News From OSA - April, 2009

Layoffs versus Voluntary Furloughs. As members are aware, OSA has been promoting the use of voluntary furloughs instead of involuntary layoffs for many years.

Sometimes it has worked, sometimes not. We saved jobs under Mayor Dinkins and more recently at the New York City Housing Authority, but on other occasions, (and recently), the City has refused to seriously consider our offer.

Councilman Kendall Stewart has been kind enough to draft a law requiring the City to offer voluntary furloughs before layoffs in times of fiscal difficulty. It is anticipated that the Mayor will object to such a law since it could limit his freedom in collective bargaining.

Meanwhile, when OSA recently offered voluntary furloughs to avoid layoffs, within the context of collective bargaining, the City said no.

You may download a voluntary furlough form here. If you are interested in a leave of absence for any reason and you can afford to take six to eighteen months off without pay, please fill out and return the coupon.

There is no guarantee that the City will agree to offer voluntary furloughs, but we intend to push hard in order to reduce or avoid layoffs. In order to do so, we need to know how many members would be interested.

Taking Tests. OSA has always promoted the taking of civil service exams by our members. We are doing so now with special emphasis due to the fiscal crisis. In the Current Campaigns and Updates section of our website you will find information to assist you in preparing for the PAA exam. This section contains training materials and a coupon for DVDs and/or tapes which cover past training classes.

MCU Court Victory. About 2,000 of our OSA members and retirees are also members of the Municipal Credit Union.

The MCU had a problem last year.

The nominating committee of the MCU was unwilling to recommend three of the incumbent officers for reelection. Instead, the nominating committee recommended three new candidates. The incumbent officers who were not nominated were still allowed to be on the ballot, according to the MCU bylaws. The problem was that the incumbents did not want to face any opposition.

The MCU Board of Directors "fired" the nominating committee and revoked the nominations. Mark Brantley, a member of the Board, was outraged. He took the matter to court. He won.

Judge Diamond of the Supreme Court ruled that the MCU was wrong and ordered the nominating committee and the nominees to be restored so the election could proceed. Instead, the MCU appealed and the election was further delayed.

Now, by a unanimous vote of the four judges from the court of appeals, Judge Diamond has been upheld. The appeals court also ordered the election to be held. The 2008 election will, at last, be held on May 5th, 2009.

It is now up to you. You can read more about the six uniquely qualified candidates we are supporting for the MCU board in the flyer you can download here

The election will be held at Bridgewaters restaurant, located at 11 Fulton Street by the South Street Seaport on Tuesday, May 5, 2009. It will be held from 10AM through 7PM. If you are a member of the MCU, please attend and vote. MCU elections are in person, not by mail ballot. You must go there in order to vote.