Part A -Implement Differential Health Care Premium Contributions for New Civilian Hires at Retirement Based on Years of Service. Currently, the taxpayer cost for a retiree with 10 years or more of service is the same as that for a retiree with 30 years of service. Under this proposal, similar to the calculation for pension benefits, taxpayer support for new civilian hires at retirement would vary based on years of service. Those retiring with less than 30 years of service would receive a taxpayer subsidy which is less than that for retirees with 30 or more years of service. Subsidies begin at 10 years of service and gradually increase until they are no different than current levels once an individual reaches 30 years of service. This change will be fully implemented for post April 1, 2019 civilian hires in approximately 30 years once the current retiree group is largely replaced. (emphasis added)

Part B – Cease reimbursement of the Medicare Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amounts to high income State retirees. Purpose: This bill would eliminate automatic State reimbursement of the Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amounts (IRMAA) to high income State retirees.

Effective January 1, 2019, with savings beginning in January 2019, elimination of the extra IRMAA subsidy provided to roughly 7,000 IRMAA participants would save $12M annually and reduce unfunded Other Postemployment Benefits (OPEB) liabilities by roughly $360M. This bill would take effect on January 1, 2019 for premiums incurred on or after January 1, 2019.

Part C –Medicare Part B standard premium for eligible State NYSHIP retirees and their dependents at the 2019 level of $135.50 per month. This bill would amend section 167-a of the Civil Service Law to provide that, effective April 1, 2019, State reimbursement to eligible retirees and their dependents for the Medicare Part B standard premium shall not exceed $135.50 per month.


Part A This creates a dual system for civilian state employees hired after April 1, 2019 and their costs for retiree health insurance for themselves and/or dependents.  Another attempt to alter the method on how the State shifts retiree health insurance costs back to the State retiree.  However to make it more “palatable” this time the approach singles out “new hires after April 1, 2019 for the increased retiree health insurance costs.  OMCE is opposed to this cost shifting.  Industry experts indicate that this year an average 5% increase in health insurance costs is anticipated.  NYS NYSHIP rates are showing a 2.8% increase.  The fact that the increase is .8% above the Executive’s self-imposed 2% spending cap continues to unleash this need to squeeze retirees for more contributions.  The fact remains that the State will continue to enjoy the billions in health insurance savings it receives from having Medicare retirees utilizing Medicare as the primary insurance and the NYSHIP as the secondary insurer.  Such a proposed plan hints that current State employees and retirees might be willing to sacrifice a hard won and protected benefit for future hires. OMCE is urging all in the labor movement to oppose the creation of another “dual benefit” structure. 

PART B  This proposal ends the IRMMA reimbursement starting this January 1, 2019

This proposed budget once again revisits the cost shifting of retiree health care. IRMMA ( Income Related Monthly Medicare Adjustment) participants are cast as “scapegoats” receiving something special rather than receiving a hard won court tested benefit that ALL original Medicare employee expenses ( Part D was not part of the original Medicare) are reimbursable under Section 167A of Civil Service Law.  The State continues to discount the Savings earned by Medicare being the first payor of retiree/Medicare recipients expenses prior to NYSHIP.

Part C  This creates a maximum Medicare reimbursement of $135.50 per month.

Section 167A of Civil Service Law would be changed to create this reimbursement rate.  If Medicare Part B costs increase for the employee by change in the Federal rate then the State’s reimbursement is frozen at the $135.50 level.  

Over 50 years of savings to the taxpayers are conveniently overlooked by this proposal. Billions have been saved by having Medicare serve as the primary health insurer for the eligible State retirees with the NYSHIP serving a secondary role. The overall 2.8% NYSHIP increased cost falls far short of the national average shown as 5%.   This is a 50+ year reimbursement that is part of the NYS employee benefits. foundation that allows the State to couple Medicare with the NYSHIP resulting in savings for the State when compared with the expenses projected without Medicare insurance absorption of the majority of these retiree charges.

OMCE will join with all other public sector AFL-CIO affiliated unions and others to fight these changes..AGAIN!!



Learn More About Your  OPEIU (OMCE) Identity Protection Membership Benefit

As a member of OMCE and OPEIU, you are entitled to the OPEIU Identity Protection benefit — a comprehensive defense against identity theft. This benefit is available free to all OPEIU members.

Learn more about the benefit by registering to participate in an informational webinar on Feb. 6 at NOON EST or 3 P.M. EST.

How to Register

All participants must register in advance through the links below (you need only register for one session):

To attend the NOON EST session, register by clicking this link :https://opeiu.adobeconnect.com/idprotection2019/event/registration.html

Dial-in number (USA): +1-866-814-9555
Conference Code : 1669323050

To attend the 3 P.M. EST session, register by clicking this link: https://opeiu.adobeconnect.com/idprotection19/event/registration.html

Dial-in number (USA): +1-866-814-9555
Conference Code : 1669323050

Once you register for either session of the webinar through these links, you will receive a confirmation email from Suzanne Fenech.

About the Webinar 

OPEIU has contracted one of the nation’s leading identity protection solutions, InfoArmor®, to protect members against this $16 billion crime that impacted more than 15 million Americans last year. If you become a victim of identity fraud, InfoArmor’s trained experts will help you store your identity as best as possible to what it was before the incident. This can save you hundreds of hours of your own time, productivity and money!Please plan to join us to learn how to make the most of this benefit.

Topics to be explored:

You can activate your identity protection benefit at any time by visiting www.OPEIUidProtect.com, or calling 855-990-0994 for further information.

Register now to attend either the NOON or 3 P.M. EST webinar!


2019 Deferred Compensation Limits Announced

The Office of the New York State Comptroller has issued Bulletin # 1700. It states the following limits for the New York State Deferred Compensation Plan for calendar year 2019.

Employees are not eligible to choose both the “Retirement Catch-Up” and the “50 and Over Catch-Up” in the same calendar year.



We had anticipated an increase, since the 22 month rate guarantee had expired in 2018. Met is obligated to tell subscribers of the increase.  They delayed, and the announcement was finalized on December 28, 2018.  It is our understanding that the increase was prompted by actuarial reasons of normal inflation plus a group utilization increase.   

We are troubled by the unannounced increase since we were told that Met would contact subscribers regarding the increase. This did not happen for those who have a deduction taking automatically from their bank account ( ACH Automated Clearing House Account).


Direct billed member/participants are getting a rate increase notification letter.

While insurance increases are actuarial driven and often anticipated, it is the lack of subscriber contact that is most troubling.   

OMCE is announcing the revised rates to all new potential subscribers and believed that Met was contacting all currently enrolled about the increase so that they could plan accordingly.  This was not done for those with "ACH withdrawals" and for that we apologize.  

We are for the most part members are happy with this extensive dental program but NOT with the unannounced increase.  We are currently negotiating with EMBLEM health for a "no annual limit" plan that offers a similar network with affordability.  This plan like the current MET one is designed to help control costs for those with serious dental health needs and not for those who just desire routine dental care. 



New York Paid Family Leave is insurance that may be funded by employees through payroll deductions. Public employers may choose to participate in PFL and those that choose to do so must bargain that participation with their collective bargaining units. Most Executive Branch M/C employees are mandated participants in PFL.  Private sector employers/employees participation is mandated.

Increased benefits have resulted in increased employee deductions.

In 2019, the contribution is 0.153% of an employee’s gross wages each pay period. The maximum annual contribution is $107.97 ( $4.15 per bi-weekly pay.)

Eligible employees can now take up to 10 weeks of Paid Family Leave (PFL) in 2019 for eligible family

The weekly PFL benefit is capped at 55% of the New York State average weekly wage, which for 2019 is $746.41.

Recent legislation expanding PFL to include Bereavement Leave was  VETOED by Governor Cuomo.

You are allowed to “opt out” of PFL if you are retiring within 6 months. If you “opt-out” and do not retire you will need to pay the deduction plus interest. 

Visit  https://paidfamilyleave.ny.gov/ for “opt out” and other PFL information.  



2019 Scholarship Applications

2019 OPEIU Scholarship application links will be posted in January 2019.   
Union Plus Scholarship Application is available now and deadline is January 31, 2019 (click here)



OMCE Pre-Retirement Meeting Recording

OMCE Pre-Retirement Teleconference Recording Is Available  

 Click link above, then click on the triangle in the center of the screen to start



2019 Employee Benefit Changes for Retirees

Please see all changes (PDF)



On November 14, 2018 OMCE President Barbara Zaron and Executive Director Joe Sano met with Mike Volforte, Director, GOER and Lynda Scalzo, M/C Issues Associate, GOER.

Since the State and some state-wide labor organizations have reached agreements on new contracts, the entire parity issue for MCs was again addressed. We have addressed our issues with the Assembly leadership and the incoming leadership of the NYS Senate.. We will continue to make our needs known to all.

We believe that continuing M/C parity with the bargaining unit employee salary schedules dictates that MCs get no less than at least the same COLA (Cost of Living Adjustment) increases delineated in the next series of "pay bills" won or to be approved by the bargaining units. Currently that is 2%.

If this is not accomplished the Administration’s announced goal of fair treatment and continuing M/C pay parity will never be achieved.

Additionally, we stressed the following:

We welcome the continuing opportunity to share our input and ideas on the anticipated upcoming NYS budget and the need to address the challenging and ongoing MC parity issues.  Now, when the proposed Executive Budget is being finalized and prior to the inauguration of the next Legislative Session, is the optimum time for such meetings. 


OMCE Working for M/C Employees

As published in The Chief/Civil Service Leader, New York, NY November 16, 2018

November 2018 • Barbara Zaron, President

The Organization of NYS Management/Confidential Employees (OMCE) al though not subject to the Janus' decision has closely followed the case, Court De cision and resulting impact.

OMCE is the labor organi zation created by and for M/C employees who are not per mitted by the Taylor Law to be represented by an employ er organization in collective bargaining negotiations. For over 42 years OMCE has worked for New York States' M/C workforce to ensure they receive the pay and benefits equity received by other mem bers of NY States' workforce & we earn our members trust- and their dues payments—by working for them every day.

OMCE's activities include providing representation in Civil Service Law Section 75 discipline matters and all employment-based investi gations; ensuring payment of M/C Performance Advances, Longevity Payments and General Salary increases, advocating for M/C pay pari ty for all including retirees; defending retired and active employees health benefits against annual attacks, mon itoring and taking action when needed re: The NYS Employees Retirement Sys tem, and state agencies and programs.

In preparing for the 2019—2020 budget and leg islative session—OMCE has proposed to the Budget Di rector and Director of GOER that the following proposals be included in the budget:
1) Provide for M/C's gener al salary increases—mini mum 2% for each fiscal year—2019-20, 2020-2021, 2021-2022 to avoid salary compression with those they supervise.
2) Reestablish Vacation Exchange program to allow M/C employees the opportu nity to cash in up to 10 days of accumulated annual leave.
3) Create longevity steps for M/C employees at grade 18 and above. Currently only M/C's at G 17 and below are eligible for longevity pay ments—salary compression is a significant issue and pro viding longevity payments at 5,10 and 15 years at job rate would help alleviate that problem.
4) Create an "Opt Out" for the Income Protection Plan (IPP) M/C's currently accrue 8 days of sick leave rather than 13 days per year that other state employees ac crue. Those that choose to "Opt Out" would go back to the full accruals of 13 days per year and the use of half paid sick leave as defined in the attendance rules.
5) Implement a Succession Planning Initiative similar to that used by the Federal Government the last five years.
6) Retiree Pay Parity: While we have been success ful in restoring for active M/C employees the 2009 and 2010 withheld 7 percent gen eral salary increases, there are M/C's now retired who were unable to receive any, or minimal restoration of that pay. We plan to re-introduce legislation that would pro vide a minimum restoration of $70 per each month the re tiree worked without receipt of the 2009-2010 7 percent monies with a maximum $5000 award as a minimal recompense for the never paid increases.

In addition, OMCE offers a broad spectrum of voluntary benefits for our members.



Medicare managers announced last week that they will hold increases in Medicare Part B premiums to about 1.1 percent for most enrollees in 2019. For some high-income enrollees, however, premiums will rise 7.4 percent. Medicare Part B is the component of the traditional Medicare program that covers physician services and hospital outpatient care.

Here's a look at how the monthly Part B premiums will change, by annual income level:

The annual Medicare Part B deductible will increase 1.1 percent, to $185.

Why are high earners paying so much more for Medicare Part B?

Congress has been increasing the share of Medicare costs that high earners pay in recent years. ( Often referred to as IRMMAA payers (Income Related Monthly Medicare Adjustment Act)

For 2018, the top annual income category for Medicare Part B rate-setting purposes was for $160,000 and over for individuals, and for $320,000 and over for couples. Premiums from those Medicare Part B enrollees are supposed to cover 80 percent of their Part B claims.

In the Balanced Budget Act of 2018, Congress added a new annual income category: for individuals earning $500,000 or more and couples earning $750,000 or more. Premiums from Part B enrollees in that income category are supposed to cover 85 percent of those enrollees' Part B claims. How do the Medicare increases compare with the Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA)?

The Social Security Administration recently announced that the 2019 Social Security COLA will be 2.8 percent.That means the size of the COLA will be greater than the increase in Medicare premiums for all Medicare enrollees other than the highest-income Medicare Part B enrollees and the enrollees who pay the full cost of the Medicare Part A premiums.


ATTENTION Members and Retirees
Matter of Merton Simpson v. Department of Civil Service

Current or former New York State employees who are African-American or Hispanic may be entitled to part of settlement proceeds from the Matter of Merton Simpson v. Department of Civil Service.   

The New York State Department of Civil Service administered a test called the promotion test battery from 1996 to 2006.  A similar test was utilized in 1996 for some open competitive titles.   

It was alleged that the tests had a disparate impact on African-American and Hispanic test-takers in a class action federal lawsuit named Merton Simpson et al. v. Department of Civil Service et al.   

List of individuals owed a monetary award 
Settled in 2011, the case resulted in monetary awards to class members. Individuals who never claimed their awards can be found at:    https://www.osc.state.ny.us/ouf/files/settlement.pdf

If you’re on the list, contact Attorney General’s Litigation Bureau at (518) 776-2300 to learn if you’re entitled to an award and how to claim it.


Reminder: OPEIU/OMCE Free College Benefit  Application Deadline is Aug. 22

Don't miss out. Apply Today.

Your union is pleased to offer members access to free college through the OPEIU Free College Benefit, so you and your family (spouse, children, grandchildren and stepchildren are included) can earn an accredited, transferable associate degree with no out-of-pocket cost to you. Please check with your college of choice to validate that course credit will be accepted for transfer.   OMCE active and retired members are members of OPEIU Local 153.

Don’t be left behind! Check out the details at FreeCollege.OPEIU.org or call 888-590-9009 to talk to an advisor today.

Start the Fall right by making your education a top priority. The Fall 2018 semester enrollment ends Aug. 22

Complete information and enrollment details are available at FreeCollege.OPEIU.org or by calling 888-590-9009.

This benefit is not currently available in Canada, but OPEIU has made arrangements to cover our Canadian members on a case-by-case basis. Canadian members please contact Luis Rosa at lrosa@EGCC.edu for more information and to apply. Spaces are limited.

We encourage you to take advantage of this valuable new OPEIU/OMCE membership benefit. It pays to belong to OMCE/OPEIU!






Working Advantage    https://www.workingadvantage.com  Is a web based member service (call/email OMCE  ( 800 828 6623 nysomce@gmail.com) for your passcode if you don’t have it).

Working Advantage offers discounted tickets to DISNEY theme parks, all major national amusement parks, water parks, and through their "Preferred Access™ tickets" you can find great seats to your sporting events, concerts, theater and more!  (Ski resorts during the winter months too!)

Preferred Access™ tickets are available for most high-demand tickets for concerts, college and professional sports and major events around the world. 

Please note that Preferred Access™ tickets are sourced through a variety of ticket sellers who determine the prices which may be above or below the face value of the tickets. Working Advantage does not markup these tickets and therefore they may be typically less expensive then purchasing them from other sites.  They will often have last minute deals on unsold tickets as well for ALL types of events.










2018 Scholarship Winners Announced   …It Pays to Belong!

2018 OPEIU Howard Coughlin Scholarship Award Winner Will Carmello accepts his $6500 national award from OMCE President Barbara Zaron. Pictured are (l-r) President Zaron, Mr. Will Carmello  , Mr. William Carmello (member) and OMCE Executive Director Joe Sano OMCE also awarded runner -up scholarships funded by M3 Technology Inc. of $250 to Jamil Alexander (Clark Alexander member), Claire Carmello (William Carmello member), Corey Chevren (Michael Chevren member), Morgan Connelly (Kevin Connelly member), Mariya James (Gimal James member) Michael and Nicholas Miliano (Michael Miliano member) and Christopher Munoz (Cheryl Munoz member). Congratulations to all OPEIU/OMCE scholarship winners and their families.  Please check our website and the Member Benefit section for updated 2019 Union Plus and OPEIU scholarship information as it is announced.



FYI  Primary and Election Day Participation

We urge everyone to vote in the upcoming September 13 primaries and November 6, general elections. Information on mail registration, in-person registration, change of address, absentee ballot and change of party enrollment is available at www.elections.ny.gov




The Governor's Office of Employee Relations has advised us that floating holidays have been designated in lieu of fixed holidays for Election Day, 2018, and Lincoln's Birthday, 2019. State offices will be open on Election Day, November 6, 2018 and Lincoln’s Birthday, February 12, 2019. Managerial/Confidential employees will on each of those dates receive credit for a holiday to be used on a date of their choice.. The credit(s) for these two floating holidays will be carried as separate entries on time records and will not be merged with holiday leave or holiday compensatory time. Floating holiday credit may be charged in quarter-hour units (or smaller units pursuant to local agreements). Each floating holiday must be used by November 4, 2019, and February 11, 2020, respectively. For employees in the above units, therefore, November 6, 2018 and February 12, 2019, will not be observed as holidays and are to be treated as regular workdays.  Please consult the updated Attendance and Leave Manual if further clarification is needed.


The MC Retiree Parity Bill did not pass in this year’s legislative session. The Senate version received quick attention and was awaiting passage in the Senate (on Third Reading). Meanwhile the Assembly version (A10093) languished at the hands of Assembly Program Counsel who called for a single word change (“…all “such” retirees….” Counsel wanted the word “such” removed). This was quickly done in the Senate version creating S7771A, but the Assembly rules called for a new amended version (A10909) to be resubmitted to committee for consideration.

Based on our information the Governor’s office indicated that if the Bill passed it would be vetoed since NO SPECIFIC funding was in the budget even though funds are allocated for such settlements. Thus, the Senate held final action knowing that the Assembly leadership had bowed to Executive pressure.

We appreciate the efforts of Senator Young (Senate Finance Chair) and Assembly Member Patricia Fahy for her efforts to keep our bill alive and resubmitted. The session ended before any opportunity to move the Assembly version could be championed.

The OMCE Board has directed that this issue must never be forgotten.  Our progress in the Senate must be duplicated in the Assembly and result in a final passed bill if we cannot convince the Governor to provide budget funding.

S7771 and A10093/A 10909 will be resubmitted to ALL for budget inclusion and as a stand-alone bill in 2019-20.



Parity Bill for Retirees IS Moving !


Albany Monday May 14, 2018: The State Senate today moved S7771 out of committee and directly to a floor Calendar (# 1165). A Senate vote can be imminent.

The Assembly is slated to move their version, A10093 on Tuesday May 15 out of committee and hopefully to Ways and Means/or the Rules Committee and then to a Floor (Action) Calendar.

Keep those electronic letters coming. (See below and click on text) They do get counted and reported!

TAKE ACTION NOW!  The injustice and financial harm caused by the 2009-10 salary withholds, continues to plague many MC retirees and those retiring in the near future. A10093/S7771 will begin to bring some relief to those who never received any restoration or limited restoration of what they were promised and lost.




4/19/18---OMCE 2018 Board of Directors Nominations Open

Each year at this time we begin looking for OMCE members who may be interested in serving on the OMCE Board of Directors. There are five seats to be filled this year, each for a three-year term.

The process is easy and simple since a member can self-nominate. Just submit your resume, a letter stating your interest to run for a Board seat and a statement that can be used for the ballot, describing your background, the issues and priorities you would want to focus on as a Board member and why members should choose you. Nominations are reviewed by the Nomination Committee members who will present a slate of nominees to the OMCE Board and, if needed, arrange for the mail ballot. Nominations, via email or regular mail, must be received in the OMCE office no later than June 6, 2018.

Board members are expected to participate in four Board meetings per year (March, June, September/October, December) in person or by phone and to serve on at least one committee. Board members are not paid to serve on the Board; travel expenses are reimbursed at state rates.

OMCE is an organization of, by and for M/C employees who choose to join, since designation as an M/C does not mean automatic enrollment as an OMCE member. OMCE officers and committee members are all volunteers for these positions.

We need active working state M/C employees who are interested in being leaders in the fight to improve the working conditions of M/C employees and to ensure their rights and benefits are protected.

For additional information, contact OMCE at nysomce@gmail.com, 518-456-5241, or from outside area code 518, at 1-800-828-6623.


TAKE ACTION NOW!  The injustice and financial harm caused by the 2009-10 salary withholds, continues to plague many MC retirees and those retiring in the near future. A10093/S7771 will begin to bring some relief to those who never received any restoration or limited restoration of what they were promised and lost.


Albany, NY   4/13/2018

As anticipated the 2018-2019 Budget Bulletin authorizing MC Salary Increases has arrived. Budget Bulletin D-1137 (https://www.budget.ny.gov/guide/bprm/bulletins/d-1137.pdf) spells out the details of these payments.  The main points are:

Please contact OMCE if you have any questions regarding the Bulletin or your salary determination. The Comptroller’s office will be issuing companion Payroll Bulletins shortly.  







(Click Here) To send a letter to your Senator and Assemblymember




2018 OPEIU Scholarship Program Applications Are Now Available

Please go to the following site to obtain your OPEIU scholarship application(s) for the specific OPEIU scholarship program of your choice


Please submit your application to OMCE by Friday March 23, 2018 (for membership verification and Officer Signature). OMCE will validate all submissions and forward them to OPEIU. Any applications sent directly to OPEIU may be returned since they will not be verified by OMCE.

Our Address:
5 Pine West Plaza suite # 513
Albany, NY 12205



 IRMAA Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amount Reimbursement Form Available

The Fight to Retain Reimbursement Levels Begins Anew

In his proposed 2018-2019 Executive Budget the Governor seeks to end reimbursement for the additional cost of Medicare paid by those deemed to be IRMAA (Income Related) Medicare participants. This is the 4th time the Executive has sought to end this reimbursement since we sustained the right to this reimbursement through the courts.  We are once again opposed ( click here to see OMCE Testimony ) to any reduction in reimbursement for IRMAA recipients as well as to the budget proposal to cap overall Medicare reimbursement at current payment levels ($134 per month for most Medicare eligible). The State has saved billions over the 40+ years since the creation of Medicare by having it serve as the primary health insurance for State retirees with the NYSHIP plan as the secondary coverage.

Regardless the Civil Service Department has mailed IRMAA forms to all previous filers and we have listed the links below for any seeking additional forms or who are now eligible to file for this additional reimbursement.  It is safe to assume that these will not be processed until the conclusion of budget negotiations and a new state budget has begun, hopefully with no changes to any Medicare reimbursements. As the Budget process moves forward we will have “electronic letters” available for you to send which will protest these proposals.


Reimbursement Notice of Medicare Part B Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA)

IRMAA Reimbursement Request Application




President Zaron and Executive Director Deliver OMCE's 2018 NYS Executive Budget Testimony

Joint Legislative Budget Hearing on Workforce Development
January 24, 2018

Click Here to view the video (OMCE verbal testimony begins at 1:20 of video)

Click Here to download the testimony (PDF)


Retiree Parity Bill

AN ACT to amend the civil service law, in realation to establishing a retiree parity payment for certain employees who served in a position or positions in the classified position of the state of New York designated managerial or confidential pursuant to article fourteen of the civil service law

Click here to view the bill


Governor's Executive Budget Proposal

Here is the snap shot of the state workforce presented in The Governor's proposed Executive Budget.

Note that the Governor again proposes to:

The two proposals are very similar to proposals the Governor advanced in the last several proposed budgets - which were rejected by the legislature and not included in the enacted budgets.

We will oppose, as we have previously, the IRMAA subsidy elimination - and further review the Medicare Part B Standard Premium proposal.

Additional information will be posted as we review it.?



The Justice Center and MCs-Why You Need OMCE Representation

Albany, November 10, 2017:  By: OMCE Special Counsel Richard Paul Wolfe, Esq.

Soon after the Justice Center’s 6/30/13 launch of the Center’s reporting system for abuse and neglect, an internal Justice Center decision was made to strictly interpret obstruction, to include any failure to report abuse or neglect without regard to intent.

OMCE began to get calls from members beginning in January 2014 that the Justice Center was targeting members on the issue of obstruction. Three cases, which were resolved this year, are instructive as to how our membership might better prepare to deal with the Justice Center.


In a case arising in Erie County in September 2013 our member was charged with failing to adequately plan for the protection of a victim of service recipient abuse, failure to appropriately refer the victim for placement and obstruction in relation to a related January 2014 allegation of abuse.

At the outset we saw that the two level two charges (failure to plan, and failure to refer for placement) were 20/20 hindsight, and a piling on of charges, added to the obstruction charge stemming from the original January 2014 allegation of abuse.

Our member, a treatment team leader, was accused by a nurse of ordering her not to report the alleged January 2014 incident to the Justice Center. From the underlying incident report, as the first on the scene investigator of the allegation, the nurse needed to explain why she had not personally reported to the Justice Center. Our member had given her nurse a pass by advising her nurse that she was not compelled to call the Justice Center pursuant to local policy within the first twenty-four hours, unless her initial investigation led her to believe that the incident rose to the level of abuse or neglect. Under Justice Center interrogation the nurse converted this advice into a statement that she had been ordered not to call the Justice Center 

OMCE supported our member’s appeal of the obstruction level three charge and the two level two abuse charges. At the first day of hearing in October 2016 the OMCE supported defense provided expert witnesses. The expert testimony was targeted at rebutting the charges of failure of effective treatment planning and failure of effective placement referral.  Our member’s hospitalization during the October 2016 hearing caused a continuance until November 2017      

In October 2017 the Justice Center completely withdrew the level two abuse charges against our Erie County member in exchange for our withdrawing our appeal on the obstruction charge. The strength of the Justice Center case for obstruction was that since the nurse was willing to testify that she was ordered not to call the Justice Center, she had a defense against an obstruction charge against herself, and made the case for the Justice Center against our member.


Next let’s examine a Broome County case where OMCE supported our member’s appeal of a Justice Center charge of obstruction. In this case our member, a treatment team leader, was reviewing the facility incident reports filed from the previous reporting period. As chair of the incident review committee, our member stopped the meeting on the fourth review of the eighteen incidents to be reviewed by the committee that day. In the fourth incident report there was notation of a nurse addendum of a physical examination of the service recipient after his allegation of abuse. The addendum noted a bruise consistent with the allegation. As chair of the incident review committee our member ruled that notwithstanding the service recipient’s subsequent recantation of his abuse allegation, the nurse’s observation of bruising consistent with abuse warranted a full investigation. Our member ordered the head of shift to remove the alleged abuser from duty and to call the Justice Center, which was all appropriately recorded on the official incident report. The Justice Center charged our member with obstruction for failure to personally call. 

At hearing the Justice Center’s Administrative Law Judge ruled for the Justice Center, but was reversed in a lengthy written decision by the Justice Center’s newly appointed Executive Director.  The decision of the Executive Director essentially reasoned that but for our member’s action, there would have been no call to the Justice Center, and while failure to personally call might technically qualify as obstruction, this case did not warrant an obstruction charge.

CASE # 3

Shortly after the Broome ruling, OMCE received word that the obstruction charge against a Monroe County team leader was being withdrawn. In the Monroe County case our member reported to his facility’s quality assurance division that a prior anonymous report of abuse was similar in fact pattern to an actual report that he had received from one of his staff. The quality assurance division subsequently investigated and determined that the staff’s report was not abuse and reported its findings to the Justice Center. The Justice Center questioned our member, an experienced team leader with an exemplary record. After interrogating our member, Justice charged our member with obstruction since there was no personal call to the Justice Center.

From confidential sources, inside the Justice Center, we know that the Monroe County case was reviewed, by the Justice Center’s administrative appeals unit, after the above described Broome formal ruling. We believe that the Monroe County case reflects the first time that the administrative appeals unit backed away from strict liability on obstruction for failure to personally call the Justice Center.


do not assume that your honesty, good intentions, and long exemplary service to the state will insulate you from being charged with obstruction.

If the Justice Center wants to interview you CALL OMCE (1800 828-6623) for representation.

Justice Center representatives may advise you that the level three obstruction charge is like a speeding ticket, or that it is not very serious. Your employer may, on the other hand, use the level three charge, as the basis to fail you on probation as happened in one of these three cases, or as a basis for lowering your annual performance rating and ultimately denying you salary increases due to performance issues.

While a level three charge is not publicly reported by the Justice Center, the state licensing agencies will not directly answer the question of whether you have a duty to report a substantiated allegation of abuse to your licensing agency or professional association. Any substantiated charge by the Justice Center against you is not good for your career or professional standing.

The Justice Center takes a long time to investigate and even longer to hear from you on your appeal. The Erie County case involved nearly four years from inception to resolution. If you even get a whiff of suspicion that you might be the target of Justice Center investigation, after you call OMCE, begin recording (written notes or on your personal electronics) everything you remember about the incident in question, because it may be a long, long time before you are testifying before a Justice Center hearing officer. Do not trust your memory.        

If your agency tells you in writing that you have discretionary authority to delay calling the Justice Center, while you investigate an allegation of possible abuse or neglect, call the Justice Center anyway. We have yet to have a report from a member who got into a problem with the employer because of a precautionary call to the Justice Center.         

Do not attempt to relieve your staff from any perceived notion that they may need to call the Justice Center. It is not your responsibility to determine for your staff whether they should call the Justice Center. Simply refer them to their Justice Center training (see Editor’s note below).

If there is any doubt whatsoever, always advise staff to call the Justice Center, even if they are only remotely suggesting the possibility of abuse or neglect. Do not rely on your agency’s written guidance as to your discretionary authority during the initial investigation of what might be abuse or neglect. The Justice Center takes the position that Justice Center regulations and training trump state agency policy. 


Editor’s Note:

The Justice Center has updated their training modules and are slowly delivering them to non-profit and State Agency provider facilities.  Most notable is the following taken from Slide #46 back in March 2017:

"Multiple Reporting Requirement



Important Health Care Information


"Health Insurance Choices for 2018" is now available.  Please contact your local agency benefits administrator to review your choice of either : the Empire Plan, or an approved HMO for your area or the "Opt-Out " program.

Pre-Tax Contribution Program (PTCP) Enrollment November 1-30, 2017

The PTCP Enrollment period is your only opportunity during the plan year to change your PTCP status, unless you experience a PTCP qualifying event.  This program allows you to have your share of your health insurance premium deducted from your paycheck before taxes are withheld.




(Previous registrations MAY require updating..you will either be advised that your a duplicate SS number ( you’re already covered) or directed to update the account)

OPEIU Introduces New Membership Benefit: Identity Protection

OPEIU is pleased to announce its newest membership benefit free for all members, identity protection.

Now all OPEIU members will have a proactive, comprehensive defense against identity theft, all at no cost to you.

OPEIU has contracted one of the nation’s leading identity protection solutions, InfoArmor®, to protect members against this $16 billion crime that impacted almost 15.4 million Americans last year.


ATTENTION RETIREES MET LIFE DENTAL PLAN Inquiries Please Refer to the Following:

For Coverage:
Dentist Office is to Call Met Life at (877) 638-3379

For Effective Date:
Member is to Call M-3 Technologies at (855) 418-0501
(When Prompted please select Option #2)


There’s a rumor circulating that if you do not turn your November 7th ballot over and vote “NO” on the Constitutional Convention ( Con-Con) Proposal you will be counted as a “YES” vote.








This is absolutely “FALSE” !

The “Con-Con” proposition will be determined by a majority of the votes cast.

You are urged to vote “NO”!

This rumor grew out of recent news reports regarding  a proposed Teamsters’ private pension reduction referendum and the ERISA/Federal regulations that treats uncast ballots as affirmative /yes votes for those proposed benefit reductions.  That private specific referendum has nothing to do with the NYS Constitutional Convention proposal. Somehow this private sector Teamster issue got convoluted into the “Con-Con” issue.

Again, the majority of the votes CAST on the Constitutional Convention proposition will determine the outcome.




( The following is taken from NYS Civil Service and Governor’s Office of Employee Relations Websites cited below. OMCE notes are in italics)

Beginning January 1, 2018, New York State's Paid Family Leave program will provide paid time off so an employee can bond with a newly born, adopted or fostered child; care for a close family member with a serious health condition; or assist loved ones when a family member is deployed abroad on active military duty.

The Paid Family Leave benefit will be available beginning January 1, 2018 for New York State Management/Confidential (M/C) employees. State employees in the Executive Branch who are represented by a union will have access to Paid Family Leave when the State and their respective union reach an agreement to provide the benefit to its members.

Eligibility Criteria

New York State employees must be employed full-time (20 or more hours per week) for 26 consecutive weeks or part-time (less than 20 hours per week) for 175 days to be eligible for Paid Family Leave.


Paid Family Leave will be phased in over four years, beginning January 1, 2018.

In 2018, an employee may take up to eight weeks of paid leave at 50% of the employee's Average Weekly Wage (AWW), up to 50% of the New York State Average Weekly Wage (SAWW). The annual maximum increases to 12 weeks of paid leave in 2021, paid at 67% of the employee's average weekly wage, up to 67% of the SAWW.

Your AWW is calculated by averaging your gross wages from the eight weeks before your leave starts. The SAWW is updated annually. It is currently $1305.92.

For example, in 2018, an employee who makes $1,000 per week would receive a benefit of $500 per week (50% of $1,000). An employee who makes $2,000 a week would receive a benefit of $652.96 per week, because the benefit is capped at one-half of the SAWW.

Payroll Deductions for Paid Family Leave (It is a mandatory deduction)

New York's Paid Family Leave Program is employee-funded. Payroll deductions for Paid Family Leave will begin no sooner than January 1, 2018 for M/C employees. (While the law provides for immediate deduction it is being delayed) The 2018 Paid Family Leave deduction is 0.126 percent (0.00126) of an employee's weekly wage, capped at the SAWW (currently $1305.92).

{Examples: $50000 annual salaried employee, AWW of $961.54 x.00126=$1.21 $1.21 per week x 2 week pay periods=$2.42 per bi-weekly check deduction.  

$67908 Annualized salary $3.29 per bi-weekly check maximum deduction) (Employees who know they will be separating from NYS employment may “Opt out” of coverage prior to separation. Consult program guidelines for more information)  

Employee Resources

New York State Paid Family Leave Website  
Employee Fact Sheet ( PDF )




- Why you and your family should vote NO on a Constitutional Convention
- 2018 Legislation-Parity Payments for retirees
- Update: Justice Center, Retiree Health Insurance Attacks
- Your Questions

Wednesdays:  October 25th 5:30 PM or November 1st 5:30 PM

Call 1 800 828-6623 to register and receive dial in codes

No Con Con Labor Walk 

OPPOSE the holding of a Constitutional Convention SATURDAY SEPT. 23rd Capital District Rally to SAVE your Pension ( click here for information )

Oppose the Constitutional Convention..Statewide Events Planned go to: nysaflcio.org/noconcon for information

(other area rallies will be announced as scheduled)



New OMCE Board Installed / Zaron Re-Elected as President
Albany, NY   9/18/2017


In our recent election of board members, there were five candidates and five seats open for 3 year terms.

According to OMCE by laws in these circumstances no mail ballot is indicated. Therefore, the New Board Members are Robert Hollander, Precious Stepney, and Donald Sweezy. and Two Incumbent Board Members have another term Maura McCann and William McCartney.

We welcome our New Board Members and express our Thanks to retiring Board Members S. Jody Fox, Robert Hanrahan, and Paul Shore for their years of service on behalf of M/C employees.

At the September Board Meeting - officers were chosen in accordance with the By laws for one year terms, as follows:
President - Barbara Zaron
1st VP - Mark MacConnell
2nd VP - William McCartney
Secretary - Rosa Castillo-Kesper
Treasurer - Robert Perez




Attention OMCE Retirees:  This notice is for Eye Med Subscribers that were affected by the Hurricane Harvey, Irma and Jose.

EyeMed Vision Care is offering enrollees a pair of Adlen’s Adjustable Glasses for free.  They are asking that you call 866-652-0018 to talk to an EyeMed representative.  

For non EyeMed Vision Care members, EyeMed is also continuing to work with their network of local providers and with OneSight to provide additional resources and support for you.  If you are not a subscriber of EyeMed and need glasses or contacts, please call the OMCE office @ 1-800-828-OMCE and we will assist you.



Benefit Spotlight:

Equifax has over 144 Million Consumers Records Hacked!!! DID YOU GET YOUR FREE Identity Theft Protection BENEFIT FROM OMCE and OPEIU?  ALL are working to protect your data!


? Improved FREE ID Theft Protection 

We are pleased to announce an improvement to your identity theft protection benefit, providing you with an even more proactive, comprehensive defense against identity theft – all at no cost to you as an OMCE member. OPEIU has contracted with a new identity protection solution, InfoArmor’sPrivacyArmor, to protect you against this $56 billion crime that affected some 13 million Americans in 2013. There will be no disruption in service during this transition to the new provider, but it is important that you register as soon as possible with InfoArmor to ensure you receive all benefits available.

Features of this benefit include:

Full-Service Privacy Advocate® Restoration - If you become a victim of identity fraud, InfoArmor’s Privacy Advocates are trained and certified experts on identity theft and restoration. They are on standby, ready to notify victims of fraudulent activity and act as a dedicated case manager from the first red-flag indicating a problem to its full and complete resolution. Their training, insight, and familiarity with specific cases equip them to offer specific suggestions on preventative steps to deter future problems as well as to offer their expertise to resolve identity issues.

Internet Surveillance - InfoArmor’s Internet Surveillance continuously monitors the Underground Economy to uncover compromised, sensitive information.  Whether it is personal identifying data or a medical insurance card, Internet Surveillance finds breached data and alerts in real time. InfoArmor monitors your information on black market forums, known-compromised machines and servers, phishing networks, exploited websites and malicious command and control networks to detect fraud where thieves are buying and selling personal information.

Digital Identity Report - This interactive, easy-to-read report not only summarizes what a deep Internet search uncovered, but also offers tangible value while InfoArmor monitors the Underground Economy.

Again, to activate your benefits you must be a member, and you must register immediately by going to the BENEFITS Section on the OMCE website

 If you have already activated, login to your account here ?? myportal.infoarmor.com.




Tuesday November 7, 2017 ELECTION DAY
Albany, NY   8/31/2017

The State has designated Election Day as a floating holiday in 2017 for State employees designated as MC who are scheduled to work on that day.

Section 21.1
August 2017

TO: Manual Recipients
FROM: Scott DeFruscio, Director of Staffing Services 
SUBJECT: Veterans' Day—November 11, 2017 (emphasis added by OMCE)

A number of agencies have inquired about Veterans' Day, which falls on Saturday, November 11, 2017. We have been advised by the Governor's Office of Employee Relations that another day will not be designated to be observed as a holiday by State employees in lieu of November 11, 2017.

Full-time employees who are entitled to observe holidays, and for whom Saturday, November 11, is a regular day off, should be credited with compensatory time off in lieu of the holiday either as holiday compensatory time (for all units except for Security Services, Security Supervisors, and Agency Police Services Units) or as an additional day of vacation (for Security Services, Security Supervisors, and Agency Police Services Units).

Part-time employees who are eligible to observe holidays are entitled to observe only those holidays that fall on days when they are regularly scheduled to work or actually do work. However, eligible part-time employees in the Professional, Scientific & Technical Services, Rent Regulation Services, Administrative Services, Institutional Services, and Operational Services Units, and those designated Managerial/Confidential, who are regularly scheduled to work at least half-time, and who do not work on Saturday, November 11, but who are regularly scheduled to work on Friday, November 10, will be credited with holiday leave equivalent to the number of hours in the employee's regular Friday schedule not to exceed 7.5 or 8 hours.

Employees required to work on Saturday, November 11, 2017, should be paid holiday pay or granted holiday compensatory time off (holiday leave), as appropriate, except that Managerial/Confidential employees at salary grade 23 and above are not eligible for holiday pay and must be granted holiday compensatory time off.

Employees required to work on a holiday which coincides with a pass day may also be entitled to overtime pay in accordance with the Budget Director's Rules.

When an eligible veteran, who has elected holiday pay for holidays worked, is required to work on November 11, Veterans' Day, such employee is entitled to holiday pay pursuant to the negotiated agreement and also to holiday leave pursuant to Section 63 of the Public Officers Law. If, on the other hand, such employee waived holiday pay, one day of holiday leave satisfies both the contractual entitlement and the legal entitlement.


Update on Paid Family Leave
Albany, NY   8/16/2017

 There is no information available yet on the Paid family Leave state workforce implementation plans.


MC 2017-2018 Tuition Reimbursement Program Announced
Albany, NY   8/16/2017

GOER just released the program guidelines, instructions and required forms for the 2017-2018 MC Tuition Reimbursement Program.

Please Note:  "Applications for courses or events that began on or after April 1, 2017 and ended prior to August 15, 2017 must be submitted by October 15, 2017." This complies with the requirement that all applications must be postmarked within 60 days after the end of the course or event.

Instructions and forms can be accessed at the GOER website, goer.ny.gov, click on Training and Development and then on Management Confidential.


New York's Paid Family Leave Program effective January 1, 2018
Albany, NY   7/21/2017

Regulations for New York's Paid Family leave program were adopted and published on July 19, 2017. These regulations are global outlining the rules for private and public sector plans. The rules and guidelines for the State's workforce (including MC employees) paid family leave plan have not yet been issued. Until they are--hopefully in August---we will not answer any questions about how the plan is expected to work. As soon as the necessary information is available it will be posted. 


Albany, NY   6/30/2017

Retired M/Cs seeking parity (Times Union)

(see former posting for complete description of the new initiative)


The OPEIU Free College Benefit is here!
Albany, NY   6/30/2017

 As an OMCE Member you are also a member of OPEIU Local 153.

OPEIU members and their families can now earn an associate degree (see site for specific majors offered) completely free of charge, just by being an OPEIU/OMCE member. Go to FreeCollege.opeiu.org for more information

Please fill out your Union Affiliation when asked as:   OPEIU Local 153 OMCE



Albany, NY   6/26/2017

The first year of this Legislative Session ended late Wednesday June 21st  without action on major pieces of legislation.

Mayoral control of NYC schools and extension of county sales tax rates remain open items and may hint at a legislative return to Albany in the future. OMCE supported legislation re-establishing the Comptroller’s authority over procurement which stalled and faces various obstacles as new versions of the Governor’s idea of a "Chief Procurement Officer" are floated to the legislators. OMCE believes this authority must be fully restored to the Comptroller.

OMCE’s legislation to create a Retiree Tax Credit (A 5211B, S 3066-A) for those not receiving any parity payment remained stalled in committee.  Meanwhile the OMCE board remains determined to extract some form of remuneration for those MCs that retired and received no parity or little parity money. Discussions at this Spring’s OMCE Lunch and Learns has prompted the Board to consider another alternative to the Tax Credit idea-  A Retiree Parity Rebate

Proposal:  To amend Tax Credit Bill or replace it with an alternative bill which will:

( e.g. 60 months x $70=$4200 rebate... (2009-10 $72000 avg salary x .07 withheld=$5040 avg lost COLA/72 months before parity payments=$70 per month avg lost monthly salary …Source: NYS DOB)

Facts to consider:

OMCE counsel will be drafting bill language and we will seek early 2018 introduction for both budget and “stand alone” consideration by  the legislature.


Albany, NY   6/14/2017

OMCE OFFERS MEMEBERS A SOLAR POWER BENEFIT OMCE has teamed up with American Solar Partners who design, finance, and instals residential and commercial solar power projects. They use only high quality, American-made modules with full warranties, and work exclusively with union electrical contractors. All OMCE members will receive a discount under our member benefits program.  American Solar Partners is committed to bringing all of their customers affordable, renewable power to lower their utility bills and help combat climate change. Ask for a free solar assessment and see how much solar can save you!

Purchase, Lease, and Solar Farm share participation options are all available.