News From OSA - December, 2014

News from OSA - December, 2014

As most of you know, there are several upcoming exams in the Analyst title series which will be given in 2015. Assistance in preparing the applications for these exams and exam training will be offered by OSA at no cost to members.

Non-members who wish to receive help will have to pay $97.50 for a year membership in OSART, our related professional association. Membership includes application assistance and admission to the exam training, as well as regular news and updates from our union.

If you are already a permanent Administrative Staff Analyst, this information is not for you. However, you should share it with anyone who wishes to take these exams.

EXAMS. A Staff Analyst Trainee exam was given in 2014. Applications were submitted online and, for the first time in our title series, the exam itself was given on the computer at one of DCAS's two testing centers.

DCAS has scheduled exams in 2015 for Staff Analyst, Associate Staff Analyst and Administrative Staff Analyst. There will only be one Administrative Staff Analyst exam for all Administrative Staff Analyst levels.

There are two types of exams - promotional and open-competitive. Although the application process for all of the exams will be on-line, it is not known at this time if any or all of the tests themselves will be given as paper-based exams.

PROMOTIONAL EXAMS.To take a promotional exam, you have to be appointed to the lower title by the time of the test. You have to be appointed Staff Analyst to take the promotional Associate Staff Analyst exam, and you have to be appointed Associate Staff Analyst to take the Administrative Staff Analyst exam. You cannot be a provisional Staff or Associate Staff Analyst. You do not need any required years of experience. If you became a permanent Staff Analyst or Associate Staff Analyst before the requirement for a college degree for Analyst titles was introduced in 2006, you are still eligible.

A promotional exam list is prepared for each agency's candidates only. If you move to another agency before the list is published, you should be on the new agency's promotional list. If you change agencies after the list is published, DCAS will move your name to the new agency's promotional list.

OPEN-COMPETITIVE EXAMS.Everyone and anyone is eligible to take an open-competitive exam if they fulfill the education and experience requirements for that title. For Staff Analyst, you need a college degree and 2 years experience, for Associate Staff Analyst, a college degree and 3 years experience, and for Administrative Staff Analyst, a college degree and 4 years experience, including 18 months in a supervisory role.

STAFF ANALYST.There will be an open-competitive exam. There is no promotional exam for Staff Analyst, because there is no permanent Staff Analyst Trainee. Even though you are appointed Staff Analyst Trainee from a list, you are not considered permanent. You are considered probationary until the two year probationary period is completed, and then are promoted to permanent Staff Analyst.

Only this way, or being appointed from the open-competitive Staff Analyst exam list, can you become a permanent Staff Analyst. Remember that a provisional Staff Analyst Trainee can never become a permanent Staff Analyst no matter how long he or she is a provisional Staff Analyst Trainee.

ASSOCIATE STAFF ANALYST AND ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF ANALYST.There will be both promotional and open-competitive exams for each title.

PURE PROVISIONALS.Those of you who have never taken or passed a competitive exam should apply for and take ALL of the open-competitive exams. The last Staff and Associate Staff Analyst exams had the same first 60 questions, with 20 additional questions on the Associate Staff Analyst exam. The Staff and Associate exams may not be constructed the same way this time. However, we do know that the Administrative Staff Analyst exam will be a separate exam given at a different time.

HHC MEMBERS AND THOSE IN OTHER THAN STAFF ANALYST TITLES.The open competitive exams are available to you. Since HHC does not have employees in the Analyst titles, you would have to move to a city agency when you are appointed. Unfortunately, your time with HHC would NOT be credited as city service. Your pension would not be disrupted. Which exams you would take would be based upon your current salary. With a large increase in salary, it may be worth it.

PERMANENT STAFF AND ASSOCIATE STAFF ANALYSTS are eligible to take the promotional exam for the next higher title. In addition, to open your options for appointment, you SHOULD also take the open-competitive version of any exam for which you are eligible. In other words, permanent Associate Staff Analysts should take both the promotional and open-competitive Administrative Staff Analyst exams.

Permanent Staff Analysts should take both the promotional and open-competitive Associate Staff Analyst exams and the open-competitive Administrative exam. There have been instances when some agencies have refused to promote everyone on their promotional list. Remember, not all of your supervisors and administrators will be the same at the time when the lists are published.

IF YOU ARE ON THE CURRENT STAFF OR ASSOCIATE STAFF ANALYST LIST, SHOULD YOU APPLY FOR AND TAKE THE NEW EXAMS...OR NOT. This, of course, depends on the stars and the moon. The current Staff Analyst list will expire 7/11/16, and the current Associate Staff Analyst list will expire 3/27/16. Will the new Staff and Associate Staff Analyst exams be published before those date and will the lists die before their expiration dates? Will you be appointed before the applications for the new exams in February, or will you be appointed before the tests themselves which will likely be given sometime in June?

As an Analyst, only the facts will tell you... or will they? The current list was established 7/11/12. There were 1209 candidates on the Staff Analyst list. To date, 189 candidates have been appointed. The list has been called to #815. Agencies are calling the 25-30 candidates that are still on the list up to that number.

The Associate Staff Analyst list had 2197 candidates, of which 668 candidates have been appointed to date. The list has been called to #1147. Agencies are still calling the 40-45 candidates that are still on the list up to that number.

The lists have been active about 2.5 years and have 1.5 years to go. The Staff Analyst list has over 400 candidates left. The Associate Analyst list has about half the candidates left. Will they reach your number?

When the Staff Analyst Trainee application and exam occurred earlier in 2014, the same questions had to be answered. Will they reach your number? Maybe, by the time the SAT list is published (hopefully, next year), you will have been appointed from the current Staff or Associate list and won't need the SAT appointment.

The same situation is true for the Staff and Associate Staff Analyst exams. The MANTRA for a city employee is NEVER LET AN OPPORTUNITY PASS YOU BY. Completing an application doesn't mean that you have to take the test. Taking the test doesn't mean that you have to respond to a hiring pool for appointment.

The best part about the upcoming exams is that there is an open-competitive Administrative Staff Analyst exam available. Everyone eligible should take this exam. The requirements are 4 years as an analyst including 18 months in a supervisory position.

The Staff and Associate Staff Analyst exams may be the same exam, with extra questions for the ASA, as it was last time, but we simply don't know. You may not qualify or do well on the Administrative exam, therefore having backup lists can't hurt.

So, we are back to the million dollar question. Should you take the Staff and/or the Associate Staff Analyst test? If you are near the end of either list, say near 950 on the Staff Analyst list, or near 1300 on the Associate Staff Analyst list, it couldn't hurt. The training materials are basically the same as before. They will be on the union's web site by FEBRUARY.

The more tests you take, the better you become at taking tests.

APPLICATIONS.Applications will be filed online at, under the View Exam Schedule subsection.

The applications for these exams will not be available online until their filing dates. At present, you can view the tentative Fiscal Year 2015 Exam Schedule in the View Exam Schedule subsection. The Administrative Staff Analyst filing and the Staff and Associate Staff Analyst filing dates are scheduled for February. This is subject to change.

As was the case with the Staff Analyst Trainee online application, you will have to choose a number of tasks from a list supplied by DCAS that, when considered together, describe all of the work experience that qualifies you for the exam. The experience you provide in the application has to add up to the number of years of experience DCAS requires for each title. If you worked at each task for 1 year, that's easy. But, if you worked at some tasks for less than 1 year, you will have to identify other tasks that will equal the required time. If you work at some tasks only 50% of the time, you will have to identify other tasks that total 100% of the day. It is a bit complicated but as an analyst it shouldn't be that difficult.

As noted in the opening of this letter, the union will provide assistance in the application process for free to OSA members. Non-members will have to pay $97.50. You will need to make an appointment and come to the OSA office when the application process opens.The weekly OSA hotline 212-330-8833 and the weekly newsline page of this website will have information about the help we are offering, starting in January.

TRAINING.OSA has been providing training for exams since the 1970's. Our curriculum comes directly from each exam's Notice of Examination (NOE). As soon as the test makers state the areas to be tested, our Education Department begins to accumulate study materials covering those topics.

For many years, this resulted in OSA producing a thick print study guide. At first, we copied hundreds of papers for each topic and collated them at the training site and handed them out. Then, we collated them at the office and handed them out at the training sessions. In recent years, most students have preferred that we place the materials on our web site for your use. Those materials, plus instruction given at the training sessions, constitute our attempt to prepare our members for the exams. There are also DVDs of prior training sessions available for purchase.

Analysts have been doing the same jobs for the city forever. They work in BUDGET, CONTRACTS, PERSONNEL, LABOR RELATIONS, MANAGEMENT/SUPERVISION, and perform ORGANIZATIONAL RESEARCH.

OSA provides training in these subjects, along with sessions for STATISTICS, MATH, COMMUNICATION, GRAMMAR, AND TEST TAKING TECHNIQUES.OSA has been training in these topics since the beginning of Analyst series exams.

For the Administrative Staff Analyst exam we will also offer IN BASKET TRAINING. What, you might ask, is that? On the last Admin exam, DCAS tested candidates' ability to delegate and manage, in part, by providing memos and materials and asking candidates to prioritize tasks and delegate them appropriately. A separate reference booklet contained these and other materials. Therefore, we will train you in how to handle this type of material, should it be on the exam.

Will the upcoming exam include similar material? DCAS is keeping information about all of the exams very close to the vest.

While some things change, as the saying goes, the more things change, the more they stay the same. There are new management theories and new evaluation techniques. Personnel orders are added and deleted. Budget dates change, and contract limits are added and changed. Of course, statistics, math, grammar and test taking techniques do not change.

The union training covers one topic a week for 8 weeks Monday through Friday, or two topics per weekend day, Saturday or Sunday, for 4 weeks. You choose a day of the week and come once a week for 8 weeks or a weekend day and come once a week for 4 weeks. Depending upon how many sign up for the training there may be a second set of weeknight training for 8 weeks. However, since the Administrative Staff Analyst exam will be given ahead of the Staff and Associate Staff Analyst exams, those taking the Administrative exam will have priority for the first training set.

The forms for our related professional association OSART and the training schedule and sign up will be available on the OSA website starting in January. Training materials will be posted on the website starting in February.

ADDENDUM - 6.1.9s. Those provisionals who have a permanent leave line may be able to exchange the permanent title to an Analyst title. Which Analyst title that would be would depend on the salary range of the permanent title. This exchange is called a 6.1.9 which is the rule number in the Rules and Regulations of the Department of Citywide Administrative Services.

If you are able to become a Staff Analyst, you would be eligible for the promotional Associate Staff Analyst exam, and if you exchanged your permanent title to an Associate Staff Analyst, you would automatically be eligible to take the promotional Administrative Staff Analyst exam.

Everyone is eligible for any open-competitive exam. But, you have to qualify with the necessary years of experience.

Please discuss this with your human resources section. Many of you have received information about this.