FINAL LETTER TO THE MEMBERSHIP
Submitted by Stephen M. Ferrer, President
December 31, 2009
First of all I want to wish all Members of MEA a happy and healthy new year. It has been my honor and privilege to have served you as your President for the past six productive years. I am proud of our accomplishments during my tenure. Managers have seen unprecedented gains in salaries and benefits and the MEA has gained increased prestige and influence within the Mayor’s Office and with Agency Commissioners.
RECORD OF ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Salaries: Prior to my presidency, agency heads were given the discretion to grant varying percentage increases to managers. Some agencies even exempted individual managers from receiving any salary adjustment by giving 0%. I vigorously and successfully fought for across the board salary increases.
Access to the Mayor’s Office: It is extremely important to establish a formal working relationship through which the MEA is able to discuss issues of concern to its members directly with the Mayor’s Office. I established this relationship with the Deputy Mayor for Operations and meetings are held on a regular basis or as issues arise. In 2009 this forum was used to convince the Mayor to issue an Executive Order authorizing across the board retroactive raises for most New York City managers.
Legal Services Benefit: During my presidency, the MEA established for the first time a legal services benefit plan for MEA members. MEA’s counsel now provides members with legal representation at disciplinary hearings and any legal issue referred by the MEA President or Executive Director. In addition MEA now offers non-job related services which provides for both active and retired members free consultations and reduced fees for a variety of civil and criminal matters.
Educational and Career Advancement Initiatives: I introduced tuition reimbursement for members by partnering with DCAS to offer an exciting educational opportunity - undergraduate and graduate courses through the City University of New York’s Murphy Institute. This program provides members with a solid background in government, the policy-making process, and public administration. I negotiated with DCAS to introduce the “Lessons in Leadership” seminar series. These customized, two-hour end-of-the-workday seminars are designed to assist members in learning how to manage more effectively while discovering new approaches and solutions for the many challenges they face at work. I introduced and served as an instructor for Civil Service Test Preparation courses held for MEA members to ensure their protective civil service status. The MEA Scholarship program was expanded to include grants for members as well as their children. MEA also increased the number of scholarships and the amount of money awarded.
The MEA Web Site: Under my stewardship, MEA members now receive news and information in an easy to read and navigable format. We have links to other sites such as the Management Benefits Fund – information you need at your fingertips.
Membership Growth: The lifeblood of any organization is its membership. A priority of my administration has been growing the organization despite the challenges we face. To illustrate this commitment, MEA membership has increased by more than 25% during my tenure.
Fiscal Responsibility: In the absence of a full time Executive Director, I managed the MEA Office in addition to my presidential duties in 2008. This resulted in a savings of more than $50,000 and consequently MEA cash reserves are now nearly 30% higher than they were when he took office in 2004.
Democracy in Action: I encouraged MEA By-Law revision efforts which brought increased member involvement and improved democratic practices.
Stephen M. Ferrer