Meeting Minutes: Jan. 25, 2019

NYC School Support Services, Inc.
Meeting of the Corporation’s Board
January 25, 2019, 8:30 a.m.
321 West 44th Street
New York, NY 10036


Meeting Minutes


The meeting was called to order at 8:30 a.m. by Chairperson Lauren Siciliano, who noted for the record that a quorum was present to conduct business.

In attendance were:

Lauren Siciliano, NYCSSS Chairperson
Nicholas Storellicastro, NYCSSS Treasurer
Tom Shcherbenko

Also attending:

Stephen Brennan, NYCSSS Executive Director
Brooke Jenkins-Lewis, NYCSSS CFO
Anna Taruschio, NYCSSS Chief of Staff and Counsel
John Shea, CEO of the Division of School Facilities, DOE
Phil Napolitano, Division of School Facilities, DOE
David Maro, Division of School Facilities, DOE

I. Introduction

Ms. Siciliano opened the meeting by appointing Ms. Taruschio as Secretary for the meeting and then reviewed the agenda for the meeting, which included: the approval of the September 18, 2018 meeting minutes; a management update and financial report from NYCSSS staff; and the consideration of any new business.

II. Approval of Meeting Minutes from September 18, 2018

Ms. Siciliano made a motion to review the minutes from the September 18, 2018 meeting, and the motion was seconded. Ms. Siciliano noted that no questions were raised with respect to the minutes and made a motion for approval, which was seconded. The Board unanimously approved the minutes.

III. Management Update and Financial Report

NYCSSS Executive Director Stephen Brennan gave the management update and noted that the status quo had not changed significantly from his update at the September meeting of the Board.

Mr. Brennan began by noting that the Corporation had come a long way since its inception when the primary goal was to get 100% of its employees paid. He explained the recruiting process for temporary, short-term, long-term and vacation replacement employees so that schools are never short-staffed.

He noted that the period for vacation replacement employees occurs from April 15-September 15 of every year and that NYCSSS has partnered with several community organizations in five boroughs to recruit suitable candidates for these positions. He also explained that all such employees must clear the DOE’s PETS (Personnel Eligibility) process in the same way as other employees such that there is no risk to recruiting and hiring from outside organizations.

Mr. Brennan reviewed the Corporation’s new roving cleaning crew initiative and stated that it is equipped with a new van (purchased previously with Board approval) and used to transport both the crew and its equipment, including Kaivacs to sanitize school bathrooms. He explained the cleaning crew were new employees to DOE, who are currently working as cleaners in schools to familiarize themselves with the schools and DOE/NYCSSS procedures.

Mr. Brennan then described the Corporation’s new two-pronged approach to its health and safety training, composed of live, in-person training conducted at very large schools as well as video training through the Corporation’s web portal for all employees.

Mr. Brennan noted that, in compliance with new City and State level anti-sexual harassment legislation, the Corporation had placed an announcement on its website along with a new policy and complaint form.

With respect to the Finance Department, Mr. Brennan noted that this was made up of three units including audit, accounting, and payroll. He explained that the audit unit looks at hours of overtime, and investigates individual schools by looking, for example, at time cards. He went on to note that the payroll unit would implement a lockdown in February, meaning that individual custodian engineers can no longer log in to change an employee’s title. Looking back, he noted that in October the Corporation had locked down individual schools such that no custodian engineer could bring someone onto a school’s payroll without permission from the employer.

Mr. Brennan reported that CSR handles all calls coming into the Corporation with questions and problems and that it is their job to resolve all issues.

NYCSSS CFO Brooke Jenkins-Lewis then presented the Corporation’s financial update.

It was noted that the first slide was important insofar as it reflects how, in light of the Mayor’s mandate in 2016 when NYCSSS was created, the Corporation had succeeded by forecasting cost neutrality by 2020, while still giving workers increases without reductions in the workforce.

Ms. Jenkins-Lewis explained that page four presented the base budgets for all buildings and that great effort had been made in the past year to right-size these. A question was raised with respect to why cleaner hours were higher than for 2018. The response was that the number of vacation replacements decreased given NYCSSS’s ability to place vacation replacements.

IV. New Business

Ms. Siciliano made a motion to discuss any new business of the Corporation, and the motion was approved.  As no new business was raised, a motion was made and approved to adjourn the meeting at approximately 8:55 a.m.

Respectfully submitted by Anna Taruschio, Meeting Secretary