OSA Newsline - April 22, 2002

OSA continues to receive calls asking for details and a timetable for the proposed "early retirement" or "buy-out" package. As you probably know, this is a matter of State Law. We understand that the package has been attached to the State Budget Bill. Albany's track record on the Budget has been...er...slow...at least within our lifetimes. After long delays the matter does get settled with a flurry of rapid movement to make up for time lost. Members who have an interest in this matter should therefore neither hold their breath, nor lose contact. OSA will report as soon as news is available.

On Friday April 26th, The New York Central Labor Council will honor the workers who died as a result of September 11th attack. A service will be held at Trinity Church at 10 AM. Trinity is on Broadway at Wall Street.

At 11:45 AM, John Sweeney, president of AFL-CIO, Brian McLaughlin, president of the New York City Central Labor Council, and many other distinguished labor and community leaders will participate in a program at the World Trade Center site (Cortlandt St between Church and Broadway)

At Noon, there will be a City-Wide Moment of Silence. OSA members will be welcome at the two ceremonies. We hope that all will observe the moment of silence even if they cannot attend the other events.

OSA's Director of Media Services, Rob Spencer, asked me to announce that there will be a screening of "Bread and Roses" on Friday May 17 at 7:00 PM here at the OSA headquarters, 220 East 23rd Street. This is an event of "LaborFilms" co-sponsored by OSA and 8 or more of the City's finest unions, as well as the Civil Service Merit Council. Refreshments will be served too.

There is one more item. The Technical Guild, Local 375 would be grateful for your support during two days of demonstrations on this Wednesday, April 24th at noon, and again at 4:30 PM on Thursday, April 25th, in front of 2 Broadway. The immediate concern of the Guild is the contracting out of the initial planning for the Second Avenue Subway. We see it as a broader issue. Those of us who watched the previous administration saw contracting out as a way to attack both Civil Service and Civil Servants, as well as a device to siphon off taxpayer's money into the pockets of the friends and relatives of that administration on a huge scale. If you can spare time for either of these events, please do so.

OSA Newsline - April 17, 2002

An astonishing 85% of our members at the Transit Authority who were eligible to vote did so, unanimously approving a contract containing a 2.37% raise across the board. Of the 141 votes received, 140 were yes votes and one was an abstention

Our TA members voted to follow the pattern set for MABSTOA and add an extra 2.37% raise to the 8.16% value of the rest of the package. In doing so, they rejected longevity for Transit. The union negotiating team had been split on the issue and as a result, the matter was put to a vote. The final vote was 60/40 against longevity. One reason given for the result by one of the opponents to longevity was that the terms offered at TA left out credit for prior service in other agencies.

Other news. According to information received at last week's general membership meeting, the early retirement incentive bill has been attached to the New York State budget. Now the good part of that is that the early out will pass, but the bad part is when? The state budget is often hard to complete and usually late in passage. Stay tuned, we'll let you know when we have more information ourselves.

Special thanks to our Transit brothers and sisters for their overwhelming vote on the contract.

OSA Newsline - April 8, 2002

A meeting of our full Transit Authority negotiating team with Transit's Office of Labor Relations occurred last Friday. The occasion was the traditional ceremonial hand shake across the table. This was appropriate since our Transit contract has been sent out for a vote on ratification.

That contract will be the main topic at this week's general membership meeting. Mike Collins, our special representative to the Transit Authority, will answer questions on the contract both during and after the meeting.

Another topic on the agenda will be this year's "early-out" legislation. It turns out our recent mailing cited Assembly Bill 9759 as being the one that sets the terms, but it was actually Assembly Bill 9758 which did so. The correct information appears in the April, 2002 News From OSA on this website.

Actually, this was not our typographical error. It was an error on the first material we were sent from Albany. Copies of both documents will be available at the meeting and Assembly Bill 9758 can be viewed by going to the April, 2002 News From OSA page on this website and clicking on the Assembly Bill number in the text.

Once again, the reading level of our membership was tested, by accident, and was found to be spectacularly high. No less than seven members called in that correction in the first couple of days after the mail went out.

The next newsline should be up on April 17th. On that date, the contract voting results will be announced. Meanwhile, see you at the general membership meeting this Thursday at 6pm at 220 East 23rd Street Suite 709.

OSA Newsline - April 1, 2002

The Transit Authority bargaining, which has dragged on for these past three years, was successfully completed last week and we are preparing to mail out the proposed contract for a ratification vote. April Fools.

Sorry, we just could not resist.

Actually, the Transit Authority contract negotiations really were completed last week and OSA is preparing for a vote on that contract. We did good. The longevity offer starts a year later than the City longevity but is quite nice $1650 after the eleventh year, $2000 after the sixteenth and $3000 after the twenty-first. Not bad for one contract. There is no waiting period for pensionability either.

Transit will now have grievance rights, due process and a guarantee that their health and education benefits will not be changed.

This has been OSA's longest and most difficult negotiation ever and we applaud the entire bargaining team and the members who resolutely supported their union during this long, hard fight and we won.