Updates from NYSTPBA President Tom Mungeer






NYSTPBA Newsletter

Updates from NYSTPBA President Tom Mungeer Hopefully, many of you were able to spend time with your families yesterday. For those of you who had to work, thank you for keeping mine safe. Please remember the two New York City police officers who were shot in the line of duty earlier this week and pray for their speedy recovery. For all of you who may have been sequestered in the deep woods at deer camp and did not hear the news, Trooper Christopher Baldner's legal team made a successful application to Albany County Supreme Court Justice Denise Hartman, who saw through the Attorney General's bullshit that he posed a flight risk and granted bail. Trooper Baldner was able to spend Thanksgiving with his wife and children. Speaking of the AG’s Bullshit The extreme full court press that her attorneys made in arguing for a denial of bail for our Trooper, falsely stating that he posed a flight risk, in my opinion illustrates the hypocrisy of the bail reform she championed as well as a clear pattern of bias toward law enforcement while she is the chief law enforcement officer of the state. This crusade against law enforcement as a means to drive her political aspirations for governor did not start here. Remember her proposed “police reform” legislation this past May? “The Police Accountability Act,” was nothing short of a politically motivated hit job targeting the men and women of law enforcement, in direct response to her failing to get an indictment against the Rochester police officers who attempted to subdue Daniel Prude in February. At the time, the AG said she was “extremely disappointed” that the outcome was not different. She promised a “multifaceted” effort to amend New York’s use-of-force law “from one of subjective, simple necessity, to one of absolute, last resort, exhausting all other non-lethal means before resorting to deadly force.” Translation: Let’s move the goal posts to compensate for a shitty field goal kicker. No Christmas Card Exchanges When asked on Wednesday by a New York Post reporter who I would rather see win next year’s Democratic gubernatorial primary – Gov. Kathy Hochul or Attorney General Letitia James - my response was simple: Governor Hochul. Apparently, that struck a nerve with the Attorney General (plus, I may have mentioned that she was “playing politics” in the Thruway case) because her spokesperson immediately issued a scathing statement regarding this so-called “endorsement” in which they referred to me as a “Trump-loving police union endorser.” Thank you. I guess as of this moment, I’m on double secret probation! NYSTPBA and Thomas Mungeer vs. AG Letitia James On Wednesday, we filed a lawsuit in Albany County Supreme Court seeking declaratory judgment and injunctive relief against our illustrious Attorney General and challenging her Office of Special Investigations (OSI) and their over-reaching investigations into our off-duty members. We believe that the Attorney General has taken an overly broad interpretation of Executive Law §70-b which empowers her office “to investigate and prosecute an offense or offenses committed by a police officer, whether on-duty or off-duty, which results in the death of an individual, whether armed or unarmed.” However, just because you wear a uniform you should not lose your rights as a citizen, especially when you are involved in an off-duty incident unrelated to any law enforcement official action. This is exactly what happened to one of our Members last July and this action, hopefully, will help to not only protect the rights of our Troopers but also all law enforcement members statewide. Love, A Trump-loving police union endorser. Bluto: What happened to the Delta I used to know? Where's the spirit? Where's the guts, huh? This could be the greatest night of our lives, but you're gonna let it be the worst. "Ooh, we're afraid to go with you Bluto, we might get in trouble." Well just kiss my ass from now on! Not me! I'm not gonna take this. Wormer, he's a dead man! Marmalard, dead! Niedermeyer... Otter: Dead! Bluto's right. Psychotic... but absolutely right. We gotta take these bastards. Now we could do it with conventional weapons, but that could take years and cost millions of lives. No, I think we have to go all out. I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody's part! So-Called Bail Reform I was honored to represent both the NYSTPBA and the National Troopers Coalition on the national news network Newsmax where I discussed the ill-conceived bail reform initiatives in New York and nationwide. We as Troopers must make our collective voices heard! https://www.dropbox.com/s/2abpzgbtbrv0w4r/MUNGEER%20NR%20112321.mp4?dl=0 Weekly COVID Testing Update It has taken a month but we finally received written clarification from the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations to the numerous questions surrounding the testing companies and their policies regarding selling information, use of tests for other purposes and retaining of the tests. Please see the following: Quest does not sell identified data to 3rd party entities. Quest does not reuse samples from the NYS program for any other purposes aside from providing COVID results to the patient. Samples are retained for 7 days then discarded. Wellstand does not sell any employee data to third parties. Tests are ONLY used for the collection of samples for COVID-19 testing pursuant to the NYS Employee Program, and for NO other purpose other than this. Additionally, the samples are destroyed 48 hours after the test is complete and not held by your lab staff. Visit does not sell patient information. It is only used for the test. We do not keep or use samples for any other purpose than for the test. The only time it’s retained is to confirm the result of the test on a second retest when the first result comes back indeterminate. The amount of time the lab retains the samples depends on the overall volume of the lab, this could be anywhere from 24 hours to several days. This Week’s Sign That the Apocalypse is Upon Us Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick, Mr. Defund and Reimagine the Police, is on the shortlist to be Letitia James’s running mate. Retiree Health Insurance Lawsuit We have filed an amicus brief with the New York State Court of Appeals regarding the decade-old retiree health insurance lawsuit. Background – The NYSTPBA, along with all of the other state public employee unions, filed a federal lawsuit in December 2011 challenging the Cuomo administration's unilateral increase in the percentage of health insurance contributions required of state retirees (see the press release below). What this means – Last November, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued a 78-page decision certifying two questions to the New York Court of Appeals concerning the retiree lawsuit which would be determinative to our case: 1. Whether the referenced CBAs created a vested right in retired employees to have the state's rates of contribution to health insurance premiums remain unchanged during their lifetimes, notwithstanding the duration of the CBA, and 2. If they do not, does this create sufficient ambiguity on that issue to permit the consideration of extrinsic (evidence of bargaining history, past practice, etc.) evidence as to whether they create such a vested right. An affirmative answer to either question by the New York Court of Appeals would allow us to prevail completely under question #1; or to go to trial on question #2, to present evidence of the parties' intent and past practice as to what the benefits would be at retirement. To be continued… New York State unions file federal lawsuit over retiree health increase Cuomo Administration unilateral action hits retired state employees hard ALBANY, NY (12/28/2011)-- A coalition of CSEA, PEF, UUP, NYSCOPBA, NYSTPBA, NYSPIA, and AFSCME Council 82, unions representing virtually all of New York State employees have filed lawsuits in federal court challenging the Cuomo Administration's unilateral increase in the percentage of health insurance contributions required of state retirees. The legal challenge applies to changes made by the administration this fall and covers state employees who have retired and seen their share of health insurance premium increase beyond the level at which they retired. Retirees have long contributed 10 percent of individual coverage and 25 percent of family coverage for their health insurance coverage in retirement based on the percentages included in the state contracts when they retired. The changes imposed by the Cuomo Administration increase the percentage of contribution 2 percent for both individual and family coverage. The changes have severe and unexpected consequences on retired employees. The coalition of unions asserts that it is illegal for the state to increase those rates for already retired members. The unions did not negotiate such increases. Contrary to popular perception, most public employee retirees have contributed to their health insurance and retirement costs over decades of service and receive only meager to modest benefits. For example, individuals who retired prior to 1983 receive an average pension benefit of $8,760. Those who retired between 1983 and 1990 have a retirement benefit of $13,786 annually. Out of their fixed income, retirees must pay rising food, fuel, and gas prices along with all other living costs. A retiree on fixed income covered under the Empire Plan would pay about $150 more annually for individual coverage and about $460 more for family coverage. Costs for other health insurance options would vary according to the plan. Making matters worse, the Cuomo Administration has indicated that it will unilaterally impose a 6 percent increase for retirees who retire on or after Jan. 1, 2012, these changes will result in a 60 percent increase in contribution costs for individual coverage and a 24 percent increase for dependent coverage. All of the employee groups appealed to the Cuomo administration not to impose this change on retirees before its imposition. The state must now respond to the legal filing in the next month. "CSEA is disturbed and disappointed that the Cuomo Administration can be so heartless about imposing higher costs on people who have devoted their lives to the service of New Yorkers," said CSEA President Danny Donohue. "Nobody bargained for this and these increases will hit retirees hard – it's not right and they don't deserve this treatment." "What the Cuomo Administration is trying to do is pull the rug out from under state retirees many of whom planned their retirements based on when they felt they could afford to retire. These decisions were based on a promise and expectation of what their health insurance costs would be. Changing the rules after the fact is outright wrong," said PEF President Ken Brynien. "Our members selflessly work to protect New Yorkers in some of the most dangerous environments in the state. They have earned these benefits, and they are entitled to the coverage that the state agreed to when they retired," said NYSCOPBA President Donn Rowe. "Not only is this change unconstitutional, it's just unfair. The Cuomo Administration should recognize its legal obligations to its retirees and not shift its financial burdens on those least able to absorb the hit." "The New York State Troopers PBA will continue to fight for the well-being of our retired members. It is imperative that the active members of the PBA protect those members who came before us and proudly wore the gray uniform while sacrificing so much in the name of public safety," said PBA President Thomas H. Mungeer. Joseph Barrett, president of the New York State Police Investigators Association (NYSPIA), stated: "It is unfortunate that, after risking their lives for the citizens of the State of New York during their careers, that same State of New York now chooses to impose unprecedented health care cost increases on its retired State Police members and the widows and widowers of its deceased members. The State's decision to force this cost increase on our retirees in these years when they live on a fixed income is particularly disturbing." "The hardworking public safety professionals of New York State are particularly outraged by the Cuomo administration's targeting of retirees," said Council 82 Executive Director James Lyman. "Council 82's retirees are men and women who dedicated their lives to providing a safer New York and deserve to be respected and honored for their service, rather than have the state turn its back and break its promise to its retirees." This email is an automated notification, which is unable to receive replies. To send a comment to the NYSTPBA, please contact us at nystpba@nystpba.org

The Police Benevolent Association of the New York State Troopers 120 State St. Albany, New York 12207 (518) 462-7448 http://www.nystpba.org

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