Were you aware that awarding points for periods of line-of-duty disability is actually optional?
It is true, but not well known! This section of the statute is actually one of the point system categories. Since it is a point system category, it is technically optional - a sponsor does not have to include every category. Now, I don't recall a sponsor purposefully excluding this provision, but it could be done.
A sponsor should be aware though that it is optional, and that this category was added to the statute in 1993. Therefore, if your LOSAP was adopted prior to 1993 and you have never re-stated your point system, you may not have this category in your adopted point system. Check your point system and make sure it is included. If it isn't, check with your attorney about how to amend your point system.
So for today I'm going to go a little off topic.
Those that know me, know I'm a very big Mets fan. I'm tempted to say there is no bigger fan than me, but there is always someone bigger. But I'm a former season ticket holder, watch/listen/follow every game, and you can guarantee the only place I don't wear some kind of Mets gear is church (although I'll occasionally wear a Mets tie).
So reading this morning the comments from Noah Syndergaard really got me thinking, and I wanted to share my thoughts.
First, his statement, "I don’t think that is what championship teams do prior to the season." What are we to do with this comment? So should I as a fan just give up on the team now, because they are rendered a non-championship team by virtue of going to Syracuse? Or, if the Mets do win a championship in 2019, does this mean that going to Syracuse is now what championship teams actually do? This comment just seems silly and ill-conceived.
“You think we would go to New York to get, like adults, our things, our affairs in order, but no, we have got to go to Syracuse first. I don’t know whose idea that was, but it’s not a smart one. I don’t think that’s conducive for winning ballgames, that much travel."
Revenue to spend on players certainly helps winning ballgames. Energizing a new fan base in Syracuse for a team owned by the Mets certainly would help grow revenue. Turning more New Yorkers into Mets fans, who purchase tickets, gear and other merchandise, would certainly help drive up revenue. All of which could be spent on Syndegaard's BFF Jake DeGrom....
“I am sure the amenities in Syracuse aren’t the best for major league baseball teams to go up there and have one last workout before the regular season starts, but that is above my paygrade.”
So a workout in the Carrier Dome not good enough for a major leaguer? Major leaguers seem to be OK playing rehab games in Brooklyn or Binghamton - can a workout in Syracuse be that bad?
I'm left with a shaking-my-head moment regarding how our new social-media world airs out problems. This type of disparaging discourse is not healthy or productive. I'm from the school that believes if you have a problem with someone, go to that person and address it. Don't talk to someone else about it, or in this case, air it out in the media. But that is the culture today, not just with public figures. It is so easy to go on your favorite social media platform to complain about something rather than addressing it and trying to either understand why a decision was made, or trying to be part of the solution.
I'm not perfect of course, and neither is Syndergaard. I've complained to someone else about another person rather than addressing it directly. So I'm not going to take my Syndergaard pennant down from the man-cave wall just yet.
But this is the type of attitude that needs to be addressed. It is ok to disagree and question authority, but when done correctly and with a spirit of cooperation or respect. There was nothing respectful about these comments.
Emotional intelligence is one of the new buzzword phrases today. As more and more processes become automated, we need people who can interact with others civilly and empathetically. We need more positive and constructive discourse, not negative and destructive.
If this is something you've had to deal with at your municipality, fire department, or workplace, I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.
General Municipal Law § 217 (h) states the following regarding military leave:
(i) A participant whose volunteer fire service is interrupted by full-time extended obligatory military service or by a single voluntary enlistment not to exceed four years in the armed forces of the United States shall be considered on military leave. During such period of military leave, the participant shall receive active volunteer service credit of fifty points for each full year, prorated for service of less than a year.
First, notice this section of the statute is not part of the point system. The categories in the point system are optional - a sponsor can select from those categories to include, or exclude, certain categories. Since this is not part of the point system, it is a mandatory provision.
Second, notice the section starts....a participant. The statute defines a participant as follows:
7. “Participant” means an active volunteer firefighter who is eligible for a benefit under a service award program.
To be eligible for a benefit, an active volunteer firefighter must earn 50 points during a calendar year.
Therefore, it appears that in order for a volunteer to be eligible to be credited with points for military leave, the volunteer must first have earned 50 points during a calendar year based on his/her own volunteer activities, before entering the military. In other words, a volunteer who joins the military prior to becoming a participant would not be eligible for military leave points.
We suggest you review this with your attorney.