A Message from our Government Relations Chair, Kenneth Pollitt

April 2016
Dear NMEA Members,
Will you send a fax to preserve your rights? Support the NYSHIP Buyout Bill S.7120 which went to the Senate Civil Service and Pension Committee this week.
Every NMEA member should support this action. It saves our members money, and it saves money for all school districts in New York. It may appear that this particular issue affects only a few of our members. In fact, the case challenges the right we all have to negotiate benefits available to us all.
While the health insurance issue described below (summary of the NYSHIP case) may not affect you directly today, we should all join this effort to protect our rights to collectively bargain and maintain benefits.
We are making it easy for you to contact your legislators in support of the NYSHIP Buyout Bill S.7120 which went to the Senate Civil Service and Pension Committee this week.  The link below will take you to the NYSUT MAC where you can send a fax to your legislators to support this bill. Just click the link, fill out your info, and click send a fax! You should consider sharing on social media. NYSUT has worked hard to get supporters of the bill, with Senator Martin Golden sponsoring it.
 Here is a summary of the NYSHIP case………
 The New York State Health Insurance Plan-NYSHIP is our health insurance program. We have a stipulation in our contract that allows members who have health coverage through a spouse or domestic partner the ability to decline the district’s NYSHIP policy and receive a sum of money equal to half of the district’s cost for the NYSHIP plan. It saves the district money by not having to pay the district’s full cost for health insurance and the member gets some money as well.
In May 2012 NYSHIP issued a policy that threatened to drop any district that allowed such “buy-outs” to employees. NYSUT brought the case to court, arguing that NYSHIP cannot interfere with the collectively bargained agreement between a local teacher union and the school district. NYSUT  prevailed at the lower courts, but were defeated upon appeal at a higher court. The case is currently under appeal.

Kenneth Pollitt

Government Relations Chair