- 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.
- Delegate Jacket Pick Up
All Delegates who did not pick up their jackets at the UFA Delegate Education Seminar should go to Jimmy Dahl today.
1. Special Order of Business: Fire Marshal Representative Candidate Nominations Today
The Candidate Nomination Meeting will take place during today's Union meeting. Candidates who submitted verified signature petitions must be nominated by an active Fire Marshal from the floor.
2. NYC FF Disaster Relief Fund
The application for a one-time grant from the NYC FF Disaster Relief Fund deadline has passed. The board will finish the review process of all applications and expect to have checks mailed in early July. Donations are still being accepted. Any member wishing to donate can go to www.NYCFDDR.org, and make a donation using PayPal.
3. City Budget
The City's fiscal year begins on July 1, 2013. On May 3rd a preliminary budget was announced and once again includes 20 proposed firehouse closings. In the past few years, we have received overwhelming support from the City Council and intend on working closely with them, and other elected officials, to ensure the continued operation of community firehouses. UFA President Cassidy will update members at today's meeting.
4. Political Endorsements
In 2013 there are open seats for all 3 citywide offices, Mayor, Comptroller and Public Advocate. In addition all five Borough President Offices as well as every City Council Seat is up for election. The UFA is in the process of screening candidates for possible endorsement. As in the past the UFA will endorse the candidates that are the most supportive of our issues and best able to advance those issues if elected. Candidates that have responded to our questionnaire have been invited to come in for an interview.
The endorsement of the UFA has always been coveted by candidates seeking office. No candidate has been able to take it for granted. This year is no different. Candidates have been aggressively trying to lock up our endorsement early. There are still unsettled issues in Albany and City Hall that need to be resolved. Firehouse closings, binding arbitration changes, Tier III and other issues are still on the table. The UFA WILL NOT make any endorsements prior to a resolution on these issues. We will time our endorsements so that they will have the greatest impact on the respective races. Any rumors that we have already decided our endorsements are completely false. Primary day is September 10th. We will need all available members to get involved and help get UFA endorsed candidates elected. If you are not registered to vote you can do so by clicking the 'Action Alert' tab on the UFA HOMEPAGE.
5. Dependent(s) Eligibility Verification Audit
During the first week of June 2013 the City of NY Health Benefits Program began to send a Verification letter to all active & retired NYC employees, to verify the eligibility of dependents that are enrolled on member's health plans. Members will be required to provide documents to confirm eligibility of your dependents; such as page 1 of Federal tax return (1040), proof of marriage, copies of birth certificates. Dependents must be verified by September 4, 2013 or they will be removed from the Health Benefits Program.
6. UCT Case Update & Court Ordered Subpoena Against City
In a favorable decision to the UFA and UFOA dated April 30, 2013, the New York State Court of Appeals denied the City's motion which requested permission to appeal to that Court. Specifically, the City was trying to appeal from the Appellate Division, First Department order that denied the City's challenge to the New York Supreme Court order that required the City to produce all drafts and versions of a consulting report prepared by Winbourne Consulting, entitled "911 Call Processing Review."
7. Randomness of Random Drug Testing
A meeting took place with OLR on May 23rd to discuss the City's proposal to the UFA concerning random drug testing. UFA President Cassidy will update the membership today.
8. Firefighters On The Fire Marshal's Promotional List & The Lieutenant's Promotional List
Have You Been Passed Over For Promotion To Fire Marshal? The Department has recently instituted a policy that prevents a firefighter from being promoted to Fire Marshal, if that firefighter's name is also on the Lieutenant's promotional list and 600 names or less from being reached.
The UFA believes this policy to be illegal and we have instituted challenges to it in State Supreme Court and as an unfair labor practice. Those challenges are pending.
We are concerned, however, that the Fire Marshal list may soon expire and firefighters who have been injured by this policy may not have a remedy unless they started a lawsuit before expiration of the list occurs.
Therefore, if your name appears on both the Fire Marshal's and Lieutenant's promotional lists and you have not been promoted to Fire Marshal because of that fact, we recommend that you notify your UFA Borough Trustee immediately, 212-683-4832, so that proper steps can be taken to protect your rights.
9. Social Media Policy/Anti-Hazing Policy
The UFA will be meeting with the Department to discuss new policies concerning social media & Hazing, all members are advised to use common sense and not to put themselves or their company in bad situations.
10. UFA Financial Statement
UFA Treasurer Bob Straub reports that the UFA Biannual Financial Statement was mailed on June 5th to all Firehouses and Delegate home addresses.
11. Marsh Catastrophic Policies Updates
The United States Life Insurance Company in the City of New York (United States Life) believes that your Excess Major Medical /Catastrophic Major Medical plan is a "grandfathered health plan" under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Affordable Care Act). A grandfathered plan can preserve certain basic health coverage that was already in effect when the law was enacted. Marsh will be placing all current Catastrophic insured members into grandfathered status, and will be providing details of its new Catastrophic Policy that will be available to members in the near future. Your current policy is not exempt from Healthcare Reform laws and could not be offered to new enrollees going forward. Marsh reports that while the new plan has some benefit variations, it will still have many of the components that UFA members and their families have counted on for over 25 years. Marsh is now waiting for its filing to be approved by the New York Department of Insurance.
12. Discipline Issues
Delegates are reminded that when a member of their company is arrested or finds themself in a disciplinary issue, whether as a subject or witness and whether it's with BITS, EEO or the Inspector General, you need to call the UFA ASAP. Members should not be calling UFA attorneys on their own concerning such cases (unless it involves an ongoing matter). Your first call should be to the UFA, where the Trustee can determine the next course of action. Call the Trustee of the Day 212-683-4832.
All members should have representation by either a Trustee or legal counsel before & during any interviews by BITS, EEO or the Inspector General. No member should consent to any such interview without such representation, even if they are "assured" by the office seeking the interview that such representation is unnecessary.
Similarly, do not participate in any phone interviews without approval of your Trustee. In almost every case, the Trustee or counsel should also be part of such call.
13. Minimum Staffing Policy Guidelines
All delegates are reminded to be aware of the revised PA/ID 5-74, which went into effect on June 9, 2012. We have also received numerous inquiries from the field regarding the following issues, which have been clarified by the Department as follows:
- MSOT on Vacation: Members on vacation will be permitted to volunteer to work MSOT (formerly titled MMOT) while on vacation. However, the new policy will not permit hiring of such members until MMOT has been offered to all other eligible members who have made themselves available in accordance with hiring preferences spelled out in the policy.
- MSOT Details: Members hired from home are required only to report to their assigned unit by the beginning of the tour (if given prior notice), not the detailed location. The member waiting is entitled to awaiting relief.
- Redline Firefighters: Redlined Firefighters are ineligible to be hired for MSOT (unless approved by the Battalion), therefore they are not required to have a standby.
- FireFighters 45 Below Battalion Average: Any firefighter whose cumulative total of hours worked falls 45 or more hours below the Battalion Average shall not be permitted to make any 24 hour mutuals until such total is within 45 hours of the Battalion Average unless they voluntarily make themselves available for overtime during their off-tours.
- MSOT Hiring Preferences as per PA/ID 5-74:
3.1.1 Firefighters working their second tour of duty.
3.1.2 Firefighters working their first tour of duty and who will be available due to a mutual exchange of tour.
3.1.3 Firefighters working a mutual exchange of tour.
3.1.4 Any other eligible firefighter that the Battalion can contact who is willing to work MSOT other than a firefighter on vacation leave.
3.1.5 Any eligible firefighter on vacation leave.
3.1.6 After all firefighters mentioned above have been canvassed, and if there is no eligible firefighter who can be ordered to perform overtime pursuant to Section 4.2 herein, a firefighter 6th Grade with less than 9 months of service.
14. Proper Hydration
The Health & Safety Office would like to remind all members of the importance of ongoing hydration as the summer months approach. Please remember that "rehab" needs to begin before a fire. It is important to drink plenty of non-caffeinated beverages throughout your tour and before your tour in order to prevent dehydration. By arriving at a fire scene even mildly dehydrated, the stress on your heart will increase significantly. The Health & Safety Office has a "Rehab" handout that you should familiarize yourself with. If you have any questions about this or any other health and safety issue, please contact our office at 212-545-6965.
15. Heat Index for Signal 10-51
The summer heat will be upon us soon. When the Heat Index ('Feels Like' or 'Real Feel' temperature) is 105 degrees or more, a Signal 10-51 is mandated, in accordance with Fire Prevention Manual Chapter 3, Addendum 2. The Heat Index is reported by the National Weather Service (NWS) hourly and is also regularly reported in the media as 'Feels Like' or 'Real Feel' temperature. Exact current 'Feels Like' temperatures (Heat Index and also Wind Chill Index) can be found on the NWS web site at www.srh.noaa.gov/zipcity.php by entering your zip code. The bottom of the UFA website home page also has a weather link to obtain this info. Your on-duty Officer is responsible to make immediate notifications to the Battalion whenever the 'Feels Like' temperature warrants a signal 10-51 and it is not given over the teleprinter.
16. Roster Staffing Case Updates
- Understaffed Unit Injury Reporting: Any member who becomes injured in the Line-of-Duty while working in an *Understaffed Engine or Under/Reduced Staffed Ladder is requested to notify your Delegate. The Delegate or another member of the unit should fax a copy of the Officer's Unusual Occurrence Report (if prepared by your Officer) and any additional pertinent information to the UFA at 212-683-4359 or 212- 683-0710, ATTN: LeRoy McGinnis, Recording Secretary. Immediately notify the UFA if any firefighter or civilian is seriously injured due to this staffing reduction.
*UNDERSTAFFED UNIT: Per AUC 287, any engine or ladder riding with fewer than 4 Firefighters (3 or less) is Understaffed. A ladder riding with 4 Firefighters is defined as 'Reduced Staffed Unit'.
- Riding Early in Understaffed Units--Don't Do It!!!: Department Regulations 11.1.2 require that all members riding must be assigned on the Officer's Riding List. If you are not on the Riding List, you are not permitted to ride. Early relief is only permitted man-for-man, as per Department Regulations 21.1.4, which state "Members may be relieved before roll call for a period not to exceed 60 minutes. Such relief shall be on mutual exchange basis." Members are reminded that you arrive at work early and your unit is still riding understaffed, you are not permitted to ride unless it is an authorized early relief of another FF. UFA MEMBERS DO NOT WORK FOR FREE!!
17. Random Drug Testing Quarterly Report
The FDNY reports that the following units were tested randomly between 01/01/13 and 03/31/13. A total of 77 Units were tested within this period: 39 Engines, 26 Ladders, 8 Battalions, 1 Division, 1 Rescue Company, 1 Squad Companies, and 1 Borough Command. Eight Fire Marshals were also tested within this period. Reports listing each company tested and individual dates are attached. Reports are sorted by both company and chronologically.
18. To Update Your Address, Telephone or Email with the UFA
All members must insure your home address on record at the UFA is current. If it is not current, immediately prepare a 'SBF Change of Address Form' and mail it to the UFA, Attn: SBF, to the address on top of the form. Forms can be obtained from your Delegate, the UFA Website or call the UFA SBF at 212-683-4723.