Meeting Minutes: May 15, 2019

NYC School Support Services, Inc.
Meeting of the Corporation’s Board
May 15, 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
Nicolas Storellicastro, NYCSSS Treasurer
Tom Shcherbenko
Jonathan Botwinick

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

I. Introduction
Ms. Siciliano opened the meeting by appointing Ms. Taruschio as Secretary for the meeting and
then reviewed the meeting agenda, which included: the appointment of Mr. Botwinick to the Audit
Subcommittee of the Board; the approval of the January 25, 2019 meeting minutes; a management
update and financial report from NYCSSS staff; a meeting of the Audit Subcommittee;
consideration of a resolution to add certain executive employees to the Corporations Worker’s
Compensation insurance; and the consideration of any new business.

II. Appointment of Mr. Botwinick to the Audit Subcommittee of the Board
Chair Siciliano made a motion to appoint Mr. Botwinick to the Audit Subcommittee of the Board
and the motion was seconded. The Board unanimously approved the motion.
BE IT RESOLVED, that Jonathan Botwinick is hereby appointed to serve as a member of the
Audit Committee; and be it further
RESOLVED; that the Chair is hereby authorized and empowered to take any such actions as
she may deem necessary or appropriate to effectuate this resolution, in accordance with the
bylaws of NYCSSS.


III. Approval of Meeting Minutes from January 25, 2019
Ms. Siciliano made a motion to review the minutes from the January 25, 2019 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.

IV. 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 January meeting of the Board. He
noted that August 2019 would mark the third anniversary of NYCSSS going live and that DOE
had begun the renewal process for its contract with the Corporation which would bring the
Corporation to June 2020.

Mr. Brennan stated that the Corporation has now turned its energy to building out efficiencies in
its payroll and human resources processes. He explained that for the last year the Corporation had
been working on implementing a work ticket system which would allow it to streamline all
operations. With implementation of the new system, a work ticket is currently required for most
customer service and payroll functions in the Corporation, which has thus saved about twenty
hours per week of employee hours and created many other efficiencies.
Mr. Brennan noted that the human resources department currently has nine administrative
employees. He stated that the Corporation has made significant efforts in recruitment for vacation
replacements and that the vacation replacement period runs from April 15 to September 15 of
every year. He noted that the Corporation seeks to retain these employees and move them through
temporary to permanent employment such that a pipeline is created to more effectively train and
then retain good workers.

Mr. Brennan turned to the topic of Health & Safety training and noted that thus far about 280
schools had been trained in person by the New York State Insurance Fund at the Corporation’s
behest. Additionally, he stated that all other employees have been required to undergo the same
training through the Corporation’s web portal.
With respect to anti-sexual harassment training, Mr. Brennan stated that the Corporation was
implementing procedures and working closely with the Department of Education to comply with
the City’s new training mandate for all employees.
Mr. Brennan then noted that the Corporation’s efforts in labor relations result in about 4-6
arbitrations per month with two different unions. He stated additionally that grievances take place
at the Corporations offices on separate days by borough.

The Board Treasurer posed a question relating to the timeframe from filing of the grievance to
resolution, and Mr. Brennan responded that this was usually approximately two weeks.
Turning to the ongoing van initiative, Mr. Brennan noted that the van had been purchased along
with a Kaivac vacuum, to transport a roving cleaning crew from school to school to deep clean
and sanitize school bathrooms. Mr. Napolitano from the DOE added that the van crew has received
extra training and that it has started cleaning schools in District 30 and is targeting schools with
the most complaints. Mr. Napolitano explained that over the summers when deep cleaning is no
longer necessary, the cleaning crew would be re-purposed to clean exterior windows up to 3 stories
high. A question arose from the Board about tracking efficiencies and cost savings of this work,
and Mr. Napolitano responded that for now in the first few months of the program, it is still early
to quantify savings, but that going forward into the next year he would be able to report back; he
added that results could also expect to be seen in the school stat program, where a rise in cleanliness
scores should be noticeable.
Mr. Brennan turned to the Finance Department and stated that Ms. Jenkins-Lewis, the
Corporation’s CFO, had been auditing cases where an employee has more than 60 hours of
overtime per pay period.

Mr. Brennan highlighted certain aspects of the employee and custodial customer service
phonelines, as well as the varying talk times for each group.
Ms. Jenkins-Lewis then presented the Corporation’s Financial Update, noting as an initial matter
that the Corporation was pushing to reduce overtime hours where possible, except where there
would be too great an impact on any given school’s operational needs. She noted that as a general
matter, overall hours are lower when compared to last year for each title, and that most of the peaks
and valleys in the hours chart are attributable to seasonal weather events, with snow being the
biggest driver of spikes in hours.

She went on to note that the total number of employees is lower year over year, while regular hours
remain consistent, which is attributable to the Corporation’s practice of eliminating temporary and
seasonal employees by taking part-time employees and converting them to full-time, where
possible. She concluded that overall payroll is lower because of these efficiencies.
A question was raised with respect to slide 2 of the presentation and the variance between the
handyperson and stationary engineer titles. Mr. Napolitano responded that this was due to there
being many employees misclassified in the stationary engineer title when NYCSSS took over in
2016. He stated that a push had subsequently been made to reclassify these employees as firepeople
where appropriate, as well as to reduce personnel where buildings were overstaffed.
III. Meeting of Audit Subcommittee
Ms. Siciliano made a motion to convene the Audit Subcommittee of the Board, and the motion
was approved. Audit Subcommittee members include Ms. Siciliano, Mr. Storellicastro, Mr.
Shcherbenko, and Mr. Botwinick. Mr. Storellicastro led the Audit Subcommittee proceedings as
Chair of that Subcommittee.
Mr. Storellicastro first reviewed the agenda and noted that the Corporation’s Form 990 tax returns
had been timely filed. Ms. Jenkins-Lewis added that the Board had been given the opportunity to
review the tax returns in draft format. She then gave a brief update on both the pre-audit and the
meeting with the NYC Comptroller, noting that the Corporation had already received its Directive
22 from the NYC Comptroller’s Office setting forth the timeline for the audit. She noted that she
did not foresee any significant issues given that last year’s audit went very smoothly with all
previous deficiencies having been cleared. She noted in closing that based on this clean audit the
meeting before the NYC Comptroller had also been brief and uneventful.
Mr. Storellicastro asked if there were any questions about the CFO’s report or generally about any
audit or financial matters pertaining to the Corporation. There being no questions, he concluded
the meeting of the Audit Subcommittee.
Chairperson Siciliano then officially reconvened the meeting of the full Board.

V. Motion to Approve Expanded Coverage of the Corporation’s Workers Compensation Policy
to Include Certain Executive Employees
Ms. Siciliano made a motion to approve expanded coverage of the Corporation’s workers
compensation policy to include certain executive employees and the motion was seconded.
BE IT RESOLVED, that NYCSSS is hereby authorized to include certain executive
employees under its workers compensation insurance policy; and be it further
RESOLVED, that the Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer of NYCSSS hereby
are authorized and empowered to take all actions and execute such documents as they may
deem necessary and appropriate to effectuate these resolutions.
Ms. Siciliano noted that no questions were raised with respect to the resolution and made a motion
for its approval, which was seconded. The Board unanimously approved the resolution.

VI. New Business
Chair 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 9:05 a.m.
Respectfully submitted by Anna Taruschio, Interim Meeting Secretary