65-2 #07 January 19, 2006

Union Issues - Events, Help, Fundraisers & Benefits.

  • EMS In Your Firehouse!!!
  • Contract Ratified!
  • Retro $ & Pay Raise Charts
  • American Arbitration Association (AAA) UFA Election Report
  • Deferred Compensation (457), 401k. ITHP and 50% Indicator
  • LODI Tax Deductions
  • One 15-Hour Annual Leave Tour Eliminated
  • Safety
  • WTC Disability Law Registration Form
  • TBTA Toll Waiver Update
  • E-75 L-33 Involuntary Lifts Grievance
  • Meal Period - CFR-D Interruption
  • New RSOT Agreement Restores 4 additional 5-man engines
  • Transit Strike Support & UFA Taylor Law Press Release
  • Training
  • Probie Parking Placards & Calendars
  • UFA Parking Placards: Only from Your Delegate!!!

Events, Help, Fundraisers & Benefits:

  • Pension Buyback Seminars
  • Retiree and LODI Family Parking Placards
  • MDA Week Packages Distributed Today
  • UFA Family Ski Day - New Location
  • FF. Joseph Moore Released From Hospital
  • FF. Matt Long Critically Injured
  • Breezy Point Blood Drive
  • BC Ryan Memorial Scholarship

EMS In Your Firehouse!!!

The Fire Commissioner has announced that he intends to have at least one ambulance assigned to every firehouse by the end of next year. President Cassidy updated all members at the January 12 General Membership Meeting. Company Delegates are explaining at their companies a summary of the issues addressed at this meeting.

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Contract Ratified!

The UFA Executive Board thanks all Delegates and members who supported ratification of this contract. UFA Labor Counsel Mike Axelrod, who put a tremendous amount of work into every step of the negotiation process, is also here to answer any questions. Copies of the Contract Memo of Agreement and FAQs, for insertion into your Delegate Manuals, were distributed to all Delegates at the January 12 Union Meeting.

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Retro $ & Pay Raise Charts

Your January 27 paychecks will reflect the new August 1st, 2005 compounded salary rates. Compounded retro money will be paid in a series of 4 consecutive paychecks, beginning on January 27, in exactly the same way the City is paying other unions who recently settled contracts of similar length, including Sanitation and the Teachers. Complete pay raise and retro charts for all grades have been compiled by Recording Secretary Joe Miccio, with City calculations verified and UFA retro calculations made by UFA actuary, Alan Nahoum, who worked closely with the UFA Board throughout contract negations. Copies were distributed to all Delegates at the January 12 Union Meeting, and the UFA actuary was present to answer questions. Refer to the following notes re these charts:

  • All attached charts were provided by the Dept (except the last page, which was prepared by the UFA actuary).

  • Footnotes and header notes on most pages contain important data and formulas that will help you understand the charts. Most of this data was added by the UFA. Make sure your members read them.

  • Pages 1 thru 4 are specifically about your retro checks, which shows base and night shift owed. All other differentials and OT (except retro holiday pay and retro uniform allowance) are in these 4 checks, as per FDNY Payroll. However, even though CFR-D, RSOT, Chauffeur and any other type of OT retro will be in these 4 checks, this data is not listed on these pages because each member's money will differ depending upon the number of tours worked. Page 18 contains estimate charts with CFR-D, RSOT & Chauffeur data, which were prepared by UFA actuary Alan Nahoum. Alan also verified all data provided by the Dept.

  • Pages 5 thru 8 are rates (salary) for each year's pay increase (2002, 03, 04, 05) for all FF grades. The footnotes contain the formulas used by the Dept to determine each column's value.

  • Page 9 lists new probie & grade steps for all FFs that will be hired after January 17, 2006.

  • Pages 10 thru 13 are rates (salary) for each year's pay increase (2002, 03, 04, 05) for all Fire Marshal grades

  • Pages 14 thru 17 are rates (salary) for each year's pay increase (2002, 03, 04, 05) for all Marine Wiper grades

  • Page 18 contains estimate charts with CFR-D, RSOT & Chauffeur salary and retro due for each year. However, each member's retro money will differ depending upon the number of tours worked and appointment date. These charts were prepared by UFA actuary Alan Nahoum, who also verified all data provided by the Dept.

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    American Arbitration Association (AAA) UFA Election Report

    The AAA certified the ballot returns and counts on December 29th under the observance of the UFA Election Committee, which consists of one Delegate from each borough and the Recording Secretary. The 5 Delegates determine the validity of any ballots in question and are present to insure ballots are counted in strict confidentiality. The AAA reported that the 142 UFA ballots had to be mailed to members who did not receive a ballot, which is 1.5% of the 9000 ballots mailed. In many instances this was due to an incorrect address on file at the UFA (or a change of address form was submitted too late to be processed) or due to post office delays made worse during the holidays. This 1.5% (142 re-mailed) is a significant improvement over the 420 that had to be re-mailed by the AAA during the 2005 UFA General Elections. The Executive Board thanks all Delegates who worked with Recording Secretary Joe Miccio and the UFA SBF staff to get most members to submit UFA Change-of-Address forms prior to this referendum. Reports of who voted and who did not vote will be mailed shortly for posting at each company. Members can also verify their addresses and company rosters on record with the UFA with this report.

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    Deferred Compensation (457), 401k. ITHP and 50% Indicator

    Deferred Compensation (457 & 401k) enrollment, with direct deductions taken from your paycheck, reduces your taxes as a result of the contributions made, while contributions and the earnings will accumulate tax-deferred. Deadlines to submit your enrollment and amount changes were published the day after the contract was ratified in order to inform members of these important deadline dates. In order to assist members and answer questions re 457 and 401k, Deferred Compensation representatives from the City Office of Labor Relations (OLR) made a presentation at the January 12 Union Meeting, and also had a table set up at the meeting to address member questions. UFA Recording Secretary Joe Miccio prepared Deferred Compensation, ITHP Waiver & 50% Indicator Special 65-2 #s 4 & 5, which which were distributed at this meeting and mailed to all companies. They should also be inserted into the UFA Delegate Manual (Investment & Financial Chapter of the 'Retirement & Money Book').

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    LODI Tax Deductions

    Current IRS regulations provide favorable tax treatment of your wages during the approved period of Line-of-Duty Injury (LODI). Wages will be treated on a pre-tax basis. The Dept computes your LODI medical leave days automatically and deducts the dollar amount from your taxable income as per prior UFA contractual agreement. The UFA will be publishing a special 2005 Tax Year Issue 65-2 in the beginning of February, which will include a per diem salary rate chart that will allow you to verify the Dept's calculations. It will also include much more info re your paycheck deductions and tax calculations. The UFA has also inquired with the City Office of Labor Relations (OLR), FDNY Payroll and our tax professionals regarding LODI retroactive deduction status for members who were on LODI medical leave during the tax years they were earning less then they should have under the new contract terms. The Department informed us that it cannot include retroactive deduction calculations in your 2006 retro paychecks for prior LODI injury medical leave. This is an IRS regulation issue, and not an issue that may be decided by the Dept or the UFA, as was determined when UFA accountants investigated the 2000-02 retro money in 2003.

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    One 15-Hour Annual Leave Tour Eliminated

    The Dept published a memo on December 31 to all units with the revised 2006 Vacation Schedule. In accordance with the 2002-06 Contract, effective January 1, 2006, "one 15-hour annual leave tour is forfeited", and will come off this year's vacation periods. The adjusted tour cannot be eliminated due to the 40 hour work-week labor laws. Annual leave for lower grade members who do not have a full vacation may be impacted differently. We are negotiating with the Dept for a favorable outcome for our members. Your paystub will reflect the number of hours vacation (and adjusted tour) you are entitled to. If you suspect a discrepancy, check with your officer. If it cannot be resolved, your officer can assist you in submitting an inquiry to HQ.

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    Safety

    In light of the several recent serious accidents with FDNY apparatus where the Dept has failed to address the safety of our members, the UFA will continue to highlight the importance of responding safely to all assignments. UFA President Steve Cassidy faxed to all firehouses on December 29th his response to Bronx Borough Commander Chief Esposito's 'Response Times Issue' memo. The primary concerns President Cassidy's letter addresses are that chauffeurs are being asked by Chief Esposito to follow all officers' directions to travel down one-way streets, against steady red signals or stop signs. Make sure you and your chauffeurs refer to memos from Chief Esposito and Steve Cassidy, which are attached to this report. Above all, make sure you drive safely and responsibly, as regularly reminded in Sergeant-at-Arms Bill Romaka's Safety 65-2s. The public we serve is counting on us getting there! Be sure to read the article by UFA Sergeant-at-Arms Bill Romaka from this month's upcoming Firelines, which addresses some of the FDNY's Apparatus Issues.

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    WTC Disability Law Registration Form

    This month's upcoming Firelines includes comprehensive instructions, prepared by UFA V.P. / Legislative Chairman Jim Slevin regarding who is eligible, how to file required forms and protect your rights. Make sure that each and every affected member of your company reads this article when it arrives at their homes. Retired members will also be mailed this issue of Firelines, as many are protected under this law, which was achieved through extensive UFA lobbying efforts in Albany. You can download the form by clicking HERE.

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    TBTA Toll Waiver Update

    We have recently been informed that the Toll Waiver Program continues to be on hold. The NYS Department of Transportation has informed the office of NYS Senate Majority Leader Bruno that they will not implement the program since it is not codified in any section of the law and a waiver program could constitute an illegal gratuity by a public employee. While the UFA and the Senate Majority disagree with their position we have no choice but to go back to the legislature and implement the program in another manner. The Senate Majority believes that they can pass legislation that will codify the program therefore alleviating any concerns of the NYS Department of Transportation.They have assured us they will do everything possible to expedite the process. When this pilot program was originally passed the UFA was reluctant to put any information out to the members knowing that it would be tied up in the bureaucracy for an extended period before it could be implemented. However when the program was announced in the newspapers stating that is was for police officers we felt that it was important to let our members know that they are also included in the program. The Senate Majority Leader apologizes for the confusion and delay and promises to do everything possible to get it implemented. We will keep you informed as to when it will be in effect.

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    E-75 L-33 Involuntary Lifts Grievance

    The opening hearing before arbitrator Maurice Benowitz was held on January 6, with UFA Labor Counsel Mike Axelrod, UFA Recording Secretary Joe Miccio and Bronx Trustee Eddie Brown. All members who were working the tour of the alleged incident were transferred, even though the Dept did not prefer any charges against them. This issue is regarding the Dept's arbitrary and punitive lifting of members who were totally unaware of and not involved with the alleged incident. The UFA subpoenaed 7 firefighters and the captain from that house to testify. Chief of Operations Cassano and Chief of Dept Hayden were also present for the entire day's hearing. Testimonies were heard and briefs were submitted as evidence. Additional hearing days are required and many of the firefighters will have to return to testify. The UFA will keep you informed, and will continue to aggressively protect our members' rights.

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    Meal Period - CFR-D Interruption

    At last week's Labor Management Meeting, Chief Cassano stated that he added CFR-D runs to meal period interruptions because "it is a dangerous situation when someone's life is severely endangered and we do not respond because we are eating a meal". UFA argued that the Dept is required to bargain re this change. The Dept does not agree with our position. It was informed that this will be resolved via arbitration (Improper Practice), which will be filed shortly.

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    New RSOT Agreement Restores 4 additional 5-man engines

    The Dept has already restored the 5th FF to 4 additional engines, in accordance with the new collective bargaining agreement. Affected companies were published in Dept Order #2.

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    Transit Strike Support & UFA Taylor Law Press Release

    UFA President Cassidy appeared with TWU President Roger Toussaint at a press conference voicing our support for the members of his union in their battle with the MTA. The UFA also published a press release lambasting the Taylor Law, which "imposes very onerous penalties on workers and unions, but imposes no penalties on management and municipalities when they repeatedly fail to bargain in good faith," and called for passing of pending legislative Taylor Law reforms to level the playing field. To veiw the press release click HERE.

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    Training

    The Dept had planned to train SOC members in Ice Rescue at the NY State Fire Academy in Upstate New York. It was going to provide transportation and lodging, but was requesting that members do this ON THEIR OWN TIME. The UFA believes FFs should be provided the highest level training available, but does not, and will never, agree to members of this Union taking part in training that is not on Dept time. Anyone approached to take part in this type of training is asked to respectfully decline. Any member with knowledge of others volunteering should notify their Delegate who will then forward the info to the Trustee. President Cassidy spoke with Chief Siegel on this topic, and the aforementioned training was cancelled Monday.

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    Probie Parking Placards & Calendars

    All Delegates are advised that the 12/30 graduating class has been assigned and provided with 2006 UFA Parking Placards and 2006 UFA Workchart Calendars. Please insure you record, for your records, the placard numbers of newly assigned members to your company.

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    UFA Parking Placards: Only from Your Delegate!!!

    Borough Trustees distribute 2006 UFA Parking Placards only to Delegates. The ONLY way to get a Placard is through your Company Delegate-as the Placard Permit numbers have been accounted for that way. 'Detailed' members must contact their permanent assignment's Company Delegate. Battalion Aides should contact the Company Delegate in their house. Delegates must contact their Borough Trustee if additional placards are needed. MEMBERS WHO ARE NOT DELEGATES SHOULD NOT CONTACT THE UFA FOR PLACARDS. Delegates should return their company roster with each member's placard permit # listed to the UFA Recording Secretary's office at 212-683-4359 (or 212-683-0710 if busy), or by mail with the envelope enclosed with the placards. If a placard is lost or stolen, insure the member files a complaint report with PD. This is required before being issued a replacement. Any use by unauthorized persons can now be traced back to the original member it was issued to—for firehouse and/or law enforcement verification. Please insure the previously published Special Parking Placard 65-2 is posted in your firehouse.

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    Pension Buyback Seminars

    From Dept Order 113-05: The Uniform Pension Bureau will be conducting seminars for Prior Service Buyback at FDNY Headquarters in the Main Auditorium 10:00am to 1:00pm, January 25, 2006. To sign-up, contact Timica Wilson at 718-999-1201 or Natalia Zorina at 718-999-0690. Seating is limited.

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    Retiree and LODI Family Parking Placards

    Once again, as a special courtesy to our retired and Line-of-Duty Death families, 2006 Survivor of the Shield courtesy placards are being mailed to all LODI Families this week, and special Retired Firefighter Placards will soon be mailed to all retirees.

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    MDA Week Packages Distributed Today

    IThe UFA - UFOA Muscular Dystrophy Week runs from January 29th thru February 4th. This "$1 a Man per Meal" was created after a the child of one of New York's Bravest was diagnosed with this degenerative neuromuscular disease. Each Delegate was provided with a package at the January 12 Union Meeting. Delegates are asked to send a check made out to MDA in the return envelope that is in your package. Thank you for your support!!!

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    UFA Family Ski Day - New Location

    The UFA Family Ski Day has changed locations. This year's event will take place on January 27th at Mt. Peter in Warwick, NY and is once again hosted by 53/43. The event provides free all day skiing for the widows and children of fallen NY's Bravest. For more information on the event or how to register families please contact Louis Giaconelli or Dave Rowan at 212-570-4253.

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    FF. Joseph Moore Released From Hospital

    We are happy to report that on December 29th, FF Joe Moore of Ladder 13 was released from the hospital. FF Moore was critically injured when he was thrown from the spare rig that Ladder 13 was assigned as they responded to a job. He suffered severe head injuries and is currently recuperating at home and taking part in his rehabilitation. We wish him a speedy recovery.

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    FF. Matthew Long Critically Injured

    Matthew Long, Ladder Co. 43 was severely injured on December 22nd while riding his bicycle to the Fire Academy, where he is detailed to the FDNY Fitness Unit. He remains in critical condition at New York Weill Cornell Medical Center. ANYONE INTERESTED IN HELPING TO SUPPORT MATT ARE ASKED TO DO SO BY DONATING BLOOD.To donate, call 1-800-933-2566 (1-800-933-BLOOD) or visit www.nybloodcenter.org to schedule an appointment. FDNY MEMBERS SHOULD USE GROUP #43369 to identify themselves when donating.

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    Breezy Point Blood Drive
    The Blood Drive is honoring FF Matthew Long. It takes place on Saturday, January 28th, 11:30 AM to 5 PM at The Colony Theater (500 Bayside Ave) Breezy Point, Queens. For more info contact Matt Regan # 718-474-0409

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    BC Matthew Ryan Memorial Scholarship

    Eligible applicants must be the son or daughter of an active, retired or deceased FDNY firefighter. The firefighter (not the student) must be an active or retired hockey player on the FDNY hockey team, a firehouse team, a town hockey team or a league team. Two $1000 scholarships are awarded to an applicant of each sex, representing both UFA and UFOA and may be used for college/university, high school, trade school or private school. Please send student's name, address, city & state, phone, date of birth, firefighter's name and company, years of service, name of firefighter's hockey team, and college/school (and their address) to:
    B.C. Matthew Ryan Memorial Scholarship Committee
    P.O. Box 1096, Massapequa, NY 11758.

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    Fraternally,

    Stephen J. Cassidy
    President

    Joseph A. Miccio
    Recording Secretary