News From OSA - August, 2005 No. 2
It only seems like a plot between the City and DC 37 to always settle their difference just before the Summer. It is not reasonable to believe that the City and DC 37 are doing this just so that OSA gets stuck trying to negotiate a series of contracts all at once while everyone else is going on vacation. It keeps on working out that way, but we assume it's an accident. Still...
Contracts. As most of you are aware, OSA represents its members for collective bargaining purposes, but many are not aware that our union negotiates a number of separate contracts. Our main contract affects nearly four thousand members, but of equal importance are our Transit Authority contract, our NYCHA contract, our "uniformed" members' contracts, etc.
Negotiations are in progress at the Department of Education and NYCHA on non-mandatory issues.
As of the point of this edition of News From OSA, DC37 has just settled on the one percent and the police have just won ten percent. We will be meeting with the City and the results will be reported to our members as they occur. We are due at least the one percent, not to mention a settlement for our uniformed brothers and sisters for 2002-2005.
The Exam. Two thousand of our members took the recent Administrative Staff Analyst exam. The exam was tough. Actually, most Analyst exams since 1975 have been very challenging and all of the Associate and Administrative level exams have been downright difficult.
The letters OSA received from those of our members who took our training course were generally friendly and spoke well of the training. One member was so pleased he not only sent a friendly note, he sent a $5 bill to us on behalf of the staff who assisted. That was sweet.
The Department of Citywide Administrative Services has promised to get the list out as soon as possible. The main delay now is, of course, the test validation board. On the one hand, we would all like to see the results and, especially, to what extent extra points may be added to the scores. On the other hand, the test validation board can and should do a thorough job to insure that each question was fair and each proposed answer valid. Wherever there are two answers that are valid for one question, some candidates' scores will rise.
Organizing. Our chief organizer, Joe Sperling, is back at work and his volunteer cadre of dedicated union organizers are out organizing on behalf of OSA.
OSA was formed in 1970 by employees denied the right to, and benefits of, collective bargaining. It took us fifteen years to win those rights for our first group of thirty-eight unionized Analysts. It took so long to win the first victory that we developed the very good habit of organizing others who wished to be represented. We are now more that one hundred times the size we were at the time of our first victory.
As of today, OSA is seeking to represent Senior Management Consultants in the Health and Hospitals Corporation. We are also in a campaign to provide collective bargaining rights and protections for Enrollment Sales Representatives at HHC as well as other titles.
A short time ago, OSA opened its Welfare Fund to provide coverage for a new group that had organized themselves – the Uniformed Sanitation Chiefs – and we have been asked – and will do so – on behalf of the Emergency Medical Service Chiefs as well.
There are other campaigns temporarily on hold, or in process of being arranged, at the Transit Authority and MABSTOA, in another half-dozen minor areas of employment. There is also one last big one with the City itself, the Administrative Staff Analyst title.
OSA is the first union to successfully win the right to represent hundreds of city employees in the Administrative Staff Analyst title (Level MI) and we are now seeking to represent Analysts working at pay grade Levels II and III.
The Admin Analysts are a dramatically underpaid group of skilled employees who have been denied paid overtime, grievance rights and job security.
OSA, in the brief time since winning the MI level, added from the start, $500 to all the incumbents with 15 years seniority. We subsequently added $281 for those with 10 years, $281 more for those with 15 years and $998 more for anyone with over 20 years experience. ($500 + $281 + $281 + $998 = $2060 extra for a 20 year veteran. Not great, but not bad either.)
OSA has also won a number of out-of-title grievances for our members, moving our unionized pay grade level MI's to not-yet-unionized level MII's. More interesting yet, OSA has detected a major increase in management promoting Associate Staff Analysts, provisionally, directly to the Admin Levels MII and MIII. We are, in effect, raising the pay rates of the level above Associate.
It was, however, far more important that, after a hiatus of very many years, OSA was able to persuade DCAS to give an exam for Administrative Staff Analyst. Permanent status only comes from exams.
No one likes to take exams. Analyst exams are often hard exams. Yet, still, it is far worse to serve provisionally in a time of lay-offs. New York City is currently predicting a fiscal crisis for itself, not next year, but perhaps by 2007.
In the recent tragic series of lay-offs at NYCHA, one of our titles that was hit heavily was the title of Administrative Staff Analyst. Our members with permanent status were safe. Those serving provisionally were not.
The Organization of Staff Analysts was established by a small group of employees of the Department of Personnel in 1970. Our goals, set at that time, were to assist one another, to obtain collective bargaining rights and secure permanent status for all our members. Thirty-five years later, our goals remain unchanged.
OSA Contract. Did you notice the contract enclosed in the summer mailing is, of course, the "old" contract? The City always negotiates late. Why are we sending out the "old" one? Because the old contract stays in force until changed.
Otherwise, I hope you find the enclosed light reading enjoyable.
OSA General Membership Meeting. The next general membership meeting is to be held on Thursday, September 29, 2005 at the OSA office, 220 East 23rd Street, Suite 707, Manhattan, starting at 6pm.
Bits and Pieces. Click on the link to download each article or item as a PDF file.
• Your Guide To www.osaunion.org
• Welfare Fund Analysis For 2004
• Annual Financial Reports For 2004
• The Economy and the War, etc.
• Social Security
• Anthony Sanchez's Story