News - November 1997
The Membership Meeting is Thursday December 4, 1997, and it is a week late due to Thanksgiving. General Membership meetings are usually held on the last Thursday in September, November, January, March and May of each year. The site as usual will be at 125 Worth St., second floor auditorium. All are welcome and meetings start at 6PM and are usually over by 8PM.
The Political Action meeting to follow on Wednesday, December 10th will be held at the union office. At that meeting a discussion will be held regarding the proposed 28th Amendment, one that guarantees a living wage and a job to any American able and willing to work. The meeting will focus on OSA's ability to field a petition drive. If you are interested in learning of the campaign and especially if you would consider volunteering to petition, your attendance would be welcomed. Time is 6PM and food will be provided.
The Holiday Party is set for Thursday, December 18. As before, we will use the OSA headquarters at 220 E. 23rd St, Manhattan. Suite 709. There is one request. The suite includes the main room, which holds about 3000 square feet. When 300 members arrive the room is hot and too crowded. There is also the other nearby four thousand square feet of office available, five couches, tables, cleaned off desks and two dozen chairs as well. If members would pick up the eats & drinks in the main room and wander off to the rest of the office we would all be more comfortable. The Officers will also be circulating the entire office, since they know where it's cooler and less crowded.
An ASA Promotional Exam Analysis of the results of the moving of the promotional Associate Staff Analyst lists appears below, along with a chart of agencies, candidates, and appointments. OSA staffer, Research Analyst George Morgan, has been carefully studying each of the hundreds of pages of returns reporting actions on promotion lists. The work is, like much analysis, a matter of careful notations, cross-referencing and telephone research.George's mentor on this project is Sheila Gorsky, OSA's Executive Director and an old hand at moving lists.
Anon is not enough... OSA receives about three anonymous letters a year and, of course, we answer none of them.
And the WEP Conference... OSA hosted the WEP Conference on November 15th attended by over 200 persons and 2 dozen organizations. The Conference brought together all the groups that are working on the topic of the right of the new WEP work-force.The City is expected to place about 150,000 WEP workers into jobs in the near future, but at present these workers are being offered no rights at all. If a Transit Authority Car Cleaner earned $15 per hour and is now replaced by a WEP worker, why is the job now worth $5 an hour?Not only is our local government's current policy regarding WEP work openly exploitive in terms of rate of pay, if it is allowed to continue it could distort the New York City labor market and potentially distort our entire market economy as well. Recently 17,000 WEP workers organized by "ACORN" (a worker friendly organization) voted to be union represented. Also recently, DC 37 added an organizer to help with the organizing drive. Our team brought together the folks who are bothered by the WEP situation. Thanks are due to Tom Anderson, Willie Bowman, Stanley Cutchins, Bill Douglas, Sheila Gorsky, Maude Oliver and Phyllis Stothers. A good job and a good deed.
Next OSA Membership Meeting... Is December 4, 1997, 125 Worth Street, 2nd Floor Auditorium, 6:00 PM.
List Analysis... The Associate Staff Analyst exams generate up to three promotional lists per Agency except for the Transit Authority. At the TA, a total of fifty one promotional lists arrived because that Agency has created nineteen sub-agencies. OSA, using the Freedom of Information law, requested and eventually received copies of some of these lists after they had been acted upon. In the case of the Agencies showing no action thus far, the reality is that either the lists have not been used, or, having been used recently, the results had not yet been sent back to Personnel as of October of the this year. This then, is a partial report, concerning the Agencies which have acted. From the thirty Agencies which have moved the lists, a total of over five hundred appointments have been made. OSA's research department has gone over the returned lists and found no clear cases, thus far, where an Agency violated civil service "one in three" rule. Our second area of inquiry concerned whether Staff Analysts were being promoted as well as those candidates who are already serving in provisional ASA or higher positions. The answer was, to an extent, yes. In the Comptrollers Office, of sixteen appointments made thus far, OSA was able to learn the prior title of 12 appointees. Seven candidates had been serving as Admin Staff Analysts, three as provisional Associates, one as a Computer Specialist, and one was a serving Staff Analyst. In the Police Department, on the other hand, thirty-five appointments were made thus far. Four were serving Admin Analysts, 16 provisional Associates and 15 Staff Analysts were appointed.
The union was aware, even before the exam was given, that there would be a large percentage of serving provisionals on any lists to come from the exam. We had fought the issue of Narrowbanding for the years before it was finally defeated. Only thereafter could we demand the recent exam through court action. The sheer length of time between exams insured that most candidates would have already moved up provisionally. As it occurred, of the 1600 City (Non TA) candidates who passed one or more of the exams, 1100 were already serving at or above the ASA title.
We find that some agencies are clearly passing over most of their Staff Analysts but that others are making serious efforts to find jobs for those candidates. Future reports will go more closely into an examination of which Agencies promoted Staff Analysts and which did not. Legally, there are a few ways an Agency can avoid appointing a successful candidate on the ASA list. First, if there are no serving provisional ASA's and also no need for new ASA positions, the list can be returned unused. Second, even if there are two dozen serving pure provisional ASA's in the Agency, and more are appointed daily, all is legal so long as there are no available candidates. In order to be an available candidate, you must work in the Agency, be on a promotional list of more than two names and not have been considered but not selected for three separate jobs at your Agency (to which others were appointed).
Illegally, there are even more ways for an Agency to avoid using a civil service list and it is due to our awareness of the common illegalities that the union devotes as much time as we do to policing list movement.
Since our union's proper goal is to secure as many appointments as possible from these lists, we will now begin to nudge those agencies not yet acting upon their lists. We will also encourage those that have begun well to continue as they are doing. If you are aware of a hiring pool set for your agency, contact OSA, Sheila Gorsky, and we will send a team to oversee the pool. In rare cases our reps are denied access to a pool, with or without alleged cause. In such cases we hang around, available, right outside the pool. Later we always take special care in studying that particular Agency's pool results.
We have one more finding, one that came from members reports and not from Agency returns to Personnel. It appears that some Agencies are skipping the step where a candidate is actually given a chance to compete for the jobs. In some cases a member has been told that they have been considered but not selected for one or more jobs and yet the candidate only learned of it long after the fact. A candidate should receive notice within a reasonable time of the CNS. If you have not, please ask your personnel office for your notification.
No one has, to our knowledge, previously gone to court to test if it is fair to "consider" a Staff Analyst against these sitting provisional Associates, each of whom is seeking to retain their existing jobs. We do not know if the courts would agree that such a candidate had been given true consideration. The courts often seem to lean towards letting government off easy. Still, if an Agency goes further and claims to have considered a candidate against a sitting Admin Analyst, Level MIII, the Agency case is very thin indeed since the Admin Analyst is only being given a leave line, not a real position. Finally, as seems to have occurred, when an Agency goes a step still further and does not even interview the candidates for the jobs before awarding those jobs, it is infuriating to the candidates impacted and of questionable legality.
We are at present in the information gathering stages and Agencies still have time to make right any wrongs brought to light. Where there are Agency Chapter officers, it is the job of each chapter to work with the union office to insure a fair deal from the Agency. If no chapter exists in an Agency, any member interested in forming one should call Sheila or Marzie at the union office. OSA Chapters in an Agency do help move lists more quickly and with improved courtesy to the candidates. Chapters also act on members' behalf between exams as well. We have counted candidates only once, whether the candidates passed one or more exams.
ASA Promotional Lists Chart
This chart lists all Agencies that received lists of candidates eligible for promotion to Associate Staff Analyst from any of the three Associate Staff Analyst exams. The results shown are based upon information received from City Personnel. They are incomplete in that some Agencies have called the lists but not yet returned them, with results, to City Personnel. Below is the number and name of each Agency and the number of candidates who passed one or more exams followed by the number of appointments made, if any.
As of October 1997:
998 Transit Authority:
Note: N/L means we received no information from Personnel regarding any action taken by that Agency.