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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.
ESNA Unanimously Approves Tentative Agreement for Successor Contract
Updated On: May 10, 2021
In March 2021, after a long, difficult, and ultimately successful negotiation, the Enfield BOE Nurses (also known as “ESNA”) unanimously approved a tentative agreement for a CBA covering the years 2020 to 2024. This was ESNA’s first negotiation with UPSEU representation, and the results speak for themselves. The negotiating committee led by UPSEU Regional Director and Chief Negotiator, Matt Geer and the entire negotiating committee took on the enormous task of reorganizing and substantially improving the existing contract. After at least eight (8) years with no step movement on the wage grid, UPSEU was able to secure step increases in each year of the contract, as well as above market general wage increases in each year on behalf of the members.
UPSEU was successful in limiting the employee health insurance cost share percentage over the life of the contract. In addition, numerous other positive language changes were made, including adding language regarding non-discrimination and defining the workday, adding a bereavement leave provision which previously did not exist, enhancing evaluation language, implementing progressive discipline language, and much more. There was also extensive language cleanup, and a rational reorganizing of the contract’s structure to make it easier to follow.
Nancy Netherwood, one of the most experienced negotiating committee members, commented on these negotiations, “Matt Geer and Masjo Ward, our representatives from UPSEU, were excellent to work with during these negotiations. They listened to our concerns and secured a great contract for us.” Unit President, Jessica Spera said, “[c]ontract negotiations are a fine art of give and take and are usually done face to face, but given the times, that wasn't an option for our group. Our UPSEU representatives - Matt Geer and Masjo Ward - walked us through this more difficult process of zoom meetings for contract negotiations. It was especially helpful to have their guidance and leadership as our negotiation committee was composed of a majority of nurses that were hired in the last 4 years, and the last contract was negotiated in 2013 and in dire need of significant updates and improvements. They provided exceptional guidance in regards to helping prioritize our requests and ensuring that the BOE representatives took into account our needs for an updated contract. Despite negotiations taking longer than normal due to COVID, Matt and Masjo kept us well informed of the BOE responses to our requests and helped us secure a better wage scale and step increases - something that had not been done since before 2012. Now that our contract is finalized, the EPS nurses feel as though we are better represented and valued within the school system.” UPSEU appreciates and reciprocates these sentiments.
Matt Geer stated, “I appreciate the admiration of the negotiating committee members who gave their precious time, even amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, during these negotiations. The entire negotiating committee, consisting of Melanie Alaimo, Nancy Netherwood, Kelly Flanagan, Jessica Spera, and our alternate Tammy Sylvest, were fantastic to work with. They were always prepared to advocate on behalf of the entire membership. While we achieved many desired items during these negotiations, the work of UPSEU is never done.”
Finally, UPSEU would like to thank Alyssa Lord for inviting our organization into the ESNA family and providing crucial leadership at the start of this process. She has since left employment in the District, and we wish her the best in her future endeavors. UPSEU is proud to represent the Enfield BOE Nurses, and we look forward to continuing a long partnership with the Enfield Public School Nurses (ESNA).