President’s Report – March 2021

 President’s Report
March 3, 2021

 Contract – On Feb 8 we had a virtual meeting with the city to continue discussions on achieving parity pay for our membership. The focus of these meetings are strictly economic discussions, we will get to benefits and non economic issues later on, we are working tirelessly on getting our members a livable wage contract. We are also working behind the scenes as well with our political friends to help us achieve this goal. Our next contract negotiations meeting is scheduled for March 11, 2021. 

 Legislation – 2021 agenda 

 *Covid-19 presumptive bill – presumption for accidental disability retirement and accidental death benefits. The bill has come back from actuary and is awaiting a bill number. 

*25 & out for FPI – awaiting fiscal note 

*22 & out for EMS – awaiting fiscal note 

*Chp 96 reimbursements – awaiting draft 

*NYCERS – Buy back legislation awaiting bill 

 The following bills have now passed in both houses: 

 S4681(Gounardes)/A3988(Abbate)— provides accidental death benefits to the statutory beneficiaries of all public employees (state and local) who worked on or after March 1, 2020, contracted COVID-19, and died of COVID-19 on or before December 31, 2022. 

S2588A(Gounardes)/A3354B(Fall)— grants public employees four hours of excused leave to receive the coronavirus vaccine. 

In Senate – 

S4961(Gounardes) An act to amend the retirement and social security law, in relation to including certain employees who were employed in public service but became members of a retirement system at a later date for eligibility for those who participated in the World Trade Center rescue, recovery or cleanup operations 

 EMS EEOC Litigation – We submitted our Rebuttal to our charge approximately 6 months ago. Since that time obviously there have been a lot 

of changes in the federal government’s administration and its priorities. Recently the EEOC has been actively investigating the matter which is a good sign. It means they are treating our case as a matter of interest. The EEOC conducted interviews last week. They are following up with requests for additional information, also a good sign, which we are providing to them. We have been actively working with them and hope to hear more next month. 

FPI EEOC – Last month the City asked Judge Torres to dismiss some or all the claims in our case. The judge has not yet ruled on that request. We will let you know her decision as soon as it is issued. In the meantime, the lawyers have been engaged in “discovery.” 

The judge has just altered the parties’ plans. She gave both sides until only the end of April to complete fact discovery, and another 1 ½ months to complete “expert” discovery, before we file a motion for class certification. Class certification is critical to your case. Normally lawsuits are brought only on behalf of the named plaintiffs – in this case the five individual plaintiffs and Local 2507. In a class certification motion the plaintiffs must persuade the judge that they meet the criteria to represent an entire class of people – in this case all fire protection and associate fire protection inspectors – and not just themselves. 

We will update our members as the case moves forward. 

Union Dues – By now you probably noticed your dues increased by roughly 60c, the increase is set every year by the international. 

Yadira Arroyo – the court hearing is March 23 please make efforts to attend in person or if virtual, we will know in the coming days. Spread the word, we must keep attending and supporting the family. 

View as PDF

Oren Barzilay 
FDNY EMS Local 2507