OSA Newsline - August 28, 2007

In the beginning of this month, we set things up for the uneasy wait action on our contract. A host of new proposals for productivity, which should justify the 1% from our now expired contract were presented to the City.

An Improper Practice was also filed concerning the duplicitous and unreasonable stalling of a settlement on our overdue contract.

The City has not given a response to the first and has delayed a hearing on the second. In short, there is nothing new to report here.

Rob Spencer, known primarily as OSA's media expert, but who is also a formidable activist, has been working with the World Trade Center Community-Labor Coalition, a group which supported us in our drive to get double-pane windows for 90 Church Street. Had you been paying attention to the Deutsche Bank debacle, you would have seen him do an extensive and lucid presentation on Inside City Hall on New York One last week.

The apparently corrupt and negligent Lower Manhattan Development Corporation - and their "partners" the John Galt Company and Bovis Lend-Lease - gave us an illustration of just WHY there was need for precaution at 90 Church Street, and WHY the NYCHA admonition to "trust" that they were unneeded was juvenile.

OSA grieves the loss of two firefighters, and the severe injuries to two others. Although some action has been taken where the City has sole control (the Fire Department), the LMDC so far seems to have gone unscathed.

As we have noted, the Labor Day Parade is off this year, due to the move and restructuring of the New York City Central Labor Council, but the Labor Mass is on.

There will be, however, a Labor Day Rally on Saturday, September 8, 2007 at 10AM on West Broadway between Barclay Street & Vesey Street (the north side of the WTC Site). You can download a flyer for the rally by clicking here. This event will focus on the efforts to address the health needs and monitoring of workers suffering from the long-term effects of 9/11.

The Grievance Group has noted that there are still occasional calls regarding the Coastal Storm Plan. OSA urges its members to cooperate with training, but not to "volunteer to serve" unless you are sure you want to. No Coastal Storm is planned in the near future, but you never know.

OSA Newsline - August 13, 2007

If you are a provisional Staff Analyst and your status or title is being changed, please call Sheila Gorsky or Mike Schady at the union office.

Most years, right about now we'd be announcing the upcoming Labor Day Parade and telling you where to assemble. This year, the parade will not take place because of restructuring at the New York City Central Labor Council, which organizes the event and which is planning a move to new headquarters in September. The Central Labor Council recently elected a new president, Gary La Barbera of the Teamsters, and confirmed Ed Ott as executive director.

However, the annual Labor Mass at St Patrick's Cathedral will take place on Sunday, September 9, 2007 at 10:15AM.

As of last week, Governor Spitzer was still reviewing legislation passed by the State Senate and Assembly that would require that public housing authorities receive the same shelter allowance for their tenants who receive public assistance as private landlords. With the New York City Housing Authority facing severe operating shortfalls and threatening the layoff of 500 staff members this October, this legislation would help to at least partially close NYCHA's funding gap.

UPDATE (8/16). On Wednesday, Governor Spitzer signed into law the legislation that will equalize the shelter rent formula for public housing authorities and private landlords over the next three years. While the new law will generate tens of millions of additional dollars annually for the NYC Housing Authority, its impact on the previously announced possibility of layoffs remains to be seen.

The Central Labor Council announced on Wednesday that, in lieu of this year's Labor Day Parade, it will be holding a rally at the World Trade Center site on Saturday, September 8, 2007 to highlight the health impacts of 9/11 on first responders and others. We encourage members to attend. As soon as we have the time and exact location, we will provide it.

UPDATE (8/22). The New York City Central Labor Council's September 8th rally for 9/11 healthcare is set for 10am at West Broadway between Vesey and Barclay Streets. OSA will be there. We encourage members to attend. You can download a flyer for the rally by clicking here. Please copy and circulate it to your friends and colleagues.