Village of Scarsdale attempts to profit from police officer's injuries

We, the undersigned concerned citizens, support the Scarsdale Police Benevolent Association in their effort to restore the family medical benefits of officer's injured in the line of duty. Recently one of our police officers, Ronnie Arefieg, was seriously injured after an emotionally disturbed person attacked him. Police Officer Arefieg eventually subdued the physically imposing man, while abstaining from the use of any lethal force. Officer Arefieg elected General Municipal Law 207-C coverage while recuperating at home. GML 207-C was enacted forty-seven years ago by Governor Rockefeller to recognize the hazardous duties performed by law enforcement. The Human Resources Director, Michael DeLong, has decided to discontinue the employer provided health insurance previously provided to officers. Village officials communicated that Officer Arefieg had a choice between Worker's Compensation and GML 207-C status. That is simply not true. The Village of Scarsdale is without legal authority to offer a choice between Worker's Compensation and GML 207-C. The occupation of the employee, by state law, governs which payment plan the Village must follow. Our officers are bound by the only legal document in the State of New York that pertains to injured officers, GML 207-C. While the Workers' Compensation Law provides for limited salary payments, it does not require that a worker injured in the course of his employment to also receive uninterrupted health insurance coverage, nor does the specific language of the General Municipal Law, which applies to police officers. The right of all Village of Scarsdale employees to health insurance coverage-whether a clerical worker at Village Hall or a police officer responding to a home invasion- is determined by the collective bargaining agreement between that employees' union and the Village of Scarsdale. As a member of the Scarsdale Police Benevolent Association, Police Officer Arefieg, as well as all other officers are entitled to uninterrupted family health insurance coverage, the cost of which the employee pays for in part. This mean spirited and imprudent decision not only has instilled a fear in our police officers that they, too, may jeopardize their family health insurance coverage if they sustain a serious injury while in the performance of their duties, but such ill-advised decision is illegal. The stark display of governmental indifference exhibited by the Scarsdale Human Resource Director has demonstrated to the police officers of this proud Village, and the community we serve, that our police officers are not protected. We are asking for your support on this issue. We would like to confront the Village board at a future meeting with the results of this petition. Additionally, these public officials work for the taxpayers. Please let them know that they must reconsider this unprecedented action. Village Manager Al Gatta can be reached at (914) 722-1100 or at agatta@scarsdale.com. Human Resource Director Mike DeLong can be reached at (914)722-1115 or at mdelong@scarsdale.com

Sponsor

The objects and purposes of the Scarsdale Police Benevolent Association are to promote and foster a spirit of friendliness and cooperation among its members and between them and the police officers in other communities in Westchester County, New York State & the United States of America; To extend moral and material aid and assistance to those of its members who may be in need thereof and to the members of the immediate families of the retired, deceased and former members of this Association who may be in need of such assiatance. To unite the membership in aid of the ability of the Association to negotiate worthwhile wages and other conditions of employment, including familly medical benefits for injured officers, with the Village as employer and to provide unified and effective support for the Association to accomplish such ends. http://www.ScarsdalePBA.com

Links

Scarsdale Police Benevolent Association http://www.ScarsdalePBA.com Police Conference of New York http://www.pcny.org Affiliated Police Associations of Westchester County http://www.apawest.com New York Police & Fire Retiree Association http://www.nypfra.org Police Emerald Society of Westchester http://www.pesw.org

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