As of a Member of NYSPEC, the NYS Public Employee Conference, UTLO was alerted that Governor Cuomo signed the Covid Death Benefit bill – A3988 (Assemblyman Abbate) / S4681 (Senator Gounardes) into law on Friday, March 12, as Chapter #78 of 2021.
NYSPEC explained to their members, "Assemblyman Abbate’s dedicated hard work spearheaded this effort soon after the onset of the pandemic last year. On behalf of all members of NYSPEC, we cannot thank him enough for always looking out for our interest. Remember that his original proposed Covid Death Benefit bill had no expiration date. However, the governor insisted that the bill sunset in 2020, and he converted it to a gubernatorial program bill. After issuing a message of necessity, he signed it into law as Chapter #89 on May 30, 2020. When the bill expired in December, he extended it by Execute Order before signing this year’s bill, which now expires December 31, 2022."
The governor, on Friday, also signed A3354 (Assemblyman Fall) / S2588 (Senator Gounardes) which provides four hours leave time for public employees to receive the Covid vaccine, as Chapter #77.
This legislation achieves parity for UTLO members with members of other unions. Recently, hourly and supervisory employees were granted four hours pay for COVID vaccination but UTLO members were denied this benefit. UTLO was now able to achieve this benefit for its members through its lobbying efforts, bypassing the MTA’s procrastinating negotiation tactics.