On Friday February 20, 2009, MEA President Stephen Ferrer, Directors-at-Large Darrell Sims and Joel Fishelson met with the New York City Commissioner of Labor Relations, James Hanley. Also present was OLR Deputy Commissioner Margaret Conner.
The meeting was scheduled to follow up a meeting held with Deputy Mayor Edward Skyler on February 5, 2009. Commissioner Hanley re-iterated the City administration position regarding raises for Managers. He stated that the Office of Labor Relations, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) all recommended to the Mayor that managers receive raises across the board raises for 2008 and 2009. It was now “in the hands of the Mayor’s Office”, stated the Commissioner. This is consistent with the information obtained during the meeting with Deputy Mayor Skyler, when we were informed that ” it was not question of if, it is a question of when” managerial raises will be granted.
During the OLR meeting, the MEA made a formal request to be added to the Board of Trustees of the Management Benefits Fund (MBF). In this way, MEA membership would have more input into the benefits provided. Although he took our Trustee request under advisement, Mr. Hanley agreed to regular meetings of MBF and MEA representatives.
The MEA inquired about the residency agreement announced by the City Council and District Council 37. Deputy Commissioner Conner stated that the city administration was disappointed with the recent legislation that lifted residency requirements only for DC 37 members. Hopefully, the City Council will rectify this inequity by introducing legislation that will affect all employees. The MEA will advocate with the City Council on behalf of managerial employees.
Toward that end, we are currently scheduling meetings with prominent City Council members to discuss residency requirements and support for raises for all managers. Stay tuned for further developments.