|OSA Newsline - April 29, 2013
Last week’s newsline mentioned that the mayor was seeking to place one of his friends in a job. The job was that of investment manager of the Deferred Compensation Plan. The DCP never had an investment manager before nor, as a member-directed fund, did it need one. It seems a clear example of fixing that which is not now nor ever was broken. It also seems like plundering our savings for his personal purposes.
We did object last week and promised to get even louder in our objection to this waste of our money.
So, this week, we urge all members to come to City Hall on Wednesday, after work.
There is a May Day rally and, for most workers, it will start at 4pm at 14th Street and Union Square. Those OSA members who can make it can meet us at 15th Street and Union Square West, but most of our members will still be working at 4pm.
Since many OSA members work near City Hall and get out of work around 5pm, we would urge you to go directly to City Hall. Starting at 5pm, Local 802 of the Musicians will give a free concert to entertain you between 5pm and 6pm. Those who went to Union Square first will march down Broadway and will join you by 6pm.
There will be some speeches thereafter but if you reach the point were you need to leave and go home, you will have still done your part by showing up in the first place.
We are not demonstrating only because the mayor is trying to raid our retirement accounts. We are also demonstrating because we are working without a new contract and with no raise in pay, year after year. We’re also demonstrating because he is trying to diminish our health care and lower the salaries of all working people, while giving billions in tax abatements to his rich developer friends. .
We also don’t like his stance on immigration, where he favors unlimited visas and citizenship, but only for rich folks, nor do we like his hatred of an increase in the minimum wage.
But we are, also, demonstrating because we do not want him to raid our retirement account.
The mayor thinks we are unimportant and he would prefer us to be invisible.
Let us be visible.
Come to City Hall on Wednesday after work. The mayor really, really does not like it when we demonstrate against him.
Good. We look forward to seeing you there.
A general leaflet is available at this link. Print it out and share it with friends and colleagues. As you can see, many unions are part of the coalition organizing the day.
|OSA Newsline - April 22, 2013
Last week, the mayor sent a message to us that he wants to sit down and negotiate a contract. We call his particular form of invitation, “Negotiating for Dummies.”
Now, he didn’t call us up or send us a letter or an email. He didn’t even tweet us. Instead, he sent his Deputy Mayor Cas Holloway to address the Citizens Budget Commission and he told them he wanted to negotiate with us.
For those of you who remember Edgar Bergen, the famous comedic ventriloquist, this is a bit like having Charlie McCarthy talk to Mortimer Snerd.
We are happy that the mayor and his friends had a nice time negotiating with each other, but we can not cooperate with his ventriloquist act, because we are not his dummies.
He starts off by offering us no raise retroactive, but then he says he used the wages we were supposed to receive to avoid layoffs. No, he didn’t. We had lots and lots of cruel and heartless layoffs ever since he got reelected. As far back as Christmas 2010, he was laying off our members in the Department of Finance. That same week, he was hiring a bozo from Texas to recruit and retain top talent. He was hiring a Director of Human Capital at $185,000 a year, while laying off 27 year veterans in a revenue collecting agency.
Now, he is willing to offer us raises going forward, so long as we start to pay for our health benefits. So, if we give him ten dollars, he may give us as much as five in return.
He has other plans for us as well. He wants to put a gal in charge of our tax deferred annuity plan, the Deferred Compensation Plan. True, the DCP is a member-directed plan and has no need of an in-house, overpaid investment manager. Still, this mayor does want to find jobs for his friends before he leaves office. He is sure we will not object to his wasting perhaps a half a million dollars a year of our retirement money on his chosen friend. But, he is wrong. We will object. We do object. We even plan on making a lot of noise about our objecting.
The mayor has even more plans for us, more than we have time for on this newsline, so we’ll save it for the May mailing. We do have a plan for him as well.
He should go away.
On another subject, we remind you that May Day is international workers day. This May 1st there will be a large demonstration and march in support of labor rights, immigrants rights and jobs for all. OSA will be taking part. We will shortly post gathering points for OSA's contingent. A rally at Union Square Park at 4pm will be followed by a march to City Hall at 5:30pm and a closing rally at City Hall at 6 or 6:30pm. In the meantime, you can find a general leaflet at this link. Print it out and share it with friends and colleagues. As you can see many unions are part of the coalition organizing the day.
|OSA Newsline - April 15, 2013
Congratulations are due to our union’s black history committee. Their event last Thursday was well attended and went off very smoothly. Thanks are also due to the co-chairpersons, Kimberly Vann and Dolores Parson.
Today, a special meeting is being held to discuss the impact of Obamacare on City health benefits. Some provisions of the new legislation impact severely on those unions providing drug coverage for their members and there are other details that could affect us all in times to come. The meeting is sponsored by the Municipal Labor Committee and the intention is to bring all the unions, large and small, up to date. It should be an interesting meeting.
The OSA Welfare Fund, the Management Benefits Fund and ten other unions do not provide drug plans, but changes in the other unions coverage could impact the voluntary GHI, HIP etc. drug riders. Thus we are involved indirectly, but involved for sure.
So important is this topic that the Health Technical Subcommittee of the MLC will be having a follow up meeting the very next day. The Obamacare rules go into full effect in 2014 and the unions will, in many cases, need to change or adjust their benefits. This may have little or no impact on OSA’s Welfare Fund, but we will be attending just in case.
May Day is international workers day. This May 1st there will be a large demonstration and march in support of labor rights, immigrants rights and jobs for all. OSA will be taking part. We will shortly post gathering points for OSA's contingent. A rally at Union Square Park at 4pm will be followed by a march to City Hall at 5:30pm and a closing rally at City Hall at 6 or 6:30pm. In the meantime, you can find a general leaflet at this link. Print it out and share it with friends and colleagues. As you can see many unions are part of the coalition organizing the day.
|OSA Newsline - April 8, 2013
Three bits of news this week and one report on an event from the past week.
First, OSA’s black history celebration will be held this Thursday evening from 6 to 9pm. There will be food, guest speakers, music and other entertainment. It looks like a great evening and, better yet, it’s free to OSA members, family and friends. The event will be held at the union office, 220 East 23rd Street, 7th Floor. Please call Carol Moten to RSVP at 212-686-1229.
Also, our grievance unit is still collecting stories of Administrative members who have been forced to work overtime without compensation between July of 2011 and February of 2013.
The city will soon begin a mail audit of city workers’ dependents’ health coverage. 325,000 letters will be sent out to active and retired members asking for documents showing that, for example, your spouse is your spouse and that your children have birth certificates. We can’t object to the concept of an audit to insure that no inappropriate use of the health coverage is occurring. We can and do dread the process itself, the requirement to find documents long ago misplaced and the likelihood of errors occurring in an audit of this size.
Nonetheless, soon after May 1st, if you cover one or more dependents for health coverage, you can expect an envelope in your mailbox starting the process. The last such audit was in the 1990's.
Finally, on Thursday, April 4, 2013, 400 fast food workers in Manhattan and Brooklyn went on strike over the minimum wage they receive. The action was organized by a coalition led by New York Communities for Change and UnitedNY. That evening, there was a rally at Marcus Garvey Park and a march to a McDonald’s franchise on 125th and Lexington Ave. Labor leaders, clergy members and politicians spoke of these workers' low wages. Chants included "we can’t survive on $7.25" and “$15 and a union."
The next day, continuing the fight for better working standards for these workers, the coalition asked labor leaders to walk each and every worker who went on strike back into their jobs. OSA Chairperson Bob Croghan walked a young man back into a McDonald’s off of Astor Place and took the time, as can be seen in the photo below, taken by OSA staffer Stan Williams, to remind McDonald's manager that labor remains a big force in the City.
|OSA Newsline - April 1, 2013
We were all surprised to learn today, that Mayor Bloomberg has agreed to serve a fourth term as Mayor of the City of New York. Yet more surprising and disturbing was the endorsement of his candidacy by the Organization of Staff Analysts, a union that, until now, had never previously endorsed the mayor.
Chairperson Robert Croghan, when asked to explain this shocking turn of events, commented, “Well, it is April Fools Day.”