News From OSA - October, 2004

The Presidential Election. In our opinion, there was no need for the U.S. to invade Iraq, and war should be a last resort.

As a union, OSA could oppose the reelection of George Bush on many grounds. OSA does not favor the destruction of unions in the name of Homeland Security. OSA does not favor the creation of ever greater concentrations of wealth in a tiny group of families as has been made easy by the end of estate taxes. OSA does not favor increasing the tax burden on workers while excusing others getting rich off of untaxed dividends.

As a union, we favor an increase in the minimum wage. Also, we oppose a privatization of social security that is designed to risk workers retirement monies while most certainly enriching Wall Street. We dislike the efforts being made to exempt from overtime pay workers at our income levels; we dislike the wholesale detention of persons uncharged and never to be charged and we really dislike the profiteering on war contracts.

And, of course, there is even more.

But, finally, as far as we know, there was no need for the U.S. to invade Iraq. Every major country has weapons of mass destruction; all too many countries are being run by dictators and, as far as we know, Iraq had not attacked us.

There was no need to alienate large parts of the world that had rallied to our cause after 9/11. There was no need to replay the Gulf War with, this time, a sad ending.

George W. Bush used 9/11 as an excuse. Our soldiers are paying the price yet Junior insists he made no mistake and makes no mistakes.

If he cannot understand that his unnecessary invasion and bungled occupation of Iraq has been a mistake from the start, he is unfit to serve as our leader. It would be our mistake if we encourage such stubborn, reckless arrogance. The leadership of the Organization of Staff Analysts strongly supports the election of John Kerry as President of the United States of America. (In all candor, after four years of George Junior, we would have happily endorsed George Bush Senior if he was the candidate running against his son.)

As always, on Election Day, it is most important that you do vote, regardless of how you vote. Clearly, the leadership of the union feels more strongly about this year's election than any prior election, but regardless of your agreement or disagreement on the candidacy, please do vote.

Drugs. The article and letter from The Chief that you can download by clicking here on the PICA drug program had an interesting postscript. At the MLC meeting that followed, Randi Weingarten announced that she had (in effect) increased the pressure on the City by securing payment of a $65 per person payment to the union welfare funds. That money had been due since last April but the cost of the PICA program had raised doubts about the money being paid.

Since it was clear that negotiations on health benefits would be needed in 2005 anyway, Randi's actions simply moved the "crisis" date closer by a couple of months. There will be some interesting negotiating sessions this winter.

Aside from the negotiations to come, some progress is being made to use GHI as one of the proposed Medicare providers of the new subsidized drug programs. Details are still being worked out but cost savings for seniors (over 65) seem likely. More later.

Increases. Once upon a time, OSA had only one contract to negotiate but, as we grew, so did the number of contracts needed. The table you can download here applies to those of our members who are now covered for their 7/1/02 through 6/30/05 contracts. A similar pattern will be true for most members covered by contracts now in negotiation.

City Council "1 in 3" Bill. OSA's ongoing fight to ensure that City agencies properly make promotional appointments from the 2001 Associate Staff Analyst exam moved a step closer to success. Councilmember Joseph P. Addabo introduced legislation on October 14th that would cast a spotlight on rogue agencies who violate the "1 in 3" process, such as DOT. An article from the October 22nd edition of The Chief with more information on the bill can be downloaded by clicking here.

OSA General Membership Meeting. The next General Membership meeting will be held on Wednesday, November 17th At 6:00 PM at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Health, 125 Worth Street, 2nd Floor Auditorium. The meeting, normally scheduled on the last Thursday will be on a Wednesday this month due to scheduling conflicts. On the agenda will be nominations for OSA/OSART officer positions. Nominations can be made at the meeting or by mail up to ten days thereafter. To gain admission to 125 Worth Street you must bring a picture ID. Take the # 4, 5, & 6 trains to Brooklyn Bridge Station and walk north or the N and R trains to City Hall Station and walk north.