|News From OSA - November, 1999
Vote on the Citywide. The "Citywide" contract is the most general of the three types of contracts that cover us as represented employees. The second type is the Municipal Coalition bargaining agreement, which is mostly a money document. The local union contract is the third type of contract and is a combination of the most recent coalition settlement, plus a variety of issues unique to our job titles. The Citywide is ready for a vote. See a summary below.
Citywide contracts cover mostly non-financial issues and determine the most basic ground rules of our employment. Our work week, holidays, shift differentials, time and leave rules, personnel folders, disciplinary rules, safety & health rules etc. are all spelled out in the Citywide.
Each Citywide contract is in effect until the next one is negotiated. This is fortunate since our most recent Citywide expired in 1992, and that contract had itself been five years late. There is actually very little change in these contracts from year to year, contract after contract, and this year is no different. However, there are a few changes in terms, and these are enclosed.
Our OSA negotiators take a special pride in this particular contract because our union was able to persuade all the others involved to focus on two demands we felt were vital, and we won on both demands. Enclosed you will find a list of the terms of the proposed contract. OSA was actively involved in securing approval of item 2 and item 12.
Item two reduces the time a per diem employee must serve before gaining the rights and benefits of all other City employees. Since the City has begun to hire ever more per diem employees, our victory on the issue not only helps the per diems, we also help our other members as well.
The City's increasing use of per diem employees had begun to cut the number of all other types of employees; provisional or permanent, and to distort the civil service list process as well.
OSA actually has a lower percentage of per diem members than a number of the other unions, but the trend was ever upward in all agencies and many titles, so our negotiators felt the issue was a vital one.
Item 12, guarantees the right of employees who are appointed to another permanent title the right to return to their original title if they fail probation in their new title. Our success in putting this in a contract is a special joy to OSA. There was no need for this provision in years gone by since all persons who did fail probation (a rare event in most titles) were courteously allowed to resume their previous permanent title by their agencies.
Diane McGrath McKechnie, then Commissioner of CDA, now Commissioner of TLC, all by herself, created the need for this contractual provision. Diane approved a number of appointments of long service employees to the position of Staff Analyst from the civil service list. She thereafter fired five of them right after Christmas 1995. There was no due process, no warning, and no reason given.
In the case of the first member fired, a woman with a quarter century of work with the agency, the member admitted to passing an unkind remark about the wine bottles outside the Commissioner's office before Christmas, but the union does not know if this remark was the only cause of the firing.
Once Diane got away with the first firing, the rest followed and still later other Agencies began to take up the same "sneak attack" approach to employee career development.
Our negotiators had quick allies from a number of other professional unions on this demand. If OSA was angry because our new members were unjustly getting fired to settle old scores, those members new to OSA titles had been for decades members of other locals. Their prior unions were as enraged as we were by the unconscionable actions of a dishonest management.
The City, it must be noted, was very unwilling to give us this demand but we would not have agreed to settle without it. Not at all.
More information and discussion as well will be available at our December 2 general membership meeting, but we are enclosing ballots at this time.
The negotiating team recommends a yes vote on this contract because we did win a number of minor but very nice points and we gave up on only one. Item 17 is a give back, but not of much. The 5 minute grace period was valuable and needed before flextime became available. It is hard to defend at all once flextime was available and even common.
Those members who need further discussion on this contract and are planning to attend our December 2 meeting should retain their ballots until the meeting, but all others are asked to return their ballots quickly. The problem is that ballots held onto often become ballots lost or forgotten. The return date for the ballot is December 6, 1999.
It took five years to negotiate this contract. We have won important gains and lost little or nothing. This contract deserves a large "yes" vote, but no matter how you vote, please do vote.
Other news. As you can see by the enclosed material, we are making some waves over the GHI drug plan. It's not fixed yet, but fixed it shall be before we stop making waves.
Holiday Party News. In deference to the Transport Workers Union mention of a potential work action on December 15, OSA's holiday party will be on December 14, 1999, far earlier than normal. We would rather have our party early for the season than possibly miss it entirely.
OSA has added 2000 feet of space to our expanded grievance operation, so we will all have a bit more room to breathe at the party.
There will be good food, strong drink, and even music. It is the one time of the year that all the Analysts get a chance to get together. We have tough challenges ahead of us: the TA contract, the winning of union status for Administrative Staff Analysts, the HHC Supervising System Analysts, renewed money bargaining, and of course our need for the next Associate Staff Analyst exam.
All of these will be addressed again, in the year 2000, but on December 14 we can take a moment to gather together and also be pleased that we are together as professionals, colleagues, brothers and sisters.
The next OSA general membership meeting is Thursday, December 2, 1999 at the OSA office, 220 East 23rd Street, Suite 709, Manhattan at 6:00pm
TERMS OF PROPOSED CITYWIDE CONTRACT
1. Term of Contract January 1, 1995 - June 30, 2001
2. Improved Benefits for full-time Per-Diems.
· Eligibility for citywide benefits upon 18 months of service.
· Eligibility for additional salary related benefits.
3.Monthly MetroCards to be provided to City employees through a pre-tax payroll deduction plan. Committee established to discuss expanding the program to include other public transportation systems (e.g. PATH, Metro North), other than monthly denominations and possible inclusion of other non-mayoral employers.
4. Increased meal allowance of 75 cents.
5. Increased mileage allowance to 28 cents (with 30 mile guarantee).
6. Overtime Cap increased to $54,549, and raised by future collective bargaining increases.
7. Bereavement leave extended to grandchild.
8. Provisions of the Family Medical Leave Act to cover domestic partners.
9. Labor-Management Committee to implement a dedicated sick leave contribution plan.
10. Minimize tax consequences for domestic partners' health insurance through an agreed upon change in tax methodology.
11. Employer will provide two week notice for major capital renovations at work site.
12. Improved job security procedures for non-competitive and labor class employees including full-time per-diems:
· Citywide recall lists for labor class employees.
· Agency-wide recall lists for non-competitive employees.
13. Improved personnel/civil service practices:
· Permanent competitive, non-competitive and labor class employees appointed to another title that requires a probationary period shall have the right to return to the former position if the employee does not pass probation.
· In broadbanding situations, step-up provisionals shall have up to 24 months of prior provisional service count toward the 36-month "lock in" procedures.
· In functional transfers, time served by provisionals in previous agency counts toward time served for purposes of qualifying for the two-year due process procedure; time served by non-competitive and labor class employees in previous agency counts toward time served in new agency for purposes of seniority for job security.
14. Labor-Management Committee to review alternatives to current health and safety grievance procedure.
15. Review by standing Workers' Compensation Committee of current workers' compensation procedures.
16. Refer to standing Citywide Health and Safety Committee issues relating to the protection and security of employees.
17. Refer to standing Payroll Committee issues relating to timely payment of additions to gross, timely input of time and leave records, and timely placement of new and returning employees to payroll.
18. Eliminate grace period of 5 minutes for lateness for employees who work flex time schedules.
19. Recoupment of overpayments may include use of leave balances if both parties agree.
20. As permitted by law, City may withhold an employee's final paycheck until the employee completes a Conflict of Interest form where such a form is required.