Union Wins Sick Time Restoration for Transit 9/11 Responders

In a decision reached on October 5, transit managers acted to restore sick time to Bus Operator Anthony Tousius, who became sick with a 9/11 related illness in 2011 and had to use his own sick time to recover. Brother Tousius was granted restoration of 56 days of sick time pursuant to recently-passed legislation, codified in NY General Municipal Law Section 92-d, which says state agencies, authorities, and municipalities outside of New York City must honor sick time requests as non-chargeable by employees who have verified 9/11 related ailments.

As this article in the Chief-Leader shows, Brother Tousius initially was denied restoration of sick leave until TWU Local 100 took up his case, first filing a grievance under the direction of TA Surface VP JP Patafio, and then handing off final negotiations to Local 100 President Tony Utano.

On hearing of the decision on October 5, brother Tousius wrote this letter to Brother Utano:

"Dear Sir, I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to you and your steadfast efforts to secure my sick time in a timely fashion. Your faith in my campaign helped sustain me in my own struggle to get this done. My thanks also to J Patafio for being the direct liaison between management and myself. A special thanks goes to James Manzella for being the one who encouraged me from the very beginning. All of you were there for me and I will never forget this as long as I live.

Sir, I fervently hope that all others in all titles throughout civil service will be afforded the same expert help and advice in their quest for recognition in the face of the law. Thank you all. God bless the TWU and all involved. Sincerely Yours, Anthony Tousius. B/O. NYCTA."

The decision in the Tousius case means that other TWU Local 100 members who are in a similar situation can also have their sick time restored if it was improperly withheld.

Click here for the Chief article.