OSA Newsline - April 26, 2010

Negotiations with the Transit Authority will be resuming soon. We are close on the negotiating and, in addition, the Transit Authority seems willing to discuss an early retirement incentive. If the TA does offer an early out, this would be the second agency to do so. However, the Off Track Betting Corporation offer is still awaiting legislative approval.

At the Municipal Labor Committee meeting last week, there was a discussion about the latest attack on the teachers union. Now, the mayor is going after seniority when it comes to layoffs. The sponsor of the bill to end seniority for layoffs defended his position by pointing out that an old teacher costs as much as two young teachers. Most would call this attempt to fire the old teachers unkind and unfair and we would agree.

This Thursday, April 29, the AFL-CIO and the New York City Central Labor Council will be holding a rally and march on Wall Street starting at 4pm and running to 6pm. The goal of the rally is to point the finger where it belongs for the recent tanking of the American economy. Wall Street investment banks got bailouts and Wall Street bankers got bonuses. Meanwhile workers got layoffs and the financial community is fighting any meaningful reforms of the way it does business. The speakers will be at Broadway and Barclay and, as usual, we can expect the police to fence everyone in, so the entry point will likely be at Chambers Street. If you can make it, please take part. The cause is just and our voices should be heard. You can download a flyer about the march and rally by clicking here.

Then, on Saturday, May 1, a range of unions and immigrants rights groups coming together as the Alliance for Labor and Immigrant Rights and Jobs For All will hold a march and rally at Foley Square. Assembly is at 11am at Worth Street (between Centre and Lafayette Streets). You can download a flyer for the event by clicking here.

OSA Newsline - April 19, 2010

The layoff meeting last week was unusual. The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene created confusion by errors in the layoff process. Jean Brewer of the Office of Labor Relations did a good job of trying to make sense of the situation and answered most of the questions raised by the assembled unions. She also promised follow-up on the questions still unanswered.

One question that was answered related to voluntary furloughs rather than layoffs. Jean noted that the City was still focused on reducing head count and a staff member on unpaid voluntary furlough is still on head count.

So the problem is not only money, it is also the Cityís attitude towards us. Mitigating the tragedy of these layoffs is not a major concern of this City administration. In fact, it is of no concern at all.

OSA Newsline - April 12, 2010

There are layoffs scheduled for the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. OSA representatives have already notified the members whose names are targeted and a meeting this week will do two things.

First, we will officially be told the final list, which may have less names on it or else different names. Second, we will have a chance to make our pitch for voluntary sabbaticals instead of layoffs, although we donít have much hope that the city will agree under the current mayor.

As of this newsline being posted, we still donít know the details of the Off Track Betting Corporation reprieve, but we are pleased that OTB has been granted more time to resolve its problem.

OSA Newsline - April 5, 2010

John Sullivan, shown at left marching in the 2008 Labor Day Parade, was a field organizer for OSA. Members may have met John at work as an Analyst before he retired or thereafter as he helped out at agency chapter meetings or again as he made the case for a union with City workers who were being organized by OSA.

John and his charming wife Josie were at our last general membership meeting two weeks ago. John was the tallest person in the room. John passed away unexpectedly a week later and was waked on Friday. John will be missed by all of us here at the union office, but most especially by our organizers.

OSA, in the year 2010, is unusual for a City union in our emphasis on organizing and we owe it in large part to our team of retired volunteer organizers. John was one of us, cheerful and happy to be a part of the fight for social justice. We will miss him.