Outside of being a husband to my wife Carol and a father to my three sons, serving as the Vice President of the NYC Managerial Employees Association for eight years with Stu Eber and then as your President with Stu as the Senior Advisor for the past four, has been the greatest honor of my lifetime. In that 12-year tenure, we have many accomplishments that I am proud of, but we also continue to have challenges that managers continue to face.
We advocated that managers be given at least the same raises as our subordinates and at least at the same time. In our 12 years, we have been successful in that area. Every time the union employees received raises, managers received the same percentage increases and contributions to the Management Benefits Fund.
During the pandemic, the City forced managers to take a furlough and lose a week’s pay. We fought against that and the City did return the pay though managers lost a week of annual leave. We continue to fight for managers to get back the two days of annual leave they had to give up for Paid Parental Leave. We have not given up on that despite losing our court case. We advocated against layoffs during the COVID-19 pandemic and before there were to be layoffs, we have advocated that there be a buyout. So far, no manager has been laid off because of the crisis. We have advocated that retirees keep their Medicare and health benefits as is.
We also have made it a priority that the MEA become a stronger force to advocate for you. We now have a presence throughout the City that we never had before. We have met with the Office of Labor Relations and many commissioners on your behalf. We have come to every single agency annually to meet with you, our members, and to sign up as many new members as possible to make our organization more effective. We recruited over 5,000 new members. Unionization has severely depleted our ranks, but we still increased our membership from 1,800 in 2009 to a high of 3,300 pre-pandemic.
Our legal services, provided by Stuart Salles, have been very successful in helping members in need of those services. We upgraded a pension counseling service and financial planning seminars that have helped many of you future and present retirees. We initiated the NYC MEA Career Development Program Joel Fishelson Scholarship Award which many of our members and their families have benefited from.
Finally, I ask of you what I always asked you when I met with you at your agency, called you on the phone or sent you an email. There is strength in numbers and in unity. Get more involved, get more active, get your colleagues to join us so we together can help ourselves and our fellow managers to be treated fairly, justly with dignity and respect that we have earned and deserve.
Thank you for everything!
President of the Board