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President's Report (June 2010)

President’s Report June 2010

The New York City Managerial Employees Association is aggressively addressing the issues our members are dealing with during the current fiscal crisis. We have met twice with the Department of Citywide Administrative Services regarding layoff policies and remain in contact with them to discuss members’ questions. We have advocated for a 25/55 re-opener and for a 25/55 buyout. With many rumors circulating throughout the City about layoffs, it is important that we maintain this conduit between the managers and DCAS.

Every agency received a target from OMB. They have the flexibility to use Other Than Personnel Services reductions rather than attrition, headcount reductions or layoffs. Each agency has the authority to determine which titles and how many employees will be targeted for layoffs. Each agency has assigned its highest personnel officer, general counsel and EEO officer to work with DCAS to ensure all existing civil service laws and procedures are followed in this process. Managers in competitive titles are not treated differently under the law.

Each agency presents DCAS with a list of employees within the titles they intend to have layoffs. DCAS will be vetting all lists to determine the permanent civil service title of all the individuals. Provisional’s will be the first to go. Step up provisional’s revert to their permanent civil service title. Pure provisional’s will be terminated. There is no seniority/juniority for provisional’s. Probationary employees are next. The most junior is the first to be laid off; the most senior is the last. Permanent employees within the title are the last to go, following the same inverse seniority order as Probationary employees.

We have scheduled and held a series of informational meetings with members and non-members (to recruit them) throughout the City to discuss benefits and other relevant topics, as well as answer any questions during or after the session. We have met with managers in the Administration for Children’s Services, Comptroller’s Office, Department of Buildings, Department of Education, Department of Homeless Services, Department of Transportation, Health and Hospitals Corporation, New York City Housing Authority and Police Department. Our increased field presence helps us understand what managers are thinking and saying. We intend to expand these office visits to other City locations, with particular emphasis on the Department of Education and the Health and Hospitals Corporation.

Many members have expressed concerns regarding benefits provided by the Management Benefits Fund. We are very appreciative of the MBF’s rapid response, particularly sending their representative to discuss these benefits with us at tonight’s General Membership Meeting. We are pleased to have met with Office of Labor Relations Commissioner James Hanley, Associate Commissioner Renee Campion and Georgette Gestely, Director, Tax-Favored Benefits & Citywide Programs to discuss preserving and improving the programs provided by the MBF.

We are also optimistic our meetings with Comptroller John Liu and New York City Housing Authority Chairman John Rhea will yield the 4% and 4% raises their managers did not receive in 2009. Managers earning above $90,000 in the Comptroller’s Office did not receive the raises while all those earning less than $90,000 did receive the raises. No managers in NYCHA received raises while their unionized subordinates received the same raises as their Mayoral agency counterparts. We are very disappointed that Department of Education Chancellor Joel Klein has not responded to his managers’ requests to be made whole for these raises. No manager in DOE received more than 2% and 2%.

MEA enjoys a positive working relationship with the Mayor’s Office. We are sorry to see Deputy Mayor Edward Skyler leave, but look forward to continuing the dialog with his replacement, Stephen Goldsmith. We recently met with newly appointed Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Cas Holloway, who welcomed MEA into his work home and agreed to help us schedule an informational lunch time meeting for members and non-members.

We have accomplished significant progress in our ability to communicate effectively with our members. We are steadily moving to reduce our members’ sense of isolation. The MEA newsletter will now be published four times a year instead of twice a year. The expanded coverage of members, their issues, and their accomplishments on the job and in the community is augmented by the new, open layout. Our Website is also being improved, both in terms of content and format.

All of these efforts have helped MEA retain and grow our membership. There were 2,109 members as of December 31, 2009. Today, there are 2,194 members.

We intend to work smarter and harder during the coming months. We will continue to enhance our field presence and meet with both members and senior management to advocate for the important issues facing managers every day. We want raises in 2010 and in the future in a timely and equitable manner. We do not want to wait nine months or more after the unionized staff we supervise receive their raises to receive ours.

We will begin scheduling a series of member’s only financial analysis and planning seminars this Fall. We want our members to have the information they need to make life-time choices before they are collecting their pensions, when they can maximize their options for a rewarding retirement.

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 want to 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 to them. 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.

Stuart Eber

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