PRESIDENT'S REPORT 2017
General Membership Meeting
June 15, 2017
- Paid Parental Leave -. Counsel Stuart Salles filed a lawsuit and an Article 78 on behalf of our members on May 9, 2016 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 give backs, we filed the lawsuit and Article 78. NY State Supreme Court dismissed the case late last year. Counsel is filing the appeal this month.
- Strategic Plan - The Executive Board continues to implement our Strategic Plan to move the organization and our members forward.
- Recruitment - For Calendar Year 2016, we ended the year by enrolling 471 new members bringing our total membership to 3,259 managers.
- 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.
- Toastmasters International - T.I.P. Club, the MEA sponsored Toastmasters International Organization is approaching its sixth 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. The CDP continues to fund our scholarship and tuition reimbursement programs.
- 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 and Officers - MEA chapter elections were completed in 2016. President Stu Eber
is resigning effective June 30, 2017. Executive Vice President Shelly Shulman will become President in accordance with the bylaws. Both chapter elections and MEA officer elections will be held in 2018.
- Visibility – MEA officials are now visiting members and prospective members during field visits. Over 500 visits have been made since January 2010 and 104 interactive events were held in 2016.
Paid Parental Leave
The most significant event in the past two years 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.
MEA Counsel Stuart Salles filed a lawsuit and an Article 78 proceeding on May 9, 2016 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. “The Mayor’s elimination of previously granted pay raises and annual leave is arbitrary and capricious,” according to the lawsuit, which called the new policy “a breach of contract.”
The Court disagreed, saying that managers had no “contractual rights to prevent the City from modifying its policies.
MEA’s lawsuit also said that the PPL “discriminates against older workers.” Veteran city managers with at least 15 years of service will lose vacation days to pay for the PPL. Many of these senior managers are more than 45 years old and are less likely to benefit from the PPL
The Court disagreed again, saying that “petitioners are not being placed in a less favorable position thanyounger employees.”
Mr. Salles is filing the appeal this month.
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:
- To increase active membership by 15% annually.
- To develop and obtain improved employee benefits and compensation.
- To improve finances by exploring innovative funding resources.
- To improve, develop and implement new MEA members-only benefits.
- To improve agency operations for managers.
- To improve and develop better communications and publicity techniques.
We ended Calendar Year 2016 increasing our membership level to 3,259. Collective bargaining accretion, agency restructuring activities and member career decisions resulted in a slight drop between our 2015 and 2016 totals for new enrollments. Comparatively, Year 2016 yields a 35% increase over our 2009 baseline (2,108 members). We are proud to maintain our year-to-date records of excellence.
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 22 scholarships, a record number, at our 2016 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 continue to engage with the Management Benefits Fund regarding both dental benefits enhancement and service improvements with Healthplex. The Committee sponsored a presentation by DCAS regarding how to accurately complete Education and Experience exam applications and another by the Comptroller’s Office regarding how to compute your annual and sick leave when you retire.
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.
T.I.P. Club, the MEA sponsored Toastmasters International Organization is approaching its sixth anniversary. Toastmasters International is an award winning communication and leadership program that currently has over 345,000 members in 15,900 clubs throughout 142 countries.
This year our Officers faced many challenges and saw many changes which in turn impacted our Club. As agencies have put more pressure on our Managers and mergers have impacted our members, it has been a challenge to continue to meet and have meaningful meetings. But as City Managers and Toastmasters we face adversity with renewed purpose and forge ahead.
We have formed an alliance with another seasoned Toastmaster Club - JADE Toastmasters - and are holding joint meetings. As of this writing, we have met together 3 times and it has brought an energy and enjoyment to the meeting, as well as a fresh perspective to our education program within Toastmasters. It has truly been a win-win for both clubs.
Tyrone Morrison of the Comptrollers Office, a Charter member, competed in the International Speech contest and made it all the way to the Division level. That is quite an accomplishment! TIP is confident that the next time he will make it all the way to the International World Championship Contest.
In celebration of our Sixth Anniversary we are having a dinner to commemorate the occasion and celebrate our members. The dinner is being planned for June, the last month of our Toastmaster Year.
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 dedicate their careers 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;
- Test preparation services. The office develops study guides and holds exam prep sessions to help our managers pass their civil service exams;
- Referral services to help our members improve their communication, public speaking and leadership skills;
CDP also provides scholarships 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, June 7, 2016 and plan on holding similar events this year.
We responded to 409 issues brought to our attention by concerned members, in 2016. This reflected a 7.9% increase in conflicts to resolve that involved work-related, legal, pension and benefit matters. In the winter edition of our newsletter, we focused upon some of the success stories that we experienced from helping our members. Executive Director Linda Barnes worked on an issue with one member, who was so pleased with MEA’s intervention, he provided a record-breaking donation to the organization’s Career Development Program. The MEA cannot favorably resolve every problem, and we do not purport to do so. We show our members: We’ve Got Your Back, and they respond by letting us know they appreciate our efforts.
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 and Officers
We conducted 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 once again have done a fabulous job of fulfilling this important responsibility.
I respectfully resigned as President of the New York City Managerial Employees Association effective June 30, 2017. Executive Vice President Shelly Shulman will become President in accordance with our Bylaws.
Both chapter elections and MEA officer elections will be held in 2018.
Enhancing the MEA’s image has been a consistent focus each year. This issue is extremely important to us, because our members need to know that we relate to them and we are accessible. In 2016, we were involved in 104 activities (98 in 2015) resulting in direct interaction with members for lunch and learn sessions, collaborative discussions with agency leaders, seminars, special events and advocacy. We increased our visibility efforts by an additional 6%.
Communication has become a major strategy for raising our profile and building a strong brand name among our members. In 2016, we shared 37,820 document transmissions, using the postal service or electronic methods. We provided notifications regarding changes or additions to City policies (PPL), generated quarterly newsletters, training and seminar communication, and invitations to special events. Our communication as well as face-to-face efforts have resulted in a more positive connection to our members. Going forward, we are considering increasing our membership through social media and enhanced website tools. We will not rule out strategies to effectively utilize print, radio, and television media.
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.