Wednesday, March 25, 2020
Brothers and Sisters, as rapidly as life is changing in the recent days, we, your Union leadership feel that it is important for you to know that we are in constant contact with our employer. As many of you have been at the facilities while others are at home waiting to go in, we want to update you and continue to communicate with you, both directly through our stewards and indirectly through text blasts and newsletters.
For members that have not yet shared contact information with your shop steward, we recommend that you do so. The officers and stewards have been conducting daily calls to stay informed and bring your questions and concerns forward for discussion and clarification. This has been a successful approach so far; we plan to continue.
The IBEW LU 2032 office on Willow Street in Massena has been temporarily closed effective March 18,2020. The office staff are working remotely from home and conducting business as usual. There are limited personnel that have access to the office in the hopes of limiting the exposure and spread of the virus. If you need to contact the office, you have two options. You may email us at IBEWlocal2032@gmail.com, or you may call the temporary cell phone and speak directly to the office manager at 315-514-4229. Office hours remain the same; Monday through Friday from 7:30-4:00. In addition, all regular union meetings at all three sites have been suspended with permission from the Third District Vice President for the month of April 2020. The E-Board meeting shall be conducted via conference call.
On March 19, 2020, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed an executive order that will dictate how businesses can operate in the wake of the Novel Coronavirus pandemic. This includes a decrease to in-office workforce by 75 percent, with exemptions to shipping, media, grocery, medical related business and financial institutions, as well as utilities, both public (NYPA) and private. This also directed the closing of all schools in New York state until April 1, 2020 and the closure of all casinos, gyms and theaters until further notice. He signed the bill guaranteeing job protection and pay under certain circumstances as well as free testing for the virus, if ordered by a health care professional.
Please click here to read more about this order and to watch a video about symptoms, prevention, and tips on how to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Similarly, on March 7, 2020 and Executive Order No. 202.6 to continue temporary suspension and modification of laws relating to the disaster emergency was issued declaring a State disaster emergency for the entire State of New York.
Highlights of the order can be found by clicking here.
NYPA has asked that we share notifications that members may not otherwise receive. They are as follows.
Direct deposit applications are available through NYPA payroll. We are encouraging members to take advantage of this service. To enroll in direct deposit, please submit your information through the MyADP app or fill out a direct deposit form (found on the NYPA intranet) and submit to WPOPayrollDepartment@nypa.gov.
You may receive NYPA news/updates on COVID-19 by text. Please dial 877877 from your smartphone and text the code WPOnews. After signing up, you will receive an automatic response the you are enrolled.
Benefit updates and enhancements related to COVID-19 testing information will be mailed to employee homes from the NYPA Benefits Department and may also be sent by providers. We encourage members to visit the UHC Websites as well as to view updated information. The NYPA Plan for IBEW will provide COVID testing at $0 copay through December 31, 2020. Where available, COVID-19 testing may have additional care and charges associated with the test, such as an ER or doctor’s visit. These enhancements are regulatory in response to Government mandates. Coverage for additional care remains unchanged. Virtual visits (in-network) will be added for members of the NYPA Plan through UHC. Providers who typically see patients in the office can bill for telehealth services performed while a patient is at home. Even if unrelated to COVID-19, virtual visits limit exposure and stress on the health care system. Many physicians aren’t seeing patients in person so this would allow access to care for all. Current copays will be waived for these services (per regulations).
Before we close, we want to reiterate that the most current updates containing day to day logistics and crisis management will come from your Shop Steward. So please be sure to share your contact information with them.
Brothers and Sisters be safe and continue to practice “social distancing” while at home or at the facilities. We all look forward to the days when this pandemic is behind us and get back to life as we knew it.