Updates from NYSTPBA President Tom Mungeer Trooper Joseph Gallagher Memorial Bridge Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law this week NYSTPBA-sponsored legislation (S.6091A/A.7432A) designating a NYS Thruway bridge in West Seneca in memory of Trooper Joseph Gallagher, who died in the line of duty earlier this year after being struck by a distracted motorist in 2017. Located a short distance from Thruway Exit 54, the bridge crosses over New York State Route 16 in West Seneca, where Trooper Gallagher grew up. "Trooper Gallagher dedicated his life to keeping his fellow New Yorkers safe and was actively assisting a disabled motorist when he was gravely injured by a distracted driver," Governor Cuomo said. "His passing early this spring is yet another reminder of the selfless actions our state police and other first responders perform daily. We pay homage to Trooper Gallagher's life and ultimate sacrifice by designating this bridge in his honor." Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan, a former NYSP member and former NYSTPBA Officers Delegate said, "Trooper Gallagher grew up in South Buffalo and West Seneca and dedicated his life to helping others. He served our nation as a helicopter pilot with the Coast Guard before becoming a proud member of the State Police. Naming this bridge in his honor is one way to acknowledge his sacrifice and it will stand as a reminder to the community of his hard work and dedication." Nevada Trooper LODD Our collective thoughts and prayers go out to the men and women of the Nevada Highway Patrol following the death yesterday of Trooper Micah May, who was struck by a fleeing vehicle while deploying spike sticks a day earlier. He went through the windshield of the suspect’s vehicle, which continued to flee until Troopers were able to perform a pit maneuver, bringing the pursuit to a halt. Responding Troopers were forced to shoot and kill the 60-year-old suspect as he attempted to draw Troop May’s gun. Trooper May, a 13-year veteran of the Highway Patrol, was 46 years old and is survived by his wife and two children. Vax Redux In a classic case of “monkey see, monkey do,” California Gov. Gavin Newsom and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio announced earlier this week vaccination mandates for their respective public employees. A day later, President Joe Biden said that a COVID vaccine mandate for all federal employees “is under consideration right now” (and was officially announced on Thursday) on the heels of the CDC releasing new recommendations that vaccinated individuals in areas of the country experiencing spikes in COVID-19 cases due to the delta variant should once again wear masks indoors. On Wednesday, not to be outdone by his Democratic counterparts, Governor Cuomo abruptly announced that he will require state workers to be vaccinated by Labor Day or be tested weekly for COVID-19. Health workers, he added, who deal directly with patients at state-run hospitals would have to be vaccinated. There would be no testing option for them. Governor Cuomo stated he was following the recent finding of the U.S. Department of Justice that indicates employers, including public ones, can mandate vaccines for their workforce, despite the vaccine only having emergency authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://cdn.cnn.com/cnn/2021/images/07/26/dojvax.pdf The respective leaders of the state Legislature quickly followed suit with the vaccine or test mandate for both staffers as well as lawmakers as did the head of the state’s court system which will require the same from judges and non-judicial employees. I, along with most of the other heads of the state public employee unions, was totally blindsided by this announcement. The respective union leaders immediately fired off press releases voicing our displeasure. The NYSTPBA release read as follows: The NYSTPBA was caught off guard by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s abrupt announcement regarding mandatory vaccinations or weekly COVID tests for state employees. While we await contact from the governor’s office with more information, we are reviewing our legal options since we believe this is a change in the terms and conditions of our employment. Not all were upset, though. The Civil Service Employees Association, the largest public employee union in the state representing 60,000 workers, was seemingly giddy over the governor’s announcement. “CSEA supports the governor's vaccine-or-test policy," said President Mary Sullivan. As referenced in our press release, the NYSTPBA is in the process of reviewing our legal options, which include filing an improper practice against the state for changing the terms and conditions of our employment with this newly-announced policy. There are so many questions that need to be addressed, including: Who will administer this weekly testing? Where will it be done and who pays for it? There is another question – what would be a Member’s duty status? I can assure you that the unbending position of the NYSTPBA is that it will on duty. More information will be forthcoming as it becomes available. I believe that being vaccinated should be each Trooper’s own personal decision. NYSTPBA in the News As a result of the governor’s abrupt, unexpected announcement, the NYSTPBA was quoted widely statewide, as well as nationally. Fox News But some unions representing state workers didn't appreciate the governor's roll-out of the measure, either. While Cuomo said during his announcement that his administration was currently negotiating with unions about the vaccine and testing requirements for workers, Thomas Mungeer, the New York State Troopers Police Benevolent Association president, told FOX Business that the governor's announcement was the first he had heard of the plan – and that his union is considering taking action against it. https://www.foxbusiness.com/politics/new-york-covid-19-vaccine-mandates-government-workers-facing-growing-union-backlash New York Daily News New York State Troopers Police Benevolent Association President Thomas Mungeer, meanwhile, said his members were caught off guard by the “abrupt announcement.” “While we await contact from the governor’s office with more information, we are reviewing our legal options since we believe this is a change in the terms and conditions of our employment,” he said. https://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/new-york-elections-government/ny-cuomo-covid-vaccinations-state-workers-20210728-2jqigcjseffu7lwm2jpxkjjujm-story.html (Albany) News Channel 6 NYS Troopers Police Benevolent Association President Thomas Mungeer says his union was caught off guard by the governor’s announcement that state employees need to get their COVID-19 vaccine by Labor Day, or be tested weekly. He says the union is now reviewing its legal options. “We believe it has to be negotiated. You’re changing the terms and conditions of our employment. And as such they have to sit and talk to the labor unions,” Mungeer said. CBS 6 did ask Mungeer if he believes all of his troopers should be vaccinated. He says that it should be each trooper’s own personal decision. https://cbs6albany.com/news/coronavirus/state-employee-unions-hope-vaccinate-or-get-tested-weekly-mandate-is-added-to-contracts Governor Cuomo Investigation Scorecard - Just in Case Anybody Forgot The U.S. Justice Department announced last Friday it will not open a civil rights investigation into New York's handling of COVID-19 deaths at state-run nursing homes. While this was certainly welcome news to the primary resident of the Executive Mansion, in case anybody forgot, there are still a “few” ongoing investigations. Here is a breakdown of the entities and the issues they are currently investigating - The FBI and the U.S. Attorney's Office in Brooklyn · Nursing home death undercount scandal NYS Attorney General · Nursing home death undercount scandal · Sexual harassment allegations · Book deal scandal Assembly Impeachment Committee · Nursing home death undercount scandal · Sexual harassment allegations · Book deal scandal · Safety of the new bridge formerly known as the Tappan Zee A Tale of Two Cuomos The governor has certainly changed his tune over the past few months regarding Attorney General Letitia James’s investigation. March - “Let the Attorney General do her job. She’s very good. She’s very competent. And that will be due process and then we’ll have the facts.” July - “I have concerns as to the independence of the reviewers. Is this all happening in a political system? Yes, that is undeniable.” Guess Who Grew a Set The Minneapolis City Council voted last Friday to allow voters to determine whether to replace the Minneapolis Police Department with a Department of Public Safety that would employ a “comprehensive public health approach, and which would include licensed peace officers (police officers) if necessary, to fulfill its responsibilities for public safety.” The department would be led by a commissioner for Public Safety, as opposed to the mayor having complete control over the department. The measure has been submitted to Mayor Jacob Frey, however, his office stated that he would “not be signing the measure, but appreciates the careful work and thorough analysis done by city staff to prepare fair and accurate language for voters to consider this fall.” Furthermore, “Mayor Frey maintains that giving the Minneapolis City Council control over public safety work would mark a major setback for accountability and good governance.” He was all about defunding the police until somebody attempted to circumvent his authority. These Guys are Too Much Last week, our old friends (not!) at Ben & Jerry's announced that from January 2023 they will no longer allow their Israeli franchisee to market their ice cream in the Israeli settlements in the West Bank, but will continue to sell it within Israel’s pre-1967 borders. If I can remember my history, during the Six Day War, Israel captured the Gaza Strip from Egypt and the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan. Governor Cuomo thus far has remained quiet on the subject and if he did mention it, I missed it because I was too tied up dealing with his vaccine bullshit. However, in 2016, he unequivocally stated: "If you boycott Israel, New York State will boycott you," and signed an executive order calling for divestment from companies that boycott the Jewish state. One person who has taken notice is NYS Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, who was reported to be “troubled and concerned” by Ben & Jerry’s announcement and issued a letter to the CEO of their parent company, Unilever, giving him 90 days to respond and “confirm or deny whether Unilever or its subsidiaries have undertaken any activities with the intent to penalize, inflict economic harm on, or limit commercial relations with, the State of Israel.” The NYS Pension Fund has about $73 million invested in Unilever. I cannot wait to hear what they are going to name their next flavor celebrating this move. After seeing the movie “Munich,” if I were these two jokers, I would be sleeping with one eye open. A Sign that the Apocalypse is Upon Us Massachusetts On Monday, President Biden nominated Rachael Rollins, the district attorney for Suffolk County, to lead the U.S. attorney's office in Massachusetts. The problem? After taking office in January 2019, Rollins, a soft-on-crime progressive, released a policy memo identifying more than a dozen charges she said should be declined for prosecution entirely or recommended for diversion, such as mental health or substance abuse treatment. Included are such low-level offenses including trespassing, shoplifting, larceny, disorderly conduct, receiving stolen property, driving with a suspended license, wanton or malicious destruction of property, threats, underage drinking, drug possession, possession with intent to distribute and resisting arrest. Which leads us to a perfect segue – Quote of the Week Hamilton County, Ohio Prosecutor Joe Deters, in an op-ed for the Columbus Dispatch this week, pretty much summed up what is going on in our society quite nicely. “Despite what activists may tell you, these reforms and attitudes about law enforcement and the criminal justice system are the reason violent crime is spiking nationwide. Bad people who want to do bad things feel emboldened by a culture that will excuse every bad act.” The Greatest Essay Ever Written While Googling the mentions we received in the various news media, I came across the following from World Journal, the largest Chinese language newspaper in the United States. Although I believe it relates to the vaccine story, for all I know it was an excerpt from an old inflammatory Facebook post. 此前，州參議會和州眾議會已要求所有議員及其員工必須接種或接受定期檢測。不過，葛謨的新規遭到工會抵制，稱葛謨沒有協商就擅自宣布；州警工會主席沐恩格(Thomas Mungeer)表示，葛謨的宣布讓他們猝不及防，「我們仍在等待州長辦公室給出更多信息，同時也在評估法律選項，因為認為此舉可能改變了州府的雇用條款 It reminded me of a funny story, though. A number of years ago my son, Nick, was given a homework assignment by his teacher to write a letter home to his family through the eyes of a Chinese immigrant, of his impressions and observations of the 19th century United States. While all of his classmates quickly and diligently completed the task, Nick, on the other hand, methodically looked up and carefully copied the Mandarin Chinese characters and submitted it written entirely in the native language of the supposed letter writer. His teacher, of course, was taken aback and definitely got a chuckle. In the end, he gave Nick an A for the assignment, most likely for originality and following instructions to a tee. Nick later said it took him almost all night to complete, but seeing the look on his teacher’s face was definitely worth it. This email is an automated notification, which is unable to receive replies. To send a comment to the NYSTPBA, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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