Lawsuit updates; PERB, CO Lawsuit, Court Reporter, Health Insurance

Tuesday, April 3, 2018
On Monday, March 26th the entire Executive Board appeared at PERB in Brooklyn to continue our suit against OCA for Directly dealing with our members when they mailed out contract material to our members homes last year. Previously the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) has leaned on OCA to make an offer to settle. They finally came up with a very lame "they will [continue] to abide by the Taylor Law" proposal, meaning that they don't feel they did anything wrong. They wouldn't even entertain our "testing the waters" offer (not a formal offer) to, put in writing, that they will not do it again. That was not at all satisfactory to the Executive Board, so they passed on settling or (of course) withdrawing. The matter is now being set for a full hearing, sometime in September.
The next day President Imandt and 1st VP Piciulo went back to Brooklyn, for the Court Officer lawsuit, to hear our attorney argue the Appellate Division appeal filed by OCA regarding the victory we had in Supreme Court. OCA didn't even show up! Now our counsel said that all their arguments are already on paper are it's not unusual for one side, or both, not to appear to give their "focus on this" argument. But a high ranking official working in the Appellate Division told us on the side that it is highly unusual for one or both side not to show up. Two thoughts come to mind. Since OCA has said that they know they are going to have to "fix it" at some point - did they not show up because they want the court to fix it; or, is the "fix" already in? Since the Appellate Division decides these matters in their own time, the range of when we will get a decision (based on their history) is between June of 2018 and April of 2019.
All papers are in for our Federal Health Insurance (increase) lawsuit and we are anticipating a decision from Judge D'Agostino (again, based on past history) between "any day now" and April of 2019.
The Delegates will also be given a list of ALL their constituents so that COBANC can ascertain how many members have "opted out" of the NYSHIP program, typically because their spouses or partners have health insurance coverage, or even how many members would be eligible if they had known about this program. NYSHIP offers an incentive to "opt out" of coverage through the court systems health insurance of $1,000 (single) or $3,000 (family) per year if members use their non-court, non-NYSHIP health insurance coverage through their spouse/partner.
We are not trying to pry, we are just doing research to see if we are going to file a lawsuit. Our theory is that ALL members should have been informed of this program. NYSHIP only notified people already in the NYSHIP program that they can opt out and go on their spouses/partners coverage. When President Imandt inquired, Beaver street's position is that you can only "opt out" if you are already in and they had no responsibility to notify non NYSHIP members of a NYSHIP incentive program. We think that human resources should have let ALL members know that if they opt in during the open period (November every year) for one year, they could then opt out and receive the incentive for, presumably, the rest of their career. Administration does let all new employees know about this option when they are hired. Since they are charged with "looking out" for ALL employees we think that they should have let all employees know about this program and let them make an informed decision as to what they want to do.
Also, at our meeting on the 10th, Delegates will be given a list of those members who have not applied for the 2017 Medical/Prescription reimbursement with the hope of cajoling them to file before the April 15th deadline. It's YOUR money and the Health and Welfare committee is trying to get it to you.


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