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Anthem/Empire BCBS Hit by Hackers

*** UPDATE ***

Anthem, Inc., the parent company of Empire BlueCross BlueShield, issued a press release today announcing that in the coming weeks a letter will be mailed to all current and former members, reaching back to 2004. The letter includes updated information on the cyber attack and advises members that they will be automatically enrolled in an identity repair program at no cost for two years as well as instructions on how to enroll in additional services, including a credit monitoring program, also at no cost for two years. Members can immediately enroll in this service by going online via www.anthemfacts.com or calling the vendor 877-263-7995.  Phone lines will be open from 2:00 to 9:00 p.m. ET on Friday, and will be open 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET Monday to Saturday.  Spanish-speaking members may access information at AnthemInforma.com, or receive assistance in Spanish at 877-263-7995.

Anthem’s Updated FAQ


Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield warns of scam emails targeting Empire members. These scams, designed to capture personal information (known as “phishing”) are designed to appear as if they are from Anthem (Empire’s parent company), and the emails include a “click here” link supposedly for credit monitoring. These emails are NOT from Anthem or Empire.
If you receive such an email:

• DO NOT click on any links in the email.
• DO NOT reply to the email or reach out to the senders in any way.
• DO NOT supply any information on the website that may open, if you have mistakenly clicked on a link in the email.
• DO NOT open any attachments that arrive with the email.

Empire also is NOT calling members regarding the cyber attack and is NOT asking for credit card information or social security numbers over the phone.  Empire says it will contact current and former members via mail delivered by the U.S. Postal Service about the cyber attack with specific information on how to enroll in credit monitoring. Empire has announced that affected members will receive free credit monitoring and ID protection services.

OA/CRT - TA Contract Implementation Update

****  UPDATE 3/6/2015****

Commuter Pass Applications have been mailed to eligible members.

If you have not received an application please call the office.


Below are the dates for the General Wage Increases (GWI), Retroactive Wage Adjustment (RWA), and Deferral Option deadline:

RWA pay details will be available through the self service portal and will be posted the week of the RWA payments.

We will post more information as it becomes available.


On Thursday, January 22nd the...

MTA Board Approved the OA &  TA Contracts

We will post information on the wage increase and retroactive payment dates as soon as that information is available.


On Friday, January 16th the...

OA/CRT Contract was ratified by over 90% of the vote

223 to 21

TA Queens Contract was ratified by over 95% of the vote

54 to 2

We would like to thank everyone who participated in the vote.

The contract will now go to the MTA Board on Thursday, January 22nd for final approval.  Once the contract is approved by the Board we will begin discussions on improvements to our dental and vision plans.


2013 - 2018 OA Agreement

2013 - 2018 TA Agreement

Arbitrator Restores 8 Hour Rule for Supervisors

Arbitrator, Howard Edelman recently issued a decision agreeing with the Union's position and restored how the Authority applies the eight hour rule to Dispatcher.  In February of this year the Authority unilaterally changed the way they applied the eight hour rule to Dispatchers and we filed a grievance.  After many Authority adjournments and delays the grievance was finally heard by Howard Edelman, and on November 6th he issued his award.  If there are any members who believe they were denied overtime because of the misapplication of the eight hour rule, please contact your Chairperson and let them know.

If you would like a copy of the award, please contact the Union office.

House approves bill to allow multiemployer pension plan benefit cuts

Trustees of financially distressed multiemployer pension plans would be allowed to cut participants' benefits to prevent the plans from becoming insolvent under legislation narrowly approved by the House of Representatives Thursday night.

Benefits could be cut if a plan is projected to become insolvent during a current plan year or any of the next 14 years, or any of the next 19 years if the plan's ratio of inactive participants to active participants exceeds 2-to-1 or if the plan is less than 80% funded.

OA & TA Tentative Contract Agreements

On behalf of our negotiating team (Thomas Burke, Dennis Bottomley, Phil Valenti), I am happy to announce that we have reached tentative agreements with the Authority on our 2013 through 2018 contracts.  For your convenience, I have listed below some of the Contract highlights. 

  • Wage increases in every year of the contract with full retroactivity back to June 8, 2013.
  • Reduction in the 10-year member eligibility period for NYSHIP medical benefits to five years for current and future members.
  • Maintained current members’ health benefits contributions.
  • Dental and Vision Improvements.
  • All members will now be enrolled in the same Supplemental Dental and Vision Plans.
  • Increases in the Life Insurance benefit from $5,000 to $25,000.
  • Guaranteed 12-day sick advancement every May 1st.
  • Changes in the current OA lay-off language from time of hire to time in supervisor title.
  • Option of cashing-out up to five weeks of vacation at the time of retirement.
  • LIRR or Metro North commuter passes for members living outside of the five boroughs.
  • Members with less than 50% of their potential may now be eligible for a sick leave cash-out at the time of their separation (Pilot Program).
  • Increase the AVA and OTO caps.
  • Death in Family to include Step Children.
  • Discipline Reduction Language that provides for the removal of certain disciplinary actions from your record.

We believe this is a fair and balanced agreement that addresses our members’ priorities, concerns, and needs.  This agreement also corrects some longstanding contract terms that were unfair and inequitable to some of our members.  If you have any questions on the tentative agreement, please contact your Chairperson, or the Union Office.

Complete OA MOU

Complete Queens MOU

Maximum Award To Mechanic’s Survivors Due to Diesel Fumes

By SARAH DORSEY | Posted: Monday, August 4, 2014 5:15 pm

A former Bus Mechanic’s death from lung cancer was deemed by a Judge to be related to his 28 years working amid heavy diesel fumes in a Metropolitan Transportation Authority garage, in what his widow’s attorneys believe is the first legal case to establish a link between occupational exposure to diesel emissions and cancer.

Ebola Guidance

The New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH), has released a three-page guidance document on Ebola Virus Disease and how workers can protect themselves. We recently met with management to discuss the MTA's readiness plan.  MTA has released the following information and guidance.

RWA Payment Worksheet

We have created an excel work sheet for the members to calculate their retroactive payment.  This will help the members decide what percentage, if any they would like to defer. To calculate your payment, you need to input the hours you worked during each pay raise period, make sure you select your correct title.  This can be done by adding up the hours on your pay checks or by checking your time cards.  The attached calculator is for members who are eligible for RWA for the entire term of the contract.  We are working on a calculator for members who were hired or appointed during the term of the contract.

The deadline for deferrals is Friday, November 14th.

Click HERE to open MTA Bus Retroactive Work Sheet.

MTA Bus Contract Update

Today the Contract was...

APPROVED!

By the MTA Board

We will post further information regarding the implementation of the contract as the information becomes available.

I would like to thanks everyone for their patience and support throughout these long and torturous negotiations.

MTA Bus Contract

*** UPDATE AUGUST 15, 2014 ***

Yesterday, the MTA informed us that they are still in discussions with the City over our MTA Bus Contract.   In response to this, I have written a letter to the mediator requesting that she reconvene the parties to either execute a contract or declare an impasse and move forward with the statutory arbitration proceedings.  As soon as the mediator schedules a date we will let everyone know.


Despite our best efforts, we will not be able to get a signed agreement to our members in time for the July Board meeting.  However, we have made significant progress in obtaining the approvals and commitments needed to execute a final agreement.  In response to our letter to the mediator, the MTA has requested an additional 30 day extension to finalize the contract.  As of yet, the mediator has not responded to their request.

Both parties have done everything within their control to get the final signoffs on this agreement, but as we all know, since the City back funds the MTA Bus operations we need their approval as well.  Thus far, the MTA has received positive feedback from both the City and the Board members, and has reassured us they remain fully committed to resolving this contract as soon as possible. 

Once we have a signed agreement, we will make the full contract available to the members.  We will then schedule information meeting(s) to fully explain the contract followed by a mail ballot ratification vote.  If the contract is ratified, we will begin meeting with the Company to discuss and prepare for the implementation of this agreement.


On Friday, May 16, the Company and Union met before Kim D. Moore-Ward, the mediator designated by PERB, to hear our contract impasse.  After meeting with both sides separately, the mediator issued her recommendations in the dispute.  The Company argued that if TWU Local 100 ratifies their agreement on May 19th this will drastically change the negotiating landscape.  We pointed out that the contract impasse we filed was for the previous rounds of negotiation, so Local 100's current contract should have nothing to do with our impasse and that we see this as another delay tactic by the Company,  We insisted that if the mediator orders us back to the table there should be strict time limits imposed on the Company to reach an agreement on the contract.  With that, the mediator recommended that the parties report back to her in thirty days to update her on our progress in reaching an agreement.  If the parties are making progress, she will allow an additional thirty days for us to reach an agreement.  If at any time during the additional thirty day period we believe we are not going to reach an agreement on the contract, we will contact the mediator and insist that mediation be reconvened immediately.

Local 100 did ratify their agreement earlier today, and we are now in the process of scheduling meetings with the Company.  I would also like to have a Unit meeting within the next few weeks to update everyone on our progress.


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