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5-16-2013
MEA PRESIDENT'S REPORT 2013



PRESIDENT'S REPORT 2013

New York City Managerial Employees Association
General Membership Meeting, June 13, 2013

The New York City Managerial Employees Association has grown by 36% in the three years since my election as 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 2012. 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.


Recruitment

Our recruitment efforts are producing results. In the past 16 months, we have recruited enough new members to reach the minimum 25 members required to form a chapter in the department of Corrections, Department of Citywide Administrative Services, Finance Department, Financial Information Services Administration and the School Construction Authority. Our total membership was 2,733 as of December 31, 2012.



Compensation


The Mayor and the collective bargaining units have been unable to conduct productive negotiations for higher salaries. We maintain our position: 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. We are particularly concerned about the Department of education and School Construction Authority managers. In December of 2009, Schools Chancellor Joel Klein decided to partially fund raises for all eligible employees (based on the rules in the Mayoral directive governing the 4% and 4% increases on 2008 and 2009 salaries). He obligated the Department of Education to pay up to the first $2,828 of the salary increase for eligible employees in fiscal years 2010 and 2011. This meant that for eligible employees with a base salary of $70,000 or less, raises at 2% and 2%. All eligible employees with a base salary above $70,000 received a total raise of $2,828. For the payments retroactive to 2008 and 2009, he funded these one-time retroactive payments at 2% and 2% for eligible employees with a base salary of $70,000 or less.



Director at Large Cynthia Vail is coordinating our Managerial Pay Plan initiative that is addressing the historical problems of salary compression and diversity. We have asked this 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.

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.

Voluntary Insurance Program

MEA membership has been significantly enhanced with the availability of new supplemental benefits since 2011. 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 2013.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 – hundreds of members enrolled for the sessions. The 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

T.I.P. Club, the MEA sponsored Toastmasters International Organization is approaching its second anniversary. T.I.P. Club members acquire the necessary skills to be great speakers and better leaders through the Competent Communicator and the Competent Leadership programs. At T.I.P. Club, members are supportive and enthusiastic, providing construction criticism and advice for improvement in the area 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 offer the expertise and knowledge that has been garnered collectively over the years. On several occasions MEA’s club was visited by other, more experienced, Toastmasters that guide the club to higher expectations. T.I.P. Club also participates in the District level speech contests that are conducted throughout the year. These events allow T.I.P. Club members to meet and network with other Toastmasters throughout the City assisting us to know the ‘pulse’ of the City that we serve. As a current Distinguished Club, we are striving to continue our status and seek to achieve the next higher status of Select Distinguished Club. The Second Annual Awards Dinner is scheduled to be held on June 27th.

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 2012, we responded to a total of 296 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. 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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