News From OSA - September, 2001

The OSA location on 23rd Street was fortunate on September 11th. We could see the tragedy unfolding, but the prevailing wind carried the smoke eastward rather than north.

Both DC 37 and 40 Rector Street (the Office of Labor Relations) were within the debris cloud that exploded outward when the first tower came down. The video tapes on T.V. that evening made it clear how devastating was the effect of the collapse upon that entire area.

OSA provided a sleep over point for a number of members who could not get home on September 11th and since then we have provided space for a number of displaced groups. The Managerial Employees Association was due to make use of our large room until their electricity was restored at 225 Broadway and they are still using our phone system.

The Public Employee Press (the DC 37 newspaper) is using our space for editorial meetings and the DC 37 Executive Board may use our site as well.

Nothing is normal.

Our September general membership meeting was not possible and the union has very little to report in any event.

Joseph J. Lhota, (Deputy Mayor for Operations) had issued a memorandum on September 6 (seen by us on September 10) resolving, in our favor, the dispute over the Administrative Staff Analyst raises for the year 2000. As a result, we had been briefly hopeful of a quick resolution of our contract. By the next day, of course, there was no way of even contacting the Office of Labor Relations.

It is now two weeks since the attack on the Trade Center. We do not know how long it will take for the City to be ready to return to contract bargaining. One problem is that Labor Relations' computers are all at 40 Rector Street and they do not know when they will be allowed full access.

Members are asked to be patient. Our concerns are minor compared to the size of the disaster that occurred.

Our hearts go out to the families of those affected, most especially our fellow civil servants who died in the act of helping others.

Members wishing to contribute can send a check to the NYC Central Labor Council Disaster Relief Fund at 386 Park Avenue South #601, New York, NY 10016.