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Friday, March 27, 2020

Covid-19 Update

Dear Fellow Handlers,

We hope this finds everyone and their families healthy and safe. In these extremely trying times, we are going to encourage all members who have had their hours significantly reduced or have none at all to seek unemployment benefits.

We have been in contact with MSA management who have been working extremely hard to pave the way for every member in every state to be able to keep their K-9 companion, collect their training pay, stipend, and be able to collect unemployment benefits.

For that, we thank MSA management for the time and effort it took to work this out.

Please stay safe and healthy,

The Union Board

Monday, March 16, 2020

MSA's Response to Covid-19

On March 13th, Joe Nacarlo sent the following letter to MSA's management team:

Good Morning,

It is our hope that everyone in MSA's and our membership's families are healthy and safe.

As we are all aware, the circumstances regarding Covid-19 are still developing. What does MSA's management have planned to keep the handlers and EDC's safe?

Also, as the various work sites close due to the health emergency, will our handlers be entitled to apply for unemployment? To many of our new handlers and former military members, MSA is their only source of income and a reduction in hours could be detrimental to their families.

We would appreciate a timely response to these very important questions.

Joe Nacarlo
United Federation of K-9 Handlers

Today, we received the following response:

Joe, as you mention in your note, the circumstances around Covid-19 are changing quickly, almost by the hour. We continue to monitor the situation throughout the day and night, and adjust our plans as necessary. I’ll highlight a few specific actions we have taken or plan to take:

  • We are continuing to reach out to clients and trying to reassure them of our ability to meet their needs, and to continue to reinforce the importance of maintaining a risk management strategy, which includes EDCH, at their sites, during these unsettled times.

  • We have instructed our schedulers to distribute hours among EDCH. While some clients are reducing posts due to the closing of venues or canceling of events, we are fortunate that we have a diversity of businesses which allow us to still maintain posts.

  • We are exploring the possibility of availing “Shared Work” Benefits to our Handlers. Similar to unemployment benefits, many large states, like CA, NY, and IL offer some form of benefits when employers have to reduce hours but do not want to lose well skilled employees. We are trying to learn more and identify what qualifies and disqualifies someone from these benefits, but we are hopeful this may be an option.

As we know more, we will continue to share. Please let me know if you have additional questions or concerns. Thanks.

You can find information about the Shared Work Program in your state at the following links:

New York State
New Jersey
Washington State

We'll continue to be in contact with MSA regarding solutions and safety measures regarding Covid-19. In regards to the "Shared Work" program mentioned, New York State law requires that the Shared Work Plan must be approved by a collective bargaining agent (the Union). When the plan is received from MSA, we will post the pertinent details here and solicit feedback from the membership.

If you have any suggestions or comments you'd like us to pass on to MSA anonymously, please email us at info@nopaymsa.com.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Corona Virus

I wanted to connect with you in light of the Corona Virus situation that is rapidly evolving. As the spread of the virus increases the likelihood of affecting our worksites and quite possibly our colleagues, we want to ensure that appropriate precautions are taken to maximize the safety of our members and keep an open dialogue with you.

With the postponement of all sports, concerts, theaters, and the closing of many offices throughout the nation, many of you will lose a substantial amount of hours. We are in contact with MSA to find a solution to this as quickly as possible.

Stay Safe,
Bill Beaury

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Happy New Year

We would like to wish you and your families a Happy and a Healthy New Year. May this year bring you, your families, and your faithful pup much Happiness.

Bill Beaury

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Happy Holidays

As we approach the annual wintertime celebrations of Hanukkah and Christmas, no matter what you celebrate, I would like to wish you the happiest of Holiday seasons and express my Best Wishes to you and your Families. As we move into the new year, contract negotiations will become more intense. Hopefully MSA will realize you are entitled to a contract that gives you the benefits you truly deserve.  Our next negotiation date is January 14th.

Best Wishes this Holiday season and Safe Travels

Bill Beaury

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving

Dear Handlers

We would like to wish you and your families a very blessed Thanksgiving, and wish you safe travels while visiting family and friends.

Bill Beaury

Monday, November 11, 2019

Veterans Day

Every year on November 11th we recognize Veterans Day as a time to honor our country’s military veterans, past and present,who fought to protect our freedom and ensure our safety. This year being no different please join us in thanking our nation’s heroic veterans, who have sacrificed so much to keep our country free, including our many MSA employees who currently serve or have served in our nation’s military.

Thank You For Your Service,

Bill Beaury

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Comment from an Anonymous Handler

The canine stipend, much like the handler salaries at MSA Security have been frozen in time, but when management decided to make a change, instead of increasing the stipend as a responsible company would, they butchered it. Whenever the topic of a raise came up management was quick to point out that we were getting $400 a month tax free and that $400 should be considered part of our salary. At one time we were threatened with getting a 1099 for the stipend. There was a proposal that the stipend would increase yearly and cap out at $1000/month. It would have been fair, but as we have come to learn, nothing about MSA is fair when it comes to the handlers. Same old story, they kept the salary and held the ESOP over our heads, all the while telling us we were "employee owners" and would someday own the company and have a seat on the Board of Directors but of course that never happened and now we have to fight just to be treated with some dignity. Imagine what this place would be like without the union? Scary. Arrogant and egomaniacal managers rule MSA and we are expendable to them, they expect us to be loyal but that loyalty is not a two-way street. The State Department contract for the validation center as a matter of public record is almost $100 million dollars where does all that money go? $80.00 stipend what a joke. $100 million from the State Department yet MSA allowed dogs to go overseas and is complicit in the canines suffering and the deplorable conditions they had to endure. The dogs I'm most cases were starving, dying of thirst, infested with fleas, feces and worms. The poor dogs probably welcomed death. No oversight, no assurances that the dogs would be cared for properly, a black eye for MSA, but no accountability, no discipline. I would say the Virginia guys have it pretty good and go along with "business as usual", while around the country we look forward to another cold winter with a leash in our hands. What's been done in Virginia Glenn? What steps have been taken to make sure something this tragic never occurs again? MSA Security has become a joke in the working dog community thanks to our leadership.

Thanks for the update Bill and thanks for fighting the good fight, God knows it can't be easy.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Union Update

Dear Fellow Handlers,

As the Holidays quickly approach I wanted to give you a quick update of what’s going on and what your union is up to. We have been to several hearings at the NLRB standing up for the handlers that have been mistreated, suspended and wrongfully terminated. We are fighting for the $400 stipend MSA has wrongfully taken from you, replacing it with a paltry $80 dollars.

The math used to justify an $80 stipend just doesn't add up. We know it, MSA knows it, and every handler being forced to spend their own money for MSAs benefit knows it. Did you know if you rent a car from any of the National car rental companies and bring it back with dog hair in it, much like your personal vehicles, they will charge you a $175 surcharge to clean the dog hair out of their vehicle? The top hotel chains will charge you an $125 surcharge to clean your room that has a dog in it . That’s $300 right there. Also, when was the last time you were able to take public transportation to work? I bet MSA would be proud if you took their dog on the subway or the bus during rush hour. They require you to have a car to transport their dog, so they should be responsible for a car payment, car insurance, car maintenance, and parking the vehicle.

How much is that worth to many of you? About $750 a month? Let's add this up, $750 plus $300 for cleaning. Then add dog food, biscuits, beds, toys, kennel fees, tolls, plus the time you and your family spend making a well rounded stable canine that MSA will threaten to take away from you and your family at the drop of a hat for imaginary rule violations. They will then tell you to abide by the code of conduct as management continuously breaks every rule threatening you if you don’t work every tour they throw at you and your canine. 

So let your supervisors, district managers, and upper management know $80 dollars doesn’t cut it! We'll continue our legal battle for the return of the $400 stipend and continue to demand it be increased in our negotiations. Let MSA management know it’s time to stop dragging their feet and give you and your partner a fair contact.

Bill Beaury

Friday, September 27, 2019

Lawsuit Update

Dear Clients:

As you are aware, the first of four payments to each of you is scheduled to be disbursed October 8. Please keep in mind that this is when disbursements will commence, and not necessarily the date that your payment will be disbursed. Over seven hundred checks will be disbursed each period, one year apart.

We have instructed Rust Consulting to send a specific statement to each of you explaining what the payment represents. This statement will be customized to explain your specific payment in as much detail as is possible, including an explanation of the net settlement amount to be distributed for the period to the class, and the number of work weeks MSA has reported for you from which the payment was calculated. For the reasons explained in my prior emails, it was not feasible to get this information to you beforehand, but it will accompany your first payment.

While the payments can only be as accurate as the payroll records we have been provided with, please know that MSA has represented to us, by contract, that they are accurate. While that does not necessarily guarantee that they are, we have established a modest "reserve fund" in the settlement to account for any errors that might occur. If you believe that any error was made, you can report this to me, Paul Aloe, Fran Curran, or Rust Consulting at (877) 906-1609. We have consistently reported changes of address to Rust, and we do not anticipate that any major errors will occur. However, keep in mind that we will all be monitoring this for the next three years in order to ensure that any errors are corrected.

The first payment MSA was obligated for has already been received and is being held in escrow. All future payments have also be secured by a Letter of Credit in excess of 10 million dollars.

Be aware that Rust Consulting has thousands of clients it is servicing, so don't be surprised if your emails to Amanda are not automatically responded to, or if you have to send information more than once. You will find that I will be responsive to any of your inquiries, as will Paul or Fran.

David Aboulafia