2020-2021 MC Retroactive Tuition Reimbursement Program
November 22, 2021

MC employees may now apply for reimbursement for qualifying expenses for courses or events that began during the period APRIL 1, 2020 through MARCH 31, 2021. All applications must be submitted by DECEMBER 31, 2021. See goer.ny.gov/managementconfidential-mc-training-programs.

2021 M3 Technology/OMCE Annual Scholarship Available

Voluntary Benefits Administrator, M3 Technology, is proud to present five $1,000 Scholarship Awards to OMCE members for 2021. Children and grandchildren of OMCE members who have been enrolled in an accredited two or four year college are eligible. Please mail your application (Click HERE to Download) to M3 Technology, 2021 Scholarship, PO Box 512, Matawan NJ 07747 before December 10, 2021. Winners will be selected at random. If you have any questions, please call 1-855-418-0501.

 

 

ANNUAL LEAVE ACCRUAL CAP EXTENDED
October 26, 2021

 We were notified by GOER that the  Annual Leave cap has been extended as follows:

"We are pleased to announce that we have reached agreements with all of the unions to further extend the date to December 31, 2022. This extension also applies to Management/Confidential (M/C) employees.  All unused ANNUAL leave can now be carried through December 31, 2022. At a later date, we will provide additional administrative details about what happens to this leave after December 31, 2022."   

 

Updated COVID-19 Vaccination Verification and Testing policy issued by GOER
October 5, 2021

See the vaccination memo HERE
Download the Employee Instruction Template HERE

Suspension of Statewide Hiring Freeze
September 17, 2021   

On Thursday September 16, 2021 Governor Hochul announced that the state is lifting a hiring freeze that was implemented at the height of the coronavirus pandemic. The Governor said the suspension of the hiring freeze is triggered by an updated state financial plan that projects $2.1 billion in revenue above what had been forecast for the fiscal year.  The Division of the Budget issued Budget Bulletin B-1224, dated September 16, 2021 which  "authorizes the suspension of Budget Bulletin B-1182 (Rev), Statewide Hiring Freeze Guidelines, applicable to Executive State departments and agencies (hereafter collectively referenced as 'agencies'), through March 31, 2022. Agencies should continue to prioritize hiring for core mission activities while prudently managing their resources.

Although hiring freeze waivers are no longer required, agencies should continue to follow Budget Bulletin D-0250 for appointments which require Budget Director's Approval (BDA) transactions during the suspension of the statewide hiring freeze.

Agencies should ensure that internal control and communication procedures are in place to ensure that hiring decisions and resulting appointments are fully authorized by agency management and can be accommodated within existing budget (cash ceiling) limitations."

 

 

NEW GUIDANCE FROM GOER ON COVID-19

GOER issued a memorandum dated September 3, 2021, to Directors of Human Resources Management providing updated guidance for state agency telecommuting, COVID-19 health precautions, and vaccination.

Highlights

Please read the Updated Guidance for State Agency Telecommuting, COVID-19 Health Precautions, and Vaccination memo carefully and address your questions to your agency HR office. We apologize for any confusion caused by our original posting.

Read the entre memorandum HERE

COVID related Policy Bulletin from Department of Civil Service:

Attendance and Leave Policy Bulletin 2021-01-a, dated September 2021 from Civil Service, clarifies that Legislation enacted in March 2021 (Chapter 77, Laws of 2021) entitles all employees to take up to four hours of paid leave for receiving each COVID-19 vaccination, noting that the law does not limit the number of times an employee may receive paid leave for a COVID-19 vaccination, including a COVID-19 booster vaccination.

 

 

OMCE ANNUAL MEETING
September 10 at 5 pm - 5:30 

OMCE MEMBERS - Please join us.  You can help us use our time most effectively during this meeting by sending us an email describing the issue(s) that most concern you that you would like us to address.   - nysomce@gmail.com 

ZOOM meeting
Call in Number    1 646 876 9923
ID                       823 1028 1584
Pass code            236125

 

COVID-19 Inquiries
September 01, 2021

We continue to receive inquiries from MC employees related to agency COVID-19 policies and practices. We are in frequent, regular contact with GOER sharing MC concerns and seeking additional guidance on updated State policy. We welcome your questions and will continue to follow up on these issues.

_________________________________________________________

GOOD NEWS:

M/C Tuition Reimbursement Program (TRP)

M/C employees may now apply for reimbursement for qualifying expenses for courses or events that begin during the period April 1, 2021, through March 31, 2022.

Applications for courses or events that began on or after April 1, 2021, and ended prior to Sept. 1, 2021, must be submitted by Nov. 1, 2021.

NEW BENEFIT - M/C Certification Licensure Exam Fee Reimbursement Program.

The Certification and Licensure Exam Fee Reimbursement (CLEFR) Program reimburses the cost of examination fees for first-time certification and licensure to state M/C employees for exams that occurred on or after April 1, 2021, through March 31, 2022.

Applications for exams that began on or after April 1, 2021, and ended prior to September 1, 2021, must be submitted by November 1, 2021.

(Please note that this does not apply to fees for Civil Service Exams.)

Additional information, instructions, and application forms for both programs are accessible at:

Management/Confidential (M/C) Training Programs | Governor's Office of Employee Relations (ny.gov)

 

State Worker Vaccination and Testing Requirements
July 30, 2021 

We are tracking the implementation of the Governor's announcement that state workers will be required to be vaccinated and those who don't will be required to be tested weekly. Patient-facing healthcare workers in state hospitals are required to be vaccinated. News reports indicate that the Offices of the Attorney General and  the State Comptroller will comply and the state's legislative leaders will also for their members and staff.

We met with GOER staff and discussed questions and concerns shared with us by MC employees. As this is written specific detailed instructions are not available. We will share the informations as soon as it is available

 

 

New Payroll Bulletins were released by the State Comptroller's Office providing instructions for processing:
06/30/2021

Bulletin #1925  April 2020 Management/Confidential (M/C) Retroactive Longevity Lump Sum (LLS) Payment (payment date 7/21/2021 Admin--7/29/2021 Inst)
Bulletin #1926  April 2021 Management/Confidential (M/C) Retroactive Longevity Lump Sum (LLS) Payment (payment date 8/4/2021 Admin--8/12/2021 Inst)
Bulletin #1927  April 2020 Management/Confidential (M/C) Performance Advances (payment date 7/21/2021 Admin---7/29/2021 Inst)
Bulletin #1928  April 2021 Management/Confidential (M/C) Performance Advances (payment date 8/4/2021 Admin---8/12/2021 Inst)


Bulletin # 57   April 2020 State University Construction Fund (SCF) Management/Confidential (M/C) Longevity Lump Sum (LLS) Payment
Bulletin # 58   April 2021 State University Construction Fund (SCF) Management/Confidential (M/C) Longevity Lump Sum (LLS) Payment
Bulletin # 59   April 2020 State University Construction Fund (SCF) Management/Confidential (M/C) Performance Advances
Bulletin # 60   April 2021 State University Construction Fund (SCF) Management/Confidential (M/C) Performance Advances


Bulletin # 61   April 2020 SUNY Construction Fund (SCF) Management/Confidential (M/C) Retroactive 2% Salary Increase Bulletin #1924 issued on June 29, 2021 provides for the April 2020 Management Confidential (M/C) Retroactive 2% Salary Increase (payment date 7/21/2021 Admin--7/29/2021 Inst)

 

PayPal Direct Dues Payers
June 30, 2021

If you pay your OMCE dues through your own PayPal account, we need your help.  

PayPal sends reports of payments made to us, but often the name is not included on the report.  For example - If you use the "Shopping Cart Feature" when the payment is transmitted to PayPal your name may not be transmitted. Therefore, we are unable to credit your payment to you which means our membership payment records are not being updated.  

For payments made in May and June 2021, please call us to be sure your payment has been credited to you.  We can match your payment if you provide your Transaction ID number, as this is the only information we have from PayPal on your payment.  If you cannot find it, call us and let us know you paid.  

Either way, please call us at 518-456-5241 or 1-800-828-6623.  If you prefer, email us at nysomce@gmail.com with your Transaction ID # and include your phone number in case we have questions with the information you provide.

We appreciate your cooperation in helping us resolve this and thank you for your membership in OMCE.

 

Payroll Bulletin 1924
June 29, 2021

Payroll Bulletin 1924, issued June 29, 2021 provides processing instructions for payment of the April 2020 Management/Confidential (M/C) Retroactive 2% Salary Increases.  Payment dates for the Administration payrolls is July 21, 2021, and for the Institution payrolls is July 29, 2021.

 

GOER issues Guidelines on Return to In-Person Work and Telecommuting
June 21, 2021

GOER notified state agencies and authorities that it is time for them to re-engage their employees and plan for a return to normal operations by no later than September 7, 2021. State agencies and authorities are directed to follow these provisions as they increase in-person presence within their workplace:

Now through July 2, 2021
Agencies and authorities will inform employees immediately that the state Telecommuting program will expire on July 2, 2021. After July 2, 2021 agencies and authorities may resume their own specific telecommuting programs that existed before the COVID 19 public health emergency. If they didn't have a telecommuting program or it no longer meets their needs, they may adopt and use the statewide program while they work to develop their own specific program----which must be reviewed  by GOER and in effect by no later than July 31, 2021.

Agencies and Authorities will distribute "Revised Guidance for State Agencies and Authorities during the COVID 19 Public Health Emergency" to all employees reporting in-person to work for their review, affirmation and filing with the agency's HR office, which must be on file with the HR office by July 9, 2021, or no later than 3 business days after an employee returns to in-person work.

July 2,2021 through September 7, 2021
Agencies and Authorities must work toward returning employees to in-person work at an increased frequency--in accordance with the Revised Guidance policy and GOER reviewed agency specific telecommuting program.

September 7, 2021 through Remainder of 2021
Agencies and Authorities will return to pre-pandemic in-person workplace presence with limited exceptions consistent with their GOER reviewed specific telecommuting program. COVID 19 specific accommodations for employees (e.g. child or elder care) are expected to be removed from specific telecommuting programs after notice and engagement with employees. Reasonable accommodations will still be in effect, pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act and Human Rights Laws.

Agencies and Authorities shall maintain regular contact with their respective union representatives to keep them apprised of plans to increase frequency of in-person work and to evaluate and address concerns that are raised.

Note: The above is a summary and does not contain all specific details. Please read the full text of the GOER Memo to Agencies and the DOH Revised Guidance for State Agencies and Authorities memo which are linked here.   

 

 

Contract and Implementing Legislation
June 10. 2021  PEF

MC employees have been calling OMCE to find out if the provisions of the PEF Contract and the implementing legislation, A8036/S7232, specifically with regard to salary increases will apply to MC employees. As far as we can tell at this time the answer is no. There is no companion MC "Pay Bill' nor is there language in the bill extending such provisions to MCs.

We have today discussed the issue of comparable pay raises for 2021 and 2022 for MCs with GOER and understand the issue is under review. We will continue to follow up.

MC Salary Increase Actions Update
June 10. 2021  PEF

Budget Bulletin D-1142 was issued on May 21, 2021 outlining the guidelines and timeframes for payment of the FY 2021 2% General Salary Increase, and the FY 2021 and FY 2022 Longevity Payments and Performance Advances to eligible MC employees. The 2020 Salary Increase and the 2020  Performance Advance and Longevity Payments will be paid July 21,2021 (Admin) and July 29, 2021 (Inst). The 2021 Performance Advance and Longevity Payments will be paid August 4, 2021 (Admin) and August 12, 2021 (Inst).

You can access the bulletin at www.budget.ny.gov, click on state agency guide, click on Budget Bulletins, New D-1142.

 

LETTER TO GOVERNOR CUOMO ON M/C COMPENSATION
May 27, 2021  

OMCE is pleased that our collective efforts to retroactively restore salary increases and benefits has been successful.  There is more work to be done.  We need to have legislation passed and signed into law that guarantees M/C employees fair and equitable treatment in all aspects of compensation.  Additionally, the State must address the outstanding issue of compensating retirees who had their general salary increases withheld in 2009 and 2010.  Our recent letter to Governor Cuomo, see link here, advocates for his immediate support for these critical pieces of legislation.  

You may also contact the Governor at this email address in the Executive Chamber to express YOUR interest in having these important bills made into law.  Please use only your own computer or device to email the Governor; do not use your work computer, phone, tablet or email system!  The Governor may be emailed at:  https://www.governor.ny.gov/content/governor-contact-form

 

Invitation: May 2021 OMCE Teleconference for M/C Employees

The Division of the Budget has just issued its Budget Bulletin controlling the payment of retroactive salary increases. We will discuss salary matters and our legislative agenda priorities as the legislative session in Albany moves towards its final weeks! Please join us at one of the two following teleconference sessions:

Wednesday, May 26, 2021, 12 noon to 12:30 p.m.

OR

Wednesday May 26, 5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

There is NO pre-registration required. Please select the time that is best suited to your schedule and use the following one-time call-in information to join our conversations:

OMCE Teleconference Number: 1-712-770-5505

Access Code: 479632#

Learn why your membership in OMCE is so vitally important. We look forward to talking with you soon!

 

OMCE Executive Director position available - search extended to June 18, 2021
May 21, 2021

OMCE, a member governed labor organization is seeking applicants for the position of Executive Director. Interested applicants should email resumes to:

 nysomce@gmail.com subject: ED Search or mail to NYS OMCE, 5 Pine West Plaza, Suite 513, Albany, NY 12205, Attention ED Search. Resumes must ne received by June 18, 2021, COB.

Download the job description HERE

 

M/C Salary Increases Update
May 14, 2021

We have just learned that the Division of the Budget (DOB) and the Office of the State Comptroller (OSC) have agreed to payment dates for the 2020 General Salary Increase and the 2020 and 2021 Performance Advancements and Longevity Lump Sum Payments. See below:

PLEASE NOTE: there are NO other details available at this time as the DOB Budget Bulletin has yet to be issued. Accordingly, we cannot answer specific questions especially those of recent retirees. Once it is issued OMCE will share a link on this website AND reschedule a virtual meeting on this topic.

We want to thank everyone who reached out through our Action Line email letter program to keep pressure on their legislators and the Administration.

Please check back on our website for additional information!

 

M/C 2020 Salary Increase 07/21/2021 (Admin.) and 07/29/2021 (Inst.)
M/C 2020 Performance Advance & Longevity Payment 07/21/2021 (Admin.) and 07/29/2021 (Inst.)​
M/C 2021 Performance Advance & Longevity Payment 08/04/2021 (Admin.) and 08/12/2021 (Inst.)

    
 
 

 

Second Call – Nominations for OMCE Board of Directors
May 14, 2021

Nominations Due June 10, 2021

The process of identifying nominees for the 2021 OMCE Board of Directors election is underway. Several current Board Members have expressed their interest in running for a new term. OMCE members who are interested in running should consider nominating themselves or another member to run for a seat on the Board.

The OMCE Board of Directors is charged with providing guidance and direction and setting policy for the organization. Board Members are advocates of many & diverse interests and come with different experiences. As our governing board, they address issues of importance and concern to M/C employees, reach agreement through consensus and commission the OMCE staff, law firm and consultants to take necessary and appropriate action.

The Nominations Committee is seeking applications from OMCE members who are active state M/C employees who are willing to commit the time, energy and talent needed to address issues of concern to the approximately 10,000 M/C employees in the Executive Branch who are OMCE members or are eligible for OMCE membership and M/C employees in other branches of government.

If you are ready, willing, and able to invest in OMCE by giving some of your time and energy to help us address issues such as protection of pension and health insurance benefits, M/C compensation and benefits, conditions of employment, workforce and succession management, retirees benefits and many others that we are faced with, contact us now.

Four (4) seats are available for 3-year terms in this year’s election. Send your resume and a statement suitable for use on the ballot describing your interest in serving on the board, your background, priority issues and interests, etc. by June 10, 2021 close of business. Email to nysomce@gmail.com or regular mail, OMCE, 5 Pine West Plaza, Suite 513, Albany, NY 12205.

For additional information, contact OMCE at nysomce@gmail.com or 518-456-5241.

 

M/C Salary Update and M/C Salary Parity Legislation
May 12, 2021  

The administration has yet to provide any date or details concerning the retroactive payment of the 2% general salary increase withheld from M/C employees in 2020.  There has also been no information provided regarding the retroactive OR the prospective payment of Performance Advances or Longevity Payments due M/C employees.  This has been a source of frustration to thousands of M/C employees and especially those considering retirement in the immediate future.  

Please know that we remain in constant contact with the administration, the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations, the Office of the State Comptroller, and our State legislators on this matter.  We ask that you take a few minutes to access our Action Line letter by clicking on the lower button on the left margin of our home page.  This will take you to a letter that will be emailed directly to your legislators in the State Senate and State Assembly.  They need to hear from YOU about how you and your family are negatively impacted by this economic injustice!  This letter also points out the need for your State legislators to support and vote for the proposed M/C Salary Parity legislation that will prevent M/Cs from unfair and inequitable salary policies in the future.  If approved and made into law, this proposal will be the first of its kind in any State to guarantee that unrepresented employees, such as M/Cs, will not be treated differently from their union-represented counterparts in matters of salary increases and related payments.   

Make your voice heard today!  

 

Retiree Membership Qualifications Clarified
May 11, 2021  

We have clarified the parameters of Associate membership in OMCE for retirees.  Associate membership is open to retirees of the State of New York who have at any time during their State career served in a position designated Managerial or Confidential.  Your final position prior to retirement from the State need not be designated Managerial or Confidential for you to join!  We point this out as employees may serve in any variety of titles and bargaining units over the course of their public service career.  If you have served in an M/C position during your career with the State prior to retirement, you are welcome to join OMCE as an Associate member.  Please contact us at 1-800-828-OMCE for more information.  

 

State Labor Power 100 List
May 7, 2021

City and State Magazine has named Barbara Zaron to its State Labor Power 100 list for 2021. Barbara is the President of the OMCE Board of Directors and has served in that role since 1983. Over the course of her tenure, Barbara has selflessly devoted thousands and thousands of hours to OMCE. She has had a pivotal role in leading and shaping our organization through the decades and made a distinct difference by improving the working lives and benefits of M/C employees and retirees. City and State Magazine’s recognition of Barbara’s status is an affirmation of these achievements and contributions. It speaks to the significant influence that she wields in advocating for M/C employees and bringing results to those who otherwise cannot join a union to bargain collectively. Please join us in congratulating Barbara! A link to City and State Magazine follows: https://www.cityandstateny.com/

 

M/C Update
April 28, 2021

As previously posted, the Administration has established dates for retroactive payment of the April 2020 2% salary increases for other bargaining units. There is no date set as of yet for M/C employees. Further, there is no word provided on the retroactive payment of longevities and performance advances (steps). We continue to press various contacts within the Administration on these matters on an almost daily basis.

Please know that there is no guarantee whatsoever that if you have retired (or will retire) PRIOR to the future payment date of any past salary increase that you will receive either retroactive salary payments and/or retirement system pension credit reflecting those payments. We await issuance of the NYS Division of the Budget bulletin on this matter as it alone is the controlling document in such matters. Again, we urge patience.

Yet another bill is being proposed in the State legislature to establish a retirement incentive program that would apply to employees of the State of New York State. A bill exclusively applying only to employees of the City of New York has already been passed. As we have previously stated, there has yet to be any sign of strong support from either the Senate or Assembly leadership for such legislation to move forward. Further, the Governor has yet to express support for such legislation. Also, the Governor did not include a retirement incentive proposal in the recently adopted Executive Budget. This may be due to the fact that the budget freeze coupled with ongoing retirements has reduced the State workforce by more than 8,000 employees. Additionally, retirement incentives typically have been an alternative to a reduction in force (layoff). Outside of limited facility closings, there is no reduction in force planned in this fiscal year given the infusion of federal fiscal aid. This, too, is a sign that a retirement incentive is not a high priority for State leadership. Finally, we note that a retirement incentive is legally required to be funded by the State through payment to the retirement system’s funds for each participating employee; as there is a cost associated with a retirement incentive, that can act as a disincentive for the Administration to pursue such an option.

 

OMCE Staff Opportunity:  Grievance and Legal Defense Team
April 19, 2021  

We pride ourselves on the professional and effective representation of OMCE members in employee relations matters including grievances, interrogations, and disciplinary matters.  OMCE Grievance and Legal Defense team staff are seasoned labor relations practitioners with relevant New York State agency or union experience.  

OMCE needs additional per diem staff to help protect the rights of OMCE members.  On an “as needed basis” Grievance and Legal Defense Team staff are assigned to represent the interests of OMCE members in both virtual and in-person settings.  Candidates must have hands-on experience as a public sector human resources or labor relations practitioner and be able to:  work independently, travel as assigned, effectively use virtual meeting software, and efficiently prepare documents using MS Word.  Interested?  Please submit your resume to nysomce@gmail.com to the attention of George Velesko.  

 

NON-M/C Employee Deferred Salary Increase Payment Schedule
April 19, 2021  

The Office of the State Comptroller’s Payroll Services Division has scheduled the processing and payment of the previously deferred 2020 salary increases for the following bargaining units. Payroll Bulletins will be released as soon as possible. Due to the large volume of programming, testing, and manual work required to pay these increases retroactively, all bargaining units (BU’s) cannot be processed simultaneously. Dates for the remaining bargaining units not listed below, such as M/C (06), have not been set.  Further, it is NOT anticipated that processing and payment dates for M/C employees will fall either on or before the dates listed below.  To that end, we urge continued patience on your part.  Once a Budget Bulletin is issued for M/C employees, we will post a link to that document.  It will likely address issues regarding timing and the retroactive payment of longevities and performance advances (steps).

Bargaining Unit Check Dates
CSEA 02,03,04, 47 5/12/21 (A), 5/20/21 (I)
SCF CSEA 97 5/12/21 (A)
DC-37 RRSU 5/12/21 (A)
UCS (multiple BU's)  5/26/21 (A)
State Police PBA 07,17  5/26/21 (A) (2020 and 2021 Increases)
State Police NYSPIA 62 5/26/21 (A) (2020 and 2021 Increases)
NYSCOPBA 01,21 6/17/21 (I), 6/23/21 (A) (2020 (01,21) and 2021 Increases (01))

A=Administrative Payroll
I=Institutional Payroll

 

POSTPONEMENT:  Virtual OMCE Meeting for April 20, 2021, postponed
April 19, 2021  

Please note:  The virtual meetings originally scheduled for April 20th at noon and 5:30 p.m. have been postponed as the anticipated Budget Bulletin for M/C employee compensation has not been finalized.  Without such information at our disposal, we are unable to definitively address many of your concerns.  Once additional information about the pending issuance of a Budget Bulletin is forthcoming, we will post a new meeting notice.  Please know that we remain in regular contact with our counterparts in Governor’s Office of Employee Relations, the Office of the State Comptroller, and the Division of the Budget on this matter.  

In the meantime, we continue to push our legislative agenda which includes retiree parity payments, salary increase equity with union-represented employees, expansion of longevity payments to all M/C employees, and enhanced civil service protections.  

Thank you for your understanding and patience.

Budget Update
April 7, 2021

In announcing the agreed upon budget provisions today the Governor included a statement that he would pay state workers the delayed payments that were withheld last year (April 2020) and thanked state workers for doing important work and showing up to serve others. The announcement further indicated full funding for the scheduled salary increases and retroactive pay to approximately 120,000 state workers, including M/C employees.  This is good news! There are no details yet! There has been no discussion of salary increases for April 2021.

The budget does not include the Governor's proposals to eliminate IRMAA reimbursement, cap Medicare part B reimbursement. The budget does not include a retirement incentive for state employees.

More specific information will be posted as it becomes available. 

 

 

Budget Update
April 6, 2021

**The Governor, Assembly Speaker and Senate Majority Leader announced agreement on the budget Tuesday afternoon.  Legislation was also introduced Tuesday afternoon (A6773/S6081) to provide for emergency appropriations for the period April 1-April 8, 2021 which authorizes the Comptroller to make payments for the purposes described, including personal service and non-personal service for executive branch, judiciary and legislative employees. This includes payroll and fringe benefits for the April 1-April 8, 2021 period.


**There is no official information related to payment of the  2020 M/C "Deferred 2% salary increase, performance advances and longevity payments" or the 2021 M/C  performance advances and longevity payments that has been shared with us. Please note that in 2019 the Budget Bulletin issuing instructions on payment of these items was dated April 17, 2019.


**When we have official information/instructions related to 2021 M/C performance advances, longevity payments and the 2020 "deferred payments" it will be posted

 

Telecommuting Pilot Project
April 6, 2021

The pilot telecommuting programs for CSEA, DC37, UUP, PEF and M/C employees are extended through Friday, July 2, 2021.

 

OMCE 2021 Board of Directors Nominations Open
April 2, 2021

Please see the attached notice (PDF) describing the OMCE Board of Directors Nomination Process

 

Correction: Paid Leave for COVID-19 Vaccination Appointments
March 17, 2021

Please note: our previous posting contains an error regarding paid leave for COVID-19 vaccine appointments. If an employee is required to have two doses at two different times, they are entitled to up to two instances of paid leave to cover both absences. Please see the following language from the NYS Department of Civil Service below:

"Employees who received a vaccination during work hours prior to March 12, 2021, are required to charge leave accruals or be granted a leave without pay. The appointing authority may require satisfactory medical documentation that the employee’s absence was for the purpose of the COVID-19 Vaccination. Employees are entitled to a leave of absence for COVID-19 vaccinations scheduled during the employees’ regular work hours.  Employees who undergo vaccinations outside their regular work schedules do so on their own time.  For example, employees are not granted compensatory time off for vaccinations that occur on pass days or holidays. Up to four hours of paid leave is allowed for each dose of the vaccination. Accordingly, employees who receive a vaccination that is administered in two doses would get up to four hours of paid leave for each dose.  Travel time (based on travel to and from the employee’s worksite) is included in this four-hour cap.  Absence beyond the four-hour caps must be charged to leave credits."

 

Legislative Updates
March 15, 2021

The following actions are of interest to M/C employees.

First, the Governor has signed a bill EFFECTIVE TODAY, March 15, 2021, that allows an employee up to 4 hours of paid leave to obtain a COVID-19 vaccination if that vaccination appointment requires that an employee absent themselves from work during scheduled working hours to obtain that vaccine or vaccines. This law does NOT require the employer to grant paid leave of up to 4 hours for EACH absence if your vaccine requires TWO doses at TWO different times (e.g., Pfizer or Moderna vaccines). Accordingly, the 4 hours of paid leave would be cumulative for both appointments for a two-dose regimen. This benefit is not retroactive for those employees who used leave prior to March 15, 2021 to obtain a vaccine or vaccines.

Second, the Governor has signed a bill to assist the survivors of State employees who died due to COVID-19 contracted in the workplace. The accidental death benefit extension will provide the families of these employees with a financial safety net by paying a monthly defined benefit payment equal to 50 percent of the deceased members’ final average salary versus the ordinary death benefit that only provides a one-time payment equal to three times the members’ final average salary. 

Third, the State Senate and Assembly have excluded raising health care costs on retirees (and by extension future retirees) from their single house budget bills by opposing three separate items in the proposed executive budget. These items called for an end to the Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amounts (IRMAA) reimbursement, a cap on Medicare Part B reimbursements, and a sliding scale of retiree health care costs for new State workers. The first two measures impact current retirees and the last one harms recruitment and retention of current employees. The legislators have consistently fought these proposals in past budgets and have once again sided with the interests of State employees by preventing the State from balancing its budget on the backs of retirees.

Finally, the State Senate and Assembly are including a retirement incentive for public employees in their single house budget bills. This retirement incentive proposal is similar to those proposed in recent legislation and similar to the retirement incentive program last offered in 2010. Our legislative liaison has indicated that the presence of this proposal in the single house budget bills is NOT indicative of inclusion in the final executive budget. The Governor has not, in any way, signaled his interest in approving a retirement incentive program. We also note that such a program, by law, requires that any pension enhancement be funded by millions of dollars paid to the State’s retirement fund. Given that fact and the fact that the State has lost over 8,000 employees since March 2020, we are NOT optimistic that the passage of a retirement incentive program is a given despite the support of both the Senate and Assembly. Even if a retirement incentive program were to pass the Governor would, as in past years, control the number and type of titles deemed eligible to participate.

 

 

Federal Aid to the State of New York approved
March 11, 2021

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer signed the $1.9 trillion Covid-19 economic relief bill Wednesday, March 10, 2021, on Capitol Hill to officially send the legislation to the White House. President Biden plans to sign the bill into law on Friday, March 12, 2021, at the White House.

How does this help M/C employees?

As the economy shut down to halt the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the State of New York suffered a severe budgetary shortfall due to the loss of tax revenue. With approximately $12.6 billion of unrestricted economic aid now at its disposal, the State can erase most if not all of its revenue shortfall in the current Fiscal Year (FY 2021) which ends this March 31 st . Further, Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s review of the Governor’s 30-day amendments and the amended Financial Plan, found that federal aid, better than expected tax receipts, and other actions are expected by the Division of the Budget (DOB) to produce surpluses of $1.6 billion in FY 2021 and $676 million in FY 2022. 

Accordingly, the State is poised to regain a secure fiscal footing and is now able to reverse its past draconian actions that negatively affected M/C employees. To that end, the State must take the following actions with regard to eligible M/C employees:

In the time it takes for you to read this posting, you can make your opinion known to YOUR State legislators through our Action Line feature on this website. If you have not already done so, please click the Action Line link in the left margin of the website and let YOUR voice be heard.

If you have not yet become a member of OMCE, please take this opportunity to join our numbers and make our collective voice stronger. Visit the membership enrollment link now to strengthen our ability to advocate and work for you!

 

OMCE Advocates for Compensation Parity
March 10, 2021

OMCE continues to fight for full restoration of Longevity Payments and Performance Advances (Step Increases) that were due M/C employees in 2020. We are also working to ensure that the Fiscal Year 2022 budget (which begins April 1 of this year) includes funding for retroactive 2020 payments and those same payments due in April 2021.

We are in contact with the Division of the Budget, the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations, and our State legislators regarding these payments. We have again written the Governor himself to push for the fair and equitable treatment of M/C employees. A link to this letter is HERE

OMCE needs YOU to join this fight! Please click on the link on our website (nysomce.org) that reads Action Line to complete an e-letter that will automatically be sent to your State Senator and Assembly Member. In under two minutes time, you can communicate with your legislators about making the fair and equal treatment of State employees a reality.

You may also reach out to the Governor via email from your personal phone, computer, or device to express your own concerns about M/C compensation using the following link: https://www.governor.ny.gov/content/governor-contact-form
DO NOT USE YOUR WORK COMPUTER OR WORK EMAIL to contact Governor Cuomo!!

Thank you for joining the fight for compensation parity! And thank you for being a member of OMCE. If you are not a member of OMCE, please consider joining by visiting our website (nysomce.org) or by call 1-800-828-OMCE.

 

Exclusive Offering ONLY for OMCE members: OMCE Trauma Coverage Program

We are proud to offer a comprehensive Trauma Coverage program with benefits for Income Reimbursement, Expense Reimbursement, 24/7 Trauma Counseling, and Accidental Death Benefit for incidents that occur on and off the job, underwritten by Lloyd’s of London. Covered incidents include Assaults, Workplace Trauma, Infectious Disease contracted at work (including COVID-19), and Injuries from Acts of Terror. These unique benefits are not offered through any other form of insurance or any Employee Assistance Program. Choose one of four plans that is best for you and your family. Plans start at only $10 a month! Annual benefits available from $50,000 to $200,000! In these times, this coverage could provide the extra peace of mind that you need at an affordable rate. If you work at a facility or in an institutional setting, this may be of particular interest to you. You must be an OMCE member to enroll, so please contact OMCE at 1-800-828-OMCE to enroll as a member and obtain additional information about this program.

 

 

Invitation: March 2021 OMCE Teleconference for M/C Employees

Join us on Wednesday, March 17, 2021, to discuss developments in State government, our legislative agenda, and the count down to a State budget. We encourage both members and non-members to join us for an OMCE informational teleconference. In keeping with efforts to maintain social distancing standards during the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be offering two teleconferences for M/C employees in order to provide you with the latest up-to-date news and for you to share your concerns with our staff.

Please join us at one of the two following teleconference sessions:

Wednesday, March 17, 2021, 12 noon to 12:30 p.m.

OR

Wednesday March 17, 2021, 5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Please select the time that is best suited to your schedule. For our teleconferences there is a maximum number of participants that can be accommodated on each call. So please call to confirm your participation early so as not to be shut out of your desired time slot. Call OMCE to reserve at 800-828-OMCE or 518-456-5241. Without a reservation you will not be provided with a call-in number and participant code for teleconference access. If we are over-subscribed, we will promptly schedule another call-in.

Learn why your membership in OMCE is so vitally important at this juncture. We look forward to talking with you soon!

 

BENEFITS UP and PREMIUMS DOWN for RETIREE Vision Programs from EyeMed
February 22, 2021

In our ongoing effort to bring valuable benefits to the OMCE membership, we have successfully negotiated two exciting changes for the upcoming EyeMed vision contract that is exclusively available to OMCE retiree members:

Beginning April 1, 2021:

This means that you can get eye exams, new lenses AND frames EVERY 12 months! Additionally, the premium for this enhanced benefit has been reduced! In this age where premiums only go up year after year, our EyeMed program has never been more affordable. Better benefits at a reduced premium! Why wait a year for a complete new set of eyewear? If you are about to retire, make the most of your benefits in retirement and compare our EyeMed program to the NYS vision plan available through COBRA coverage. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the affordability and value EyeMed offers.

Additional Benefits

Don’t forget - this plan includes a LASIK benefit, a discount for hearing exams and hearing aids, along with additional discounts at participating providers after the benefit has been used. NYS’ vision plan coverage does NOT include these benefits!

Trisha Hollister of Upstate Benefit Planning is happy to assist you with any plan question or if you would like to add a dependent. She can be reached at 518-505-7901 or by email at thollister@ubplanning.com.

 Please remember an annual eye exam is an easy yet vital way to help ensure your overall health and wellness.

 

OMCE Associate (Retiree) Membership Dues Discounted
January 29, 2021

Effective February 1, 2021, new retiree members and renewing retiree members are eligible to receive discounted dues for multiple year memberships in OMCE!

By starting or renewing your retiree membership (Associate level) for either 3 or 5 years, you can save time and effort as well as money! This option does not apply to active employees of the State of New York.

Annual Associate (Retiree) memberships remain at $45. A three-year membership at $110 offers a $25 savings while a five-year membership at $175 saves $50.

We encourage you to take advantage of these savings! If you are a current Associate (Retiree) member, invoices for memberships due for renewal beginning in February will include this discount option.

 

 

NYS Executive Budget Update
January 20, 2021

Governor Cuomo released his Fiscal Year 2022 budget for the year beginning April 1, 2021. The following is a concise discussion of what this budget means for OMCE members. As we comb through 1000s of pages of budget documents additional updates will be available on this website.

The Governor’s budget is predicated upon two different scenarios: receiving $6 billion in federal aid or receiving $15 billion in federal aid. The Governor insists that the latter figure is justified based upon the loss of revenue to New York State due to the federal government’s responsibility for mismanaging the nation’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting difficulties suffered by this State. Should a $15 billion federal aid package not be approved, NYS will consider legal options.

Of interest to OMCE membership:

We remain in contact with DOB and GOER and push for the retroactive restoration of performance advances and longevity payments. We also remain opposed, along with other organizations and unions, to attacks on retiree health insurance costs. Please check back regularly. Additional budget information may be obtained through the NYS Division of the Budget website at: budget.ny.gov

 

 

UNION SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE
January 20, 2021

Applications now are being accepted for the 2021 OPEIU educational scholarships. All dues-paying OMCE members are encouraged to apply. Details, rules and applications can be found at OPEIU.org under the Member Resources link, as well as on the OPEIU app.

Scholarship opportunities include the Howard Coughlin Memorial Scholarship for OPEIU members and dependents, and the John Kelly Labor Studies Scholarship for OPEIU members who are pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in labor studies, industrial relations and union leadership and administration. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 Romeo Corbeil/Gilles Beauregard Memorial Scholarship Summer Camp has been canceled.

ALL applications must be received by OMCE no later than March 15, 2021. Applications received after that date will not be considered. Applications must be mailed to: NYS OMCE, 5 Pine West Plaza, Suite 513, Albany, NY 12205- 5587.

Full details, rules and applications are available at OPEIU.org under the Member Resources link. Apply today!

 

 

NOTICE: January 7 th EVENT RESCHEDULED TO January 12th, 2021!

If you have a reservation for January 7 th , please email us at nysomce@gmail.com to confirm your continued interest in participating on the rescheduled date of January 12 th . Thank you!

Invitation: January 2021 OMCE Teleconference for M/C Employees

The annual State of the State message will be given by Governor Cuomo on January 11, 2021. Join us on January 12, 2021, to discuss his message and what it means for M/C employees! In addition to the Governor’s proposals, we will also be discussing developments at both the State and federal level, OMCE’s legislative agenda, and much more. We encourage both members and non-members to join us for an OMCE informational teleconference. In keeping with efforts to maintain social distancing standards during the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be offering two teleconferences for M/C employees in order to provide you with the latest up-to-date news and for you to share your concerns with our staff.

Please join us at one of the two following teleconference sessions:

Tuesday, January 12, 2021, 12 noon to 12:30 p.m.

OR

Tuesday, January 12, 2021, 5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Please select the time that is best suited to your schedule. For our teleconferences there is a maximum number of participants that can be accommodated on each call. So please call to confirm your participation early so as not to be shut out of your desired time slot. Call OMCE to reserve at 800-828-OMCE or 518-456-5241. Without a reservation you will not be provided with a call-in number and participant code for teleconference access. If we are over-subscribed, we will promptly schedule another call-in.

Learn why your membership in OMCE is so vitally important. We look forward to talking with you soon!

 

Telecommuting Pilot Program Extension
December 29, 2020

The Statewide Telecommuting Pilot Program has been extended through April 2, 2021. Details of the program are included in the following link:
http://www.nysomce.org/pdf/202003_Pilot_Telecommuting_Bulletin_GOER.pdf

 

Invitation: January 2021 OMCE Teleconference for M/C Employees

The annual State of the State message will be given by Governor Cuomo on January 6, 2021. Join us on January 7, 2021, to discuss his message and what it means for M/C employees! In addition to the Governor’s proposals, we will also be discussing developments at both the State and federal level, OMCE’s legislative agenda, and much more. We encourage both members and non-members to join us for an OMCE informational teleconference. In keeping with efforts to maintain social distancing standards during the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be offering two teleconferences for M/C employees in order to provide you with the latest up-to-date news and for you to share your concerns with our staff.

Please join us at one of the two following teleconference sessions:

Thursday, January 7, 2021, 12 noon to 12:30 p.m.

OR

Thursday, January 7, 2021, 5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Please select the time that is best suited to your schedule. For our teleconferences there is a maximum number of participants that can be accommodated on each call. So please call to confirm your participation early so as not to be shut out of your desired time slot. Call OMCE to reserve at 800-828-OMCE or 518-456-5241. Without a reservation you will not be provided with a call-in number and participant code for teleconference access. If we are over-subscribed, we will promptly schedule another call-in.

Learn why your membership in OMCE is so vitally important. We look forward to talking with you soon!

 

ANNUAL LEAVE ACCRUALS AND LATS
December 23, 2020

As we wrote on this past December 1st, the upcoming Annual Leave expiration date of December 31, 2020, has been extended through December 31, 2021 by the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations (GOER). Any unused Annual Leave accruals in excess of 300 hours at the close of business of December 31, 2020, will not expire as previously scheduled.

We have been advised by OMCE members that the Leave and Accrual Tracking System (LATS) is displaying a warning to M/C employees of potential Annual Leave accrual loss effective December 31, 2020. Please ignore this warning; GOER indicates that the warning was programmed prior to the extension of the Annual Leave expiration date and cannot be removed at this time. If you believe that LATS has in any way modified your Annual Leave accruals after December 31, 2020, counter to GOER’s stated policy change, please contact your Human Resources office with that issue. If they are unable to resolve that matter, please contact OMCE immediately at 518-456-5241 and we will intervene on your behalf with GOER.

 

 

Scholarship Recipients Announced
December 16, 2020

OMCE is pleased to announce the recipients of the M3 Technology scholarship awards. Five children or grandchildren of OMCE members have been selected through a random drawing and will receive a check for $1,000. This scholarship is made possible through the generous support of M3 Technology, our partner in providing insurance benefits to OMCE members and their families. The scholarship recipients are:

Calin A. Maguire
Dillon Clarke
Laura Sweezy
Christian DaCosta
Morgan Connelly

We are happy to let you know that other scholarships are available due to our affiliation with OPEIU, Local 153, AFL-CIO. Please see the following link for details and deadlines: https://www.opeiu.org/MemberResources/UnionBenefits/UnionScholarships.aspx

 

Annual Leave Accruals Expiration Date Extended!
December 1, 2020

The Governor’s Office of Employee Relations issued the following regarding the extension of annual leave accruals expiration date. We are sharing their complete communications about this matter in its entirety below:

"GOER is pleased to announce that we have reached agreement with all unions on an extension of the upcoming annual leave expiration date of December 31, 2020.  As you may recall, we negotiated agreements allowing extended carryover of unused annual leave through the end of this calendar year.  

The new agreements apply to employees who were (or are currently) engaged in COVID-19 response efforts or unable to use annual leave due to ongoing response efforts and replace any contractually agreed upon expiration date from April 1, 2020 through December 30, 2021.  Further, this extension applies to management/confidential (M/C) employees who would otherwise forfeit unused annual leave on January 1, 2021.   

All such unused annual leave can now be carried through December 31, 2021.

At a later date, we will provide additional administrative details."

 

 

Open Letter to the Governor
November 30, 2020

Of the many M/C employee issues that deserve immediate attention, the matter of equitable salary treatment remains a primary concern. Please see the letter HERE. We cannot allow our gains towards salary parity to dissolve. Our resolve to continue to push for retroactive restoration of the deferred performance advances (steps) and longevity payments is unabated. Our advocacy of this matter with the Governor, his Office of Employee Relations, and the Legislature continues. But we need your intervention as well. We ask that if you have not already done so, please use the Action Line link on our website to electronically file your letter with your legislators. Thank you!

 

 

OPEIU Identity Protection Benefit
November 25, 2020

Through our affiliation with OPEIU we have been able to offer a comprehensive identity protection benefit to our members at NO COST. OPEIU has selected a new firm for this benefit, IdentityIQ. Previous coverage via InfoArmor has therefore expired. Effective immediately, IdentityIQ will now provide an identity protection benefit which includes stronger protections and coverage for both you AND your family members living in your household at NO COST.

Starting today, all members should visit OpeiuIDProtect.com or call 800-637-5680 to enroll yourself and your family living in your household. If you were previously enrolled with InfoArmor, you will need to now re-enroll with IdentityIQ to continue your FREE benefit.

The benefit features state-of-the-art identity and credit monitoring, checking account reporting, and full-service identity restoration that includes insurance and lost wallet assistance in canceling and replacing credit cards. If you become a victim of identity theft, IDIQ’s trained experts will help you restore your identity as close as possible to the level it was before the incident. This can save you hundreds of hours of your own time and productivity. It can also save you money.

With the COVID-19 crisis, the country has seen an increase in identity theft. OPEIU has upgraded the already robust program to help members and their families stay safe during the pandemic and beyond. Additional features of this benefit include internet surveillance including the Dark Web, up to $1 million in insurance if you are a victim of identity theft, solicitation reduction to help eliminate those annoying spam calls, and fully U.S.-based customer service. You’ll also get a monthly email update to give you added peace of mind.

 

MetLife Retiree Dental Plan Discount
November 25, 2020

For the 2021 policy year, MetLife is reducing its Dental Plan rates by 4.1%.  This rate reduction reflects the reduced usage of the Dental Plan during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The reduced rate is guaranteed for a period of 1 year.  Retiree members who are enrolled in this benefit will see the reduced rates reflected in their premium bills for 2021, or in their bank account deductions for the 2021 policy year.

Retiree members who have not yet taken advantage of this comprehensive dental coverage program are encouraged to consider enrolling in this benefit. Please reach out to us at 1-800-828-OMCE for additional information.

 

 

NYS Department of Civil Service Survey
November 9, 2020

The NYS Department of Civil Service (DCS) is conducting a pay equity study of State and municipal employees in the classified service. A large-scale study of this kind has not been conducted since the 1980s. The study, which is required by law, will help determine, among other things, if the salary grade (NOT salary) of your title is accurate based upon duties, responsibilities, and minimum qualifications.

A pilot study earlier this year involved 2,000 employees. In this study, approximately 20,000 State employees have been randomly selected to participate, including many M/Cs. Participation has been described as a mandatory work assignment. Accordingly, there will be follow up from either your Human Resources office or DCS (or both). OMCE encourages your participation as it is critical to the success of the study. Your individual response will NOT be shared with your agency to ensure a degree of confidentiality.

A frequently asked questions (FAQ) document is available for your review in the following link: https://www.cs.ny.gov/businesssuite/docs/memos/Pay%20Equity%20Final%20Phase%20FAQs.pdf

 

 

Productivity Enhancement Program: health insurance premium cost savings!
November 2, 2020

Program

M/C employees up to Grade 23 are eligible to participate in the Productivity Enhancement Program (PEP) for 2021. This is a negotiated benefit which is extended to M/C employees. It allows eligible CSEA-represented, DC- 37-represented, and Management/Confidential (M/C) employees in the Executive branch to exchange previously accrued annual leave (vacation) and/or personal leave in return for a credit to be applied toward their employee share of NYSHIP premiums on a biweekly basis.

Eligibility

Full-time M/C employees in Salary Grades (SG) 1–17 (or non-statutory employees equated to SG 1–17, or employees with an annual salary rate no greater than job rate of SG 17) who enroll in the program may elect to forfeit a total of either 3 days (22.5 or 24 hours for 37.5- and 40- hour workweeks, respectively) or 6 days (45 or 48 hours for 37.5- and 40-hour workweeks, respectively) of earned annual and/or personal leave at the time of enrollment in return for a credit of up to either $600 or $1200, respectively, for the 2021 program year to be applied toward the employee share of NYSHIP premiums deducted from biweekly paychecks during the program year of January 1 through December 31, 2021.

Full-time M/C employees in SG 18–23 (or non-statutory employees equated to SG 18–23, or employees with an annual salary exceeding the job rate of SG 17 but with an annual salary no greater than the job rate of SG 23), who enroll in the program will be eligible to forfeit a total of either 2 days (15 or 16 hours for 37.5- and 40-hour workweeks, respectively) or 4 days (30 or 32 hours for 37.5- and 40-hour workweeks, respectively) of previously accrued annual and/or personal leave at the time of enrollment in return for a credit of up to either $600 or $1200, respectively, for the 2021 program year to be applied toward the employee share of NYSHIP premiums deducted from biweekly paychecks during the program year of January 1 through December 31, 2021.

Part-time employees who meet the eligibility requirements may participate on pro-rated basis.

Please note: If you enrolled in PEP for 2020, you MUST do so again for 2021 if you wish to continue this benefit.

Please see the following links for the Department of Civil Service memorandum on the program and the related enrollment form below.

https://www.cs.ny.gov/attendance_leave/PEP%202021%20Program%20Description.pdf

https://www.cs.ny.gov/attendance_leave/PEP%202021%20Combined%20Enrollment%20Form%20Fillable.pdf

 

Invitation: OMCE Teleconference for M/C Employees

In these times, the pace, number, and variety of developments in federal and State government require that you stay informed and involved. To that end, we encourage both members and non-members to join us for an OMCE informational teleconference. In keeping with efforts to maintain social distancing standards during the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be offering two teleconferences for M/C employees in order to provide you with the latest up-to-date news and for you to share your concerns with our staff.

Please join us at one of the two following teleconference sessions:

Thursday, November 5, 2020, 12 noon to 12:30 p.m.

OR

Thursday, November 5, 2020, 5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Please select the time that is best suited to your schedule. For our teleconferences there is a maximum number of participants that can be accommodated on each call. So please call to confirm your participation early so as not to be shut out of your desired time slot. Call OMCE to reserve at 800-828-OMCE or 518-456-5241. Without a reservation you will not be provided with a call-in number and participant code for teleconference access. If we are over-subscribed, we will promptly schedule another call-in.

Learn why your membership in OMCE is so vitally important. We look forward to talking with you soon!

 

 

Training Opportunities
October 20, 2020

OMCE continues to lobby the State to restart the M/C employee tuition reimbursement program which was suspended due to fiscal considerations. The tuition reimbursement program is an investment, not an expense; a better educated workforce benefits the employee, the State, and its citizens. Pending reinstatement of the M/C employee tuition reimbursement program, we note that the Public Service Workshop Program (PSWP) continues virtually. We would encourage interested M/C employees to take advantage of work-related offerings with the permission of their supervisors. View link here: https://www.pswp.info/workshops.cfm

 

Medicare and NYSHIP
October 20, 2020

Medicare is the federal health insurance program for people 65 and older, and for those under 65 who have disabilities. It is administered by the Social Security Administration and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). When you become eligible for primary Medicare coverage (“primary” means Medicare pays health insurance claims first, before NYSHIP), you must be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B. NYSHIP also requires your enrolled dependents to be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B when they are first eligible for primary Medicare coverage.

If you are a State retiree and approaching age 65, please make certain that you enroll in Medicare Parts A and B (referred to as original Medicare) in a timely manner so as to maximize your insurance coverage and reduce your costs. Also, Medicare allows enrollment in only one Medicare product at a time. Therefore, enrolling in a Medicare Part D plan, a Medicare Advantage plan, or other Medicare product in addition to your NYSHIP coverage may result in the cancellation of your NYSHIP coverage. This includes Medicare products that you or your covered dependents may be enrolled in through another employer (yours or your spouse’s). For this reason, please review the following links for important information relating to Medicare and its relationship with your retiree insurance through NYSHIP. You may also reach NYSHIP toll free at 1-877-7-NYSHIP (1-877-769-7447).

https://www.cs.ny.gov/employee-benefits/nyship/group/5/17/1/medicare.cfm

https://www.cs.ny.gov/employee-benefits/nyship/shared/publications/medicare/2019/ny-pe-medicare-nyship-2019.pdf

 

In Remembrance
October 13, 2020

Over the years, many OMCE members have benefited from the assistance of Patty Johnston. Before joining the OMCE team, Patty worked for 36 years at a variety of State agencies. As such, she brought innumerable talents to OMCE. We are sad to say that we have lost Patty after a long and difficult illness. Patty was a remarkable coworker and friend, mother, grandmother, and wife. Patty had a unique way about her that you do not find every day; talking with her made you feel special and it restored your faith in life and the people around you. Simply put, Patty cared, and it showed; and that made all the difference. If you wish, a memorial donation may be made to the American Cancer Society or a charity of your choice.

 

NYSHIP Option Transfer Period
October 13, 2020

Please note that the option transfer period has been announced for active employees of New York State. The NYS Department of Civil Service has issued a new publication describing the option transfer period as well as the Opt-out, the Pre-Tax Contribution, and the Productivity Enhancement programs for 2021. You may access this publication with the following link: https://www.cs.ny.gov/employee-benefits/hba/shared/publications/option-transfer/2021/planning-for-option-transfer-2021.pdf

We remind our retiree members that they may change their NYSHIP health insurance plan (option) once during a 12-month period for any reason.

 

 

Telecommuting and VRWS Updates
October 5, 2020

The Statewide Telecommuting Pilot Project has been extended until January 1, 2021. Details of the project are included in the following link: http://www.nysomce.org/pdf/202003_Pilot_Telecommuting_Bulletin_GOER.pdf

Additionally, the expiration date of Voluntary Reduction in Work Schedule (VRWS) credits earned during fiscal year 2019-2020 has been extended from September 30, 2020 to March 31, 2021. The Business Services Center (BSC) will process the extension of VRWS accruals when the timesheet that includes September 30, 2020 is submitted, approved, and processed. The BSC will notify employees by email when the extension of VRWS accruals have processed. A link to the VRWS program follows: https://goer.ny.gov/voluntary-reduction-work-schedule-vrws

 

 

Salary Deferral Continues
September 28, 2020

The Administration has, yet again, deferred the April 1, 2020, salary increases for union and non-union employees of the State of New York. This has an even greater impact on Management/Confidential employees as our performance advances (“step increases”) and longevity payments (for employees through Grade 17) have been withheld this fiscal year. We continue to advocate for equal treatment of M/C employees in matters of salary and benefits, but we need your help today. If you have not already done so, please take a moment to contact your NYS legislator through the Action Line letter found on our website’s navigation bar. It takes just minutes and lets YOUR State Senator and Assembly Member know, BEFORE ELECTION DAY, which issues are important to you! Not yet an OMCE member? We need your membership! There is strength in numbers and joining OMCE gives you a voice through our ongoing advocacy and lobbying. Please visit our enrollment page today and consider joining via automatic payroll deduction or Paypal for effortless convenience.

 

 

OMCE Annual Meeting
September 21, 2020

Discussion at the Annual Meeting centered around issues of interest and concern to our members and other MC employees and on which we have been engaged with GOER and the state administration including the following:

Telecommuting; The current pilot project expires on October 2, 2020. Our discussions with GOER revealed that many agencies want to continue to use this program and may do so even if it is not officially extended by the Administration. It is viewed as successful for MCs. GOER will notify OMCE re: extension.

Extension of Annual Leave Expiration Date; Many inquiries have been received by OMCE about the possibility of an extension for the use of Annual Leave accruals beyond December 31, 2020. Despite our continuing advocacy, and requests from certain state agencies to extend the deadline past December 31, 2020 so far the Administration has not indicated any interest in approving an extension. While we continue to press for an extension there is no assurance one will be granted so we are advising MCs to request approval to use their excess annual leave accruals prior to December 31 and if denied to advise OMCE if they wish us to include them in our advocacy efforts. GOER will notify OMCE if extension is approved.

Required Overtime and Overtime Pay Calculations;  Here too OMCE has received many inquiries about the rules for paying overtime and the calculation of such payments for MC employees, especially those who are ordinarily overtime ineligible. Budget Bulletin H-0501 (Revised) April 17, 2020 is the controlling document and describes how overtime pay should be calculated. There are many concerns expressed about employees being paid at blended rate rather than time and one-half at regular title rate (only paid at this rate if doing regular title work or work specifically related to COVID 19 relief and recovery  during overtime) and late payment, which should no longer be an issue. We ask that MCs who are still experiencing issues should, if they wish OMCE to include them in our advocacy efforts or to forward their specific issue to GOER provide us with a detailed description. GOER will provide OMCE with a copy of their memo to agencies on the proper computation of overtime.

Deferred Performance Advances and Longevity Payments; Inquiries about payment of these "deferred" payments continue to come to OMCE and have been discussed with GOER which has not provided a specific response. OMCE requested the amount of savings these withholdings are projected to produce, GOER said they would try to obtain this data. OMCE submitted a FOIL request to the Division of the Budget requesting this information. Note: A letter to send to legislators on this issue is available on the OMCE website Action Line.

Retirement Incentive; There has been much interest in the possibility of a retirement incentive. There are a number of retirement incentive bills but so far there has been no action taken on them. The Governor has been focused on obtaining federal assistance to plug the budget gap and has to date not offered a retirement incentive separately or as part of a potential "savings plan." At this time there is no specific information available about the potential for a retirement incentive, furloughs, layoffs or other workforce actions.

MC Tuition Reimbursement; Question raised about status of MC Tuition Reimbursement. GOER is not accepting applications for courses beginning after April 1, 2020.

Pension Contribution Rates Increased; Several members pointed out that the Comptroller had raised the employer contribution rates for the state pension system, but had also given assurances that the pension system remains strong and state retiree pensions are secure. The Fund was valued at $194.3 billion at the end of the fiscal year March 31, 2020 and had increased in value to $216.3 billion as of June 30, 2020.  

 

Annual Leave Accrual and Expiration Deadline Extension
September 18, 2020

As you may know, the rules for Annual Leave accrual and expiration for M/C employees are unique. The Governor’s Office of Employee Relations (GOER) Handbook reads, in part:

“On January 1st of each calendar year, an employee's accrued vacation may not exceed 40 days, although total vacation accruals may exceed this limit at other times during the year. An employee who accumulates more than 40 days of vacation credits in a calendar year must use the amount over 40 days or lose it on the last day of the calendar year.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, State employees have accrued considerable amounts of Annual Leave due to reasons such as mandatory and voluntary overtime or reduced opportunities for time off. The April 1, 2020, accrual expiration date for union-represented employees was extended to January 1, 2021. OMCE, in the meantime, has repeatedly requested that the Administration extend the deadline for accrual expiration (meaning accruals over 40 days) through April 1, 2021. Certain State agencies have also requested such an extension. To date, the Administration has refused the request. Despite that, we continue to advocate for this extension; it has no monetary impact on the State and is a reasonable and necessary accommodation in light of the demands made upon M/C employees.

While OMCE continues to press for an extension of the Annual Leave expiration deadline, there is NO guarantee that it will be granted. Accordingly, we advise you to consider requesting to use your excess Annual Leave accruals prior to December 31, 2020, rather than risk seeing those accruals evaporate! We also advise you to make any such request for annual leave accrual use in writing and that you maintain a copy of your request and management’s response in the event that your request is denied. If you wish for us to include your experience in advocacy efforts please forward the denied request documentation to OMCE via email (nysomce@gmail.com). That way our fight for you and for the extension of the expiration deadline can be illustrated by real-life situations.

 

Retirement Incentive Speculation, Part 5
September 17, 2020

The following link leads to an informative, concise article on the possibility of a retirement incentive. We encourage members interested in this topic to read the article.

https://nystateofpolitics.com/state-of-politics/new-york/ny-state-of- politics/2020/09/16/should-early-retirement-incentives-be-on-the-table-now-

 

OMCE Board of Directors Election Results

Thank you to our members who participated in our recent election of Board Members. Three Board Members were re-elected for three year terms, they are Robert Hollander, Maura  McCann and Donald Sweezy. Newly elected Board Members, also for three year terms are Melissa Johnston and Anthony Robles. We congratulate them and look forward to their active engagement in moving OMCE forward.

OMCE Officers elected

Pursuant to OMCE ByLaws the Board of Directors at its September 11, 2020 meeting elected officers for the coming one year. The officers are:

President Barbara Zaron
First V.P Chad Shelmidine
Second V.P. Don Sweezy
Secretary Caroline Westbrook
Treasurer  Bob Perez

Congratulations and best wishes for a successful and productive year.

 

 

OMCE Annual Meeting Notice
September 4, 2020

Please join us for our Annual Meeting via videoconference on September 11, 2020, at 5 p.m. We will discuss recent developments in State government as they apply to OMCE members. The quarterly Board of Directors meeting will follow. Interested members may request the call- in number and code by contacting our toll-free number at 1-800-828-OMCE, or by dialing 518- 456-5241. See you then!

 

Overtime Issues
September 1, 2020

M/C employees, like their union-represented co-workers, have worked (and continue to work) voluntary and mandatory overtime during the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether at the Department of Labor, the Department of Health, or any number of other critical agencies, M/C employees are providing the services necessary to not only keep New York running, but to help so many thousands of others who were negatively impacted by the pandemic. This sacrifice on your part at this very difficult time is appreciated!

OMCE has repeatedly expressed its concerns to GOER about the State’s failure to pay M/C employees overtime promptly and at the appropriate rate of pay. As we weigh our various options, both legal and otherwise, OMCE needs to hear from you about your personal experience with overtime. If you are in a title allocated to M-2 or below and have not been paid for overtime, OR if you are not being paid at your proper overtime rate of pay for COVID- related overtime work, we need to hear from you directly! Please email us at nysomce@gmail.com to let us know of your situation. An OMCE employee will contact you in return. Thank you for helping us help you!

 

Write your State Senator and Assembly Member!
August 24, 2020

As you know, the Governor has withheld raises for ALL State employees regardless of bargaining unit due to the fiscal condition of the State. M/C employees, however, have been treated disparately yet again; M/C performance advances (“steps”) and longevity payments have also been withheld. While we understand the current fiscal pressures on the State’s budget, we can find no justification for this unequal treatment. M/C employees work shoulder to shoulder with their union-represented co-workers in delivering needed services to 19 million New Yorkers. We deserve the same treatment, and the same respect, as our co-workers. While we continue to communicate this demand to the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations, your voices are also needed in communicating with your elected representatives in Albany. Please visit the Action Line function on this website to send your letter electronically to your Senator and Assembly Member today! Thank you!

 

Retirement Incentive Speculation, Part 4
August 18, 2020

Yet another legislator has proposed a retirement incentive bill. Assembly member Buttenschon has introduced A.10897. It is the counterpart to Senator Griffo’s bill S.8801. Both bills replicate earlier retirement incentive bill language from 2010. A.10897 has been referred to the Committee on Government Employees. As we have previously stated, there has been no endorsement of these bills from legislative leaders nor the Governor. Accordingly, we encourage our members to remain patient and keep checking back for any developments.

 

Virtual Lunch and Learn (and Virtual Dinner, too)
August 7, 2020

In keeping with efforts to maintain social distancing standards during the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be offering two teleconferences for M/C employees in order to provide you with the latest up-to-date news and for you to share your concerns with our staff.

Please join us at one of the two following teleconference sessions:

Wednesday, August 19, 2020, 12 noon to 12:30 p.m.

OR

Wednesday, August 19, 2020, 5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Please select the time that is best suited to your schedule and work location. For our teleconferences there is a maximum number of participants that can be accommodated on each call. So please call to confirm your participation early so as not to be shut out of your desired time slot. Call OMCE to reserve at 800-828-OMCE or 518-456-5241. Without a reservation you will not be provided with a call-in number and participant code for teleconference access. If we are over-subscribed, we will promptly schedule another call-in.

Learn why your membership in OMCE is so vitally important at this time. We look forward to talking with you soon!