PRESIDENT'S REPORT 2016
General Membership Meeting
June 9, 2016
• Paid Parental Leave - Counsel Stuart Salles filed a lawsuit and an Article 78 on behalf of our members on May 9 in State Supreme Court in Manhattan. While we support Paid Parental Leave, we want it without the illegal and discriminatory mandated givebacks of the two days of annual leave and loss of our 2017 0.47% pay raise imposed by the Mayor. Since the Mayor, Comptroller and Chancellor rebuffed our request for a moratorium on the give backs, we filed the lawsuit and Article 78.
• Strategic Plan - The Executive Board continues to implement our Strategic Plan to move the organization and our members forward.
•Recruitment - For Calendar Year 2015, we ended the year by enrolling 585 new members bringing our total membership to over 3,000 managers.
•Compensation - On January 20, 2015, Mayor de Blasio signed off on Mayor’s Personnel Orders 2015/1 and 2015/2 approving across the board salary increases of 10.47% from September 2011 – July 1, 2017.
•Benefits - The Organization Committee, under the leadership of Joel Fishelson, continues to plan, develop, implement, improve and monitor MEA members’ only benefits.
•Voluntary Insurance Program – MEA membership has been significantly enhanced with the availability of new supplemental benefits.
•Financial Planning Seminars - We are conducting three financial planning seminars this Spring.
•Toastmasters International - T.I.P. Club, the MEA sponsored Toastmasters International Organization is approaching its fifth anniversary.
•Pension Counseling - All MEA members are entitled to unlimited pension counseling.
•NYC MEA Career Development Program - The New York City Managerial Employees Association Career Development Program was incorporated as a 501 ( c ) ( 3) on December 14, 2011.
•Member Services - Our visibility and communication improvements go hand-in-hand with improving service to our members.
•Fiscal Discipline - The financial audit shared with all attendees tonight describes sound financial condition of the MEA.
•MEA Elections - MEA elections were completed in 2015. President Stu Eber, Executive Vice President Shelly Shulman and Director-at-Large Carol David were reelected. The new officers are Treasurer Edgar Landas, Recording Secretary Sherri Porcu and Director-at-Large Marie Delus.
•Visibility – MEA officials are now visiting members and prospective members during field visits. Over 500 visits have been made since January 2010 and 98 interactive events were held in 2015.
Paid Parental Leave
The most significant event in the past twelve months was the Administration’s implementation of Paid Parental Leave. While we applaud the Paid Parental Leave initiative, we do have serious reservations about Mayor’s Personnel Order No. 2016/1, detailing its implementation. We requested a one-year moratorium on implementing this progressive policy’s flawed funding methodology until we know the true costs and what the other 300,000 City employees will be paying for it.
Most managers are very upset that the initiative was announced with no consultation with the MEA. The MEA is particularly concerned with the Modification of Time and Leave already implemented by the personnel order. Mayoral Pay Orders have never been ‘repurposed’ and Time and Leave changes have never been limited to the managerial work force. The personnel order is taking away raises that were promised and two days of annual leave from managers that have earned it as a result of their long-term dedication to this City.
MEA Counsel Stuart Salles filed a lawsuit and an Article 78 proceeding on May 9 in State Supreme Court on behalf of five named MEA members, and all other managers, to compel the City to stop taking the two days. The MEA is funding this law suit. The named defendants are Mayor Bill de Blasio, Comptroller Scott Stringer and Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina.
We continue to work with the Administration and the non-Mayoral agencies on other issues managers care about, including:
• Prioritizing promoting from within.
• Encouraging the agency heads to enhance diversity among managers.
• Revising the Pay Plan for Managerial Employees (PPME) to address salary compression
and addressing the inequity where promotions to the managerial title result in a minimal
salary increase of $1,091.
• Scheduling promotional and open competitive managerial civil service exams.
The Executive Board is implementing the additional elements of the Strategic Plan to move the organization and our members forward. The plan addresses the following areas:
1. To increase active membership by 15% annually.
2. To develop and obtain improved employee benefits and compensation.
3. To improve finances by exploring innovative funding resources.
4. To improve, develop and implement new MEA members-only benefits.
5. To improve agency operations for managers.
6. To improve and develop better communications and publicity techniques.
The MEA now has 3,173 members as of 12/31/2015. This is a 50% increase since 12/31/2009.
In Calendar Year 2015, we enrolled 585 new members. This improves on our Year 2014 record-breaking achievement of 550 new members.
On January 20, 2015, Mayor de Blasio signed off on Mayor’s Personnel Orders 2015/1 and 2015/2 approving across the board salary increases of 10.47% from September 2011 – July 1, 2017 for approximately 10,400 City managers, in the Mayoral agencies. Additionally, the approval also included a $1,000 lump sum payment. The leadership from non-mayoral agencies such as the Comptroller, NYCHA, Department of Education (DOE), School Construction Authority ( SCA), and the Health and Hospitals Corporation ( HHC) issued the same raises to their 6,500 managers and original jurisdiction employees.
We continue to work with the administration to authorize a revised Pay Plan for Managerial Employees (PPME) that addresses salary compression. All minimum Level I salaries should be set at the same differential as the step-up from entry level to supervisory in that same career ladder or 10% above the immediate lower title’s minimum, whichever is greater.
The Organization Committee, under the leadership of Joel Fishelson, continues to plan, develop, implement, improve and monitor new MEA members’ only benefits. MEA members-only scholarships and educational opportunities have been expanded. We awarded 21 scholarships, a record number, at our 2015 Holiday Scholarship Party. We are offering scholarships for members at any time during the year. We are working with the Murphy Institute to expand the educational opportunities for our members throughout the CUNY system.
We are conducting civil service test preparation sessions during the Spring of 2016. Executive Director Linda Barnes completed the first session for Administrative Parks and Recreation Manager on May 6, 2016. The session for Administrative Engineer is scheduled May 23 through May 27, 2016. An additional session will be held May 31 through June 3, if warranted.
We are currently in dialogue with the Management Benefits Fund regarding both dental benefits enhancement and service improvements with Healthplex.
Voluntary Insurance Program for Currently Employed Members
MEA membership has provided the opportunity to purchase enhanced insurance coverage. These new benefits, called the Voluntary Insurance Program (VIP), give in service (currently employed) members comprehensive options and greater choice to meet their individual lifestyle and family security needs. They have been designed to enhance and complement the benefits already in place through the Management Benefits Fund.
Our members will have access to an outstanding portfolio of voluntary benefits, all offered on a guaranteed-issue basis (i.e., no exams, no tests or even medical questions). Members will not be turned down for coverage regardless of past or present health problems. Universal Life Insurance with Long Term Care Benefits and Lay-off Waiver, Short-term Disability Income Protection plan and Discount Dental and Vision plans are immediately available to our members. In 2014, a Critical Illness Benefit was offered and an Identity Theft Benefit is currently being evaluated.
Financial Planning Seminars
We are conducting financial planning seminars this Spring. The topics include First Time Home Buyers and Trusts and Estate Planning.
T.I.P. Club, the MEA sponsored Toastmasters International Organization is approaching its fifth anniversary. T.I.P. Club members acquire the necessary skills to be effective speakers and qualified leaders through the Competent Communicator and the Competent Leader programs. At T.I.P. Club, members are supportive and enthusiastic, providing constructive criticism and advice for improvement in the areas of Communication and Leadership. MEA members from different agencies throughout the City gather twice a month to share their talents and learn from each other.
MEA members respect each other as City Managers and share expertise and knowledge garnered collectively over the years. On different occasions, T.I.P. Club leadership invite experienced Toastmasters to speak at T.I.P. to help motivate members to higher expectations. T.I.P. Club members also participate in Club, Area, Division, and District level speech contests conducted throughout the year. These events allow T.I.P. Club members to meet and network with other Toastmasters and guests throughout the City allowing T.I.P. members to experience the ‘pulse’ of the City that we serve.
At T.I.P. our motto is "WE CLAP A LOT", and our members give us a lot to clap about! T.I.P. achieved Distinguished Club status for the (2011-2012) and (2012-2013) terms. T.I.P. attained Select Distinguished Club level for the (2013-2014) and (2014-2015) term. As ‘Toastmasters in Progress’, a term coined by the first president, T.I.P. aspires to achieve the highest distinguished club status, President Distinguished Club, in future terms. T.I.P. scheduled its Fifth Annual Awards Dinner for Monday June 20, 2016 at the Beekman Pub. All are welcome to join our celebration. For more information, visit www.tipclub.toastmastersclubs.org or call the MEA office.
All MEA members are entitled to unlimited pension counseling. Just call the MEA office at 212-964-0035 to arrange your appointments.
NYC MEA Career Development Program
The New York City Managerial Employees Association Career Development Program (CDP) was incorporated as a 501 ( c ) ( 3) on December 14, 2011.The purpose of this corporation is to solicit tax deductible grants and contributions for financial support and informational assistance in furtherance of career development programs for the benefit of managerial employees working in various mayoral and non-mayoral agencies who are career public servants dedicating their energy and skills to providing quality services to the people of New York. The corporation seeks to help our members in their efforts to improve their skills and enrich their knowledge while increasing potential for career advancement by providing tuition reimbursement for qualified programs and courses that relate directly to member’s service careers; assistance with preparation of civil service exams by providing study guides and other test preparation materials as well as linking those in need to other organization whose purposes are to help individuals improve communication, public speaking and leadership skills. CDP also provides financial assistance for career development programs for dependent children of qualified MEA members.
The CDP now uses MEA and members’ contributions to fund our scholarship and tuition reimbursement programs, as well as the Holiday Scholarship Party. We held our first fund raiser, a HEROES of MEA Dinner, this past Tuesday, June 7th.
Our visibility and communication improvements go hand-in-hand with improving customer service. In 2015, we responded to a total of 379 member concerns involving job–related issues, requests for legal services, benefits and pension services. Under the leadership of Executive Director Linda Barnes, we provided guidance with performance evaluations, adverse managerial decisions, salary and equity adjustments, requests for hearing aids, health club reimbursements, and researching information relating to Medicaid or Medicare.
Joel Fishelson, our representative to the NYC Management Benefits Fund, and Larry Konstan continue to successfully appeal adverse health and benefits claims determination. We encourage our members to contact us regarding such situations. Participation in the Volunteer Corps created by Joel in 2009 continues to grow. We now have 25 members involved in various research projects and organizational activities. Contact us if you want to join the Volunteer Corps.
The financial audit shared with all attendees tonight describes sound financial condition of the MEA. Our cash reserves meet the accepted standards of three months’ reserves. Revenues continue to increase, as do the members’ services they pay for. These include legal services, pension counseling, free subscription to The Chief, improved website, four newsletters a year, and increased publicity.
MEA elections were completed in 2015. President Stu Eber, Executive Vice President Shelly Shulman and Director-at-Large Carol David were reelected. The new officers are Treasurer Edgar Landas, Recording Secretary Sherri Porcu and Director-at-Large Marie Delus. Their terms of office are January 1, 2016 – December 31, 2018.
We are conducting biannual elections for every chapter director, assistant chapter director and recording secretary in 2016, as required in our bylaws. Executive Vice President Shelly Shulman and Executive Director Linda Barnes have once again done a fabulous job of fulfilling this important responsibility.
MEA officials are now visiting members and prospective members during field visits. Over 500 visits have been made since January 2010 and 98 interactive events were held in 2015.
Informational meetings conducted by Executive Director Linda Barnes and the elected officers feature discussions of benefits, compensation and agency specific issues. These sessions are held in every agency’s field offices; members have opportunities to ask questions and set the agenda.
We plan to begin to upgrade the web site this year. The newsletter is published quarterly, focusing on our members’ achievements and concerns.
We will continue meeting with elected officials to discuss the problems managers face, such as salary compression, MBF issues and promotional opportunities.
Above all, we respect ourselves and our fellow managers based on the tremendous contribution we all make to this City. Respect is a mutual process. If we want all those in our chain of command to respect us, we must do the same. MEA is not a union. It is an association of professional managers across all municipal agencies with an incredible array of skills, education, experience and community service.