New York City Managerial Employees Association
General Membership Meeting, June 11, 2015
The past twelve months have been historic for the MEA. We now have 3,000 members, an all-time record. When we increase our membership, we increase our influence and prestige as the sole advocate for all managers in New York City government. Each of us needs to reach out to managers who are not members and explain to them why we need to be united, that there is strength in numbers and how the MEA is there for us providing services, education and advocacy. The MEA has your back!
All managers received the same raises as their subordinates, many before the collective bargaining unit members received theirs. The raises were across the board. And managers received a $1,000 bonus. The de Blasio Administration has reopened the door to us with respect and is willing to discuss all relevant issues honestly and with the goal of recognizing and rewarding the indispensable role the managerial work force performs 365 days a year.
We continue to work with the Administration and the non-Mayoral agencies on 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.
• Improving our Management Benefits Fund.
The Executive Board is implementing our Strategic Plan to move the organization and our members forward over the past four years. 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.
For Calendar Year 2014, we ended the year by enrolling 550 new members. Our targeted goal was 600 new members. This is better than our Year 2010 record-breaking achievement of 530 new members. In 2013, we enrolled 343 new members. The 550 new member applications are reflected in a 38% increase in member enrollment since December 2009.
On January 20, 2015, Mayor de Blasio signed off on Mayor’s Personnel Orders 2015/1 and 2015/2 approving across the board salary increases of 10.47% from September 2011 – July 1, 2017 for approximately 10,400 City managers, in the Mayoral agencies. Additionally, the approval also included a $1,000 lump sum payment. The leadership from non-mayoral agencies such as the Comptroller, NYCHA, DOE, SCA, and HHC issued raises to their 6,500 managers and original jurisdiction employees. In 2009, NYCHA, DOE and SCA managers, as well as many mangers in the Comptroller’s Office, did not receive the 4% and 4% COLAs most other managers received.
We have asked the new administration to authorize a revised Pay Plan for Managerial Employees (PPME) that addresses salary compression. We have asked the new administration to authorize a revised Pay Plan for Managerial Employees (PPME) that addresses salary compression. All minimum Level I salaries should be set at least 10% above the immediate lower title’s minimum.
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 17 scholarships, a record number, at our 2014 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 MEA tuition reimbursement program’s course offerings.
We are conducting twelve civil service test preparation sessions during the Spring of 2015, six each for the Administrative Manager and Administrative Staff Analyst exams.
We offered The Write Effect© to members at half cost in 2014. This program helps managers communicate clearly and effectively by emphasizing focus on audience. The attendees all saw improvements by the end of the night.
We analyzed comments from members regarding dental benefits to determine our recommendations to the City for benefit enhancement. Our members report several problems with Healthplex. Their primary concerns are threefold.
1) Benefits do not sufficiently cover the costs charged and, when using an out of network provider no explanation is given as to why 80%, 70% or 50% is decided on as the appropriate coverage for the service provided.
2) Benefit explanations, especially Code N44 (Allowance for alternate procedure), are difficult to understand
3) Payments are not received in a timely fashion
We plan to issue a computer generated Survivor’s Guide for Members and Their Families. This document will allow members to give their heirs a comprehensive inventory of their assets and liabilities.
The Law Offices of Stuart Salles, Esq. provides free legal services to MEA members for job related problems. Stu Salles and his team of attorneys provide guidance and representation for members facing disciplinary charges and other potentially damaging employment sanctions.
We are pleased to announce we are continuing our Legal Services Benefit Program for active and retired members of the NYC Managerial Employees Association, their spouses and their domestic partners now includes our members' children and parents. The Law Offices of Stuart Salles, Esq. continues to provide access to quality services covering a wide range of legal matters that are non-job related. Key components of the program include free consultation, a preferred client rate for additional legal work, and seminars on various legal topics.
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 in service
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.
Educational meetings are being held centrally and at your work locations throughout 2015.You will be able to ask questions and enroll in the plan that suits your needs.
Financial Planning Seminars
We are conducting three financial planning seminars this Spring. The topics include Tweaking Your Managerial Lump Sum Payments, Retirement Planning (ROTH IRAs, etc.) and Survivor’s Guide for Members and Their Families as well as Trusts and Estates.
T.I.P. Club, the MEA sponsored Toastmasters International Organization is approaching its third anniversary. T.I.P. Club members acquire the necessary skills to be effective speakers and qualified leaders through the Competent Communicator and the Competent Leader programs. At T.I.P. Club, members are supportive and enthusiastic, providing constructive criticism and advice for improvement in the areas 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 share expertise and knowledge garnered collectively over the years. On different occasions, T.I.P. Club leadership invites experienced Toastmasters to speak at T.I.P. to help motivate members to higher expectations. T.I.P. Club members also participate in Club, Area, Division, and District level speech contests conducted throughout the year. These events allow T.I.P. Club members to meet and network with other Toastmasters and guests throughout the City allowing T.I.P. members to experience the ‘pulse’ of the City that we serve.
T.I.P. achieved Distinguished Club status for the (2011-2012) and (2012-2013) terms, and this (2013-2014) term, T.I.P. attained the Select Distinguished Club level. As ‘Toastmasters in Progress’, a term coined by this term’s president, T.I.P. aspires to achieve the highest distinguished club status, President Distinguished Club, in future terms. T.I.P. scheduled its Third Annual Awards Dinner for Thursday, June 26, 2014.
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 as a 501 ( c ) ( 3) on December 14, 2011.The purpose of this corporation is to solicit grants and contributions for financial support to enhance the career development of managerial employees providing services in mayoral and non-mayoral agencies throughout the City of New York. The program will help managers to improve their skills and increase their knowledge, as well as potential for career advancement.
The corporation seeks to help our by providing tuition reimbursement for qualified programs and courses that relate directly to the member’s service careers. Assistance is also provided with preparation of civil service exams including study guides and other test preparation materials as well as linking those in need to other organizations whose purposes are to help individuals improve communication, public speaking and leadership skills. CDP also provides financial assistance for career development programs for dependent children of qualified MEA members.
Treasurer Warren Lewis has formed a work group to explore obtaining grants and donations for our CDP. We began an active solicitation plan in 2014. The CDP now uses MEA and members’ contributions to fund our scholarship and tuition reimbursement programs, as well as the Holiday Scholarship Party.
Our visibility and communication improvements go hand-in-hand with improving customer service. In 2013, we responded to a total of 203 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 was initiated in January 2014.
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.
We held elections for every chapter director, assistant chapter director and recording secretary in 2014, as required in our bylaws. This was the first time this many elections were held in one year, a tribute to the efforts of Executive Vice President Shelly Shulman and Executive Director Linda Barnes.
Director-at Large Cynthia Vail resigned in January 2015. The executive Board unanimously elected Carol David of the Department of Homeless services to replace Ms. Vail.
The elections for MEA President, Executive Vice President, Treasurer, Recording Secretary and the two Director-at-Large positions will be held this Fall. The new team will take office January 1, 2016.
MEA officials are now visiting members and prospective members during field visits. Over 450 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.
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, experience and community service.