As many of you are aware, Governor Cuomo approved the retroactive disbursement of the 2020 cost of living adjustments to New York State workers. This is about the CSEA contract with New York State which is a separate contract than that of Local 698. Management has not yet reached out to Local 698 President Liz Moran regarding the disbursement of funds to CSEA represented employees at DASNY.
The arbitration hearing scheduled for March 9, 2021 was postponed to May by request of management. DASNY CEO Reuben McDaniel has been following Governor Cuomo’s steps with responses to the COVID crisis including withholding of salary increases which is clearly a violation of contractual obligations. That said, I anticipate connecting with management in the coming days to understand what their position is for retroactive COLA issuance to you.
At this time, arbitration is scheduled for May 5, 2021. We anticipate a quick hearing in which we will prevail. As a reminder we are looking for the following:
- Payment of the 2% COLA, retroactive to April 1, 2020, for all active CSEA represented employees.
- Payment of the 2% COLA, retroactive to April 1, 2020, for all CSEA represented employees who separated from DASNY between April 1, 2020 to date. Separation includes retirement, willful separation, or unwilful separation.
- Communication to NYS Retirement to update final average salary for CSEA represented employees who retired since April 1, 2021 to include the 2% increase.
The hearing may be canceled if management chooses to satisfy our demands, as listed above, prior to the arbitration hearing date. You will receive further updates as soon as the situation changes for CSEA represented employees at DASNY.
It has proved to be a difficult year. The impact that the COVID-19 has had on our communities and our families has been devastating. For many of you, it also affected your ability to enjoy your earned vacation leave during the summer months. Early in the pandemic, I had received inquiries as to whether management would consider allowing an extension of personal and vacation leave accruals. In May, the response was that employees should use their personal time. Local 698 and management agreed to revisit the issue of vacation accrual roll-over in the fall months.
With an increasing outreach to me by members, I again reached out to management regarding the extension of the cap on vacation leave accruals. Today, management issued a statement that they would be extending the vacation leave accrual cap to December 31, 2021. What does this mean? It means that if you have over 300 hours/40 days of vacation leave, you would not forfeit those days on December 31, 2020. Rather, you can carry the overage into 2021. This is a huge relief for many as you will be able to enjoy those hard-earned days!
These are no easy feats. I was happy to remind management that Local 698 members, and DASNY employees, had made great sacrifices for DASNY during the pandemic. Your hard work and dedication have improved efficiencies these past months. In fact, there has been an overall increase in productivity throughout the organization. I thank you for that as you make my job easier to do.
I can’t tell you how lucky I am to serve you.
Liz Moran, President Local 698