MEA NEWS

MEA Arbitration Video  –  player.vimeo.com/video/96925667

MEA PAC Endorsements Finalized at September 15th Meeting

 At the 1st Quarter 14/15 General Membership Meeting the MEA PAC process included a forum featuring a number of the incumbent Board of Supervisor Candidates running for re-election.  The Board members were asked a number of questions including how the Board and MEA can work together to increase confidence in and support for local government?  The membership also heard a briefing on the reasoning behind MEA’s decision to only weigh in on three ballot measures.  Upon the membership’s recommendation, the MEA PAC made the following official endorsements.  Such endorsements result in a financial contribution to the campaign.

Candidates

District 2 Mark Farrell District 4 Katy Tang
District 6 Jane Kim District 8 Scott Weiner
District 10 Malia Cohen
Assessor Carmen Chu School Board Emily Murase

Local Measures

SF Transportation and Road Improvement Bond Measure A Yes
Retiree Health Benefits for Former Redevelopment Agency Employees Measure D Yes
Minimum Wage Increase Measure J Yes

 MEA 13-14 Year End Financial Report Shows Membership Growth and Stability

 As a result of increased outreach and expanded online capacity, MEA membership continues to grow.  The total number of members increased by 4% in 13-14 but the increase in new members is actually much higher when you factor in the number of members who leave each year.  This membership growth has allowed the MEA Board to delay implementation of the 2nd phase of the dues increase originally ratified in 2012 and scheduled to go into effect on July 1, 2014.  The timeline to implement the increase will be reviewed by the MEA Board every six months.  Because MEA is a voluntary organization, it is critical that we “grow” the organization’s reach, reputation and brand in order to attract new managers as they come to work for the City, the Court or the Housing Authority.

 

Budget 13/14 Actuals 13/14 Variance 13/14 Budget 14/15
Total Revenue $613,840 $647,203 $33,363 $653,750
Operating Expenses $598,840 $578,033 ($20,807) $571,642
Special Items $115,000 $52,031 ($62,969) $107,000
Total Expenses $713,840 $630,064 ($83,776) $678,642
Total (Shortfall) ($100,000) $17,139 ($24,892)

No Agreement Reached To Date on Court Wages

After months of negotiations, MEA and the Court still have no agreement in response to the wage reopener provision of the 12-15 MOU.  The parties are still discussing additional floating holidays that may either be taken during 14-15 or paid out.  This agreement would recognize the Court’s ongoing financial challenges with a new funding model which links state funding to court filings; a model that fails to take into account many critical services provided in San Francisco.  Bargaining for a successor agreement is expected to begin in Spring 2015.  MEA bargaining team members Mark Culkins (also on the MEA Board), Nicole Adams, Gia Espinocilla and Rose Gonzalez continue to work tirelessly in the interest of reaching a meaningful agreement.

CCSF/MTA Flex Spending/Benefit Model Set to Change in 2015

 As the calendar year draws to a close, MEA members covered under the MEA-CCSF Miscellaneous and MTA Agreements should be aware of changes impacting the flex spending program starting in January 2015.  A number of changes will occur as a result of various actions taken by the MEA membership:

  1. The EE Only Flex Spending Allocation will move to 65% of the Kaiser +2 or more rate starting in 2015. In the 2012-2014 MOU this change was negotiated to align with the changes made to benefits citywide.  For two years the rate was frozen and in 2015 it will be once again tied to a percentage of the Kaiser rate, albeit a lower one than the previous 75%.
  2. The EE +1 Flex Spending Allocation will remain unchanged at 75% of the Kaiser +2 or more rate.
  3. For those managers covering larger families under EE + 2 or more, the rate will now be set based upon 83% of the total cost of benefits, rather than a formula that included the10-county formula and the Kaiser +2 or more rate. As a result of this new formula, families covered under Kaiser will essentially experience no change, and families covered under Blue Shield and City Plan will see an increase in the portion of their benefit paid for by the City.  In addition, all managers in this category will receive Long-Term Disability (LTD) Insurance as part of the City’s group policy paid for by the City.

Employees covered under EE Only and EE+1 can continue to purchase LTD through the flex spending program.  Please note that you are encouraged to sign up for that benefit upon your initial enrollment in flex spending as it is subject to some pre-existing conditions restrictions if you try to obtain it at a later date.  MEA will continue to advocate in bargaining for full inclusion of all MEA represented managers in the City’s group policy.

The changes noted above will apply to MEA Police and MEA Fire in January 2016.  For 2015, the flex spending/benefits model under their MOUs will remain unchanged.

Specific premium amounts and the application of MEA flex spending dollars will appear in the benefit booklet provided by the Health Service System.  In addition, contained herein is a chart that reflects the actual dollar impact of the changes and the corresponding explanation.  If you have specific questions, please contact the MEA office or HSS.

This change does not apply to MEA represented employees at the Courts or the SFHA.

MEA-CCSF 14-15 Leadership Development Program Launches

 On Wednesday, September 3rd, 28 City Managers, most of whom are represented by MEA, attended the first day of the MEA-CCSF Leadership Development Program.  The program – which initially ran as a pilot last spring – is intended to close the gap between “managing” and “leading” and provide participants with the insight and tools they need to become more effective leaders.

 A Note from MEA on the HSS Wellness Program

 By now you have likely heard from both your department heads and HSS about the City’s new Wellness Program. All good unions have to make choices on where they focus their attention and resources to do the best job of representing their members.  Many of the unions representing San Francisco City employees, including MEA, have committed to support the new HSS Wellness program.

The program is dedicated to creating a culture of good health, and we recognize and strongly support our common interest in working on this with HSS and the City to the betterment of our members and their families.   The City spends over $700 million annually on active and retiree healthcare – equal to more than 25% of payroll.  Achieving our Wellness goals will help slow any increases and may even help us achieve reductions in this annual bill.  There is the potential for significant financial rewards, but at the heart of the program is better health and better lives, both as you work and after you retire, for MEA members.

As the Wellness campaign continues, and you begin to take the well-being assessment and work your way through the program, HSS, along with MEA, is looking for user feedback. If you encounter issues or concerns while taking the assessment or as you participate in the program, please feel free to notify us as well as HSS directly at wellness@sfgov.org. This program can be a success.