I would like to welcome on board our new Vice President, Marty Currier, who willing stepped up to fill the remainder of the term due to the resigning of Jim Zabinski effective December 1st.
You will be getting information on the NYS Paid Family Medical Leave Act. It takes affect the first of the year and everyone will have to pay a weekly fee. There is a Q&A on our website answering your questions. It will not be used for yourself but to care for family members. It also includes baby bonding. You will be paid 50% of the average NYS pay which right now would amount to $652.
We are still working on an Office Technician agreement. While we are still at the table talking they have informed us they are closing the Files and Repo Department. All those affected were offered separation and new positions within the organization. We are getting close to an agreement and hope to add some jobs.
Gas Enablement meeting was held. Those in the field will be working off of I Pads instead of paper. The clerks will still be involved. We will be doing a pilot involving the Office Technicians in Hinsdale.
There is a clarification on Fitness for Duty. They will now be testing for synthetic drugs. Please make sure any drugs you take the prescription is in your name and not someone else's.
We have been working on the retiree medical issues for those who retired between 2001 and 2004 and are under the cap. The company is saying they are moving ahead including them in next year's medical changes. We notified the company and retiree clubs we will probably end up in a lawsuit.
We will be having a call-out meeting on the 20th for all divisions with Keith McAfee for Line. There are issues on call out response and we will be setting up a separate meeting in the East.
We had a staff meeting and brought in an attorney to talk about Comp. Please remember your doctor is your best advocate. You have the right to go to your own doctor. If the company tries following you to the hospital, you have the right to say I don't want them in the room.
They will be sending a second wave to Puerto Rico probably the first week of January. There are some tax issues with those going there. Puerto Rico's taxes are at 29% but the Federal government was able to get it down to 10% but it is taken off your total wages. Whoever prepares your taxes should take a look at it. The Company will also be paying up to $300 to have your taxes prepared.
There was an issue with new hires and Floating Holidays. They are not entitled to Floating Holidays but because Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday the Company has stated you will be paid for one Floating Holiday this year. All supervisors have been notified, the quota buckets are in the process of being adjusted. This Floater must be used by the end of the year or will be lost. Any issues you can call the TDC.
PSEG notified me they hired Excentra to do a Crowd Sourcing to get ideas from employees on how the company can save money. We have convinced the Company to have all ideas come thru the Union which is a good thing. We can filter it before it goes to the Company.
ST. LAWRENCE GAS:
They have been sold to Liberty and we met the new Labor person, Frank DeBrinski. They will not be taking over for a year.
With Jim Zabinski resigning also as Chairman for the Benefits Committee, I have appointed Dan Machold, Business Representative from the East, and Duane Richardson, Business Representative from the West, to be Co-Chairs of this Committee.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!