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Volum e II , Issu e 19 May-june 2 00 2

COBA AND COs AT WORK, PLAY, HEROISM AND POLITICS


CO FIGHTS 9/11 TERRORISTS IN COBA, MAYOR HONOR COs FOR
AFGHAN MOUNTAINS WATERY RESCUE

DECORATED FOR $AVINGT\\70 LIVES, COs Robert johnsen (left)


and James Wolters (second from right), both of SOD, pose with
Mayor Michael Bloomberg (second from left) and COllA President
Norman Seabrook (right), after CODA honored them with its
PREPAREDTO DEFEND H1MSELF AND HIS COUNTRY: New York Arturo Meyers/Member of the Year Award in May. The officers
City Correction Officer Jorge Brito, VCBC, poses with his weapon were honored for their actions on February I, when they helped
in a photo e-mailed from Bagram.Afghan isran, where is serving as save two WF clinic nurses who had mistakenly driven their vehicle
a Battle Captain with the U,S.Anny·s lOtb Mountaiu Division. into the frigid waters off Rikers Island. trapping tbemselves in their
Activated on 9/11. CO Brito told COBA NEWS that Too here to rapidly submerging car. Witllin moments of receiving the call.
represent all the people who lost their lives or who were some-
Officers johnsen and Wolters, together with other COs, including
how atfected, especiauy those in law enforcement. by 9/11. I was
CO John Hinton. dove into the river to reach the vehicle, which
sad to leave Ill)' family, but I believe in freedom, liberty and democ-
racy and will not hesitate to fight anyone. anywhere. at any time had drifted 75 feet from the shore. By the lime the group reached
for this great country." COllA commends him for his courage and the car. only its top was showing above the water. Acting fast, they
for his dedication to the task of ending terrorism throughout the pried open the doors and pulled the women back to shore, saving
world. their lives. CORA commends them for their heroic rescue,

CO TRAVELS WORLDWIDE TO RELIEVE JAILHOUSE STRESS


RD)ING ON A CAJ'v(EL IN FRONT Of THE SPHINX, CO Allen Lloyd,
GRVC,demonstrates what he says is a sure-fire remedy for jail-
house stress: worldwide t r'J vel , Mr. Lloyd. who says he prefers
interuational (ravel for stress relief over WOrking out at the gym,
drinking, or arguing. has visited Spain. Italy, Germany, Ke nya.
Tanzania. Egypt, France, India, Vietnam, Cambodia.Thailand and
Australia. He plans to travel down the Amazon River in South
America aod (0 climb Mount Everest in the future. Mr. Lloyd first
developed his taste for travel as a chef on a cruise ship, and took a
photography course to enable him to record his travels. C013A
wishes him well at home and abroad.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR THE VSF? RETIREES GATHER AT COBA
BREAKFAST
ByWiUiam Kwasuicki
CORA Legislative Chairman

Man)' rumors have been circulating throughout Departrnent


of Correction facilities concerning eligibility for Variable Supplement
Fund payments. Don't pay attention to them. The correct iuforma-
tion is:

1. Tier 1 members must have 20 or more years of allowable:


service (uniformed) to receive the VSF.

2. Tier 2 members must have 20 or more years of allowable


service (uniformed) to receive the VSF.

3. Tier 3 members appointed prior to Dec. 19. 1990 must have


2()..25 years (depending all which retirement plan you are
enrolled in) of credited service, (all of which service must be
approved by NYCERS), to receive the VSE

4. Tier 3 members appointed after Dec. 19, 1990 must have 20


or more years of allowable service (uniformed) (0 receive
the VSF.

5. Tier 3 members appointed after Dec. 19, 1990 BllT who


were Tier 3 members of NYCERS prior to Sept, 1. 1983 must
have 20 or more years of credited service. (all of which must
be aoproved by NYCERS), [Q receive: the VSF.

Please 110te that all of the above scenarios are ba~ed on Service

Retirement, All officer ma~' have 20 or 25 years of service or more,


TALKING OVER OLDTIME$: COBA First Vice Presidcnr Israel
12m if that member rdires fur allY kind of disability he o r she will lIot Rcxach, (right, top photo) listens (0 one COBA retiree as others. (in
qualify for the VSF. photos be low), en joy themselves at t he Annual CODA Retiree
Breakfast, held at Dame's last month.

USING DEFERRED COMPENSATION SAVINGS TO PURCHASE


PRIOR SERVICE
0)' William Kwasnicki 3. When you receive this letter, take the letter to NYC Deferred
COBA Legislative Chairman Compensation, located at 40 Rector Street. You will then fiU
our an application from Deferred Cornpensatjon. After this
application is processed. a deduction from your account will
NYCERSand the NYC Deferred Compensation Plan have be made and Stilt 10 NYCERS to finalize your prior service
established a process uuder which a Correction member of NYCER$ application.
may lise Deferred Compensation Savings to purchase prior service.
4. 1£ you are eligible to use credited service for your 20- or 25-
The procedure: year retirement, you wiU be sent a letter from NYCERS
containing your new retirement date. You are eligible 10 use
credited service {or your 20 or 25-year retirement if you arc a
1. Submit the appropriate application to NYCERS requesting co Tier 3 officer appointed prior to Dec, 19, 1990 or a Tier 3
purchase credited service from your eligible previous officer appointed after Dec. 19, 1990 with a Tier 3
employer, membership dating back prior to Sept. I, 1983.

2. NYCERS will process your application. When your previous 5. If you are nor eligible to use credited service for your lO-year
eligible employer verifies your employment, NYCERS will reri remenr (that is, if you a re a Tier 1 officer, a Tier 2 officer,
send you a letter Slating the CX2ct cost of purchasing the or a Tier 3 officer appointed after Dec. 19, 1990). you wiU
credited service you applied for. receive additional peosion credit upon your retirement.

2
COBA ANNOUNCES ITS 2002 LEGISLATIVE AGENDA
The biUs below have been introduced in the State Senate and 6. Senate 6451 .VeleUa
State Assembly 01\ COBA's behalf. The name following the bill Assembly 10369. Seminerio
number is rhe name of the Senator and Assembly Member who is the
Allow earning of service credit beyond 30 years of service
prime sponsor of the bill.

COBA is in the process of submitt.ing these bills to the New York 7. Senate 6450. Velella
City Council to obtain from rhar body the Home Rule Messages need- Assembly 10368, Seminerio
ed to allow passage of these bills in Albany. Allow borrowing of 90 percent of pension contributions

AS always, COllA NEWS will keep all members up to date regard-


ing progress on this legislation. 8. Senate 1537 A, Maltese
Assembly 2465A, Serninerio
Allow borrowing from additional pension contributions
1, Senate 2745A, Velella
Assembly 10195. Abbate 9. Senate 1543A, Maltese
Last year 's salary pension ca lculation Assembly 2469A. Sernlnerio
Allow Correction member to apply fbr Ordinary Disability
2. Senate 1544A, Maltese regardless of length of service
Assembly 2470. Serninerio
Stop additional pension contribution upon completion of 20
10. Senate 2544. Maltese
years of service
Assembly 4854. Serninerio
Allow Correction members to continue receiving pension
3. Senate 2176A, Veiella
benefits if elected to public office
Assembly 10203.Abbatt:
Allow uniformed Correction members to purchase service
11. Senate 2335A, VeleUa
credit for Child Care Leave
Assembly 4225A, Pheffer
Establish a procedure for medical review in Correction
4. Senate 615 I, Maltese
Assembly 9705 Serninerio members' disabilitv cases
Remove salary cap for Accidental Disability Retirement when
officer attains 2G-ye;{r retireme nt date 12 . Senate 5814, Padavan
Assern bly 1809A, Lopez

5. Senate 1539A , Maltese Free transportation for NYC uniformed Correction members
Assembly 2468A, Serniuerio
Return additional pension contributions after completion of 13. Senate 6772, Nozzolio
I., years of service for any reason other than service Assembly 6038. Ortiz
retirement or resignation with a vested right to a benefit Anti-privatizat ion for NYC Correctional Facilities

PERFECTING THEIR ABILITIES AND HONING THEIR SKILL SETS

AU FOR ONE AND ONE FOR AU: Some COllA Delegates take notes and others Listen while COBA Executive Board members, consultants,
and other experts discuss everything a Delegate needs to know at the Annual COBA Delegates Seminar held in Atlantic Cit)'.

3
AWARDS ARE RECEIVED AND SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS ARE HONORED AT
COBA'S ANNUAL SCHOLARSHIP AND AWARDS DINNER-DANCE
FREE FEDERAL COUNSELING
AVAILABLE FOR COs
New York City Correctio II Officers and
members of their families who have
developed a need for counseling or
suppon as a result of the 9/11 events
or since that tragic day are urged to
apply for a free, Federally-funded and
totally anonymous counseling and
support group program administered by
COPE.

COPE is a private organization that is independent of COBA,


the city and rhe Department, Staff members are available 24
hours a day, every day of the year.

AltJ10Ugh insurance covers COPE's services for most COs, a BUOYED BY HIS SUPPORT FROM COBA, which has endorsed him
co-pay is required and a cap is put on the number of appoint- for re-election, Governor George E. Pataki (left) formally announced
rnenrs covered by the insurance plan. Under the new federal his campaign for re-election in his hometown of Peekskill, New
plan, no co-pay is required and the cap is usually more flexible. York in May. CORA President Norman Seabrook (center) greeted
the Governor and Lt. Governor Mary Donohue as rhey descended
Support groups will meet once a week during morning and from the podium after their re-election announcement and
evening tours and are completely anonymous. According to COPE reassured them of COBA's support in the fall. Mr.Seabrook's
Director Dejohn McCann, a former CO, individual counseling is reassurances were echoed by the large group of CDBA delegates
also available. and Executive Board Members who accompanied Mr.Seabrook ro
Peekskill for t he announcement. COllA urges all its members to
The program is being funded under the Federal Emergency vote for Governor Pataki, who has done so much for New York
Management Act. For information call 888-n5-COPE (2673). City Correction Officers, and confidently predicts he will win the
third term he so rightly deserves.

COs URGED TO CONTACT COBA


ATTORNEYS RE UPCOMING BANK-
RUPTCY LAW REVISION
The United States Congress has taken another step toward pass-
ing legislation that will drastically overhaul the existing Bankruptcy
Laws. a step that will severely Limit the ability of COBA members to
discharge their debts under a conventional Chapter 7 filing.

(lfyou file for bankruptcy WIder Chapter 7, you 're no longer


obligated LO repay your old debts and most of your property is
exempt from confiscation by the court-appointed Trustee or b)' your
creditors.)

The bills that rna)' well be: passed by Congress and signed by
th e President impose :I "means test" to determine which debtors
have the resources 10 repay some of their debts. Unfortunately. the
means test will be measured against "national expenses and income"
and will not take into account the higher COSt of living and taxes It's unlikely that COBA members will be eligible to File Chapter
that are prevalent in the Northeast. 7 should the new bankruptcy legislation be enacted into law.
Therefore, COBA's Bankruptcy Attorneys, Koehler & Isaacs, strongly
Those who have the means to repay under this test will be pre- recommend that members in financial difficulty who may be consid-
cluded from tiling a Chapter 7 petit.ion and will instead be forced to ering filing for bankruptcy contact Koehler & Isaacs at 917-551-1300
repay a portion of their debts under a Chapter 13 Plan. Chapter 13 to immediately schedule all appointment to evaluate their financial
is the section of the Bankruptcy Laws that allows you to repay a por- condition. Koehler & lsaacs handled 250 bankruptcy cases on
tion of your debts over a 3-5 year period. behalf of COM members last year alone,
IT'S SUMMERTIME AND KIDS RYE PlAYlAND FAMilY OUTING TO
ARE HAPPY DELIGHT (OBA MEMBERS AND
THEIR FAMILIES ON SEPTEMBER 14
Thousands of COBA members will frolic in the late summer
on Saturday, September 14 as COBA once again holds its
SIU1
Annual family Outing at Rye Playland Amusement Park in Rye,
New York,

"COBA members work so hard and in such dark, difficult and


dangerous surroundings that they deserve a day of free recreation
and relaxation outdoors," COBA President Norman Seabrook said.

All rides and food will be free from 9 a.rn. [07 p.rn. The rides
will be the tabled rides of Rye Playland, and the food. provided by
COBA, will include hot dogs, hamburgers, barhequed chicken,
corn on the cob, potato salad, macaroni salad. baked ziti. baked
beans. tossed salad, ice cream, other desserts and beverages. Live
performers plus a DJ will provide the entertainment.

CQBA members should note that registration for this year's


Family Outing begins July 1 and ends August 30. TIley should also
note that

-No registration will be permitted at Rye 011 September 14,

·While members, spouses, domestic partners, and their


children will be aclmitted free, attendees regardless of age
who are in none Of these categories must pay $35 each by
Jenna
certified check or money order made out to ·COBA Inc." by
the registration deadline of Friday,August 30.

SMILING & SURfING, the grandchildren of COBA Retiree -Free admission to rh e Rye outing is non-transfera ble _You
Consultant Vinnie Coppola look as happy as kids in summertime as must have your information updated aT the COBA office in
summertime visits New York. COllA commends Retired CO order for spouses. domestic partners and children to qualify.
Coppola on his proud grandfatherhood.

ARBITRATOR RULES AGAINST COBA ON VACATION TIME ISSUE


Despite COUA's best efforts, the union's attempt to ensure The arbitrator concluded that so long as a CO is entitled to
through arbitration that officers hired after June 3D, 1993 should get accrue the number of vacation days specified in this schedule during
the number of vacation days specified in the C013A contract has been the calendar year in which the officer reaches his or her fifth annrver-
defeated. sary, the Department'S method of allocating vacation time is proper.

According to An ide XL, Section 2 of the conrracr between COBA COBA will continue to fight on all fronts on behalf of its membership.
and the ciry, during a CO's first five years of employment he or she is
entitled 1O accrue a vacation of 20 workdays for each year of service ,
and after five years is entitled to a vacation of 27 workdays ill each
year of service.

The arbitrator ruled, however, that since accruals are based on


the anniversary date of an officer's date of hire, and since not all
employees are hired on the first day of the year. a graduated entitle-
rncnr schedule is permissible for officers whose fifth anniversary of
date of hire falls in the same year.

(j
COBA SEARCHES FOR INFORMATION AFRICAN -AMERICAN RETIREE DANCE
IN CO MORGAN'S MURDER SCHEDULED
The African-American Correction Retirees Association will
hold their First Summer Jam Oil Friday,Jwlc 28 from 9 p.m.- 2 a.rn.
at the Kermit DroweryVFW at 204lh St .and Linden Blvd. in St.
Albans. Queens. Music will be provided by a popular OJ and the
parry is BYOB13. Donations are S 15 ill advance or $20 at the door.
according to the MCM, For marc informacion COIHan Debra
Stroud at 718-527·3337 or Melvin Johnson at 718-276-14S3.

UPCOMING EVENTS

CORR ECTION O FFICERS'


BENEVOLENT ASSOCIATION, I NC.
" P ATI{OI.I.INC; ru e T Oll C;IIEST P RECINCTS 1:"1 I:W Y O RK"
PRESENTS
"20 YEAR RETIREME NT EXTRAVAGAa'lZA"
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DER OF CORREcnON OFFICERANDREW MORGAN. President
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Harrison and Delegate Alan Person of KCHPW get ready to distrib-


!'rUIlA\', j m ,\' 19, 2n01
ute leaflets and in the photo below Delegate Angela Stokes of A~T O IU A M As o n

ARDe and Delegate Charles Fodera of MDC do tht same . 2 5-21 A STOP.l,\ Be >\. tLE\' ARO, ,\ rrORI.A. NE \\~ Y ORK
TI/:h I-1S: sso.oo
OP EN liAR' I).J. !l 1l:J 1
Officer Morgan, R.M$C, was shot six times while sifting in llufl n ,9,O[) 1'.,\ 1.- 2:00 A.M.
his own car in Red Hook 011 April 9. His mother.joyce Smith, was A ll\'A:\ c;r u T ICKETS S AJ.f:::\ O~ I .\'
T EL. 212 .2i 4.8000
killed in the World Trade Center attacks and h is wife Carol is eight
months pregnant. R ~~..." - I;\ITC J) R<,;.. - I J) 1 G.~." - TO • .,
.r\. Muno: Gil l It.. Ru,"wol1 B Q l..J J Ngr nll GMIX.
R VUK"('fII );:oUon' - GRVC T I l.a n l~ h - AM KC P Pelmcee - W F
J Hll lllcoy ~ I NV $. \\"'I U ~m"''''I -T. 1) II.f ld C...... - ARDC
D B Ol tS SOil
"We are determined to uncover whatever information is
needed to make substantial progress on this case," said Mr.
Seabrook. who has urged the death penalty in Officer Morgan's
murder. August 26, 2002
COIJA Seuen tb A1I1Iuai Go lf Classic, Imoood COIWII]' Club,
COBA has contributed :>S,OOO to the reward fund. Another 111 w ood , NY. Pro ceeds to benefit tbe Scbo ta rsb tp FU1Id f or
$2,500 WdS contributed by the New York State Correctional tbe cbtldren of Correction Offtcers. Call Vin nie Coppo la
Officers and Police Benevolent Association (NYSCOP13A) , which
( 2 12-9 65 -01 5 2). or Yvelle Poy o r Victoria Dantone ( 2 12-
represents state correctional officers. An additional S5000 was
2 7,j -800 0) , for m ore t nformatio n .
added to the reward by the National Police Defense Foundation .

A seven-year veteran. Officer Morgan was shot while September 14, 2002
sitting in his parked car. He was off-duty. /ly e Playla1ld Fami()! Ou ti ng.

7
YEAR 2002 (DBA CARDS AVAILABLE
Contribure to the COBA Widows and Children's Fund and honor the Correction Officers who served during and after the
V;Torld Trade Center disaster by buying as many 2002 COUA Cards as you can, All proceeds from the sale are earmarked for
the CODAWidows and Children's Fund. The cost is 51 per card. Orders should include additional funds to cover postage:
34 cents for one to three cards. 78 cents fur four to ten cards, and S156 fur eleven to twenty cards.

Make checks payable to COBA Widows and Children's Fund, 335


Broadway, 5th Floor, New York. NY 10013 (212) 274-8000.

(pictured in the upper right on the Year 2002 COBA Cards is New
York City Correction Officer Robert Martin at Ground Zero wearing his
volunteer fire fighter gear.)

Please complete coupon below:

Name: Please send me COBA Cards


Address: $ for # Cards
Address: $ for Postage
City: _ $ Total enclosed
State: _ Correction Officers' Benevolent Association
Zip: Contact Elizabeth Castro (212) 274-8000

COBA FIRST CLASS


335 8 roadway. 5Ih F1001 U.S. POSTAGE
New York. NY HlO l 3
"' V",' hlllinr. Ihe T (ill e.h t· ~ 1 Prec inct- In New Yor"'"
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