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.





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.



To our PA / PATH Friends and colleagues:

For all of us, both active and retired, the PA’s mission is familiar and clear as we are called to manage during uncertain and perilous times. Goods and people must continue to flow through the Agency’s facilities, whether by air, land, rail or sea, to serve the region and its people.

As always, you are dedicated to the PA mission which in the present crisis means getting front line people – healthcare workers, first responders and other essential workers -- and essential supplies to where they need to be to address people most impacted by the coronavirus and to keep the supply chain open and flowing throughout the region.

We know that this is not business as usual; in truth it is a situation, not previously experienced by most of us, and experienced at this scale by none of us. Even during the ’93 bombing or the attacks on the WTC on 9/11, while work was done around the clock, it was performed without all of the uncertainties and perils, both known and unknown, that you are facing today.

We understand that you, the staff of the PA, have embarked on this mission against the backdrop of huge personal concern and distress and under critical and varied challenges. As you worry about how to stay true to this clearly defined PA mission, you must also struggle with apprehensions about your own safety, your family’s health and well-being, and all of the ongoing disruptions to your normal lives.

Your expected responses to these apprehensions are not set forth in a psychology manual, and there is no clear roadmap as to how you should be dealing with your emotions at this time. It is normal to be expressing your feelings, and to feel lost as to how to face and deal with them while getting the job done. During the 9/11 crisis, many of us were disoriented and fearful, had pangs of survival guilt, and expressed our feelings to family members. This is a normal human response and not a sign of weakness!

Despite all of these concerns, struggles and feelings, you carry on as best you can. As humans, we are built to survive through highly stressful situations. The PA retiree family acknowledges all of your efforts, many of which cannot be done from home. You are put in the crosshairs. You are on the frontlines.

We thank you immensely for your extraordinary efforts and commitment to the PA mission. We are confident that you will be successful as you bring the Agency through this unprecedented time.

We have great respect for you and for the day-in, day-out work you do under clearly stressful conditions. It is noble work that is so worth doing. We are very grateful to you for your dedication.

As always, should you believe that our skills and experiences could aid in your efforts, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Stay safe. Be healthy. And be well.

The Port Authority Retirees Association.


Latest from PANYNJ on COVID19

March 12, 2020

The Port Authority and PATH are continuing to actively monitor developments regarding Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Moving forward, all updates regarding COVID-19 will be distributed under this banner. Updates will be made regularly.

As was the case at the time of our last update, coronavirus remains a huge concern for the agency, the region, and the country. Our focus remains simple: to work hard and to work smart and to work together. This enables us to stay on top of such a demanding situation, ensuring that we both protect ourselves and carry out our important work on behalf of the millions of people who depend on us.

After sharing with you the latest information on the virus and its broader impact on our region, I’ll update you on a set of concrete steps our agency is taking and has been taking to ensure the health and well-being of each member of our workforce.

The Latest News on COVID-19

As you know, the World Health Organization declared a pandemic as the coronavirus continues to spread globally. At the time of this notification, there have been 248 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the bistate region, and 1,269 total cases in the U.S. Both New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy have declared a state of emergency to help to more quickly and effectively contain and mitigate the spread of the virus. We remain in regular contact with state and federal health authorities to ensure we’re taking all prudent and necessary measures.

The risk remains low to those living or traveling through the bistate region. But the virus poses very serious challenges, and that’s why it is crucial that employees continue to follow agency guidelines regarding preventive practices. These guidelines are based directly on guidance that has been provided to us by the relevant public health experts – the federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Departments of Health for New York and New Jersey.

Agency Update

Before getting to the specific steps that we wanted to let you know about, I wanted to first update you as to our Executive Director, Rick Cotton. As you know, Rick tested positive for the coronavirus and given his positive test, he remains at home. He remains entirely asymptomatic (which means he has no coronavirus symptoms) and he has been completely focused on keeping a full schedule and leading the agency. There have been no other confirmed cases of agency employees testing positive for the virus. The New York State Department of Health has concluded that people who were in direct contact with Rick last Friday (and not on any other day last week) should be in self-quarantine. This is a precaution, as the risk of transmission was very low. But some employees are working from home, including some of the agency’s senior leaders.

We are 100% committed to keeping you safe and well, and to communicating to you the latest information that is available, based on advice, as noted above, from the federal CDC and from the state health departments. Here are some of the measures we are taking:

Continued Aggressive Cleaning Schedules

The Port Authority has greatly enhanced its cleaning and sanitizing protocols in response to COVID-19. We are doing more frequent cleaning, multiple times each day, including all frequently touched surfaces. And we are using EPA-approved and CDC-endorsed disinfectants that are certified to kill viruses. This cleaning has focused on all of our facilities, on all of our employee common areas, and on all offices where employees work. Special cleaning has been done in the workspaces of each employee who had direct contact last Friday with the Executive Director. We will not let up on the cleaning. We will keep at it, and if guidance from public health experts changes, we will immediately take steps to follow it.

We are also providing cleaning supplies for your use in your own personal workspaces. In fact, more than a few of you have made it a routine, particularly in our maintenance groups, after every shift. Thanks for that extra effort for your colleagues!

Personal Protective Equipment for Frontline Staff

The official health department guidance has been that masks and gloves are not recommended or needed for employees, unless those masks and gloves are already mandated for a particular job. But we want you to feel safe. Any frontline agency staff are free to wear masks and gloves if it makes them feel more comfortable during this time. This is consistent with the approach that has been taken by the MTA and by the federal TSA. As with those agencies, employees choosing to opt for masks and gloves should plan to furnish them on their own.

Additionally, concern has been expressed regarding PATH conductors who, unlike their counterparts at other transit agencies, typically are stationed in the open area of a car – as opposed to an enclosed space. We’ll immediately enable them to physically move to a part of the train that has an enclosed cabin.

Limiting Group Meeting Size to 20 or Fewer

In light of concerns that have been expressed by public health experts, effective Monday, March 16, all meetings will be strictly limited in size to 20 or fewer in-person participants. No agency employee should attend a work meeting, whether it is hosted at an agency facility or off-site, that has more than 20 in-person participants. Exceptions may be granted in limited circumstances for emergency preparedness and response.

Departmental Champions

To ensure that we are staying as close as we possibly can to any concerns or issues you may be having, over the next 24 hours, each Department will be designating a “champion” – an employee in your Department who you can approach, and pose questions to, related to our current situation. These questions can range from resources, staffing and policy questions to questions regarding your own health and safety. These Department-by-Department champions will serve as a direct conduit to Human Resources and the Office of Emergency Management. HR and OEM will work to get the issues you bring to the Departmental champions addressed – as quickly and as systematically as is possible. Shortly after this Broadcast, you’ll receive a note from your Chief or Director indicating who will be serving as your Department’s champion.

Department Q&A Forums with Dr. Fisher

Many of you know our agency’s Chief Medical Officer, Doctor Howard Fisher. Dr. Fisher is a seasoned medical professional, who has been providing advice and guidance to agency leaders with respect to the coronavirus. In an effort to provide each of you with the benefit of Dr. Fisher’s medical expertise, and to pose any relevant questions about the coronavirus, you’ll each be getting an invitation to a conference call conversation with your Department Chief and/or Director, Dr. Fisher, your Department Champion and me. You’ll be able to submit questions in advance that may be on your mind, and we will answer them on the conference call, for the benefit of the whole group.

Flexible Schedules and Remote Work Arrangements

Existing policies in the agency allow for flexible schedules and remote work arrangements with the approval of your Chief/Director. We are considering very carefully how we could expand our use of flexible schedules (so that some employees can commute to work when it’s not rush hour) or to make further use of remote work arrangements. Stay tuned as we continue to develop our plans.

Daily Communications and COVID-19 Portal for the Latest Information

In addition to the actions outlined above, we will continue to connect directly with you daily, in Broadcasts, to share more about the steps we’re taking across our facilities to help keep you, our employees, safe and healthy. Keep an eye open for a new COVID-19 portal on eNet which is being developed to serve as a central information resource.

REMINDER: What You Can Do as Preventive Measures:

One of the most important things employees should know are the symptoms of COVID-19. According to the CDC, reported illnesses have ranged from infected people with little to no symptoms to people being severely ill and dying. Symptoms can include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. The CDC believes at this time that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure. The agency’s Office of Medical Services, in accordance with guidance from the CDC, advises all employees to continue using the following preventive measures:

Handwashing is the single most important infection control measure. Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
Avoid touching your mouth, eyes and nose.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Avoid shaking hands.
Stay home when you are sick.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your elbow, then throw the tissue in the trash.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

We hope this daily update will provide you with greater real-time information as this situation unfolds. Please reach out to your department champions to get your questions answered!

As always thanks for all you do.

Mary Lee Hannell
Chief, Human Capital


  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.


Want to sign up for ebulletins -- Click here!



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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