News From OSA - May, 2015

GOOD NEWS. The first piece of good news is the victory of CWA Local 1180 in winning a judgment against New York City for underpaying Administrative Managers. This victory was a long time coming, and there will be more time passing before it leads to concrete gains. That said, the decision by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is a major victory.

Our hope is that it will lead the de Blasio administration to revise the Managerial Pay Plan away from the current insanity. If this does occur, the entire civil service will benefit from a more rational pay system for higher level employees.

The second bit of good news relates to the upcoming Analyst exams. Our union complained about the large number of qualified candidates who had been disqualified by the computerized education and experience “test” that was required for the open competitive exams. We brought the matter to the attention of DCAS, and the personnel division of that agency responded. We have been told that those candidates who failed the “E&E” and then submitted the appeal will be allowed to take the exam. They will be asked to provide more information to qualify properly, but they will not be denied the opportunity to compete.

The third bit of good news concerns progress made on our own unit negotiations. On each of our four major “extra” demands, there was noticeable movement.The City sought clarification on our demands for furloughs, and we responded that we were seeking a limited number of one year leaves of absence that would not be unreasonably denied.

The City suggested that our demand that our noncompetitive members be allowed to promote to competitive positions be taken “off line." Specifically, the City suggested that a meeting be set up between the union, DCAS and the affected agencies. The union enthusiastically agreed.

The City has objected to our demand for equal longevity pay for all Administrative Staff Analysts, regardless of level. They cited a decision issued in 1995 by the Office of Collective Bargaining, Case No. I-233-95. The City claims, based on that decision, that our Administrative Analysts Levels II and III are not eligible for the longevity amounts due to our Administrative Staff Analysts Level I.

Okay, so what does the decision say?

It says that “the Board of Collective Bargaining has held that where new titles are accreted to an existing unit, the provisions of the existing contract do not automatically extend to that added title.”

However, as OSA itself experiences at all times, the addition of new members in the same title already covered by the union does automatically extend the provisions of the existing contract to the new members.

Is the City saying that their case rests upon the fact that Administrative Staff Analysts Levels II and III are a different title from Administrative Staff Analyst Level I. If so, they had better tell DCAS fast, since the Department of Citywide Administrative Services has only scheduled one exam for Administrative Staff Analysts, regardless of level. Looks like one title to us.

Looks like we have a good case for the money to be paid to our members.

Finally, the City, at the first full meeting in over a month, with many Agency representatives present, did not reject the concept of the four-day week. Instead, they again brought up the perceived need for some sort of sunset clause so that the compressed work week would not be continued if it proved impractical. In short, they are considering agreeing to our demand.

Outside of the normal negotiation process, our leadership is encouraged by the responses of various agency leaders to our suggested compressed work schedule. Most recently, Comptroller Scott Stringer was pleased with the idea.

Comptroller Stringer issued a study noting that New Yorkers worked longer hours than other Americans, mostly due to the length of time it took to get to and from work. Since we cannot improve our transport infrastructure in the short term, he agreed that an extended work day would give a welcome relief to many.

Steven Banks, Commissioner of the Human Resources Administration also agreed. In a meeting held with OSA leadership on April 20th, he said that the four day week could have a positive impact on morale. He authorized OSA to inform the Office of Labor Relations that his agency was interested in both the Furloughs and Compressed Work Schedule.

LEGAL THIEVERY. The last three years of the Bloomberg administration were very revealing in many ways. For one thing, he assured us and the public that New York City could not afford pattern bargaining. As it turned out, as soon as he left, the City could afford pattern bargaining. So, we guess he lied.

Mayor Bloomberg also assured the world that the City could not afford, and could not even legally pay, retroactive raises. As it turned out, retroactive raises are legal and are being paid without fail. So, we guess he lied.

Mayor Bloomberg also appointed a trustee to our pension funds. The trustee insisted it was crucial that the pension funds devote many millions to a hedge fund. The union trustees objected, but Mayor Bloomberg prevailed.

Now, the Comptroller has published a report noting that the hedge funds did make money, but they ate up most of the profits for themselves. We would have done as well or better without a hedge fund. Meanwhile, the Mayor’s Trustee had gone off to work for…that same hedge fund.

Then, in his last year in office, at the same time that Mayor Bloomberg tried to force an inadequate health plan on us (at great cost to us) he also sought to send in a person to manage our Tax Deferred Annuity investments. She was rumored to be his daughter’s friend, and she would manage our money for a few hundred thousand dollars a year. That one we stopped.

And yet, we are told over and over again what a good mayor he was.

Yes, good for himself and for his friends.

NOTED. Our union’s training classes for the upcoming exams are still continuing. As a result, we will once again be using the second floor auditorium of 125 Worth Street for our May membership meeting. This meeting is taking place a week earlier than usual because the union will be absorbed in preparation for the exam days.

Three articles from the civil service newspaper The Chief, follow, along with an ad from GHI/Emblem Health. This advertisement is for the new service provided by Advantage Care Physicians to membes of GHI and HIP.

  • Article About CWA 1180's win before the EEOC on Administrative Manager pay.
  • Article about OSA's proposal for alternate work schedules.
  • Article about problems with the E&E portion of the upcoming Analyst exams.
  • Advertisement about Advantage Care Physicians - A citywide group practice option for GHI/HIP members.

    GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING. This month’s General Membership meeting will be held in an alternate location, the 2nd Floor Auditorium at 125 Worth Street on THURSDAY, May 14th at 6:15PM. We are deviating from our usual location because the union hall is occupied every night of the week with training classes for the analyst series exams. We hope to see you at Worth Street. You can download a flier for the meeting to remind yourself of the date, time and location by clicking this link.

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