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6-15-2012
PRESIDENT'S REPORT

New York City Managerial Employees Association
President’s Report
General Membership Meeting June 14, 2012

The New York City Managerial Employees Association has grown by 32% since I was elected President in January 2010. This growth is the product of the hard work by the elected officials, the Executive Board, the MEA Executive Director, and 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.

Dialogue has been established with the executive leadership teams in all agencies. Ongoing meetings are held with City Hall and the Comptroller’s office to bring critical issues to the fore.

Strategic Plan

The Executive Board is implementing our Strategic Plan to move the organization and our members forward during 2011 - 2012. 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.

Recruitment

Since January 2011, more than 500 new members have been recruited, resulting in a net increase of 297 from April 2011. We have 2,777 members as of May 31, 2012.This has been accomplished in the face of losses to unionization and termination.

New and aggressive educational strategies have been employed, including targeted mailings and hiring a Field Representative, Alan Harris, who meets on site with managers on a one-to-one basis to recruit new members and help them navigate the benefits systems.

A key component of recruitment and retention involves chapter revitalization. Executive Vice President Shelly Shulman is leading the effort to conduct timely chapter officer elections and increase attendance at MEA informational meetings throughout every agency and all five boroughs.



Compensation

MEA recognizes the City has lost billions of dollars in Federal and State funding while actually having budget surpluses in recent years. 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.

Director at Large Cynthia Vail is coordinating our Managerial Pay Plan initiative that is addressing the historical problems of salary compression and diversity. We accumulate knowledge and wisdom from our training and everyday experience on the front lines managing the activities required to provide outstanding public service to millions of New Yorkers. Our leadership and management skills provide the direction for the performance of non-managerial staff. Career managers should be identified and compensated fairly and reasonably for the magnitude of their responsibilities.

This failure to attract talented new career civil service managers will continue to exacerbate the problem of too few women and minority managers, particularly at the mid and upper levels.

Economic equity benefits everyone. People perform at their best when they know the playing field is level. Hiring managers from the outside at higher salaries than career employees would receive for promotions is destructive to morale and does not make fiscal sense. The city should look to compensate managers based on civil service exams, job performance measured in annual evaluations, responsibility within managerial level, experience and education.

The MEA continues to advocate for a Managerial Pay Plan that addresses salary compression. All managers should earn more than their subordinates. Every promotion to Level I should guarantee at least a 10% increase.

Benefits

The Organization Committee, under the leadership of Joel Fishelson, continues to improve, develop and implement new MEA members’ only benefits. The committee introduced the Voluntary Insurance Program in 2011. MEA members-only scholarships and educational opportunities have been expanded. We awarded a record number of scholarships at our 2011 Holiday Party. We are offering scholarships for members at any time during the year. We are working with the Murphy Institute to expand the MEA tuition reimbursement program’s course offerings.


Expanded Dental Benefits

The Management Benefits Fund has increased the annual dental benefit maximum from $2,500 to $4,000 and the lifetime orthodontic maximum from $2,500 to $4,000, effective January 1, 2012. We appreciate the MBF recognizing the need to balance the increasing costs of dental services with the financial integrity of the fund. This 60% increase is a significant improvement during these difficult financial times.

We have been working cooperatively for almost ten years to help all managers receive quality dental services at affordable prices. The annual cap and lifetime orthodontic increases represent real dollar savings for our members and their families.


Voluntary Insurance Program

MEA membership has been significantly enhanced with the availability of new supplemental benefits. These new benefits, called the Voluntary Insurance Program (VIP), give members comprehensive options and greater choice to meet their individual lifestyle and family security needs. These new benefits 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:

Educational meetings are being held centrally and at your work locations throughout the 2012.You will be able to ask questions and enroll in the plan that suits your needs.

Financial Planning Seminars

The response to the six Financial Planning Seminars we held last Fall was overwhelming - 600 members enrolled for the sessions. This purpose of these seminars is to impart critical information to our members so they can make financial decisions throughout their career. Topics included pensions, deferred compensation plans, life insurance, Social Security, income taxes and other related areas. We plan to conduct another round of seminars this Fall.

Toastmasters International

On June 30, 2011, MEA as sponsor with twenty-one MEA members formed a Toastmasters International Organization club named T.I.P. The Toastmasters International Organization is a world renowned organization that is dedicated to providing club members the opportunity to improve their skills in oral communication and leadership. Members are required to perform a variety of speeches at club meetings to advance to different levels of communication and leadership competency. Speakers are evaluated by fellow club members who perform various role responsibilities at these meetings. T.I.P., a club that is exclusively for MEA members, has expanded its membership to over thirty members. As an incentive for MEA members to join, MEA has agreed to fund the first six months of membership fee for each new T.I.P. member. MEA also provides T.I.P. with the use of its headquarters and equipment for meetings. During the course of its first year, T.I.P. has earned Distinguished Club status, and on February 29, 2012 was presented with a Club Charter Certificate by the District 46 Governor in a ceremony held at the MEA Office. T.I.P. is scheduling its first anniversary awards dinner for June 28th.

Pension Counseling

Effective August 1, 2011, 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 was incorporated on December 14, 2011.The purpose of this corporation is to solicit 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 will also provide financial assistance for career development programs for dependent children of qualified MEA members.

Member Services
Our visibility and communication improvements go hand-in-hand with improving customer service. In 2011, we responded to a total of 304 member concerns involving job –related issues, requests for legal services, benefits and pension services. We provided guidance with performance evaluation and adverse managerial decisions, salary adjustments for performance in acting capacities, requests for hearing aids, health club reimbursements, and researching information relating to Medicaid or Medicare. A process for monitoring member satisfaction using quality assurance techniques is under development.

Fiscal Discipline

The financial audit shared with all attendees tonight describes the improvements by the MEA Executive Director, 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.

Visibility

MEA officials are now visiting members and prospective members during field visits. Over 100 visits have been made since January 2011. 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.

Recording Secretary Michelle Centeno has upgraded the NYC MEA web site to include LinkedIn, Voluntary Insurance Program and The Chief’s Blog tabs. 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, and experience and community service.



  
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