OSA News - May 1999

Exam. The Staff Analyst exam filing has been extended to Friday, May 14. All OSA members who are not yet holding a permanent Staff Analyst title must take this exam or they will be unable to take the Associate Staff Analyst exam two years from now.

OSA provides a free and excellent "Education and Experience" exam preparation course. All members taking this exam should take advantage of the course. In order to request a first appointment or to make a later appointment, call (212) 686-1229 and ask to speak to George.

Negotiations. Negotiations are now ongoing with Health and Hospitals over a potential buyout, the closure of North Central Bronx Hospital and the Brooklyn Laundry. No final details yet.

Our Citywide negotiations are ongoing, but we are not sure where they are going. Our position is, we would like the City to cease the practice of hiring per diem employees and to convert all those hired to annual status.

Our monetary negotiations for our next contract (the Municipal Labor Coalition bargaining) have not yet started, but the Mayor has already been in the newspapers explaining that while the City treasury is overflowing, at present, he has plans for every penny. It is his expressed opinion that City employees were overpaid when he arrived in office. He seems sincere and, if so, we can plan on our June 1 raise being the last raise we get for years to come. We will have started with a wage freeze under Giuliani and will end with one as well. Our loss in income has been and will be used to fund tax cuts.

May 12th Rally. Our response to the Mayor's no money policy, under the leadership of a newly militant Municipal Labor Coalition will commence at a rally on May 12th, 4:30-6:00 pm at Park Place and Broadway. Since most OSA members work within a short walking distance of that spot, just south of City Hall, OSA can and should be there. All members are asked to set aside other business and meet at the rally after work on May 12th. The OSA officers and staff will be there in force, with our banner.

If we do not show up, we are telling the Mayor that he is right. We will accept anything he chooses to dish out, no matter how insulting or unfair.

If we do show up, our new leader, UFT President Randi Weingarten, will know that she can rely on her (until now theoretical) army of a quarter of a million New York City employees. Details as they develop will be on the OSA Newsline page.

Newsline. Check the Newsline page on this site or call our phone hotline weekly. The Newsline page is usually updated by Wednesday of each week. All important news appears there first. Click on the icon to the left for the OSA Newsline or call (212) 689-6111.

Meeting. Our next membership meeting will be held May 27. Reports are due on our training course, TA negotiations, and a variety of other current bargaining activities. The meeting starts at 6pm and is generally over by 7:30pm. The meeting is held in the second floor auditorium at 125 Worth Street.

Finally, below are the texts of two articles and a letter to the editor from OSA Chair Bob Croghan that recently appeared in the Chief concerning the Staff Analyst Exam.

The Chief April 1, 1999

Staff Analyst Exam Ignites New Debate: Edge for Provisionals
By Andrea Della Monica

Seven years after being criticized for holding unfair analyst examinations, the city again plans to administer an open-competitive test that favors provisional employees over other test-takers. CHIEF499a.jpg - 20.2 K

The city is conducting filing for a Staff Analyst test this month. In doing so, it is inviting a debate about whether provisional analysts have an unjustified advantage over other applicants for this popular entry-level job.

Training Being Offered
Rather than challenge the city as it has done in the past, the Organization of Staff Analysts is offering training for prospective test-takers and helping its members who are serving in the title provisionally gain permanent appointment.

Beginning April 7, the union will coach those attending its training courses about the type of answers that are acceptable when describing their qualifications on the test, said Robert Croghan, OSA chairman.

"The notice of examination is enormously more demanding this time around," he said. The test is an education-and-experience rating of candidates' abilities. Filing closes April 27.

Training is free for OSA members, but the union is charging others $97.50 to sit for the review courses being offered at union headquarters, Mr. Croghan said. The fee is equivalent to one year's dues, and buys union representation for test appeals and updates about the status of the resulting eligible list, he said. The training fee is in addition to the $35 application fee charged by the city and also is non-refundable.

Like the last two Staff Analyst tests administered during the Dinkins administration, this test promises to give some test-takers a scoring edge, but the union stopped short of criticizing it.

"The current system has worked moderately well in that a significant number of people who are not already provisionally serving as analysts continue to get appointed into our title series by virtue of these exams and the resulting lists," Mr. Croghan said.

The opposition to the analyst testis format was more strident back in 1992. Then Personnel Director Herman L. Jenkins voided the examination to settle a lawsuit brought by District Council 37, which charged that it violated the Civil Service Law because it gave provisional analysts a leg up on other competitors.

Phrase Omitted. A new exam that was subsequently ordered provided a more level playing field for city employees and provisional analysts, but it put them at a scoring advantage over members of the public with similar experience. That exam clearly advertised additional points would be awarded to candidates who had successfully performed Staff Analyst work.

The notice for the current exam, Staff Analyst No. 8021, omits this phrase. Most who file for the test this month and possess the requisite qualifications will likely receive the minimum passing score of 70, but a perfect score can only be achieved by those test-takers with two or more years of government service. under their belt.

The exam states that a 30 point bonus will only be given for full-time satisfactory experience in government service (city, state or Federal).

Eligibles who are hired will be selectively certified for positions requiring experience in budget, organizational research and personnel administration. The position has two assignment levels; appointment to the higher level is made at management's discretion.

The Chief April 16, 1999

Letters to the Editor: On OSA's Test Courses

To the Editor:

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I would like to add two points of clarification to the excellent article published last week on the Staff Analyst Exam.

Andrea Della Monica noted the fact that the Organization of Staff Analysts is willing to offer aid to people taking the test, but the report did not explain why. In 1978, OSA ran a similar training course for its members but at that time forbade the enrollment of non-members. This policy annoyed a number of candidates for the test and they responded by holding a course of their own. That course started out as a self-help group for a dozen people and ended as a lecture course enrolling hundreds of candidates. Many of them passed the exam and were appointed. When the candidates denied help in 1978 by OSA became members of OSA, a decision was made for the future. We would offer training assistance to candidates who did analytical work even if they did not hold the title provisionally before the exam.

At present OSA does provide a training course for our union members. In addition, however, with expectation that many new Analysts will be appointed from the resulting lists, our professional parent organization also offers the same help.

OSART, the Organization of Staff Analysts and Related Titles, is a professional organization (dues $97.50 per year) and is open to people who are not yet eligible to belong to OSA. Most members of OSART are Managerial/Confidential Analysts, and others have Analyst as their underlying civil service line but are members of other unions because of their provisional title. Some, during test years, are simply candidates for the profession of Analyst. For. such candidates, OSART does offer the training courses and appeals help if needed, as well as reports on tests and resultant lists. OSART, however, is not the union and cannot represent its membership for grievances or any other contract-related business. Also please note that if the candidates have, in fact, not been doing analytical work before the test, our course will not enable those candidates to pass.


Chairperson, OSA

The Chief New York, Friday, May 7, 1999

File for Staff Analyst Jobs Through May 14
New Deadline For Title That Pays $34,192;
Master's Degree Or Some Experience Is Required.
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Men and women interested in careers in public administration will now have until May 14 to apply for an exam leading to Staff Analyst jobs in city agencies. The Department of Citywide Administrative Services has extended the filing period for the popular exam, which leads to jobs starting at $34,192 a year.

There is no written test for the position, only an evaluation of education and experience. To qualify, applicants must have either a master's degree, a bachelor's degree and two years of budget experience, or six years of budget related city service and a high school diploma. Additional credit will be given for additional work experience.

More Time on Education. With the filing period extended, DCAS will give applicants until June 30 to meet the education requirements. The required work experience must be obtained by the last day of filing.

To be considered in the exam, work experience must have been in government service or at a large private company, and must have included budget administration, fiscal research, personnel administration, or related work. A master's degree in economics, business administration, public administration, psychology, political science or accounting will satisfy the minimum requirements.

Staff Analysts serve in many city agencies and perform varied professional duties involving research and analysis in budget, labor relations, personnel administration and other areas. Candidates can be selectively certified, and thus receive preference in hiring, for positions requiring experience in budget, organizational research or personnel administration. The position has two appointment levels; appointment to the higher level is made at management's discretion.

Candidates who meet the minimum requirements for the exam will be given a score of 70 on the education and experience evaluation. Additional credit for work experience will be given as follows:

Candidates who have worked in budget areas for the city, state or Federal Government will receive 10 points for having three additional months of experience, 20 points for having at least one year, and 30 points for two years or more. Candidates with non-government experience will only receive a maximum of 20 additional points, for four or more years of experience.

There is a $35 fee to apply for the exam. Applications are available from the DCAS Applications Section, 18 Washington St., Manhattan