OSA Newsline - February 23, 2004

The main news this week is exams. Last week's civil service newspaper, The Chief, reported on OSA's opposition to a proposed state law further limiting candidates' rights to appeal on civil service exams. The article can be downloaded by clicking here.

The article was timely, because we are anxiously awaiting the Notice of Examination for the scheduled Staff Analyst exam.

Executive Director Sheila Gorsky has been in touch with Personnel for weeks, but our first actual meeting is now set for this week. Our union has a long history of involvement with civil service exams and our goal is to see to it that the exam goes off smoothly and fairly.

As far back as the early 1990's, OSA was involved with warning the Personnel Director at the time that their first Education and Experience exam for Staff Analyst would not stand court challenge. We also warned that a court challenge was almost guaranteed. Personnel chose to ignore us and rely upon their legal staff to defend the exam. OSA spent months on training our members, exams were filed and, after six months, the exam was thrown out in court. Personnel, OSA and the thousands of candidates all had to do the exercise twice.

Hopefully, there will be no such error this time.
OSA Newsline - February 12, 2004

The reason why the newsline is being updated on a Thursday, is that this week's newsline stated that OSA might have a skeleton staff on Thursday, Lincoln's Birthday. As it turns out, the office is due to be entirely closed Thursday.

The main news that developed over this past week has been simply that Mayor Bloomberg is unable to conform to the reality of collective bargaining. His recent offer to the teachers of an eight page contract offering unlimited class sizes and seventeen days of lost vacation is not a good start. If the Mayor has chosen to insult the head of the UFT, who also happens to be the chairperson of the Municipal Labor Committee, he is clearly under the impression that collective bargaining is a joke.

Now, patience is a virtue, but we are over 19 months without a new contract and the teachers are 21 months overdue. Mayor Mike is not supposed to be making jokes at our expense.

Please check back again on February 23rd.
OSA Newsline - February 9, 2004

The Office of Payroll Administration has been authorized to implement the longevities due to many of our members for the 4/1/00 through 6/30/02 contract. The expected payroll date is set for March 12th of this year but, as always, don't spend the money until it arrives. There are often unexpected delays. Transit Authority members were previously paid and School Safety and Traffic Enforcement are still not resolved.

The Staff Analyst exam filing is due to open in early March. OSA will be putting out mail on the topic soon. Please keep in mind that if you are a provisional Staff Analyst, you must file for this exam. If you are a provisional Associate and not yet permanent in the Staff Analyst title, take this exam. If you are a provisional Administrative Staff Analyst, managerial or non-managerial, and not yet permanent in either Staff or Associate Staff titles, take this exam!

Finally, congratulations to members Sam Sills and Evan Bland of Children's Services for helping to produce an agency video that won the Bronze World Medal at the 46th NY Film and Video Festival. The name of the video was Voices of Clients: Foster Parents. Good work.

OSA is officially closed on February 12th, Lincoln's Birthday. There may be a skeleton staff, but regular business will not occur.
OSA Newsline - February 2, 2004

Last Thursday's membership meeting was very well attended in spite of the weather. In addition, the meeting itself was longer than usual, lasting until 8:30pm.

The topics covered were mostly related to the completion of negotiations on health benefits and the one percent and a certain amount of the "flavor" of the negotiations was added to the prior written report in this month's mailing.

The only new news covered was the breakdown of negotiations related to OSA's uniformed unit from the Traffic Enforcement and School Safety Divisions. After a month of efforts seeking to avoid an impasse, no agreement was reached.

The City was willing to acknowledge that the fact that it was awkward that the Supervisors of School Security, represented by the UFT earn more than the Associate Supervisors, their supervisors, who are represented by our union, was a problem to them.

The union's offer was to extend the contract by one to three months to add more funds to avoid the lower titles earning slightly more than their bosses. The City insisted that the monies generated by such a contract extension go mostly or entirely to the Associate Supervisors of School Security. The Union flatly refused this form of monetary transfer and held out for raises across the board to all of the uniformed titles we represent.

The office of Collective Bargaining declared an impasse had been reached and an aribtrator will now be selected.