OSA Newsline - April 25, 2016

Our union is facing challenges at both the Housing Authority and New York City Health + Hospitals (formerly the Health and Hospitals Corporation).

We had a good meeting with the Housing Authority last week. The Authority is making major changes to respond to years of neglect and mismanagement and this is okay. Our interest is in how this will affect our members and we did get some good answers. No layoffs are envisioned and even the issue of title changes seems to have somewhat receded over the past month.

The NYC H+H issues also concerns a reorganization, but again, we were told no layoffs are envisioned. Meetings on the reorganization will be occurring this week to come. We know that the City believes these to be important meetings, because the head of OSA was called at home over the weekend by Bob Linn, Chief of the Office of Labor Relations, to alert us to the meetings. The last time that happened was two years ago as the current Health Benefits Agreement was being crafted for the contract. The Health Benefits Agreement has been able to avoid our being required to pay biweekly premiums for our basic health insurance and we would hope that Labor and the City together can find solutions for the NYC H+H fiscal difficulties.

OSA Newsline - April 18, 2016

New York City Health and Hospitals has finally been able to change over the status of our Senior Consultants, Management Information Services. By next week, our new members will be accepted by the computers at HHC as our members. It has taken nearly six months.

One odd result of this change is that our new members will now start to accumulate career and salary sick and annual leave time. Prior to this, sick and annual time were considered managerial time, but that time will now be vested with HHC as managerial leave time. It will still be available for use as needed, but in a separate bank.

As most of our members know, the main difference between career and salary time and managerial time has been the way the two sets of sick leave are calculated on retirement. Three days of managerial sick leave generate one day of terminal leave. It is 50% better for most with career and salary or non-managerial sick leave. Two days of sick leave equals one day of terminal leave for those hired before July 1, 2004. (For those hired on or after July 1, 2004, career and salary time is no different from managerial time – 3 days of accrued sick leave equals one day of terminal leave on retirement.)

Also expected to occur is the overdue payment of raises to our School Safety and Traffic Enforcement members. The Police Department says it is coming, but as always, do not spend it until you get it.

Finally, tomorrow,Tuesday, April 19th, is presidential primary day in New York State. We encourage you to turn out and vote. this is an important election year and we urge you to select the candidate in your party who will best reflect the interests of American workers.

To read more about the primary go to this page on this website.

OSA Newsline - April 11, 2016

In last week’s Chief, there was an article (which you can download at this link) about OSA’s presence at a meeting of the DCAS Personnel Branch one week earlier. The article noted our objections to the creation of about fifty non-competitive, exempt, managerial, or confidential jobs.

Our position was that these were patronage jobs, pure and simple. The jobs created were in fact neither managerial nor confidential, could all benefit from fair testing, and were even, in some cases, absurd.

For example, the Buildings Commissioner wants his or her chauffeur to be a confidential employee because you just never know what secrets the commissioner may let slip out while being driven to and from work each day. Really, and what sort of secrets is the commissioner planning on keeping from the public? We would like to know.

This week, our position is being adopted by the civil service committee of the Municipal Labor Committee and City labor will be opposing the creation of these jobs at hearings to be held in Albany.

OSA Newsline - April 4, 2016

A special telephone conference was used, last week, to secure approval for the Municipal Labor Committee to submit an amicus brief on behalf of Local 237 of the Teamsters.

Gregory Floyd, president of that local, explained the background to the current problem. The New York City Housing Authority put on the table during bargaining on the last contract a demand for increased flexibility for caretaker assignments.

Instead of offering some extra in return for a change in the existing contract, the City chose to use threats of privatization to force 237 to give the concession for nothing. The Teamsters refused and the City dropped the issue.

Now, the Housing Authority is openly breaking the contract on this issue and the Teamsters are taking the matter to the Office of Collective Bargaining as an unfair labor practice.

After a brief discussion, there was a unanimous vote by the members of the steering committee, OSA included, to support Local 237 in this fight.

If the City can change a contract unilaterally, there is no point in collective bargaining.