News From OSA - March, 2004

Collective Bargaining, Old News. As of this date, the City seems mostly on track to pay the retroactive increases in longevity due the City, OTB and NYCHA members. On March 12th, Staff and Associate Staff Analysts should receive their increases.

We do expect a potential delay for Administrative Analysts and possibly HHC as well, but, hopefully, all will be complete by the end of this month.

We are still in deadlock on the final portion of the old contract as it affects Traffic Enforcement and School Safety.

New News (or more accurately, no news). In late February, the newspapers trumpeted a breakthrough at the bargaining table. It was asserted that DC 37 had put Pension Tier V on the table and the Citizens' Budget Commission went somewhat delirious with joy. Alas for the CBC, at the Monday meeting following the Friday negotiations, MLC Chairperson Randi Weingarten contradicted the news stories. DC 37 representatives explained that an offer to potentially vary some aspects of "early outs" on Tier IV had been seized upon by the press as caving in to Mayor Bloomberg's long stated demand to establish a Tier V. In the course of the discussion that followed, it was clear that the solidarity of the Municipal Labor Committee on the issue of give backs remains strong.

It took a year and a half of very tense negotiations to resolve the health negotiations without disastrous give backs. It looks to be getting even more tense regarding our overdue raises. Meanwhile, so long as the Municipal Labor Committee stays united, there is good reason for us to expect a satisfactory final settlement in spite of Mayor Bloomberg. It could be fairly stated that since the news of labor solidarity's collapse was greatly exaggerated, no news actually was very good news.

Corrections. Executive Director Sheila Gorsky reports that the union has convinced the City that it made a few errors in payments of the $50, $75 and $125 drug plan reimbursement. In two dozen cases where members were due reimbursement and the City had failed to pay, payments will now be made.

Please note, the deadlines for such appeals is now, sadly, well past. Please do not call now.

PICA. The Health Technical Sub-Committee of the MLC did a pretty good job of working with the City to come up with a letter informing members of changes due on April 1st. Unfortunately, the letter was sent out by "Express Scripts" using their standard envelope. Since most members have previously received such envelopes with reports on drug purchases, there is some concern that many a member discarded the notice without reading it.

A copy of the brochure outlining the changes may be downloaded in pdf form by clicking here. If you never use PICA drugs, well skip to the next section. If you do use PICA, please read over the changes in rules.

SA Exam. The Staff Analyst exam filing period closes on March 23rd. If you intend to file, OSA offers aid on completion of the application as well as a training course thereafter. Call George Morgan at the Union office for an appointment.

Who should take this exam? You should if you are a Staff Analyst Trainee, a provisional Staff Analyst, a pure (not "step up") provisional Associate Staff Analyst or Admin Staff Analyst. In short, if you were never appointed from a Staff Analyst exam list, nor "rule 6.1.9" laterally transferred from an equivalent competitive civil service permanent title to Staff Analyst, maybe you should take this exam. Not sure? Call the Union and ask. The Application and Notice of Exam are on this website. Click on the March, 2004 OSA Newsline button and scroll to the March 1, 2004 Newsline message.

Layoffs. Tragically, we are again facing layoffs. This time it is the New York City Housing Authority. Mike Schady and Sheila Gorsky are working with our nineteen targeted members. The OSA leadership will be meeting with NYCHA Chapter Chairperson Tony Lee and the NYCHA Labor Relations office to seek to substitute voluntary leaves of absence for the layoffs.

A recent report from Union County, New Jersey shows a version of OSA's idea was put into practice. Thanks to OSA activist Peter Greene of HRA for the news article.

OSA General Membership Meeting. The next general membership meeting is to be held on Thursday, March 25, 2004 at 6:00 pm at the Organization of Staff Analysts' office, 220 E. 23rd St./Ste 709.