With over 40 Members in attendance and 4 local legislators there to meet with us to discuss PEF’s Priorities our Legislative Breakfast was a great success. Thank You to all of the members who attended and helped to show our legislators that PEF’s members stand up for our rights. We asked them to help us with many items of concern in the governor’s budget, such as:
A Proposal to Implement differential health care premium contributions for certain new retirees based on years of service.
According to budget documents this proposal would provide “more equitable funding” for retiree health insurance coverage for certain new civilian State retirees with less than 30 years of service. Currently, an employee retiring with 10 years of service pays the same amount as an employee with 30 years of service. Under this proposal, similar to the calculation for pension benefits, new civilian retirees would pay differential healthcare premiums based on years of service (see table below). Those retiring with less than 30 years of service would have to contribute a greater share of their health insurance costs. Costs would be proportionately greater for an individual with 10 years of service, and gradually decrease until they are no different than current levels once an individual reaches 30 years of service. This change would take effect with new retirees as of October 1, 2016. This proposal is viewed as a negative retirement incentive.
A Proposal to Increase spending on the Office of Information Technology Services (OITS) consultant FTE contract employees by approximately 40 percent in SFY 2016-17. OITS employed an estimated 541 consultant FTE contract employees in SFY 2015-16 at a cost of $91.6 million. It is estimated that in SFY 2016-17, the OITS will increase the number of consultant employees by 308 (56.9%) and the disbursed funds by $36.9 million, for a total disbursement of $128.6 million. The purpose and size of this increase in consultants should be pursued with management. (PEF opposes any increase to spending for contracting out our jobs.)
A Proposal to Reduce the additional state support for SUNY’s three teaching hospitals by $18.6 million. The state subsidy for the three SUNY teaching hospitals at Brooklyn, Stony Brook, and Syracuse would be reduced to $69 million. (PEF opposes any reduction in funding to the state SUNY Hospitals.)
A Proposal to Enact Workers’ Compensation Reform: This bill amends various provisions of the Workers’ Compensation Law (WCL), the Public Authorities Law (PAL) and the Insurance Law to change the method of calculating an injured worker’s average weekly wage. It would also eliminate, among other things, future deposits to the Aggregate Trust Fund (ATF) for partial permanent disability and total permanent disability cases. It also removes the requirement that cases remain with the same Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) once opened. The bill also reduces the number of Board Members from 13 to 7 and requires that three of the seven be attorneys. It also increases the time injured. (PEF opposes any changes to the Workers Compensation Law that would materially alter or diminish benefits to our members.)
Thanks again Everyone!