OSA Newsline - April 25, 2011

There is good news this week, maybe.

Members receiving longevity are due the extra money on this payroll. Now, before you rush off to spend it, keep in mind that the City often schedules a payment and then fails to make the date. Also, we are talking about an annual increase of $38 per year for the ten year longevity, $38 more after 15 years and $38 more after the 20th. So, if you are of long service, your annual increase is $114. In fact, the only reason you may note the increase is that the monies due are retroactive since last August 25th.

There are three more items.

Our women’s committee will be meeting at the union office this Thursday, from 6 to 9pm. Light refreshments will be provided plus three guest speakers: Barbara Terrelonge, Director of the Quality of Work Life Program for DC37, Diane Stein, Coordinator of Health and Safety for Local 237 Teamsters and Gina Strickland, Staff Representative and Executive Board member of CWA Local 1180. Should be good speakers so it looks like a good meeting. You can download a flyer by clicking this link.

Also we have the May Day demonstration on Sunday at Foley Square between Centre and Lafayette Streets, starting at 1pm. Hope to see you there. A flyer is available by clicking here.

Finally, CWA Local 1180 has asked its members to start to wear red on Thursdays, as a show of solidarity in a time of attacks on the civil service. It does seem like a neat idea so, although our membership has not yet voted on it, we might start to join them. Wear red on Thursday. It can’t hurt.

OSA Newsline - April 18, 2011

OSA participated at the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association rally this past Sunday. You can see photos of the rally in the OSA Photo Gallery section of this website. And, there is another rally set for May 1st at Foley Square.

On the other hand, there is no news at all on negotiations, because there are no negotiations going on. Now, we are willing, but the mayor is not.

So, while he is busy trying to convince Albany to kill our union, reduce our pensions, and pick our pockets in many, many ways, he has no time left for negotiations.

All right...but that does leave us some free time, so we can go out and demonstrate against him and so we will.

OSA Newsline - April 11, 2011

First, the news:

Last Tuesday, City Comptroller John Liu released a report on City Pensions. He strove to provide objective fact in the political and public debates over pensions as he had previously done on City workers’ compensation.

He concludes that the major cause of the current difficulties were the lower investment returns after the Bush financial disaster. He also indicated that contributory were the benefit enhancements of 2000 and certain actuarial assumptions that were incorrect. The report is well worth reading and a link can be found by clicking here.

The previous Comptroller’s Report had established that City Employees were paid about 17% less than their private counterparts with similar education and experience when all benefits were included and considered.

The tabloids have since complained that they would prefer to compare a city planner or analyst to the average Wal-Mart greeter, which gives the correct assessment from their point of view.

On the civil service front, the Municipal Labor Committee responded to the corrupt patrician Mayor’s plan to enhance the spoils system. That response can be read by clicking on this link. It is a point by point analysis.

There has been no movement on the grievance front and the snow day situation is expected to drag on for many months.

Coming Events:

Next Sunday, on April 17th, there will be a demonstration at the Broadway side of City Hall from 1pm to 4pm. Its message is that our bargaining rights, pensions, and vital benefits are not trifles for the City’s richest to gorge upon. It is sponsored by the Correction Officers Benevolent Association and is a union-oriented demonstration. I am hoping for nice weather, and hope you will go.

OSA’s Women’s Committee has scheduled its first public event, a roundtable discussion on the state of women’s affairs in the labor movement. It is entitled “Women on the Move” and features speakers from several unions. Its date is Thursday, April 28th and it will occur between 6 and 9pm. Its venue is the OSA meeting hall, 7th floor at 220 East 23rd Street. You can download a flyer for the event at this link.

Another demonstration, as mentioned in earlier messages, will be held on May Day. May 1st is a Sunday and the meeting place will be Foley Square (Centre & Lafayette Streets), at 1pm. This one should be large and is sponsored by a broad based coalition of unions, including OSA, the Greater NY Labor-Religion Coalition, the UFT, DC37, and dozens of other unions, retiree organizations, and economic groups. You can download a flyer at this link.

District Council 37 is organizing still another rally event for late May or early June. Details will be announced later. We hope you will participate. We will.

Get your comfortable shoes repaired. It is clear that we must march frequently, as the rich try to strengthen the chains of slavery that they are forging for us: no negotiation, no strikes, firing at will, no rehiring, wages set by the employer and changed on whim.

The battleground has moved from Wisconsin to Ohio, and Andrew Cuomo has indicated that he will side with the rich. As for our mayor – well he is really rich – and is out for his class first (un-American thieves who dodge their taxes and take food, pensions and healthcare from the people who actually work and pay their taxes, fight in their wars, and respond to their emergencies.)

And if that's seems a little strident, shouldn't all of us be a little strident in the face of these attacks?

The next update should be in about a week. Earlier perhaps.