Seniority rules over
rank in Utica parking battle
win grievance at DOL
Retirement prospects are much brighter now for more than
100 PEF members who took the Part A Early Retirement
Incentive (ERI) in March, and who would have qualified
for longevity awards for the first time on March 31.
The union has been able to resolve some confusion with
the state over eligibility for these awards, which arose
because ordinarily you must be on the state payroll on
March 31 to qualify for the awards.
However, the ERI legislation specifically exempted
employees taking the Part A incentive from this
As a result of PEFs intervention, these new
retirees will receive their longevity payments, and their
pensions will be recalculated if last year was included
in their final average salary.
I want to thank the PEF local leaders who brought
this issue to our attention on behalf of their recently
retired colleagues, said PEF President Roger
Benson, and Im pleased we could correct the
problem so quickly.
As reported in the March issue of The Communicator, the
longevity awards are not available to members who retired
under Part B (25/55) of the Early Retirement Incentive,
because they had to retire before March 31 and the law
did not exempt them from the requirement to be on the
payroll on that date to qualify for the longevity
proceeding for injured member
By DEBORAH A. MILES
PEF won an Article 78 proceeding in April that may allow
an intensive case manager at Pilgrim Psychiatric Center
to keep her job.
Agnes Hamel was terminated in July 2002, after falling on
the job and injuring her back, causing her to miss work
for more than five months. She fell on an ice-covered
porch while leaving a clients home.
Civil Service Law, Sections 71 and 73, allows a person to
be terminated after being out of work for more than a
year due to a single injury.
Management combined her absences with an injury she
sustained in 1998, when Hamel was out for seven months
after falling on broken stairs in the office building at
Valley Stream. She was terminated in July 2002.
The employer concluded Hamel was out for a
cumulative year, said PEF associate counsel Jeffrey
Plant, the attorney who handled the case. Both
injuries, although separate, were regarded as one by the
employer in deciding to terminate Ms Hamel.
A hearing is required to determine if Hamels
termination under Civil Service Law is appropriate.
The employer refused to provide a hearing, so PEF
filed an Article 78 proceeding, Plant said.
The issue was whether she was deprived of her
rights to due process.
The court concluded that both substantive and procedural
due process require that Hamel be afforded a hearing and
opportunity to submit evidence that her absence in 2002
was not a result of her previous occupational injury.
As well as granting a hearing, the court annulled
the termination and restored her benefits, Plant
said. However, the implementation of the order is on hold
as the state appealed the decision.
I expect the principle of due process will be
upheld on appeal, he said. This decision
shows an employer cant make a unilateral decision
on ones employment without a due process hearing in
accord with Civil Service Law in regards to a medical
PEFs been great helping me, said Hamel.
Members need support and were often up
against a bureaucracy that has no feelings. I really just
want to go back to work.
Inside This Issue:
PEF pushes to plug corporate
Members fight proposal to
PEF leads demonstration to
protect patients, RNs
Annual lobbying pays off for
Union gets preliminary
President's Message: PEF is
You Said It: Member's
letters this month
Training with rallies
Nurses' Station: PEF acts to
Legislative Update: PEF gets
Health Benefits: Empire Plan
Legal Issues: Members win
grievance at DOL
PS&T Contract Update:
Retirees In Action: Huge
health hikes threaten
PEF Membership Benefits
Program & Travel Corp
PEF RNs deliver quality care
at Elmira PC
Full mobilization creates
union power in Reg. 5
PEF wins Article 78
Members bring Benson team
back for 3rd term
PEF Election Guide: Download
Member Communicator Feedback
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The Communicator Staff
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