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Minutes of the December 17, 2010 General Membership Meeting

The meeting was called to order by President Stu Eber at 3:00 PM. Approximately 15 members attended.
The minutes of the September 23 General Membership Meeting were accepted unanimously.
President Eber described the activities MEA is planning for 2011 to improve member services and grow the organization. The key element is to increase visibility by scheduling informational meetings in as many work locations as possible. We will also hire a Field Representative to help members with their health benefits and to recruit new members. The Organization Committee, under the leadership of Joel Fishelson, is exploring possible new members-only benefits, including dental and vision benefits for members who use non-network providers, short term disability insurance and group life insurance. The website and newsletter will be upgraded in 2011. The Organization Committee plans to schedule more Financial Seminars in 2011.
Executive Director Linda Barnes discussed the major accomplishments of 2010. There are 2,352 members as of November 30, 2010 – 1,944 active and 408 retirees. 478 new members have been enrolled in 2010. We have improved communications with the membership through an expanded and improved newsletter and website. We are building an MEA email data base. We have upgraded our relationship with the Deputy Mayor’s Office and the Office of Labor Relations. We will focus on CityTime as a major issue in 2011.
Retiree Chapter member Stu Leibowitz discussed the threat to pensions, health benefits , Social Security and Medicare. Elected officials in Washington, Albany and City Hall are all targeting these hard won benefits. Social security is currently good through 2037, although we do not know the effect of the reduction in employee Social security contributions. Governor –elect Andrew Cuomo may call for a State Constitutional Convention where many employee and retiree rights could be eliminated, including defined benefits pensions. Mayor Bloomberg continues to want employees and retirees to offset 10% of the City’s $4 billion health benefits costs.
Department of Environmental Protection Chapter Director Carol Brooks canvassed the meeting for volunteers to help design and present the curricula for the upcoming Administrative Engineer exam. There are many provisionals in the title; they are located in Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan. We will need multiple locations and instructors.
Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Assistant Chapter Director Wanda Newton and member Norma Nieves-Blas asked if MEA was preparing test prep for the upcoming Administrative Health Services Manager exam. Executive Director Linda Barnes said we were providing those classes.
The meeting adjourned at 4:15 PM.

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