MEMBERSHIP – RETIREE HEALTH INSURANCE
As we consistently stress the importance of being Union Strong, another example why this is so important for both active employees and retirees is the Governor’s proposal to create a new Tier 2 Retiree Health Insurance for employees hired on or after April 1, 2019, proposing that the amount the State would contribute would be dependent upon your salary grade and how many years of service you have when you retire. CSEA is strongly opposed to this proposal and will work hard to defeat it. Keep your Union Strong!
Must be submitted by April 15th, 2019
The attached is a PDF copy without live links, please see your supervisor or check the website at Spring 2019 Training for additional information.
NEW EMPLOYEES – UNION MEMBERSHIP
When a new employee begins UCS employment, it can sometimes be daunting the number of forms, policies, procedures, and changes that person has to complete and become familiar with. We (the Local) always reach out to new employees with a welcome letter, introducing ourselves and encouraging the new employee to sign up for membership in their Union and letting them know we are here if they have any questions. But with all the new things to deal with, sometimes new employees forget or don’t realize the importance of signing up to become a part of their Union. That’s where you come in. Please introduce yourself to the new employees in your workplace and tell them why it’s important to be a CSEA member, important to have a contract, to have your pension protected, someone to fight to keep health insurance costs in check and to keep your dental and vision benefits in place, etc. And while you’re at it, make sure they are getting the emailed Receiver Notices! Thank you to the many members that I know already do this.
LONGEVITY PAYMENTS & 2% RAISE
For those eligible, the Longevity Payments and 2% raises will be reflected in the paycheck received May 1, 2019.
EMPLOYEE BENEFIT FUND CO-PAY REIMBURSEMENT
A reminder to submit your EBF reimbursement form once you have reached a combined co-pay amount of $325 for physician visit and prescription co-pays OR on/after December 31st each year. Applications are accepted for 2018 reimbursement through March 31st, 2019. Pay particular attention to what proof of co-pays are accepted, i.e., Explanation of Benefits (EOB) for Physician co-pays and pharmacy printouts for Prescription co-pays.
CSEA DUES & YOUR TAXES
Because I have received a number of inquiries, our members should be aware that CSEA itself does not, per se, raise our dues annually. CSEA dues increase only when the entire CSEA delegate body votes to do so, which has not happened in many years. However, based on our affiliation with our “parent” union AFSCME, we do incur an annual increase based on their increase in dues annually.
Also, based on changes to NYS laws in April 2017, do you know you may now write off your CSEA dues on your New York State taxes if you itemize? Even if you do not itemize your federal taxes. CSEA and other Unions fought hard for this change, fighting to save you money! Check with your professional tax preparer for further information.
MEMBER vs. NON-MEMBER
A number of people have contacted me to discuss and comment on “membership” versus “non-membership” in our Union. The reasons for maintaining your membership are voluminous, but here are a few important factors to consider:
As one of the largest unions in New York State, CSEA IS strong and we need to keep it that way. Remember, if our membership drops even one person below 50%, the employer can decertify the Union – which means no representation, no “table” to sit down to discuss matters or negotiate a contract. As a matter of fact, no CONTRACT at all in that situation, which means all terms and conditions of employment are subject to the whims of the employer, including hours of employment, salaries and percent increases, health insurance rates, accruals, use of annual/sick leave, etcetera. This, alone, should be reason enough to Stay Union and Stay Strong.
As a member of your Union, you are able to elect your representatives, vote on your contract, attend Union meetings and events. If you have reason to be formally counseled, encounter disciplinary charges or an investigation by the Inspector General’s office, you will be able to count on Union representation throughout these type of proceedings. Remember, no one ever plans on running into these issues, but if/when you do, we have your back and also have access to our Labor Relations Specialists and our Legal Department, if needed. Non-members have no access to Union representation in these type of matters unless it involves a “contract” issue and they will need to hire and pay for their own counsel – who typically do not have the familiarity with dealing with the employer and its agencies and policies. Non-members are not able to attend our meetings/events or access the information we provide. And we do have a list of members and non-members that we check before providing our services or information.
Our members also have access to Pearl Insurances, our CSEA Health Benefits Department, Membership Benefits and Contract Administration Departments – all staffed by experts to help you get clear and concise answers to any issue you may have.
The list goes on and on as to the benefits of membership versus not being a member. If you want more information, let us know. Or you can call CSEA Headquarters and speak with a representative there, 1-800-342-4146. It’s OUR Union – let’s keep it Strong!
UCS CANCER SCREENING POLICY - REVISED
(Kathy Guild, CSEA Dep. Director of Contract Administration, March 19, 2018)
CSEA recently received new Cancer Screening Policy language from OCA (see below). In addition to the information provided, please note that the Cancer Screening Leave must be pre-approved and employees must provide documentation to substantiate their absence for cancer screening upon return to work.
“Currently, Civil Service Law provides for 4 hours of paid leave, without charge to leave credits, for New York State employees to undergo breast and/or prostate cancer screenings. Effective March 18, 2018, the specific references in the law to 'breast' and 'prostate' are replaced with 'cancer' screening, generally.
“This change in law broadens the scope of the existing Court System leave benefit by covering all cancer screenings. The Court System will continue to provide employees with up to 4 hours of paid leave to undergo screening for breast and/or prostate cancer. This means that employees will be entitled to up to 12 hours of paid leave annually to undergo cancer screenings – 4 hours for breast cancer, 4 hours for prostate cancer and 4 hours for any other type(s) of cancer. Part-time employees are also entitled to 4 hours of paid leave for each type of screening. Travel time is included in the 4 hours. Any absence beyond the 4-hour maximum must be charged to the employee’s leave credits.
“Leave for cancer screenings is provided on an annual basis and does not carry over from one calendar year to the next. However, the 4 hours may be used all at once or in increments over the course of the year. For example, if an employee uses 2 hours of paid leave to undergo breast cancer screening and the employee’s doctor requires the employee to undergo further screening/testing in the same year, the employee is entitled to 2 more hours of paid leave for this purpose. Employees who undergo cancer screenings outside their regular work hours do so on their own time and are not entitled to receive compensatory time.
You and your family members are eligible to earn a free – yes, free – two-year degree through AFSCME. This program is continually changing and updating, with more online degrees being offered. See the attached flyer for further information and eligibility requirements.
Longevity and Percentage increases
(Kathy Guild, CSEA Dep. Director of Contract Admin., March 15, 2018)
The 2018 negotiated 2% pay increases will be paid out beginning in the May 2nd, 2018 paycheck. Those eligible for Longevity Payments will also see that payment reflected in the May 2nd paycheck.
The CSEA executive branch contract was overwhelmingly ratified with a 94 percent yes vote on August 8th.
Judiciary employees are covered by the health insurance negotiated by the executive branch. The health insurance changes will go into effect 1/1/19 are posted on the judiciary website at www.cseajudiciary.org for your perusal.
Correction: DATE Change
The 2 percent raise effective 4/1/17 will be retroactively paid in the 10/4/17 paycheck.
PAYCHECK/TAX INFORMATION: Paycheck date: October 4, 2017 Taxes: The retroactive raises will be included in your regular paycheck. The retroactive payments are considered supplemental wages and will be taxed using the Supplemental Aggregate Method. Employees wishing to change their tax exemptions must submit completed tax forms between the dates of August 10 – August 23, for their 9/6 paycheck to be affected. Tax Forms are available on DFM’s webpage: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw4.pdf Forms may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
2017-2020 CSEA-UCS Contract Ratifies
(Kathy Guild, Dep. Director of Contract Administration, July 24, 2017)
The CSEA-UCS contract was overwhelmingly ratified today by an 8 to 1 ratio, with a total of approximately 50% turnout. There were 2,122 yes votes (88%) and 285 no votes (12%). Your CSEA Negotiating team thanks you for the tremendous voter response and are grateful that the proposed contract was well received. The terms of the contract are effective immediately.
Update on taxation of State Supplemental Payments Tuesday, June 13, 2017
The New York state comptroller’s office was recently informed of an Internal Revenue Service ruling which requires Supplemental wage payments including longevity payments, call out bonus, tool allowance, hazardous duty pay, back pay, retroactive wage increases, awards, uniform allowance, unused vacation accruals lump sum, salary deferral lump sum, standby, intermittent inconvenience, step 3 out-of-title grievance payments, and any other payment that is above regular wages, to be processed with a higher withholding rate than regular wages.
Under the regulations, employers have the option to withhold a flat rate of 25% on supplemental wages or use a more complex aggregate method for calculating the withholding that combines regular and supplemental wages according to what you entered on your W-4 for withholding allowances and additional withholding amounts.
To be in full compliance with these IRS rules, the State’s Comptroller’s Office initially determined to use the flat rate 25% method, starting with the April 2017 Longevity Payments. In response to strong objections by CSEA, and after further research by CSEA, the state comptroller has determined that the aggregate method will be used to determine the proper amount of withholding to be taken out of supplemental payments. This method is more beneficial to our members than using the flat 25% rate. However, even with the aggregate method, the withholding will still be significantly more than what has been withheld in the past.
It is important to note that regardless of the tax withholding method used on supplemental payments, an individual’s tax liability is the same at the end of the year. Taxes withheld over and above what a person owes will be refunded when you file your tax returns.
In the meantime an individual can always change their withholding amounts and their claimed withholding allowances on their W-4 prior to the supplemental payments in order to realize more money in the supplemental check. An individual can change their withholding amounts and their withholding allowances as many times as they desire throughout the year in order to capture more money in any supplemental check.
If you have any questions please contact State Operations at (518) 257-1213.
Mary E. Sullivan, Acting President
CSEA REACHES TENTATIVE AGREEMENT WITH THE NYS OFFICE OF COURT ADMINISTRATION
(Kathy Guild, CSEA Dep. Director of Contract Administration, May 17, 2017)
CSEA has reached a tentative agreement with the New York State Office of Court Administration on a new contract covering more than 5,500 non-judicial employees in the state's Unified Court System. The tentative agreement will be effective retroactively from April 1, 2017 through March 31, 2020.
CSEA and the Unified Court System have reached a fair and responsible agreement that recognizes the value and importance of the court employees who make the system work every day.
The three-year agreement retroactive to April 1, 2017 includes salary increases in every year of the agreement, improved downstate and Mid-Hudson Valley location pay, improved payments to the Employee Benefit Fund and a new Welfare Fund program.
Across-the-board cost of living adjustments are as follows: April 1, 2017 - 2 percent(retroactive); April 1, 2018 - 2 percent; and April 1, 2019 - 2 percent.
Additional details about the agreement will be posted shortly on the CSEA Judiciary website,www.cseajudiciary.org, and the CSEA website, www.csealocal1000.org. The agreement will be presented to the CSEA rank and file members for review and ratification in the weeks ahead. It must also be approved by the state legislature and signed by the governor.
A Contract RATIFICATION and highlight meeting is being scheduled and details will be sent soon.
Very important information, please share with co-workers and watch for updates as to what CSEA is doing regarding this change at http://www.cseany.org.
As you will see below, there was and will be a substantial increase in the taxes taken out of the signing bonus, uniform and equipment allowance, and the longevity payments.
STATE OF NEW YORK
OFFICE OF THE STATE COMPTROLLER
Tax withholding for recent Longevity Payments
OSC changed the income tax withholding methodology for all supplemental wages to be in compliance with Internal Revenue Service requirements. Supplemental wages, which include longevity payments, are typically one-time or once a year payments and are not considered regular wages.
Income taxes for supplemental wages are withheld at a Supplemental Flat Rate (Federal 25% and State 9.62%). Under this method, withholding allowances claimed by the employee are disregarded. The flat tax method does not change what you will owe in income taxes for the tax year. Also, taxes withheld over and above what you owe for the tax year will be refunded.
In 2016, OSC taxed some wages using the Supplemental Flat Rate, but not others. In 2017, OSC changed the tax withholding methodology to be consistent, ensuring that all non-regular wages be taxed using the Supplemental method.
Regarding the recent Longevity Payments, on March 10, 2017 in Payroll Bulletins 1551 (CSEA) and 1552 (PEF) and at the Payroll Users Group for agency payroll officers on March 2, 2017, OSC notified and emphasized to all State agencies that the Supplemental Flat Rate withholding method will be used.
This change brings the State into compliance with IRS requirements. It is consistent with the practices of other States and Municipalities.
* A CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION UPDATE:
If you see the logo “New Yorkers Against Corruption” this is the union’s movement. We can’t use the CSEA logo or any other union logo so this is what the movement to vote no will be called. If you see this logo, know that your union is hard at work getting the message out to vote “NO” to the constitutional convention in an effort to protect our pensions and other rights.
Please click on the link above to get all the details and dates regarding
the 2017 CSEA Local Elections.
PCO Test Preparation Workshop Date Added
Due to popularity, an additional workshop to prepare for the NYS Professional Career Opportunities (PCO) exam has been added.
Date: Wednesday and Thursday, March 29 and 30, 2017
Location: New York State United Teachers (NYSUT), 800 Troy-Schenectady Road, Latham, NY 12110
Time: 6:00-8:00pm (please arrive by 5:30 on the first night for registration)
Cost: CSEA Members: $15.75 / Non-members: $31.50
Please prepay by March 27th.
YOU MUST PRE-REGISTER FOR THIS WORKSHOP.
Register online at: https://www.csealearningcenter.org/learncenter/wregister.cfm
You can pay with a credit or debit card, but ONLY if you register online.
If you prefer to register by phone, please know that we cannot accept credit cards and you will have to mail in a check or money order.
Call the CSEA WORK Institute at 1-866-478-5548 or (518) 782-4427*
*If you are a CSEA member, we will need your CSEA ID # for the member discounted price. After registration, you will receive information regarding payment.
No refunds will be given unless class is cancelled.
Can’t make it on this date and time? Check out OUR ONLINE TRAINING Courses. TRY A FREE DEMO AT:
CSEA/UNIFIED COURT SYSTEM CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS UPDATE - find future updates here http://www.cseajudiciary.org/Contract
(Kathy Guild, CSEA Dep. Director of Contract Administration)
CSEA and UCS met on March 1, 2017 and March 2, 2017 for the first round of contract negotiations. The current Collective Bargaining Agreement expires on March 31, 2017. All increments, longevity payments, uniform and equipment allowance payments, health insurance and dental and vision benefits will continue to be paid per the Triborough Amendment until a successor Agreement is agreed to and ratified by the membership.
Both sides exchanged initial proposals and discussed the issues that the CSEA UCS members told us were important to them in the contract survey. It was a productive session and both sides agreed to go back and work on some language to be discussed at the next round.
The next session will be held on March 14, 2017 and March 15, 2017 with additional sessions planned in April and May. We will continue to keep you updated as we go through the negotiations process.
CORRECTION - LONGEVITY PAYMENT/LUMP SUM PAYMENT
UCS has clarified that those eligible for a “end of contract” $750 Lump Sum payment should see that paid out in the April 19th paycheck. Employees on payroll in active status as of March 31, 2017 are eligible for the one-time Lump Sum $750 payment, which is not part of basic salary but is pensionable.
Longevity Payments and those eligible for Increments will see those in the May 3rd paycheck.
EBF CO-PAY REIMBURSEMENT
A reminder to submit your CSEA EBF co-pay reimbursement form by the deadline of March 31st, 2017.
Form can be found at http://www.cseajudiciary.org/Resources/Services
CSEA STATEWIDE “IRVING FLAUMENBAUM” SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION
Attached is the scholarship application and information for the Flaumenbaum Scholarship program. The application for the Flaumenbaum scholarship will automatically enter the applicant for three different scholarships (see the attached flyer).
Please note the application deadline of April 15th for the Flaumenbaum application.
Compensatory Time Off ------ updated 2/27/2017
This is in response to CSEA’s request regarding Section 10.9, Compensatory Time Off, of the 2011-2017collective Agreement between the Civil Service Employees Association, Inc. ("Association”) and the Unified Court System (“State").
During the triborough period, the State will not end the compensatory time option for hours worked between 35 and 40 hours. We will defer the matter for further discussion at negotiations for a successor agreement to the 2011-2017 Agreement.
Very truly yours,
Subject: Rx Co-Pay assistance
We’ve been hearing some complaints about how difficult it is for UCS employees to get access to CDPHP EoBs so they can properly submit for co-pay reimbursements. I have directed that a tool be developed to help our members. Feel free to share this tool that can be found on our website. The direct address for the tool is www.cseaebf.com/eob It can also be found by going to our EBF website and getting in to the FAQ section. There is a question there that will redirect to this same link. Feel free to share this information with all members and officers.
CSEA Employee Benefit Fund
1 Lear Jet Lane, Suite 1
Latham, NY 12110
WINTER BLUES PARTY– JANUARY 20TH – RSVP BY JANUARY 13TH
EMPLOYEE BENEFIT FUND CO-PAY REIMBURSEMENT
A reminder to submit your EBF reimbursement form once you have reached a combined co-pay amount of $325 for physician visit and prescription co-pays OR on/after December 31st. Applications are accepted for 2016 reimbursement through March 31st, 2017. See the attached guidelines and pay particular attention to what proof of co-pays are accepted, i.e., Explanation of Benefits (EOB) for Physician co-pays and pharmacy printouts for Prescription co-pays.
On behalf of our Local Executive Board, we wish you well in retirement and remind you to fill out the CSEA Retiree Membership form, to remain a CSEA member in retirement. As a Local we offer to pay the first year of retiree dues. Please contact an officer to apply for this benefit.
FINAL REMINDER - 2017 CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS SURVEY
COMPLETE BY DEC. 30TH
The 2017 CSEA-UCS Contract Negotiations Survey is now available and can be accessed at the following link:
https://cseany.org/ucs-negotiations. Please complete by survey by December 30th so that the results can be tabulated prior to your Negotiating team meeting in January.
NOTE: The survey is only available to CSEA Judiciary members. You must provide your CSEA Membership ID Number to gain access to the survey. If you need to find your number, go to the CSEA, Inc. web site, www.cseany.org, and obtain your ID number from there (on the Home Page, upper right-hand corner). The survey is short and provides you with an opportunity to be heard regarding our upcoming contract negotiations and what issues are of importance to you. Please spread the word to your co-workers and take the time to complete the survey.
On behalf of your Local 694 Executive Board, we wish you a wonderful holiday and all the best in the New Year!
ATTENTION CSEA LOCAL 694 MEMBERS:
Our current contract expires March 31, 2017
Your negotiation team has already been appointed and will begin working on delivering a fair contract for all of our members. The first step in that process is hearing from you. To that end we are strongly encouraging all CSEA members please go to the CSEA website at https://cseany.org/ucs-negotiations and complete the online survey to tell us what is important to you in the upcoming contract.
You must provide your CSEA Membership ID Number to gain access to the survey. If you need to find your number, go to the CSEA, Inc. web site, www.cseany.org, and obtain your ID number from there (on the Home Page, upper right-hand corner). The survey is short and provides you with an opportunity to be heard regarding our upcoming contract negotiations and what issues are of importance to you. Please spread the word to your co-workers and take the time to complete the survey.
****SURVEYS WILL NO LONGER BE MAILED TO MEMBERS****
If you do not have access to fill out the online survey, please contact me via email or telephone to request your survey be mailed to you.
Your team will work as diligently as possible to obtain a contract you can be proud of.
Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation.
Nicole Ventresca-Cohen, President
Your negotiating team:
Kathy Guild, CSEA Deputy Director of Contract Administration
Don Lynskey, chair
|CSEA REGION 4 MEMBERS INFORMATION DAY||August 17, 2016 12:23 PM||
|Great Escape Day 2016||August 1, 2016 12:11 PM||
Extended sales until Wednesday August 3rd at Noon!
|2016 Daniel X Campbell Memorial Scholarship||May 2, 2016 10:46 AM||
|CSEA Local 694 Scholarship Application and information 2016||February 24, 2016 03:05 PM||
|February Update 2/6/2016||February 6, 2016 10:34 AM||
CSEA STATEWIDE OFFICER ELECTIONS – VOTE!
Ballots have been mailed to members to vote for our CSEA Statewide Officers. Please follow the instructions very carefully and return your ballot as soon as possible. Ballots must be received by 8:00 a.m. on February 10, 2016 in order to be counted.
GOVERNOR’S PROPOSAL – RETIREE HEALTH PREMIUMS
The Governor has asked in his proposed budget to change the contribution amount for some retirees for health insurance premiums. See the flyer for complete information. Obviously, CSEA is strongly opposed to this change and will fight to defeat it.
Every Friday, CSEA emails a short summary of what has transpired in Albany during that week, with important updates for our members on legislative and political issues that may affect each one of us (such as the Governor’s proposal to change retiree health premium contributions). Here is a TWIA Sign-up to receive these e-mails, “This Week in Albany,” TWIA. You can enroll online at www.cseany.org, under the “Legislative & Political Action” section, or complete the form and email to our CSEA Capital Region Political Action Coordinator Bryan Miller at Bryan.Miller@cseainc.org. As State employees, it is imperative that you keep informed of issues that may affect you!
AFSCME PHONE CALLS MEMO
AFSCME Phone Calls Memo from CSEA President Danny Donohue regarding AFSCME phone calls to our members’ home numbers for the purpose of updating members on the Friedrichs case pending at the Supreme Court and to update member information.
SWIPING OUT – END OF SHIFT
Incidents of employees swiping out at the end of their shift and then going back to work continue to be reported. Remember, not only is it inappropriate to swipe out and then continue working, there could also be consequences from UCS for doing so. No one should be continuing to work after swiping out.
LOCAL OFFICERS’ CONTACT INFORMATION
All Local Officers’ contact information is available on our web site, http://cseajudiciary.org, under Locals, Local 694, “Contact.”
DO YOU KNOW YOUR CSEA ID NUMBER?
Every CSEA Membership Number begins with “123.” If you do not know your membership number, you may obtain it through the CSEA web site, www.cseany.org, by clicking on “Look up your CSEA ID” at the top of the home page.
STATEWIDE SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION
MetLife/Flaumenbaum/Pearl Carroll Scholarship Application link will provide information for the MetLife/Flaumenbaum/Pearl Carroll Scholarship program. Note the application deadline of April 15th for the Flaumenbaum application.
Please distribute in your work place/to your co-workers. Thank you.
JURY DUTY – RETURN TO WORK
CSEA members that report for Jury Duty have the option to return to work after fulfilling their duties as a juror for the day. There should be no charges to a member’s accruals if they choose not to return to work on a jury duty day.
LONGEVITY PAYMENTS; PROMOTING
There have been numerous questions regarding the Longevity Payments that will begin in April of 2016. Longevity Payments are based on years past Maximum on the salary schedules. Under our current contract, if you have completed four years past Max as of April 1st of 2016, you will be entitled to a Longevity Payment of $2,250 each year. If you have completed eight years past Max as of April 1st of 2016, you will be entitled to a Longevity Payment of $4,600 each year. If you have completed 13 years past Max as of April 1st, 2016, you will be entitled to a Longevity Payment of $6,900 each year. Other requirements to receiving a Longevity Payment are: having worked 120 workdays within the fiscal year and receiving a performance rating higher than unsatisfactory. Longevity Payments are not added to base pay but are pensionable. Longevity payments are pro-rated for employees working less than full time.
Regarding promotions and Longevity Payments, if you are at or above Max in your present position and promote and remain at or above Max in the new position, you are entitled to take your years of service credit for Longevity Payment purposes with you to the new promotional position.
Longevity Increments cease to exist as of April 1st, 2016, which is the reason that they are no longer listed in the 2016 salary schedule. While they are no longer listed in the salary schedule for April 1st, 2016, no member will lose an increment that they have already received prior to that date. (Do not confuse the Longevity Increments with the new Longevity Payments that begin in April 2016.)
EBF CO-PAY REIMBURSEMENTS
Physician office visit and prescription drug co-pays are reimbursable up to a maximum of $325 annually by submitting appropriate documentation and application to EBF. Reimbursement applications for 2015 will be accepted through March 31, 2016. Please read the guidelines carefully for acceptable forms of co-pay reimbursement documentation.
Click Here - UCS EBF CO-PAY REIMBURSEMENT FORM
Reminder - there are many more items you may qualify for. Examples: purchasing a home or having baby. Please check the website at www.cseaebf.com and be sure to look under UCS Employees.
|Strike-Out Cancer Fundraiser||January 11, 2017 07:38 AM||