New York City Managerial Employees Association
General Membership Meeting, June 2011
The New York City Managerial Employees Association has grown by 18% since I was elected President in January 2010. This growth is the product of the hard work by the elected officials and the MEA office staff. We work together every day to provide our members with quality services. We have visited hundreds of managers in their work sites, listening to their concerns and answering their individual questions. We work with all relevant officials to resolve individual situations and City-wide issues
Since Jan 2010, more than 500 new members have been recruited, resulting in a net increase of 385. We have 2,480 members as of April 30, 2011.This has been accomplished in the face of losses to unionization.
New and aggressive educational strategies have been employed, including targeted mailings and hiring a Field Representative who meets on site with members on a one-to-one basis to help them navigate the benefits systems.
MEA officials are now visiting members and prospective members during field visits. Almost 100 visits have been made since January 2010. 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.
MEA recognizes the City has lost billions of dollars in federal and State funding. We maintain our position on compensation: Obtain ongoing across the board salary increases for all satisfactory or better managers at the same rate or higher and at the same time if not sooner than collective bargaining employees..
The Organization Committee, under the leadership of Joel Fishelson, continues to improve, develop and implement new MEA members’ only benefits. MEA members-only scholarships and educational opportunities have been expanded. Under our "open enrollment policy", effective September,2011 member scholarships may be applied for at any time for courses related to their career goals. We are working with the Murphy Institute to expand the MEA tuition reimbursement program’s course offerings.
Financial Planning Seminars
The four Financial Planning Seminars we held last Fall were overwhelmingly successful - a total of over 400 members attended the sessions. We are developing an expanded curriculum for this year’s seminars. Topics will include pensions, deferred compensation plans, life insurance, Social security, income taxes and other related areas.
Equitable increases were received by managers in all agencies with just two exceptions .Two agencies were beset by budget woes but after MEA advocacy, managers did receive raises.
Dialogue has been established with the executive leadership teams in all agencies. Ongoing meetings are held with City Hall and the Comptrollers office to bring critical issues to the fore.
The financial audit shared with all attendees tonight describes the improvements by both the MEA office staff and our elected officials, particularly Treasurer Warren Lewis. 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, a field representative and increased publicity.
The Executive Board is developing a Strategic Plan to move the organization and our members forward over the next two years. The plan addresses the following areas:
1. To increase active membership by 10% 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.
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 want to 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 to them. MEA is not a union. It is an association of professional managers across all municipal agencies with an incredible array of skills, education, and experience and community service.