News From OSA -- October, 1998

Once again election time has come to our union. OSA is, at present, unique among local City unions in that our union has never ceased organizing. We became an official union with the 1985 Board of Education collective bargaining election. We grew twenty-fold during the 1988 citywide collective bargaining election. By 1992, we obtained a consent agreement which completed the task for City agencies, and nearly doubled the number of members covered for collective bargaining.

In 1994, we were joined by Systems Analysts and six other titles, most in the Health and Hospitals Corporation and, in 1995, we added Senior Health Care Program Planning Analysts and still more HHC titles.

One of our most stubborn areas has been the Transit Authority and MABSTOA (Manhattan and Bronx Surface Transit Operating Authority). OSA has spent time and effort at the Transit Authority for five years thus far but, until now, we could never obtain a collective bargaining election. Transit Authority Analysts get paid less than unionized Analysts (no longevity), have no right to grieve wrongful treatment by their superiors and were, unlike all other candidates, restricted to only one of the three ASA exams for advancement.

The Transit Authority will, we expect, engage in a traditional campaign of deception against this union and all unions over the next two months, and we look forward to the contest. The history of Analysts working in New York City has been replete with unfair labor practices by the City seeking to prevent or limit collective bargaining for Analysts.

The Transit Authority has spent five years and vast amounts of money trying to deny Analysts the right to vote this matter, but a vote has been ordered. Ballots will go out the last week in December, and counting will occur the first week in February. Good!

Members, future members, family members and any other adults who read this mailing are urged to vote on Election Day, November 3rd. How you vote is your choice, but voting should itself be an absolute habit.

Unions typically share the "union" view on various elections and this year is no exception.

Our union favors Peter Vallone for Governor and, preferably, by way of a vote on the "Working Families Party" line. Our reasons are first, that Mr. Vallone has been a definite friend of New York City labor and second, that our brothers and sisters of the Communications Workers of America are largely behind the "Working Families Party" effort. Thus, by casting a vote for Peter Vallone and the "Working Families Party" line, we both reward a friend and also assist an active union effort.

Carl McCall, for Comptroller, does not seem to need any help since he is the front-running candidate. Even so, we also owe him for his successful fight against the State raiding our pension reserves.

Schumer is preferred over D'Amato for Senator, but not because of the recent campaign. Candidate Schumer descended to the level of Al D'Amato's normal campaign style the day after the primary, and both have been slugging it out in the basement ever since. Schumer is preferred because there is a belief that our union should do what it can to protect the President from removal from office.

Bill Clinton's personal life is of far less importance to us than is his consistent vetos of extreme anti union legislation presented by the Gingrich/Lott congress which hates us even more than they do Bill.

Executive Board member Jay Warshofsky knows Charles Schumer and does speak well of him as a person, which is nice. Our main reason, however, is that although Bill Clinton could not be called labor's greatest friend -- thanks to his approval of NAFTA -- at least his enemies are clearly our enemies.

There is no place for organized workers in the future of America dreamed of by the American Enterprise Institute, the Rutherford Foundation, the Cato Institute or the current leadership of the Republican Party. We vote for our friends.

The next OSA/OSART general membership meeting is to be held at 125 Worth Street, Second floor auditorium, on Thursday, November 19th, 6:00 PM. On the agenda: nominations for union offices