OSA Newsline - February 25, 2002

A mailing went out last week and should be received no later than this Wednesday. If you have not received the 9x12 sized envelope by then, call Noreen at the union office so we can check your address and send you a duplicate.

There were brief negotiations at the Transit Authority last week and there will be arguments over final draft wording this week. In general it seems we are moving toward a conclusion on OSA's longest contract negotiation to date. With luck, the matter will be presented to the TA membership for a vote next month.

Negotiations will also take place this week as OSA addresses our uniformed units contract and we begin work on obtaining a decent addition to longevity from the moneys due this June.

Also this Tuesday evening our OSA Political Action Committee has arranged for Allan Jennings, Jr. Chair of the City Council Committee on Civil Service and Labor to meet with us and one of the topics discussed will be the Associate Staff Analyst List.

Again, on Friday, our Black History Month will conclude with speakers and entertainment. Both events start at 6pm and all are invited. Please RSVP on the Black History Month event to Alyson Brown and the PAC meeting to Rose Collins, both at 212-686-1229.

OSA Newsline - February 18, 2002

A mailing is going out this week and should be received late this week or early next. The mailing will include a ballot on a proposed updating of the OSA Constitution. Our union has been more successful in achieving our stated goals than we have been in staying within the original territories laid out for organizing. We now represent over a thousand members who work outside of City agencies and the proposed change in wording recognizes that fact.

If you do not receive the mail by next Monday, call Noreen at the union office (212) 686-1229 for a replacement ballot. If you do receive the mail, but there is no ballot enclosed, our records have you listed as an Agency Shop Fee Payer. In such cases, just sign and return the enclosed membership dues deduction card.

Also enclosed in the mailing are a copy of a people profile on Allan Jennings, Jr., the new head of the City Council Civil Service and Labor Committee, an invitation to meet him and an invitation to our party concluding Black History Month.

At the Municipal Labor Committee last week, Chairperson Randi Weingarten discussed the Mayor's planned cutbacks and the likelihood of a buyout this Spring. Still no details yet, but no layoffs are planned and that is good news.

OSA Newsline - February 11, 2002

The union office will be closed tomorrow on Lincoln's Birthday, as we are every year. Since City offices are open, a skeleton staff of volunteers will be available from our grievance section, but only for emergencies.

The OSA leadership did not approve of the City trading the celebration of Lincoln's Birthday for an alternative day off, so OSA continues to be closed on that day once a year.

OSA leaders met last week with Allen Jennings, head of the Civil Service Committee of the New York City Council. Councilmember Jennings seemed very sympathetic to the problems arising from the arbitrary use of the "1 in 3" rule on civil service promotional lists. The newly elected committee chairperson promised to address the problem early in this administration. As an absolute minimum, our union will insist that any candidate who has been considered but not selected must be quickly restored to the list thereafter.

OSA believes that this should occur without even the necessity of the candidate writing a letter. It should be automatic for any promotional exam list.

OSA Newsline - February 4, 2002

It's tax time and many of our members are now receiving their W2s. One warning to those of our members who received pension contribution refunds last year. If you received a refund from the New York City Employees Retirement System that money is probably taxable since all recent pension payments are pre-tax. NYCERS will be sending you a 1099 so keep this in mind before filing your taxes this year.

At a well-attended membership meeting last week, Mike Collins brought members up-to-date on the nearly completed Transit Authority Negotiations. Sheila Gorsky discussed in detail the union's effort at policing the agencies' moving of the Associate Staff Analyst lists.

The City's fiscal crisis was discussed and the fact that there is a near certainty that buy-outs will be offered to City workers very soon. There are no details at present.

Finally, a revision of the rules for membership in the OSA Constitution was discussed. Constitutional updates require a membership mail ballot and this will follow.