Port Authority Retirees Association, Inc. 

  Executive Officers  
Dave Gallagher - President

Rae Ann Hoffmann - Vice President
 
Robert Isaacs - Treasurer
 Warren Cutler - Assistant Treasurer
 Jerrilyn Raczynski - Board Secretary
 
 
 

 

What is PARA?

 

PARA is the Port Authority Retirees Association.  Membership in PARA is open to all retirees and active employees of The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and of its predecessor, The Port of New York Authority, including PATH.

 
 

 

Mission

 

Our mission is to serve PA retirees and to promote their welfare.  We do this by keeping them informed on matters that affect them and by engaging in other activities to further their interests.  We foster and encourage legislation that maintains or improves our circumstances primarily as it affects the pensions of the New York State Retirement System and our health benefits.

 
 

April 3, 2020

A Message from the Chairman and Executive Director


We have made it through another a week as team. While much of the news about the global COVID-19 pandemic has been hard to hear, there are several things we, at the Port Authority, can feel good about this Friday.

Keeping the Supply Chain Strong

The vital goods – food, medicine, health-care supplies, fuel – that ensure that this region continues to function are arriving at our ports, our airports and in trucks using our crossings. Our facilities are a key part of the supply chain, and it remains strong in part strong because our operations continue and because our employees are on the job.

PATH Modified Service

At the start of this week, we implemented modified PATH service with two core priorities in mind: 1) to provide reliable service for essential workers amid the significant reduction in overall ridership; and 2) to enable adequate social distancing for these riders, many of whom are on the front lines in fighting this crisis. As we reach the end of the week, we are proud to report that we have delivered on both. Teams have analyzed every single train on the schedule and will continue to do as we strive to meet these important goals

Creating Efficiencies by Tailoring Footprints to Reduced Volume

At the same time we are keeping our facilities – including PATH – up and running, we also are looking at how to do so in smarter, more efficient ways that reflect current demand and, very importantly, continue to reduce the risks to our front-line workers.

For example on PATH, we are closing entrances and turnstiles that are not needed at the moment. The same approach has been applied at our airports and bus facilities – restrooms and other areas of facilities that are not being used because of low volumes have been closed. By reducing these footprints, we reduce the burden on maintenance and cleaning crews, making our facilities safer, easier to clean, and easier to keep secure. And by making it easier for both employees and the public to maintain proper social distancing, we can ensure that our operations remain reliable for those that need them most as we move essential workers across the region to their jobs.

Adjusting How and Where We Work – with Measurable Results

We mentioned the “the new normal” in our message earlier this week. But as new as all of this is – the extensive changes that have been required as we’ve adapted to the emergency orders and continued to refine our plans to maximize employee safety – we are functioning at an incredibly high level. Our facilities and departments across the agency are finding their respective grooves. Staggered work hours, encouraging “A” and “B” teams, and expanding remote work to Port Authority employees to the maximum extent possible – these measures have been embraced with sheer professionalism and poise.

This is producing very important results. We are seeing relatively low numbers of positive tests – and while those numbers could never be too small, we are encouraged that they reflect the approach we’ve taken. And an even more reassuring achievement is the fact that this week we saw more employees return from self-quarantine than go into it due to potential exposure. All told, more than 200 employees returned to work healthy. This is partially due to our proactive changes in scheduling, and we must stay focused and vigilant in continuing to drive down new positive cases and enable others to return.

As workers return, the stress on our entire team is lessened. Now, more than ever, we need all hands on deck.

Social distancing works.

Staggered work hours and creative shift arrangements work.

Working remotely is effective. 

We are seeing the results.

 

Employees Rising to the Occasion


We thank everyone in the agency who is making sacrifices. On Fridays, we give a shout-out to an employee who displays the ingenuity, focus or grit that defines the Port Authority. Today we salute Norberto Franqui, better known as “Frankie.”


Frankie started at the Port Authority on June 14, 1984, as a Toll Collector. He now works as a Bus Terminal Agent (BTA). 

As we stated earlier, the agency is reducing the footprint inside terminals. BTAs are closing portions of the Midtown Bus Terminal and making wayfinding signage that is helping direct passengers as the layout in the terminal temporarily changes. This week, bus carriers, including NJ Transit, have reduced their schedules; others have cancelled service. Frankie and other BTAs were very busy, but that did not deter Frankie from helping a vital Bus Terminal tenant in need.

He saw the blood bank located in the south wing of the terminal needed immediate assistance in helping people waiting to donate blood adhere to social distancing. Frankie jumped into action, found traffic cones and then set them up in front of the blood bank so donors could wait spaced apart.

There is regional shortage of blood donations. There can be little as precious in the supply chain as blood. We thank Frankie for doing what Port Authority employees do – they see a problem; they find a solution.

The weeks ahead will continue to challenge us. We will rise to the challenge, as always, together.

  

Kevin J. O’Toole

Chairman

Rick Cotton

Executive Director

  


 

 
 
 
 
  Items of Interest to PA Employees & Retirees  
 
 

 

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Not a Member? -- Join Today!

 

If you’re a PA retiree or even an active employee and are not yet a member of PARA, now would be a very good time to join.  Everyone is welcomed to join the dues are only $10.00 a year.  Why not join now to support PARA's mission and help chart its future directions?  PARA’s more than 4,000 members are strengthened by our affiliation with the Alliance of Public Retiree Organizations (APRO) representing more than 350,000 members statewide in New York.   Just click here for the PARA dues page and send the remittance form to the address indicated below and remember also that donations are gratefully accepted and appreciated.  If you have a question about dues Click Here to Submit request to Treasurer for Dues Status.

 

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For Dues, Volunteer & Change of Address use this address:

Port Authority Retirees Association, Inc.
P.O. Box 7493
Monroe Township, NJ 08831

 

For all other PARA Correspondence use this address:

Port Authority Retirees Association, Inc.
P.O. Box 2002
East Millstone, New Jersey 08875

 

PARA Board Member Profiles

 
 

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