Association By-Law Update

The Board of Directors reviewed the Association’s by-laws and is proposing a few updates and changes and they are ready for the membership’s review. Following a review period, we will have an official membership vote conducted by mail. 

Most of the changes “clean-up” old language to make them consistent with current laws and modern practices (such as video meetings). The following is a quick summary of some of the changes that go beyond simple clean-up language.

First, we are proposing to relieve non-sworn survivors of the need to pay annual Association dues. Most survivors would simply love to receive our newsletter and regular association updates. The board feels it is appropriate to help those survivors stay connected to the Association without the additional financial burden. 

Over the last several years, the Association has faced a consistent challenge in attracting members to serve on the Board of Directors as well as retaining board members. To do the job of running and leading this organization appropriately and effectively, it requires a significant amount of personal time from the Board, especially the five officer positions, as well as the director seats. This has come at a financial and personal cost to many current and former boardmembers.

In order to attract and retain boardmembers, we are proposing a monthly stipend of $200 for the five executive board members and $100 for board directors. This equates to a monthly cost of $1,500. In order to receive a stipend, board meeting attendance is a requirement. This is my last year as President. I am hopeful these stipends will help take away the obstacles to new leaders taking on responsibilities in our association.

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New Association Shirts! Order Now!

The new Association polo shirts are in, and we are ready for your orders!  The polos feature the Association logo over a front pocket. They come in four colors (Ash, Black, Navy, and Red), and we have sizes from Small to XXXL.  Sizes Small, Medium, Large, and XL cost $27 each, the XXL is $30, and XXXL is $32. These costs include shipping. We also have an Association hat that comes in black and is $15.

While we cannot accept electronic payment at this time, you can fill out our online form to place your order. Once you submit your order, we will check to make sure we have everything in inventory and then follow up with you on payment and shipping timeline.  If you are interested in buying more than one shirt, please complete a separate section for each shirt. If you need more than three shirts, please order your first three, then write what additional shirts you need in the text below where indicated.

Thanks for your support!

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The All Clear Foundation searches hundreds of resources to find what’s most relevant to you as first responders and their families. Much of the information provided can help and assist retirees also. Below are two of videos found through All Clear that can be helpful to you.

The All Clear Foundation has access to classes, services, wellness advice, and more. You can learn more about the All Clear Foundation by visiting their website.


The Iverson Foundation for Active Awareness (IAFF) in partnership with Resounding Joy brings you a deep breathing exercise video from their music resiliency program to help manage and relieve stress. You can access the video here.


The second is a video by Ashley Iverson – ‘Bringing the Darkness Into the Light’, sheds light on how ONE incident can change the life of a Firefighter or Police Officer as well as their families. You can watch that video here.

The one important item that I learned thru our many hours of training was that ‘the mental pictures never go away.’ Know that you can always change the words to the pictures. Also, know that there is help and assistance out there.

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Kaiser Senior Advantage Plan New Benefits

If you are a Kaiser Senior Advantage Plan member you should have received a letter in the mail outlining the two new benefits that you are entitled to beginning January 1, 2021.

First, Kaiser is offering free rides to the doctor’s office at no cost. To qualify, you must be a KPM member and be going to a medical service covered under the plan such as doctor’s appointments, labs, X-ray’s or picking up medications/medical equipment.  To schedule, you call 1-877-930-1477.  The plan covers 24 trips.

Second, you can now get fresh, healthy meals delivered to your home after an inpatient visit at a hospital or skilled nursing facility at no cost. This occurs by referral from your care team after discharge from a facility. The benefit covers 3 meals per day for up to 4 weeks for a total of 84 meals.

Click here to view a copy of the letter sent out to retirees.

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Open Enrollment Changes for Retirees

This year there are relatively modest rate changes and few adjustments to benefits as we enter Open Enrollment for retirees November 1st through 30th. The changes are as follows: 

• Kaiser non-Medicare rates for 2021 will increase 6.28 percent.

• Kaiser Medicare plan rates will decrease 9.1 percent. 

• Anthem non-Medicare plan rates will increase 8.0 percent, while its Medicare Advantage rate will decrease 5.6 percent. It will continue to be a no-cost plan for retirees. 

• Anthem Advantage PPO rate will decrease 6.1 percent. This plan will for the first time also be a no-cost plan for retirees. 

• There are no changes to the plans or the rates for vision insurance or dental insurance. 

• We have one significant benefit modification to report that is a response to the COVID pandemic. Kaiser Sr. Advantage California plan is replacing the Silver & Fit free gym membership with a Meals and Transportation Benefit instead. This applies only to Kaiser Senior Advantage members who are in California plans.

Get the full Retirement Services Newsletter here.

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Firefighter Liability Suit Regarding PFAS Materials

Previously, we informed you on the effort to potentially litigate on the issue of cancer-causing chemicals contained in manufactured products including firefighting foams and firefighter turnouts among others. A civil suit has now been filed in Santa Clara County Superior Court. You can view the lawsuit here. If you have been diagnosed with cancer and believe you have been exposed to these chemicals in your career, and are interested in potentially joining the suit, you can contact retired SJFD Battalion Chief Richard Seal, Esq., who is Of Counsel to Pritzker Levine, at 408-623-3519, or firm partner, Elizabeth Pritzker, at 415-805-8532.  

Click to view lawsuit
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Some of you may have experienced a delay in receiving your Medicare cards and in the mail from the Social Security Administration (SSA) and Medicare. The delay is due to the impacts of COVID-19 on SSA/Medicare.  
This delay can cause problems for retirees seeking to transition to a Medicare health insurance supplement plan by Retirement Services. Historically, Retirement Services has required retirees to send in a copy of their Medicare card before they would transition/process the retiree into a Medicare health insurance supplement plan. The Medicare card contains your Medicare number, which is integral to the transition process.
Because of the COVID -19 delay, retirement services will now accept a retiree’s social security Benefits Verification Letter as opposed to the card. This letter contains the information (i.e., Medicare number) that retirement services needs to transition the retiree into a Medicare supplemental plan.
Process for attaining your SSA Benefits Verification Letter

  • Go to the Social Security website set up an account (if you have not already done so) and log into your account.
  • On the right side of the page, click on Replacement Documents.
  • In the new window, in the Medicare Card box, in the last line, click “get a benefit verification letter.”
  • A new window will open that shows a benefit verification letter specific to you inclusive of your medicare number.
  • Provide a copy of this letter to your retirement services rep. They will use it to transition you into a medicare supplemental plan.
  • When you receive your official medicare card, forward a copy of it to your retirement services rep.
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The COVID-19 pandemic forced all of us to change the routines of our everyday life. Conducting the Association’s business is no different. Two months ago, we began to hold our board meetings via video conference on Zoom. 

Based on feedback we got from members who participated in our previous Zoom meetings, we are going to attempt to host all of our future Association member meetings via Zoom. This will allow members who live out of the area to participate on an ongoing basis. So, if you want to attend future Association meetings virtually, please email Dale Foster at and he will provide you with instructions on how you can join our meeting.  If you are signed up for our emails, we will send out an electronic invite closer to the date.  

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Councilmember Sergio Jimenez in Council District 2.
Councilmember Sylvia Arenas in City Council District 8

As the March primary comes to a close for Presidential candidates, two of the City’s five city Council races will be settled on March 3. The Association has endorsed Councilmember Sylvia Arenas in City Council District 8 and Councilmember Sergio Jimenez in Council District 2.

Both candidates have demonstrated an understanding of and commitment to public safety and standing up for the interests of employees and retirees. The race in Council District 8 has become particularly heated with candidate Jim Zito coming under fire for what’s been labeled as “temperament issues” that have been brought to light by local news publications as well as the SJPOA. Because there are only two candidates, there will not be a runoff in either race. The Association has been working with other partners on this election, including the South Bay Labor Council to assist our endorsed candidates.

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