News From OSA - November, 2007

Contract. Negotiations are going on, sort of, while the legal process is unfolding. Officially, once OSA accused the Office of Labor Relations of bargaining in bad faith, negotiations came to a halt. Unofficially, of course, we are still talking.

The legal process was described, in advance, as a slow process and members regularly call to ask when it will be completed. We do not know the future, but thus far all has gone as expected.

First, last February we broke off contract negotiations over the demand by the City that we drop the 1% in return for the rest of the offered amount. Second, in March and April our case was prepared and then submitted to the Office of Collective Bargaining. It took many weeks to prepare a good case, but a good set of papers was worth the wait. Then, in May and June, the City took their time to craft their reply. July, August, and half of September were chalked up to the vacation period, but early in the Fall, OSA began asking the Office of Collective Bargaining to please move more quickly.

Finally, on November 16th, there will be a pre-trial conference with OSA, OLR, and a representative of OCB. If the two contesting parties do not agree to settle, we will urge OCB to issue a quick decision. Win or lose, at that point, our union will have done the job we are supposed to do.

Lists. The Administrative Staff Analyst list has (is effective) until May 2010. Most agencies have exhausted their lists, but the Police Department has not. In prior years, that Department has tended to appoint slowly, but steadily. Other lists, for Staff Analyst Trainee and Associate Staff Analyst, are not yet issued. In each case, the test validation board is still examining the protests.

The Staff Analyst list, however, is being moved in a rather dramatic fashion. DCAS is calling in many candidates at once in order to hold a two-day, multi-agency hiring pool. Sheila Gorsky of OSA has already held a preparation class for candidates on that list. We do have experience in these sort of pools, because the same system was used back in the 1970's. A candidate will be notified by mail, by DCAS, to attend this hiring pool. DCAS will be calling candidates to #1088. The OSA newsline will also have this information. The dates of the pool are November 8th and 9th.

Party. OSA's annual holiday party is very popular. Originally, the first parties were held at the union office and they were nice, but somewhat crowded. After a couple of years, the size of the office grew, but the crowd at the party grew still more quickly.

Soon, we were so crowded that folks were asked to eat fast and leave, so we would have room for the others waiting in the hall outside. Eventually, the union leadership decided to use a larger hall and we rented space at the Armory on Park Avenue. The Armory was lovely, although the single elevator was a problem. For the first years, we had enough space but, year after year, the crowd grew until we were too large for the Armory.

Since then, we had a larger site in Queens and, last year, a still larger one yet at Prospect Hall in Brooklyn. By last year, however, it became clear that many of our "guests" had no relationship to OSA whatsoever. The numbers of non-members attending was obvious and resulted in very slow service, and even a shortage of food. With a little bit of luck, unlike last year, everyone who wants a Charlotte Russe will get one.

Okay. This year, there will be tickets, and you can send in or fax this coupon to register and we will send you back a ticket with your name on it. If you have a special situation and need a second ticket, please call George Morgan at the union office. You must bring the ticket with you to the Holiday Party.

At the party, for the first time, we will have people at the doors to check you in, and this will slow entry as tickets are collected. In return, we expect the rest of the evening to go more smoothly.

"Rendition." "RENDITION" is a movie currently in theaters, but showing to small audiences. Since the name of the movie gives the topic away, and the film itself is properly and accurately distressing, the low attendance at an otherwise pretty good movie is understandable.

Meanwhile, the action hero of the movie is a C.I.A. Analyst and the tale is centered around his reaction to his experiences. Much is made, within the film, of his being an Analyst and poorly prepared for the task before him. In fact, the key scene in the movie occurs as he is in Egypt, on the phone with his superior (Meryl Streep). He apologizes for his nervousness, blurting out: "After all, this is my first torture."

The last serious movie, before this, starring an Analyst/hero was the film "Three Days of the Condor," and "Rendition" is nowhere near as good, but it is worth watching. Anyway, we like movies about Analysts as heroes.

General Membership Meeting. This month's general membership meeting is set for Thursday, November 29, 2007 and will, as usual, start at 6:00 PM sharp at the union office, 220 East 23rd Street Suite 707 NYC (between 2nd and 3rd Avenues). You can download a meeting flyer here for posting and to remind you of the date, time and location.