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NYS BUDGET UPDATE – GREAT NEWS !

PEF Members…Great News!

The final version of the 2018-19 NYS Budget was agreed upon on Friday evening, March 30th. I am proud to announce that ALL of the negative issues, that were designated as PEF budget priorities, have been removed. Highlights include; restoring $78.6 million dollars for SUNY hospital funding, $2 Million dollars for OITS training and rejected the DOCCS proposal to circumvent the PEF contract during disciplinary proceedings.

Additionally, PEF helped insert language that will be instrumental with our Janus v AFSCME fightback preparations. The PEF legislative staff were able to assist in having two (2) very important pieces of legislation added to the budget that will now allow for new member orientation time, union dues collection and duty of fair representation (DFR) limitations – please see A.9509-C/S.7509-C Part RRR below. Click here for a federal budget overview for your records, which was signed last week.

As demonstrated, this team effort of your SWPAC, legislative staff and every member that took the time to visit or contact their local legislator, has culminated in a great 2018 budget for PEF members.

I would like to thank every PEF leader that helped in the 2018 budget member engagement campaign and those that encouraged members to write letters, make phone calls and office visits. Far too often, legislators only hear from constituents for an “ask”, so I would now “ask” that you now take the time to contact those very same legislators and thank them for their support of our union movement.

#WeAreStrongerTogether
In Unity,
Wayne Spence
PEF President

What are some other things member’s can continue to do? 

PEF SFY 2018-2019 BUDGET PRIORITIES:

  • OITS Term Appointments
    Public Protection and General Government (A.9505/S.7505)—Part W
    This bill would authorize up to 300 Information Technology (IT) term appointments for up to 60 months without initial Civil Service examination. Appointments can be extended for an additional 36 months, pending certification of promotional lists.

The proposal circumvents Civil Service Law and prevents promotional opportunities.

Ø PEF Request:             Reject A.9505/S.7505 Part W
Ø Assembly Action:         Rejected A.9505 Part W
Ø Senate Action:             Rejected S.7505 Part W
Ø FINAL ACTION:     REJECTED

  • Freeze on Medicare Part B Reimbursement
    Public Protection and General Government (A.9505/S.7505)—Part Z 
    This bill would amend section 167-a of the Civil Service Law to provide that, effective April 1, 2017, State reimbursement to eligible retirees and their dependents for the Medicare Part B standard premium shall be not exceed $134 per month. While this represents an increase for some, the language provides that any future increases would be subject to negotiations in the state budget, meaning they are far less likely to happen.

Ø PEF Request:             Reject A.9505/S.7505 Part Z
Ø Assembly Action:         Rejected A.9505 Part Z
Ø Senate Action:             Rejected S.7505 Part Z
Ø FINAL ACTION:     REJECTED

  • End Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amounts (IRMAA) Reimbursement 
    Public Protection and General Government (A.9505/S.7505)—Part AA
    Effective January 1, 2018, the State would stop the automatic reimbursement of the Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amounts (IRMAA) for Medicare premiums incurred on or after January 1, 2018 for higher income State retirees. Higher-income retirees currently receive a greater subsidy for New York State Health Insurance Program (NYSHIP) than the amounts received by lower and middle-income retirees. Impacted retirees stand to lose anywhere from $642 to $3,535 per year.

Ø PEF Request:             Reject A.9505/S.7505 Part AA
Ø Assembly Action:         Rejected A.9505 Part AA
Ø Senate Action:             Rejected S.7505 Part AA
Ø FINAL ACTION:     REJECTED          

  • Design-Build Expansion
    Transportation, Economic Development and Environmental Conservation (A.9508/S.7508)—Part R 
    This bill would expand the provisions of current law to enable the Dormitory Authority, the Urban Development Corporation, the Office of General Services, the Department of Health and the Olympic Regional Development Authority to award a contract to a single entity for both the design and construction (design-build) aspects of a project. The types of capital projects for which design-build contracts can be used would be amended to also included buildings and appurtenant structures. In addition, the $10 Million minimum cost of a design-build project is only included for OGS and DOH.

Design-build allows for privatization of public work that has been traditionally performed by state employees. Important capital projects should be performed by state workers since they focus on the safety and well being of our taxpayers instead of corporate profits.

Ø PEF Request:             Reject A.9508/S.7508 Part R
Ø Assembly Action:         Rejected A.9508 Part R
Ø Senate Action:             Rejected S.7508 Part R
Ø FINAL ACTION:     REJECTED  

  • Voluntary Jail-based Restoration to Competency Programs
    Health and Mental Hygiene—(A.9507/S.7507) Part W and S.7500/A.9500 P. 475
    This proposal would amend Section 730.10 of the Criminal Procedure Law (CPL) to authorize the establishment of jail-based restoration to competency programs, for felony defendants pending judicial hearings, within locally-operated jails and State prisons operated by the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS), subject to the facility’s consent.

The proposal calls for the creation of residential mental health units within local jails and state correctional facilities. Correctional facilities are not the appropriate locations to rehabilitate individuals requiring mental health services. State mental health facilities or other well-equipped hospitals or centers are where these individuals should be restored to competency.

Ø PEF Request:             Reject A.9507/S.7507 Part W & A.9500/S.7500 P. 475
Ø Assembly Action:         Rejected A.9507 Part W & A.9500 P. 475
Ø Senate Action:             Rejected S.7507 Part W & S.7500 P. 475
Ø FINAL ACTION:     REJECTED              

  • SUNY Hospitals Funding
    Capital Projects (A.9504/S.7504)—P. 447
    The Governor has proposed removing the State subsidy for SUNY Hospitals and replacing it with $78.6 Million in capital funding.

This is problematic as it will leave our SUNY Hospitals dramatically underfunded.

Ø PEF Request:             Restore the traditional subsidy for SUNY Hospitals 
Ø Assembly Action:         Restored the subsidy of $78.6 Million (A.9500-B; P. 660)
Ø Senate Action:             Restored the subsidy of $78.6 Million (S.7500-B P. 648)
Ø FINAL ACTION:     RESTORED AND INCREASED SUBSIDY OF $92 MILLION AND ALSO INCLUDED $78.6 MILLION CAPITAL FUNDING

  • Ella McQueen Closure 
    Education, Labor and Family Assistance (A.9506/S.7506)—Part H
    This proposal would allow for the closure of the Ella McQueen Reception Center for Boys and Girls provided that 30 days’ notice is provided.

Currently, state law required 12 months’ notice for such closure. Closing this facility before seeing what impact the new Raise the Age law has on the system is premature.

Ø PEF Request:             Reject A.9506/S.7506 Part H
Ø Assembly Action:         Rejected A.9506 Part H
Ø Senate Action:             Rejected S. 7506 Part H
Ø FINAL ACTION:     REJECTED  

  • DOCCS Expansion of Commissioner’s Powers/Loss of Union Rights
    Public Protection and General Government (A.9505-A/S.7505-A)—Part KK
    This proposal would give discretion to the DOCCS Commissioner when it comes to nearly all phases of employment within the Department.  The power is based on many undefined, vague terms.The bill would also explicitly remove the collectively bargained hearing procedure for anyone accused of serious misconduct and replace it with the Department’s own internal process, which can include questioning an employee without union representation.Ø PEF Request:             Reject A.9505-A/S.7505-A Part KK
    Ø Assembly Action:         Rejected A.9505-A Part KK
    Ø Senate Action:             Rejected S.7505-A Part KK
    Ø FINAL ACTION:     REJECTED   § Pilot Release Programs
    Public Protection and General Government (A.9505/S.7505)—Part J
    This bill would create two new pilot release programs, one for college educational release and the other for work release. Each program would be limited to 50 inmates at any one time.

While we support the training and education of inmates, we believe that this is better accomplished within the current structure inside of the correctional facilities. It would be advantageous to the community if these opportunities were brought inside the facilities to the inmates instead of the other way around.

Ø PEF Request:             Reject A.9505/S.7505 Part J
Ø Assembly Action:         Accepted
Ø Senate Action:             Rejected
Ø FINAL ACTION:     REJECTED

§ Geriatric Parole
Public Protection and General Government (A.9505/S.7505)—Part L
This proposal would allow for the parole of an inmate age 55 or older who is no longer able to provide self-care within a correctional facility due to a chronic or serious condition, disease, syndrome, or infirmity. An inmate must have served at least half of their sentence in order to be eligible for this special consideration.

This proposal, while compassionate as a concept, would in reality simply allow convicted criminals to be released back into the community well ahead of their scheduled release dates. Financial considerations, such as the lack of Medicaid funding for inmates, should not be the determining factor when parole is considered. Furthermore, this proposal will only increase the caseload of our already overburdened Parole Officers.

Ø PEF Request:             Reject A.9505/S.7505 Part L
Ø Assembly Action:         Accepted
Ø Senate Action:             Rejected
Ø FINAL ACTION:     REJECTED

§ Closure of 400 Office of Mental Health (OMH) Beds
State Operations (A.9500/S.7500 P. 470)

Ø PEF Request:             Reject A.9500/S.7500 P. 470
Ø Assembly Action:         Reduces Bed Closure to 100
Ø Senate Action:             Rejected S.7500 P. 470
Ø FINAL ACTION:     REJECTED   

§ $600 Million for a New Wadsworth Laboratory 
Capital Projects—A.9504/S7504; P. 716
This funding would provide for a life sciences laboratory and public health initiative in the Capital District.

Ø PEF Request:             Accept A.9504/S.7504 P.716
Ø Assembly Action:         Accepted
Ø Senate Action:             Accepted
Ø FINAL ACTION:     ACCEPTED

  • $102.6 Million for Roswell Park 
    Aid to Localities—A.9503/S.7503; P. 495   $51.3 Million
    Capital Projects—A.9504/S.7504; P. 287   $51.3 Million
    This proposal maintains the same level of subsidy for the Roswell Park Cancer Research Institute as it received last year.Ø PEF Request:             Accept A.9503/S.7503 P.495 & A.9504/S.7504 P.287
    Ø Assembly Action:         Accepted
    Ø Senate Action:             Accepted
    Ø FINAL ACTION:     ACCEPTED§ $2 Million OITS Certification Training 
    State Operations—A.9500/S.7500; P. 406
    This funding allows for up to $2 Million to be spent for training of Office of Information Technology Services (OITS) employees towards achieving specific certifications that are not currently held by employees in sufficient quantity to meet the state’s needs.Ø PEF Request:             Accept A.9500/S.7500 P.406
    Ø Assembly Action:         Accepted
    Ø Senate Action:             Accepted
    Ø FINAL ACTION:     ACCEPTEDNEWLY ADDED POSITIVE ISSUES:
    § Union dues collections
    Revenue—A.9509-C/S.7509-C Part RRR
    Codifies practices of union dues collection within 30 days for a new employee; signed authorization allowed by any format permitted by the technology law; revocation of membership in writing per the terms of the authorization card; allows for employee organization representative to meet with new employee for a reasonable amount of time without charge to leave credits.§ Duty of Fair Representation
    Revenue—A.9509-C/S.7509-C Part RRR
    An employee organization’s duty of fair representation (DFR) shall be limited to the negotiation or enforcement of the terms of an agreement with the public employer. It specifically would not include representation during questioning, administrative proceeding or a grievance. It also allows employee organizations to provided members with otherslegal, economic or job-related benefits.§ Enhanced Safety Net Hospitals
    Health/Mental Hygiene—A.9507-C/S.7507-C Part K
    Specific inclusion of SUNY Hospitals in the definition of “enhanced safety net hospitals” for the purposes of receiving a portion of $50 Million in additional funding.§ IRA Closure Notice
    Health/Mental Hygiene—A.9507-C/S.7507-C Part II
    Before the closure of any state-operated individualized residential alternatives (IRAs) 90 days notice must be provided, instead of the current 45 days. This notice requirement is extended from March 31, 2018, to March 31, 2020.