News From OSA - August, 2010

The summer edition of News From OSA, as always, has a lot of material to read. Be sure to check the notices and coupons which appear at the links at the bottom of the page to see which workshops you may want to attend this fall.

Our pre-retirement seminar has now reached its 20th year. The Driver Improvement classes remain very popular. Some members have already attended these sessions twice, since you can update your qualifications for discounted insurance every 3 years.

Our Long Term Care Seminar explains what is covered, the cost, and the different policies. The Medicaid Seminar for Home Care has been helpful for those members who have aging parents or relatives who may be, or may become, eligible for Medicaid coverage, since the Medicaid laws are constantly changing.

We have added two new seminars this year. One seminar is on civil service rules, including the "l-in-3 rule" used in appointing candidates from a promotional and/or open competitive list. The second seminar is about how to not get fired if you are a permanent competitive or non-competitive employee. Both of the new seminars should assist members in understanding more about city employment. But, the most important coupon is, as always, the "Member Information Update." This should be completed by all and returned to the union.

40 Years? COPE was founded in 1970. The Committee of Personnel Examiners evolved into the Organization of Staff Analysts by 1975 and finally achieved its goal of becoming a union in 1985.

So, are we, as an idea and a group, forty years old or are we only twenty-five? Okay, we are both and 2010 is a neat anniversary year for OSA and it’s offshoots, OSART (our non-union professional association) and OSARC (our retirees' association.)

The holiday party this year will also be our fortieth anniversary party and, as such, will be more elaborate than other years. All such events include memories of yesteryear, souvenir programs and at least a few speeches, but we also plan to include the normal excellent food and drink and even, after the speeches, music for dancing.

The staff of OSA will be working hard between now and then to make it run smoothly. For your part, set aside December 9th and plan on making it to the Grand Prospect Hall in Brooklyn.

Local Negotiations... are complete, except for the one tenth of one percent which is due in late August. The award will be spread over the 10, 15 and 20 year existing longevities. All that is left is to find out the exact numbers, and for this we must rely upon the City. Since the equity is .001 of all salaries, the longevity increases will be minimal.

Our Transit Authority negotiations are also complete, but payments have been delayed further by the chaotic situation at the T.A.

Future negotiations do not look cheerful, given the constant bashing of the Civil Service by the media and the Mayor’s other minions. Still, so long as we all stick together, we may work out an acceptable contract, eventually.

Citywide Negotiations. Negotiations are being framed around further health and/or pension givebacks, which is not at all appealing. An editorial in the New York Post recently announced the "shocking" news that 90% of our pensions were funded by the government. We’re not sure if that news was uncovered by the Citizens Budget Commission or the Manhattan Institute, but in any case it is incorrect.

City pensions usually do include contributions from City employees, but even those contributions come from City paychecks paid to us in return for our work. Therefore, as good Analysts, we can conclude that 100% of our pensions are funded by our employer, as should be and as has been the case since nearly forever. In the pensions from the 1940's through the 60's, civil servants chose from among "fractional" plans to provide for their old age. You could contribute up to 6% of salary towards an earlier more generous retirement, or far less if you had no concern for the future. In all cases, you were having a part of your government pay check diverted into a pension fund with the City paying for any shortfall.

The unions, since the 1960's, have often "improved" the pensions by negotiating a reduced contribution from the workforce in return for acceptance of lower salary increases or other accommodations. In each case, the City got something it wanted in return for something we wanted. Most recently, the City offered a waiver of the 3% payment due for the Fourth Tier Pensions for members after completion of ten years of service. The City now thinks the deal they made in the late nineties was a bad deal.

The problem began in the “stock market.” The City invested our money unwisely and would now like us to make up for their bad investments. We are being beaten up by the Post editorials to soften us up for negotiations. Thus, the ungracious as well as inaccurate attack on civil service pensions are simply the Mayor negotiating in the press.

If Mayor Bloomberg is now seeking an increased contribution for our pensions, or a diminished value to our pensions, we will await hearing what is to be offered in return.

That’s negotiations.

Exams. We await, with interest, the results of the 2010 Analyst exams. DCAS is working hard and fast to produce the final answer key. This will most likely not happen until early next year. At a minimum, we expect many of our members to achieve permanent civil service status and, for some, promotions as well.

In February 2011, the filing for an Administrative Education Officer exam is scheduled. The test date for both the open competitive and promotional exams is scheduled for May 11, 2011. Excellent. Many of our members may find the open competitive exam to be of interest.

Affiliation Update. As members are aware, if they read these newsletters regularly, OSA’s leadership first broached direct affiliation with the AFL-CIO in 2007. Thereafter, the AFL-CIO asked OSA to consider offers from the UFT/AFT and the OPEIU. We have been doing just that.

Both the United Federation of Teachers and the parent union, the American Federation of Teachers, are engaged in a major effort to add all Education Analysts and Education Officers to the ranks of collective bargaining. Their efforts, so far, are proceeding with a good likelihood of success - although the legal process is slow. The Office and Professional Employees International Union has sought to add to the ranks of labor a few hundred Transit Analysts from formerly private bus lines, and this process is also a slow but steady effort.

It is, and always has been, a constitutionally stated goal of OSA to extend collective bargaining rights to as many Analysts as possible, so we are deeply pleased and impressed by the efforts of the international unions seeking our allegiance. (At present, we [OSA] have just succeeded in extending union rights to many more Administrative Analysts and are seeking to extend those rights to further HHC Analysts.)

Last year, our representatives attended the AFT convention in Washington, D.C. and came away impressed by the conference and the union leaders and the members in attendance. This past summer, it was the same place, even the same hotel, but the conference was sponsored by OPEIU and the convention was equally enthusiastic and inspiring.

There was one special event during this year’s visit to D.C. The convention took a break to picket the headquarters of the American Red Cross to protest a lock-out of OPEIU members from one of the Red Cross state headquarters. Both internationals are made up of idealistic and decent folks and we are fortunate to have such choices before us.

As discussed at numerous general membership meetings over the past two years, the OSA leadership is aware that affiliation is a serious step and will cost us an increase in our dues. If we are going to affiliate, we must know how this is going to help us and if it is worth the price.

Ideologically, our union has always felt itself to be a part of the labor movement and we pay full dues to the Municipal Labor Committee without complaint. If we are presented with a good case for affiliation, this case will be brought before the membership for discussion and decision.

Yound Adult Dependents. Congress and the New York State legislature have each passed laws that will allow certain young adult dependents of employed or retired parents to continue their basic health care coverage until they are 26 (under the federal law) or 30 years of age (under the New York State law). The OSA Welfare Fund will extend its coverage to young adult dependents of active or retired members following the same guidelines.

The New York State law covers unmarried dependents until their 30th birthday. The federal law covers all dependents, regardless of marital status, until their 26th birthday - so long as they are not covered by or eligible for other health insurance through their employer.

Immediately, unmarried young adult dependents between the ages of 19 and 30 will be able to purchase individual OSA Welfare Fund plan coverage for superimposed major medical and/or dental and vision services.

Starting January 1, 2011, any young adult dependent, married or unmarried, between the ages of 19 and 26 (including those previously covered while in school through age 23) will be covered by the Welfare Fund at no additional cost.

In addition, after January 1, 2011, unmarried young adult dependents between the ages of 26 and 30 will continue to be able to purchase individual OSA Welfare Fund coverage for superimposed major medical and/or dental and vision services.

A packet describing the coverage available to OSA members/retirees and their young adult dependents can be obtained by clicking this link. It describes eligibility under each law. The same information is also posted in the Member Services section of this website under Welfare Fund Forms and in the new Welfare Fund Booklet.

General Membership Meeting. The next general membership meeting of the union is scheduled for Thursday, September 30, 2010 starting at 6pm sharp at the union office at 220 East 23rd Street, Suite 707, between Second and Third Avenues. You may download a flyer here to remind you of the date and time of the meeting or to post at your location.

Bits and Pieces. These are posted in pdf format. You can download them by clicking on the links.

  • 2010 OSA Welfare Fund Booklet

  • Young Adult Dependent Coverage Options

  • 2009 OSA Welfare Fund Analysis

  • Agency Shop Fee Payer Procedure

  • HIPAA Notice (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996)

  • Guide to the OSA Website

  • Notice of 9/11 Health Forum on September 15, 2010


  • The Benefits of State and Local Government Employees

  • Social Security:The Program Isn't Broken & Whacking the Old Folks

  • Out of Balance? Comparing Public and Private Sector Compensation Over 20 Years

  • Focus on Health Reform: Summary of Coverage Provisions in the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act

  • Why I Changed My Mind on School Choice and Testing

    Coupons and Flyers.

  • Quality of Work Life Committee

  • Transfer Request

  • Pre-Retirement Seminar

  • Driver Improvement Class

  • Effective Business Writing Class

  • Long Term Care Seminar

  • Medicaid Seminar for Home Care and Other Services

  • Civil Service Seminar

  • Disciplinary Issues Seminar

  • Member Information Update

  • Hotline Phone Number/Website URL

  • OSA PAC Deduction
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