NEW YORK MEMBERS -Important *Power of Attorney Information* If you are unable to act due to a serious health condition, it is extremely important that your spouse, significant other or dependent has access to your completed Power of Attorney form to act on your behalf related to the retirement system.
You should advise the individual designated to contact UPSEU immediately if you become or they believe you may become incapacitated as it will potentially impact pension rights afforded to them.
This would in no way impact any decision if you become capable of acting on your own behalf and for you to reverse any decision made. Again, it is extremely important that your loved ones have access to your executed Power of Attorney. You do not submit to anyone. It is retained with your important papers.
Westport Association of Educational Secretaries Ratify - 1st Contract with UPSEU as their Bargaining Representative
Updated On: Dec 21, 2020
In 2017, the Westport Association of Educational Secretaries executed an affiliation agreement with UPSEU. As a result, UPSEU was certified as the exclusive bargaining representative for all employees in the unit consisting of full-time (more than twenty hours per week) clerical work for the Town of Westport Public Schools. At that time, the membership elected Maryann Garcia as their first President since affiliating with UPSEU. Additionally, Jan Mello was elected as Vice-President and Sal Taccone, Treasurer.
Without delay, the Executive Board and negotiating team began preparing for bargaining a Successor Agreement with the Town of Westport Board of Education. Prior to affiliating with UPSEU, the WAES retained a law firm to handle grievances and negotiate their Agreement with the Westport Board of Education. President Garcia said, “as we moved through the process it became more and more challenging and more and more stressful. We, as an Executive Board did not feel like we were able to attain the improvements to our contract that we were seeking and legal fees were mounting. We settled our contract in the early stages of arbitration but still we did not feel we were able to accomplish the goals we set for our Association.”
The WAES membership knew they had to make a change, so they began to investigate the prospect of forming a Union. The Association interviewed three (3) different Unions. Vice-President Mello stated, “the presentation by UPSEU was informative and exceptionally well communicated.” President Garcia declared, “as our relationship with UPSEU and Dan Bonfiglio started to develop, it was evident early on, that UPSEU was there for us whenever we needed someone to count on, to ask a question or to obtain information.”
The WAES recently ratified their contract and Vice-President Mello declared, “the bargaining process this time around was a totally different experience. UPSEU was able to accurately guide and advise us while at the same time respect our position and what was important to our members.” President Garcia added, “by joining UPSEU and paying dues, we acquired the guidance, support and level of expertise necessary to navigate the negotiation process and advocate for our members.”
The negotiating team was successful by increasing the sick leave accumulation from one hundred twenty (120) days to one hundred fifty (150) days, for absence due to personal illness. In addition, WAES members may use up to three (3) days of accrued sick leave per year for the illness of an employee’s spouse, child, or other family member who resides in the employee’s home. Also, the negotiating team successfully reclassified the Benefits Coordinator and the Payroll/Absence Management Coordinator from Category IV to Category V retroactive to July 1, 2020. During the term of the Agreement (2020-2023) the medical insurance premium cost share for WAES members will increase by merely one (1) percent.