OSA Newsline - August 18, 2014

Negotiations began this month. Our union presented our demands at the first session. As expected, the city did not reply. Instead, they sought clarification of various demands and we were happy to comply.

The main issue we brought up was the costing of the UFT contract. We are aware that the DC37 settlement followed the percentages of the UFT contract, but we are under the impression there was considerable value to that contract above and beyond the percentages.

The city has agreed to set up a meeting to go over the valuation of the UFT contract, but a date has not yet been specified. We do expect it soon. In the meantime, members are probably already aware that DC37's membership approved their settlement by an overwhelming margin.

OSA Newsline - August 11, 2014

A reminder that there is a New York State primary election this year on Tuesday, September 9, 2014. Especially of note is the Democratic Party primary for Governor, but there are also a number of local primaries for State Senate and Assembly seats. You can see a complete list of primary contests by clicking this link.

The deadline for registering in person to vote in the primary is this Friday, August 15. If you wish to register by mailing in your registration application, it must be postmarked by Friday, August 15.

Below is a link to the required registration form as well as a link to an absentee ballot application if you will not be able to vote in person on September 9th.

New York State Voter Registration Form

New York State Absentee Ballot Application

OSA Newsline - August 4, 2014

The summer is proceeding quickly.

Contract negotiations commence this Tuesday, August 5th and that sets a record for speed. In past years, negotiations moved more slowly, but in this case, our union is very ready to proceed.

Hundreds of demands have been received from our members. Each demand has been reviewed and will be reviewed again during the course of the collective bargaining to come.

Many of the demands are similar. A large portion of all the demands received relate to an increase in salary. All of these will be subsumed into a single demand for a reasonable increase in salary. By reasonable, we mean as much of a raise as we are able to obtain, all things considered.

One often repeated demand is for a paid prescription drug plan and this demand will be placed before the city. However, we do know the city has already discussed this topic in a citywide context and resolution of our demand may come in that context.

Another common demand is for an increase in or spreading of longevity, especially from the newly unionized M2 and M3 level Administrative Staff Analysts. Neither the UFT nor the DC37 settlements offer a quick answer to this demand, but the point of unit bargaining is to seek to find answers to problems unique to each local.

Some member demands come down to a single demand for speed in settling the contract and this must be respected, but if we can get more by taking longer, that too is important.