OSA Newsline - December 24, 2001

There is not much union news this week. The ASA list has been moving, but unevenly. Some agencies are moving quickly and others seem frozen. At least one agency's actions lead to a letter being set to the Agency commissioner, asking restoration to the list for a number of our members.

There was intense work on the Transit Authority contract negotiations this season, and we are now waiting for the next meeting.

There is, however, not much that is likely to be concluded over the next week and thus this is a "two week message."

Happy holidays to all of our members. Check this page again next year.

OSA Newsline - December 17, 2001

Our holiday party was well attended last week. The estimate of total attendance was set at 700 although, fortunately, the food did not run out before everyone was served.

As an experiment, this year, in addition to a sheet cake and three dozen smaller cakes, ten dozen Charlotte Russes had been set out. A Charlotte Russe is a somewhat ridiculous confection consisting of a huge mound of whipped cream seated on a small bit of cake topped with sprinkles and a cherry and surrounded by an odd shaped cardboard cup meant to hold it all together. Suffice it to say, the ten dozen Charlotte Russes were nowhere near enough and we will order at least twice as many next year.

On a more serious note, there was a meeting of the Municipal Labor Committee last week. It is clear that there exists a likelihood of an "early out" or buyout in the Spring of next year. Prediction of fiscal losses of tax income for fiscal year 2003 are spurring the need for the City to downsize staff. Terms of the projected buyout or incentive to retire are not yet established. It is expected that those terms will be similar to earlier ones.

The following is not on the phone hotline but added for the benefit of web surfers. Inquiring minds may want to know where the Charlotte Russe originated. France apparently. According to the Food Reference Website the original seems, well, more elaborate. "A cold dessert, similar to the original charlotte, and most likely created by Careme (1783-1833). The charlotte mold is lined with ladyfingers (usually soaked in Cognac or coffee liqueur) and filled with Bavarian Cream, chocolate mousse, coffee mousse, ice cream, or uncooked gelatin custard." Now we know why all New Yorkers of a certain age remember the Charlotte Russes of their youth so fondly. Just kidding, the New York version was non-alcoholic.

For you cooks out there, we found the following recipe for making your own Charlotte Russes on the website Arielle's Recipe Archive Of course, we can't vouch for the recipe's success, but if you do try it, let us know how it turns out.

Charlotte Russe
Makes 16

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
4 eggs, separated
1 Tbsp. cold water
1/2 cup plus 1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
Whipped cream
Chocolate sprinkles
Maraschino cherries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter and flour a 15 1/2-inch x 10 1/2-inch jelly-roll pan. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, beat the egg whites and water together; gradually add the 1/2 cup sugar. Beat on high until glossy. Set aside.

In another mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks until thickened, about 2 minutes. Add the 1/3 cup sugar gradually; then add the vanilla. Beat for 2 minutes more. Fold the yolks into the whites, then fold in the dry ingredients; don't overmix. Spread the batter evenly in the pan. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until lightly browned and springy to the touch. While the cake is cooking, sprinkle a clean towel with the confectioner's sugar. Turn the cake out onto the towel and place it on a rack to cool. Cut out rounds of cake with a 2 1/2-inch cookie cutter.

Top each round with whipped cream, chocolate sprinkles, and a maraschino cherry. (If you'd like more cake, use 2 rounds to a serving.)

Happy Holidays

OSA Newsline - December 10, 2001

The phone version of the OSA hotline has moved to a new phone number (212)330-8833. The new equipment will allow twice as many callers to call in at any one time and should speed up our response time considerably.

We will retain the old 689-6111 phone number for a long time to come, not only to forward callers to the (212)330-8833 number but also in case a problem arises on the new system.

We were pleased this week by the request of a dozen future brothers and sisters to be represented by the Organization of Staff Analysts. The twelve potential new members are in charge of the Traffic Device Maintainers of the Department of Transportation for all of New York City. Papers have been filed with the Office of Collective Bargaining and a favorable outcome is expected.

Our union negotiators were studying the multi-page document sent to us by Transit last week and will be responding this week. Negotiations also began last week on behalf of our School Safety and Traffic Enforcement divisions. (See photos on this page.)

The OSA Holiday Party is set for after work this Thursday. Good food and drink, company and entertainment will be provided. See you at the party.

OSA Newsline - December 3, 2001

The main topics at last week's general membership meeting were contracts, money and the Associate Staff Analyst list. Most City employees have now received both the raise and the retroactive monies owed. The Housing Authority paid their folks last week and the HHC is scheduled to do so this week.

The Board of Education contract was approved by a majority of the unit last week and will now be subject to a formal vote by the appointed members of the Board of Education.

A lengthy document was received from the Transit Authority and is under careful line-by-line study, but the numbers do not look bad.

A letter went out to all the successful candidates on the ASA list and the information in that letter is repeated below in this newsline. (See "A special note for those who took and passed the Associate Staff Analyst exam:")

It was a very busy week and next week we initiate collective bargaining for the last group unionized on September 12th.

The Raise: We have prepared a flyer describing how you can calculate the raise and retroactive payment due you. We have chosen one example. Obviously, individual situations will vary from this example. However, you should be able to calculate the payments due you based on the formulas included on the sheets.

Click on "How to Calculate the Raise." You will need Acrobat Reader to view the file. If you do not have Acrobat Reader on your hard drive, you can go to the Adobe site to Dowload Acrobat Reader

How to Calculate the Raise

A special note for those who took and passed the Associate Staff Analyst Exam: By now you should have received your card from DCAS indicating your grade on the exam and the number on the list in your agency. Congratulations on passing the exam.

Your appointment to the position of permanent Associate Staff Analyst will hopefully follow quickly, but in case it does not, there are some facts you should know.

There is a major difference between the process used for appointments from the Staff Analyst list and the process required by law for a competitive promotion exam.

The Staff Analyst exam was an "open competitive" Education and Experience paper where 824 candidates each scored 100%. The city could and did choose to consider all persons scoring 100% as being winners whose final grade was a "tie" score. As a result, the city appointed, not in list number order (from #1 to #824) but selectively.

First appointed were incumbent civil servants serving provisionally in jobs paying on or above the Staff Analyst level -- "non cost items" in personnel and payroll terminology. Next came incumbent NYC workers who were serving at lower paid civil service jobs. Finally, a number of persons not previously employed by the City were hired.

The Associate Staff Analyst exam showed few, if any scores to be "tied." Your list number as a result is very important. Your agency cannot simply appoint whomever they want, whenever they want. Now they must, by law, proceed in number order while making appointments. If, for example, the Commissioner of the agency is list number 19, the Commissioner cannot be appointed while the first 18 candidates on the list are ignored.

The One-In-Three Rule. Your agency does not have to appoint every successful candidate. When the agency "considers" candidates whose list numbers are #1, 2 and 3 for the first job, the agency can select the best of the "one-in-three."

If the agency gives that first appointment to the candidate whose list number is list #1, numbers 2 and 3 are marked "CNS" or considered but not selected. If a second job is available, list #s 2, 3, and 4 must be considered. If #2 is chosen, #3 has been considered but not selected twice and #4, once.

When a third position is offered, #3, 4 and 5 are considered, but if the job goes to candidate #4, candidate #3 has been considered but not selected three times. His or her name is removed from the list for any future consideration. The Agency can (but does not have to) grant a candidate's written request for later restoration to the list.

There are other rules and "outside" factors that can affect your appointment. For example, if you are on the "wrong" agency list due to transfer between agencies or personnel errors, you will need to talk with OSA Executive Director Sheila Gorsky for detailed instructions as to how to proceed.

OSA normally seeks to monitor the "calling of the list." If we are to do so, we need your help. Below is a link to download a coupon in PDF file form. Please hold onto it until your agency calls the list and reaches your number. At that time, please complete and return the coupon to OSA. Thanks and, again, congratulations.

Coupon for ASA List Candidates