News & Information

Constitution and By-laws Revisions Ratified

We are happy to report that the revisions to the Constitution and By-laws have been unanimously ratified by the members. We would like to thank everyone who attended one the of meetings and voted.  We will now have copies of the revised Constitution and By-laws printed and mailed to every member in good standing.

Governor Cuomo Signs - Veteran’s Equality Act

Today, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Veteran’s Equality Act (Larkin/Paulin) into law. Now, all New York State military veterans – regardless of where they served – will be able to buy back three years of pension credit in public retirement systems.

Legislation passed in 2000 allowed such buy-backs only for service during certain conflicts like WW II, Korea, Vietnam and the Gulf War. Iraq was covered, yet Afghanistan, Kosovo, and certain other conflicts were not. And the legislation left out women veterans who were barred from combat zones.

He would like to thank Senator Marty Golden (R-Bay Ridge) and Assemblyman Peter Abbate (D-Dyker Heights) for their unwavering support of this important legislation.

Under the new bill veterans can now obtain pension credit for your military service provided that:

-You were honorably discharged from the military;

-You file for the pension while you are an active member of the pension system

-You have at least 5 or more years of public service credit

-The total military service, wartime and otherwise that you may purchase is 3 years

Right-to-work law turns state workers into big losers

Why do workers in Michigan and Washington make more money than workers in South Carolina?  Unions…

By Erin McKee, President of the S.C. AFL-CIO

For some reason most folks in South Carolina know very little about unions. They just know they don’t like them. The dislike seems to be handed down from generation to generation.

People don’t understand what “right to work” is.  “Right to work” is about money and keeping unions from collecting dues in right-to-work states, weakening the unions ability to do a good job. In all states, you don’t have to join the union but you do have to pay for the cost of negotiating the contract and representation, but in right-to-work states, you can work at a union facility, get the same wages and benefits as everyone else, and call the union for representation if you get in trouble — but you don’t have to pay for that.

Public employee unions dodge a Supreme Court bullet in tie vote

Richard Wolf, USA TODAY 10:18 a.m. EDT March 29, 2016

WASHINGTON -- Conservatives bent on crippling the power of public employee unions lost their best opportunity in years Tuesday when the Supreme Court deadlocked over a challenge to the fees those unions collect from non-members.

Rather than seeking to reschedule the case for their next term, the justices simply announced they were tied 4-4 -- a verdict which leaves intact the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit upholding the fee collections.

That was a major victory for the unions and the court's four liberal justices following Justice Antonin Scalia's death last month. During oral argument in January, it had appeared almost certain that the court would strike down the requirement in 23 states that teachers and government workers contribute to the cost of collective bargaining, even if they disagree with their unions' demands.

The result would have been the demise of a nearly 40-year-old Supreme Court precedent that allows unions to impose such requirements on non-members. It would have made it harder for unions representing teachers, police and firefighters, and other government workers to maintain their power by affecting their pocketbooks.

Instead, the judicial deadlock allows the California Teachers Association to keep collecting the fees, but it does not have nationwide impact. The 9th Circuit standard applies only to states within its jurisdiction, including Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington as well as California.

The MSII Bargaining is Now Complete!

As you may know, during the recently concluded representation elections, a number of MSII’s in Station Maintenance, Material Control, Homeless Outreach, and Car Equipment were excluded from the petition.  As the newly elected bargaining unit representatives for the MSII’s, we made a commitment to the previously excluded MSII’s that we would try to get them included in the new bargaining unit as quickly as we could.  I am happy to inform you that on January 8, 2016, the Union and Authority entered into a voluntary recognition agreement that will place these previously excluded MSII’s into the MSII bargaining unit. 

On Wednesday, January 6th, the Officers and shop stewards met to develop our bargaining demands.  We are scheduled to meet with the Transit Authority on January 11th to begin contract negotiations.  Our goal for this round of negotiations will be to restore all of the Level I benefits that the Authority took away from you when they “promoted” you to a Level II.  We will schedule a membership meeting in the very near future to discuss our contract negotiations and answer any questions you may have.

Again, I would like to thank everyone for choosing us as your representatives.  Becoming your representatives is a great responsibility that we will not take lightly.  I promise you that we will do everything we can to live up to the responsibilities you have entrusted us with.

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