Arrogant Thruway Authority Called Out

ALBANY, NY (12/17/2015)(readMedia)-- As a follow up to the Thruway Authority's November 9th decision to increase the cost to retirees for health insurance, Edward C. Farrell, Executive Director of the Retired Public Employees Association requested the Thruway Board of Directors to amend its decision.

On November 13th, Farrell wrote a letter to each member of the Thruway Authority (at their place of business) as well as the Executive Director Robert Megna, requesting that the budget be amended so that the increase would apply only to new retirees. Not a single member, nor the Executive Director, had the courtesy to respond. Farrell termed that lack of professional courtesy as "arrogant".

Farrell stated, "At its November meeting The Board passed the budget on the 'consent calendar', without any debate. Retirees were not allowed to speak until after the budget was already adopted, a very odd way of treating the public. Retirees had signed up to speak in advance, and the Board certainly knew that there were budget concerns."

He noted that "Dedicated employees who put in years of service to the Thruway Authority planned their retirement based upon the terms and conditions applicable to retirees. For the Authority to change policy as it relates to those who have already retired imposes a financial hardship upon many who are now on fixed incomes. If the Thruway Authority wants to change its policy regarding the percent of premium to be charged in retirement, it should do so prospectively, so that is would apply only to those who have yet to retire. If such a change were to be adopted, it would allow current employees to fully understand future obligations, and to plan their retirement accordingly."

Farrell concluded, "It was bad enough when we were not allowed to speak until after the budget had already been passed, but to then totally ignore a request for consideration from former employees displays a total lack of common courtesy and can only be deemed as arrogance. The Thruway Authority does not have to act upon our request, but it could at least have responded."