OSA Newsline - December 23, 2013

It was a wonderful holiday party as usual. Over 500 OSA members, friends, and family attended. The food and drink and music were good – and the company was wonderful. Photos will be up in a few weeks in the "OSA Photo Gallery" section of this website.

On an amusing note, our leftover mayor has been going from pillar to post telling everyone how truly wonderful he is, everything he ever did and all of it.

Alright, he is not unique. Mayor Giuliani also spent a lot of time telling us we could not do without him. Mayor Dinkins, in response to a crime wave, had hired 5,000 extra police officers. Then, as crime went down, Mayor Giuliani arrived to take all the credit for making us safe.

So, it’s normal for outgoing mayors to claim credit for that which they did not do, but the recent mayor has topped all others.

Soon to be former mayor Bloomberg has run across a statistic that New Yorkers live two years longer than non-New Yorkers and, naturally, it must be due to him.

Ah well, at least he is leaving, at last. And for all the rest of us, happy holidays and our best hopes for the new year.

And check this page in two weeks.

OSA Newsline - December 16, 2013

Last week, Mayor-elect Bill di Blasio appointed Lilliam Barrios Paoli as his Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services. Deputy Mayor Paoli is a former Administrative Staff Analyst from the Department of Social Services in the early 1980's.

Her career thereafter was wonderful, including stints as the Personnel Chief of HRA, as a Vice-President of the Health and Hospitals Corporation, as the Personnel Director for New York City and as the Commissioner of HRA. After being fired by Mayor Giuliani for excessive kindness and possession of an active conscience, Lilliam entered the private non-profit sector for many years. Her most recent stint was as the Commissioner for the Department For The Aging – senior centers and such.

In her first interview with the media after her appointment, she was asked about the growing problem of homelessness under the current mayor. Her reply was that she would hve done things differently and, now, she will have the chance to try.

This is a good sign. Lilliam has always been smart, capable and caring. We wish her well in her new post.

OSA Newsline - December 9, 2013

There is no news this week, just an expression of regret over the loss of Nelson Mandela last week. His fight for justice was followed by his fight for the reconciliation of his countrymen. In both, he was a force for good and, in both, he was more successful than anyone could have expected. He did good and that is saying a lot.

A number of members have called the union office recently with questions about the Accidental Death and Dismemberment benefit provided through National Income Life Insurance Company. You may wish to read the article which you can download at this link written by union executive director Sheila Gorsky for the retiree newsletter. It explores the benefits available through NILICO. The article is geared toward union retirees and active members should remember that, for example, they are automatically provided $50,000 in life insurance coverage through Prudential, whereas retirees are provided only $5,000 in coverage.

OSA Newsline - December 2, 2013

On November 11th, this newsline reported that the outgoing Bloomberg administration was creating a problem for those unions that are now seeking to have their members covered by the drug riders of the city’s health plans.

Due to Obamacare, some unions were interested in following our lead and that of Management Benefits in that matter, but the mayor was insisting on negotiations and givebacks.

Our guys, the Municipal Labor Committee, have been insisting that the mayor’s demands are nonsense. Any workers covered by the drug rider pays the full cost of their rider. It turns out that our own experience as a union has become the MLC’s best argument.

Our members have been buying the drug rider since our union started as a union under Mayor Koch. More recently, members of the Marine Engineers Beneficial Association joined our Welfare Fund and also began to purchase their coverage through the drug riders. The MEBA members were allowed to do so by the current administration and without any negotiations or givebacks.

In this case, our union’s history may be of great help to members of some other unions and, if so, we are pleased.

Our general membership meeting is this Thursday evening at the union office, but since we are now offering food, it won’t start until 6:15pm.