OSA Newsline - April 27, 2009

A mailing is going out this week and should be received by you before the weekend. If you donít get it by Monday night of next week (May 4th), call George at the union office and he will send you a replacement. The same content is up on this website as the May 2009 issue of News From OSA.

There is another meeting of the Municipal Labor Committee this week. Again, on negotiations on health give backs. There is also a meeting with the Health and Hospitals Corporation regarding potential layoffs.

Finally, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has invited all of the union leaders of workers at the TA to a special meeting to discuss their financial problems. A lot of what is going on is posturing for political reasons, but weíre never sure how much of this is real and will affect our members, so we go to the meetings, ask questions and take notes. Thatís what we do for now.

OSA Newsline - April 20, 2009

The mayorís forces will be back at the bargaining table this week. We will be meeting with Jim Hanley and OMB and, whoever else, this Tuesday. The topic, of course, will be givebacks and we do have $200 million in givebacks that we have already offered, but it seems this may not be enough.

The mayor has been negotiating in the newspapers, as usual. Both he and Deputy Mayor Ed Skyler have spoken of layoffs as a tool to force the unions to agree to long term losses of benefits.

Deputy Mayor Skyler told a wildly enthusiastic crowd at the Citizens Budget Commission that the unions will have to give up defined benefit pension plans since few private sector employers have such plans.

Beautiful. Aesopís ancient fable about the fox who lost his tail comes to mind. In Aesopís fable, a fox who had lost his tail in a trap tries to convince the other foxes that it is a good thing to lose your tail in a trap.

Recently, tens of millions of American workers lost a great deal of money from their 401(k) retirement savings plans. We city employees were not hurt as severely because of our defined benefit pension plan. So, Deputy Mayor Skyler, naturally, expects us to go to 401(k)ís instead of defined benefit pensions, so we too can get hurt.

Well, Aesopís fox did not convince the other foxes 2500 years ago and Deputy Mayor Ed Skyler will probably not convince us this week, but weíre always willing to listen.

Check back next week to learn if the Deputy Mayor had any other fables to tell us.

OSA Newsline - April 13, 2009

A letter from our union should have already arrived or will be arriving early this week. Enclosed is a survey form. If you are interested in a voluntary furlough, please respond without delay. The same information is on this website as the April, 2009 edition of News From OSA.

Last week, we met with the Health and Hospitals Corporation about layoffs. The good news is that the previous estimate of four possible layoffs of our members at HHC has now shrunk to one possible layoff and itís still not certain.

If, in a couple of weeks, definite word of layoffs does come down from HHC, we would like to be able to offer voluntary furloughs instead. Thus, the mailing asking if you are interested in taking a leave of absence is very important. There are still other layoffs being mentioned by Mayor Bloomberg, so a prompt response would be appreciated.

Also of interest to our 2000 members and retirees who belong to the Municipal Credit Union is the date and time of that upcoming election. All members of the MCU should make an effort to get to Bridgewaters Restaurant in the South Street Seaport, atop the Fulton Market Building, on May 5th, between 10am and 7pm in order to cast their ballot for the integrity of that institution. A flyer with information about the candidates we are supporting can be downloaded here.

To reach the polling site, take the # 2, 3, 4, 5, J, M or Z trains to Fulton Street or the A or C trains to Broadway/Nassau. Walk east on Fulton Street to the cobblestone area of the Seaport and make a left on Front Street. Don't forget to bring a valid ID (driver's license, employee ID, major credit card, union membership card, or passport.)

OSA Newsline - April 6, 2009

On Monday, OSA representatives are meeting with the Health and Hospitals Corporation regarding layoffs. We are aware that HHC will be giving us bad news. Our response will be to demand that HHC use voluntary furloughs instead of layoffs.

We do have at least 30 days from the official notice, so we will be surveying our membership to determine how many members, in which titles, wish to take leave. Mail will go out late this week with a survey form.

On Tuesday, we will be meeting with the UFT and AFT about their drive to bring 220 Education Analysts into their union.

On Wednesday, Michael Goodwin, President of the Office and Professional Employees International Union and his chief organizer, will be coming to the OSA office regarding their drive to organize 400 analyst-type employees working for a public authority.

On this Thursday, our negotiations at the Transit Authority get under way for the 2008-10 contract.

On Friday, actually nothing is scheduled, but something probably will turn up.

For those of you taking the PAA exam, please go to the Current Campaigns and Updates section of this website. The closing filing date on that exam has been extended to this Tuesday, April 7th.