Public sector workers and our unions have been under severe attack in recent years by corporate interests and the politicians who carry their water. They would diminish our rights and decrease our benefits. They foster a view of the public sector that undermines our dignity and dismisses our contribution to American society.
The Organization of Staff Analysts does not believe working people should take such attacks lying down. Fighting back is appropriate and necessary. It involves organizing new members, educating the members we already have, working with other municipal unions for the benefit of all City workers and fighting for a vision of our City that serves working people, not just the one percent. And, yes, it requires involvement in the political process.
If we don't defend ourselves and our families, others will see to it that we are deprived of the fruits of our labor. The abominable Tier 6 pension rammed through a few years ago shows the need for political action to defend what we now have. On the horizon are Supreme Court decisions and State-level legislation that threaten the very existence of public sector unions.
Unions benefit not only our own members but non-union workers and society as a whole. The elimination or diminishment of collective bargaining rights for public servants is one attack which we have already seen move forward in states such as Wisconsin, with serious consequences.
OSA does not spend any of your union dues on political action. Instead, we ask you to voluntarily support our union's lobbying efforts through a bi-weekly contribution to our Political Action Committee (OSA PAC). The money is used to support political candidates who help either our members or workers in general.
When there is a question of a tax cut for business versus a pension increase for City workers, we can expect newspaper editorials in favor of the tax cut, commentary by the Manhattan Institute and the Citizens Budget Commission in favor of the tax cut, and lobbying by corporations for the tax cut. When City workers go without reasonable pay raises for years, as under Mayor Bloomberg, we can expect media applause for “cost containment.”
This is not a new phenomenon, but it is a serious one. What does OSA's PAC do? It supports candidates who favor better salaries for decent, hard-working civil servants, fair treatment, better health benefits and pensions and a compressed work schedule. If you actually oppose these sorts of goals, you should not join nor give money to our PAC.
If, however, our goals seem agreeable, please consider joining now. Municipal labor is under grave pressure and threat. Now is the time to be part of the solution. And, remember, PAC monies will be narrowly focused on advancing the welfare of our active and retired members
There are five levels of membership based upon the size of the sacrifice a member chooses.
|Committee Member||$39 a year or||$ 1.50 biweekly||Block Captain||$65 a year or||$2.50 biweekly||District Leader||$97.50 a year or||$3.75 biweekly||Inner Circle||$130 a year or||$5.00 biweekly||Grand Poobah||$260 a year or||$10.00 biweekly|
The first three levels are based on OSA's history. OSA's dues level started at $2 per year in 1970, but the City's current fee for "checkoff" would now absorb such an amount entirely. By the mid-70's, OSA's voluntary dues were $39 annually. Later, there was a dollar increase biweekly ($65/year) and, later yet, by the late 1980s, the dues had risen to $97.50 annually. We went to 7/10ths of 1% of salary after achieving union status.
As is traditional, there are premiums. At the Committee Member level, all members get a choice of a paper clip holder, an erasable OSA note board with magnet backing, an OSA mug, or six OSA pens.
At the Block Captain level, you can choose two of the above and, in addition, either the OSA umbrella, the attractive OSA electric wall clock, the OSA tote bag, or the (coffee table sized) labor book "Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives" by Bernhardt and Bernstein.
If you are able to manage the District Leader level, you can choose any three of the Committee Member level premiums, and any two of the Block Captain level.
If you wish to join the Inner Circle, you can choose any four premiums from the Committee Member level, plus all three of the Block Captain level.
Should you choose to go the entire distance and become a Grand Poobah, you will be treated, once a year, to an evening at OSA with the union leadership and some of those elected officials whom we are backing.
Both Inner Circle and Grand Poobah memberships may also be invited on occasion to attend a "rubber chicken dinner" thrown by politicians to raise funds. These dinners are held in swell locations full of well-dressed folks who are very, very friendly.
If you're generous enough to join the Inner Circle or to become a Grand Poobah, you are exactly the sort that will be very welcome at any politician's rubber chicken dinner. Rubber chicken dinners are a nice way to spend an evening, may be the start of your own political career and, contrary to the name, often provide very good food.
Please complete the OSA PAC contribution coupon that you can download at the link below and indicate the level of your contribution and the premiums you wish to receive. It will be treated as your approval of voluntary PAC deduction from your paycheck. Your name and amount of deduction will then be sent to the Office of Payroll Administration.
To download the OSA PAC contribution coupon, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on the hard drive of your computer. This allows you to print out an exact copy of the form. If you do not have Acrobat Reader, click here to go to the Adobe site to download the program.
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