the Vulcan Society. They are now in discussions regarding the 'remedy phase'. The UFA has moved to intervene in the remedy phase. That motion is still pending. Our purpose is to insure as much as possible that any agreement the parties reach will not compromise the safety of our members or the public.
12. Self Mutual & RSOT Payback
It is becoming more difficult for members to have Self-Mutual paybacks approved or RSOT tours rescheduled. Members are advised to submit IN WRITING all requests for repayment of Self-Mutuals and to document IN WRITING any time you are denied a Self-Mutual payback or RSOT reschedule. Keep a copy of all documented denials. It is also recommended that a company journal entry is made documenting denials. Member rights regarding Self-Mutuals and RSOT are spelled out on PA/IDs 3-94, 1-90 and 1-90 Addendum 4, respectively. PA/ID 1-90, section 11.2 specifically notes: "Firefighters with a group/vacation change which results in the opportunity for fewer hours of RSOT are authorized to work additional tours as needed by the Department for 96 hours of RSOT in the calendar year." Without proper documentation of denial you can lose your right to carry over RSOT tours to the following year, and you may be penalized for not repaying Self-Mutuals within 90 days.
13. Delegate Education Seminar Dates
In accordance with the UFA Constitution, a seminar site was chosen by a majority vote of the Delegate body. The 2010 Delegate Seminar will be held May 11th through May 14th in Atlantic City at the Trump Taj Mahal. The May 2010 Union Meeting will also be held at the Taj Mahal during the seminar on Friday morning, May 14th. Information packets with details will be mailed shortly.
14. 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 website.
15. Change of Beneficiary/Address Checklists
UFA Recording Secretary Joe Miccio 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.
16. Proposed Constitution Amendments
In accordance with the UFA Constitution, the Constitution Committee is scheduled to meet on September 23 and September 24 (if necessary) to review proposed amendments, which will be published prior to the October and November Union Meetings. Proposed amendments will be discussed and voted on at the November Union Meeting.
17. UFA Scholarship Applications Deadline Oct. 9th
REMINDER: Applications and instructions for the UFA Scholarship Fund are available HERE. Deadline for submission is October 9, 2009.
18. FF Family Scholarships List Available on UFA Website
The UFA website includes a special Firefighter & Family Scholarship Section. You can look up scholarships offered by the UFA, FDNY, FDNY fraternal organizations, memorial scholarship funds, and other scholarship information that the UFA is made aware of. A new FDNY catalog listing courses, scholarships, and partner colleges was added. Scholarships and grants are listed alphabetically with contact info, eligibility requirements, award amounts, as well as submission and reward dates. If you wish to add scholarships not yet listed, forward the info to UFA Recording Secretary, Joe Miccio via fax at 212-683-4359 or email at RecordingSecretary@UFANYC.org.
19. City Health/Medical Plan Transfer Period
The Health Benefits Transfer Period for active members begins November 1, 2009 and ends November 30, 2009. Health plan changes requested during the Transfer Period will be effective the first day of the first full payroll period in January 2010 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). 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 a date to be announced.) Forms are available at http://www.nyc.gov/html/olr/ or through the Health Desk at Fire Headquarters. Members who waive their City health benefits, will lose their PICA drug coverage. City Health/Medical Plan vendors will be present at the October 8 Union Meeting to answer your questions and distribute literature. Make sure you get the info you need to best protect your family!
20. FREE Seasonal Flu Inoculations at Today's Meeting
The UFA Health & Safety Officer / Sergeant-at-Arms Bill Romaka reports that BHS will provide the seasonal flu vaccine to all Members at today's meeting. This is a regular, seasonal flu shot, not a Swine Flu shot. Flu vaccines that are specific to the H1N1 (Swine Flu) virus will be provided during the Annual BioPod in October, subject to availability.
21. FREE Blood Pressure Readings at Today's Meeting
45% of Firefighter on-duty deaths are caused by heart disease — and high blood pressure can be one of the contributing factors. Novartis Pharmaceuticals, in conjunction with the IAFF and the UFA, are sounding the alarm for Firefighters to take action through the Stop-Drop-Control High Blood Pressure (HBP) Program. An optimal blood pressure reading should be under 120/80. All members at today's meeting can have their blood pressure readings taken before and during the meeting. Blood pressure readings will be CONFIDENTIAL for each member and will be done in a private kiosk as part of the "Stop, Drop and Control" Blood Pressure Program. More brochures and information will be available during the meeting. PLEASE try to stop by and have your blood pressure checked!
Stephen J. Cassidy,