News From OSA - November, 2009

Political Endorsements.The Executive Board of OSA/OSART has endorsed Bill Thompson for Mayor. Bill is a decent, pro-labor candidate and we think he would do a better job as Mayor than the incumbent. [He is shown in the photo above with OSA Chair Bob Croghan, Vice Chair Tom Anderson, OSA staffers and members and leaders and staff of DC37 AFSCME at a recent fundraiser.]

Specifically, if you recall, the incumbent asked the municipal unions for $600,000,000 in recurring givebacks seven years ago. (There was no fiscal crisis at that time.) He asked, but he also said he would lay thousands of us off if we refused. We refused and he laid thousands off. (He hired back even more employees, later, but not the same people.)

We did not like him for that act of casual savagery.

The incumbent awarded DC37 a 1% productivity increase for productivity changes that never occurred, yet turned down every suggestion OSA offered for increased productivity. We eventually got the money placed into our longevity, but only after going to the Board of Collective Bargaining and years after we should have gotten it.

We don’t like Mayors who use lies to try to steal money from our members.

The incumbent has done a fine job for the Manhattan elite whose interests he shares. He has not done so well for the rest of us. He talks of affordable housing yet he helped Stuyvesant Town fall into the hands of developers who are open about driving out the middle class and replacing them with richer folks.

He told us he favored an end to the residency laws inflicted on us in 1986 and yet he vetoed every attempt by the City Council to revise the laws.

He is being forced, by the Court, to move to end the illegal practice of employing over 30,000 employees on a provisional basis. His answer was to have the City seek to reclassify all our jobs into exempt or short term or non-competitive jobs. Put plainly, he has sought to destroy the civil service. He wants us to be “hire at will, fire at will” political appointees, to earn less and to have smaller pensions, and he needs the third term to complete his work.

He favored Rudy Giuliani for Governor, favored George Bush for President and later, John McCain for the same job. We did not, do not and will not favor him for reelection. Whether you agree or disagree with the OSA/OSART Executive Board’s endorsement of Bill Thompson for Mayor, please do vote.

Tests. This is an exciting and challenging time for us. Many tests are about to be given all at once. There will be tests for Staff Analyst, Associate Staff Analyst, Education Analyst and Associate Education Analyst, and all, perhaps, on the same day in February 2010. There may also be a Transit Management Analyst exam on that day as well. (We’ll know soon and let you know as fast as we do.)

OSA’s training division is gearing up to prepare thousands of our members for these exams. We are deeply grateful to our brothers and sisters of the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) who have offered us classroom space on Adams Street in downtown Brooklyn. The UFT site, next to the Marriot Hotel, is ideal for transportation from the east side or west side. The stops are all within two blocks of the location.

You will find information related to the training here and a coupon to sign up for the training here. A map showing the location of the training site can be downloaded here. A coupon to order DVDs of prior analyst exam training is available here. If you would like to join OSART, you can download the OSART membership form by clicking here.

Help Wanted. Civil Service open competitive exams require candidates to fill out an Education and Experience paper as part of their application to take the written exam. Many candidates are disqualified before the exam based on those papers. In 1978 (the last open competitive ASA exam) 3,000 of 6,000 filing were disqualified based on their E & E papers. However, with proper guidance most qualified candidates can be easily trained to fill out the paper properly.

OSA will need scores of patient, experienced civil servants to help candidates, one on one, to complete their papers properly prior to submission to DCAS. If you volunteer your time, you will be trained by yet more experienced persons and you will be doing a real service to your brothers and sisters whose jobs are at stake.

You will actually be paid (poorly, to be sure) for helping but you must be ready to commit to evening or weekend work.

The Party. Once again OSA will be holding its holiday party at the Grand Prospect Hall in Brooklyn.

This time we are asking party goers to pay $39 (money orders payable to OSA) per person and to register early. The actual cost of the party (as of last year) was about twice that amount and had been increasing each year. A large part of the expense was created by members of other unions arriving with free tickets sent to OSA members, but given to non-members thereafter. Entire tables were filled with nice persons who worked for the City, but were not members of our union.

OSA is a friendly little union, but unfortunately, we cannot feed the entire world. By charging per ticket we may be able, in years to come, to actually improve upon the experience for those members who do attend.

Please send this coupon back as soon as possible, along with your payment. Directions to Grand Prospect Hall can be found here.

General Membership Meeting. The November general membership meeting will be held early since Thanksgiving falls on the fourth Thursday of November. The meeting will be held on the third Thursday, November 19th, at the union office at 220 East 23rd St, Suite 707, between Second and Third Avenues.

One topic certain to be of interest will be the upcoming exams and details regarding the training courses. The meeting will start at 6:00pm sharp and likely end by 8:00pm.

You may download a flyer here to remind you of the date and time of the meeting or to post at your location.