President’s Report November 2020

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President’s Report

November 18, 2020

First Amendment litigation – Oren Barzilay vs City of NY
The FDNY is attempting to control and violate our First amendment right of speaking with the press on issues that impact our members.
The Corporation Counsel attorney representing the FDNY on the cases has attempted to slow down the processing of the case. However, our
attorneys have now confirmed depositions will be held on November 30, and December 1, 4, 9 and 11.

Contract – NYC economy tanking is no surprise, with most businesses still not fully operational, tax revenue has significantly dropped. The city is already crying they’re broke.
We have asked dc37 to engage OLR regarding some costs and savings discussed at the last meeting we held, and requested to move forward in negotiations. We are awaiting a response from the city.

Legislation – with Albany being closed for most of the session for year 2020, our current pending bills will have to be reintroduced in 2021, we will start working on our legislation agenda in the coming weeks.
Bills such as 22.5 pension for EMS, 25 & out for our fire inspectors, and we will make an attempt on addressing our uniform status through legislation. We will work on additional bills once the session is open.
PTSD Legislation for front line workers.
On the Governor’s desk, he has until November to sign legislation into law. BILL NUMBER: Al0629A

Layoffs – The past few weeks we have been dealing with the threats of layoffs. On Sept 3, DC37 held a rally at foley square, telling the Mayor there are other options available, such as early retirement incentive, borrowing funds from the state, selling city bonds, before laying off employees. Our responsibility as union leaders is first and foremost to protect the jobs of our members, we are proud to announce that District Council 3 7 and the City of New York agreed to a No Layoff for Union Members through June 2021.

FPI – The local has filed a grievance against the FDNY for taking away the CO meters, a life saving piece of equipment. We will update when more information becomes available.

FPI – The local has filed a grievance against the FDNY for asking our members to do out of title work by asking our members to maintain the depts xerox machines. We will update when more information becomes available.

FPI – Council hearing – Yesterday Michael Reardon did a great job on his testimony regarding the hard work the FPI are doing across the city keeping our city safe. Michael also testified on how the city should utilize other resources to do the COVID task force as less safety inspections are being conducted cw. We hope to see the dept change its ways of utilizing our FPI members.

Sick Leave – On Sept 3 we held a meeting at our union hall with Chief Bonsignore and Chief Suriel to discuss the current sick leave issue the dept is facing during the weekends. On average every weekend, particularly Sundays we are running down over 100 tours. In contrast our in service CW is 73% while the voluntarys is at 95%. We discussed possible options that we will need to negotiate in order to correct this issue before we start losing ground to needed tours by the FDNY. It will be extremely difficult to gain more municipal ground should this trend continue.

3M Masks – When our city was plagued with COVID-19. The union demanded the FDNY implement utilization of better personal protective equipment for our members, to prevent the widespread of this communicable disease among EMS, Over 1,500 members fell ill, four died and three took their own life. We are glad it’s here. Unfortunately, it took 7 months to finally get here. The price we paid to get us this vital life-saving equipment was too high.

QTRG – The union has filed a grievance against the FDNY for asking our QTRG members to carry spare uniforms in the truck and change into a clean uniform at the nearest stations, it is our position that members should change into a clean uniform at their home station where everything is kept clean including showering/sanitary products are kept.

Symptom Tracker – The union has filed a grievance against the FDNY for no compensation when members submit this mandated request prior to their shift.
The union has also placed an inquiry with our FLSA attorneys regarding this matter.
We will update when more info becomes available.

Mental Health EMS Pilot – Last week the Mayor announced a new initiative that would have EMS and a social worker respond to certain mental health calls.
It is clear that New York City is facing a mental health crisis, with many emotionally disturbed individuals (ED) living on city streets, in shelters and neighborhoods everywhere.

The Board of EMS Local 2507 is willing to begin discussions about this new City Hall ED working group theory, but let’s be clear, we must have a full seat and voice at the table, along with significant discussions about safety and security for our members, as well as fair compensation for the new and extraordinary risks they are being asked to take.

Currently, each ED call in the City is dispatched through NYPD and is identified as high-risk to the responders, due to the uncertain mental and emotional condition of the subject of the emergency call. The de Blasio Administration is now asking our members, some barely paid above the minimum wage, to step into this even higher risk role, without physical protection.

The physical and psychological safety of FDNY EMS responders must be the first priority, but the city must also do much more to be sure that our own members can access PTSD counseling, not currently available to them, and there is no further excuse for the poverty wages this dedicated EMS workforce is forced to accept.

FDNY EMS members always put the health of our fellow New Yorkers ahead of our own, particularly during the current pandemic, which is significantly impacting our union workforce, many of whom have become sick or died as result.
Here is what we know so far –

  • 2 bls units will be designated to this pilot.
  • 8 hour tours for tour 2 and tour 3.
  • A 6% differential was mentioned but not discussed or agreed yet.
  • 2 week mental health training will be given to our members.
  • NYPD (unknown if will respond to standby outside)
  • 1 supervisor will respond along with the crew.
  • Pilot will start in February and end in August.
  • low acuity EDP calls only.

We understand there are many questions and concerns, the union hasn’t agreed to anything at this time. We are awaiting to hear the dept and city plans on how they intend to implement this.

There are 4 phases, planning phase, training phase, execution phase, implementations. Once we get more details we will share it with you.
Stay safe and look out for each other.

Oren Barzilay
FDNY EMS Local 2507

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