Unlimited Paid Sick Leave for Employees with 9/11 Related Illnesses

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

Please read this extremely important email from Ben Totushek regarding restoring retroactively, sick, and annual leave for members who have qualified for the 9/11 unlimited sick leave benefit.

This is to inform you all that attached PSB was issued on Thursday, October 15th, bestowing retroactive sick and annual leave bank restorations for our members who have qualified for the 9/11 unlimited sick leave benefit, and had to use their own banked time for a WTC illness in the past.

This is the first phase of the benefit; it caps applications at one (1) calendar year of their total retroactive claim, and requires that the year for which they are applying has a minimum of about 4 weeks of qualifying leave usage (150 hours). Those who can not meet those requirements, or who have more leave to apply for in other calendar years, will be reimbursed in the following phase.

There is a 90 day window to apply, meaning that the deadline will be on or about January 13th, 2021 (by my own math; I am still waiting to hear back from OLR on the date certain). So I highly recommend sending out an email blast, FB post, putting this on the websites, etc. As the questions come in, refer members to me as you feel is needed if things are tricky and need troubleshooting. There is still some ambiguity on how things will shake out in the event a claim is contested by the agency, but my sincere hope is that these are the exceptions, not the rule.

Yes, this benefit's leave time is pensionable, to answer that question, although the retirees receive lump sums so as not to trigger complex pension implications for them. I am still waiting to hear back on the next of kin of the deceased. I am hopeful we can get a side letter with that and a couple other improvements.

I am also attaching a new form for members who qualify for the benefit but were opting out of NYCERS at the time of the attack. They must use this parallel form to the NYCERS Notice of Participation form in order to activate the unlimited sick leave benefit along with any retroactive claims they may be eligible for.

 
Ben Totushek
Assistant Director, Research and Negotiations
DC 37, AFSCME, AFL-CIO
Tel: (212) 815-1470
Cell: (917) 657-5603

Please CLICK HERE to see the new PSB, which can also be found on the DCAS website.

You will find the Verification Participation Form and Retroactive Unlimited Sick Leave Form at the end of the PSBs.

In Solidarity,

Michael Troman
President, Local 375

photo: dc37pep.net