Montauk Merged Into Bethpage
This is no April Fool’s joke. Yesterday it was announced that Montauk Credit Union, which was placed into conservatorship by the DFS in September as a result of the dramatic decline in Taxi Medallion prices, has merged with Bethpage Federal Credit Union on Long Island.
The merger means that the Long Island based Bethpage FCU will now have a presence in New York City. According to Bethpage’s press release, Montauk headquarters at 111 West 26th Street will be converted into a full service community branch and shared service facility through the Coop Shared Branch Network. Bethpage’s asset size will increase from $6.4 to $6.6 billion. NCUA’s emergency powers give it broad authority to approve mergers involving insolvent credit unions, so long as alternatives are not reasonably available and the merger is in the public interest.
Incidentally, Bethpage started in 1941 as a credit union for Grumman employees. In 2003, responding to the loss of military contractor jobs on Long Island, it converted from a SEG based to a community based credit union.
Mindful of the need to keep New York State as business friendly as possible, the State Legislature last night approved a budget that held the line on education spending and continued to aid the growth of business in the state, which is facing increasing pressure from cheaper Southern and Western locales. April Fools!!!!!
As I write this, the Legislature is still working to pass a budget for the 2016-2017 State Fiscal Year. There is no budget I remember that will have a more direct impact on employees and employers. Most importantly, the budget includes a phase in of a regionally based minimum wage increase and a state-level paid family leave requirement.
According to the Governor’s press release, workers in New York City employed by businesses with at least 11 employees would see their minimum wage rise to $11 at the end of this year and then $2 more for each of the next two years to reach $15 an hour. Workers in New York City employed by businesses with fewer than 11 employees will see their minimum wage rise to $10.50 at the end of this year, and then see annual increases of $1.50 an hour until it reaches $15 an hour in 2019. The minimum wage for workers in Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester Counties will reach a $15 minimum wage by the end of 2021. In the rest of the state the minimum wage will increase to $9.70 at the end of this year and then increase $.70 annually until it reaches $12.50 an hour by the end of 2020. Further increases in the upstate minimum wage will be determined by the Director of the Division of the Budget in consultation with the Department of Labor.
As for paid family leave, it will be phased in between 2018 and 2021. According to the Governor’s press release, the program will be funded “entirely” through a nominal payroll deduction on employees so that it cost businesses “nothing.” Call me wacky, but I could swear the budget includes a sweep from the workers’ compensation fund to help get the program up and running. Furthermore, doesn’t it cost employers something to accommodate the absent employee? Finally, I don’t know about you but I don’t know how many more “nominal” deductions my paycheck can take.
Needless to say, there are many things that credit union employers will have to learn in the coming months and years. As we read through the budget bills, we will pass on the information.