OSA Newsline - February 28, 2005

Lots of news this week.

The week started with hiring pools for Staff Analyst at DDC, HPD and Law. Our representative reports that most of those called never showed up for interviews because they were already on-board civil servants. Thus they were turned over by their agencies and a number of real vacancies went unfilled. The list will have to be moved again fairly soon.

PICA negotiations were going well last week and went poorly this week, so no progress on that front. More later as the negotiations continue.

A promotion ceremony was held on Friday at One Police Plaza and a number of OSA members are due congratulations for advancing within the civil Service. A number of Supervisors of School Safety did refuse promotion to Associate Supervisor of School Safety, because the higher title paid almost no increase in salary. Our union spent months in negotiations last year arguing just that point, but we had limited success. The fact that candidates are refusing promotions may bring the point home more dramatically.

Finally, the union is preparing a mailing for next week that should go out by late next week. It looks like it will be an awful lot of pages, so schedule in some reading time.

The content should be up on this website as the March, 2005 edition of News From OSA shortly. in the meantime, OSA will be celebrating African American and Women's History Months with a special program on Friday evening March 11th from 6 to 10pm. If you would like to attend, a reservation form can be downloaded in PDF format by clicking here.

OSA Newsline - February 21, 2005

Happy Presidents Day.

Major negotiations on the PICA card took place last week and, although nothing is final, matters look optimistic. At least no disaster seems imminent and proper drug coverage looks to be in place from now until July and even beyond. More negotiations this week.

Recent arbitrations or settlements affecting uniformed forces outside New York City are making our current civilian pattern package look sick. If early reports are correct, the MTA's four year police package will yearly be worth about 2 times what we're getting.

Hopefully, this should impact upon the NYC PBA arbitration in Albany and thereafter on all uniformed force personnel. Good luck to them.

OSA Newsline - February 14, 2005

Happy Valentines Day. There were two surprises last week.

First, DCAS informed us that they do intend to offer neither an Administrative Education Analyst exam nor an Administrative Transit Management Analyst exam at this time.

Now that is a surprise for two reasons. Normally, at Staff and Associate levels, the exams are offered in concert with our exams and are identical to our exams. It both saves the City money and makes sense, since the jobs are the same job.

Also, it has been very many years since the last time either title series had an exam at the Administrative level and virtually all serving incumbents are at present provisional.

We will inquire further.

Our second surprise came from the Transit Authority. Our non-represented brothers and sisters in MABSTOA are getting a retroactive increase for July 1st of last year. The increase is for 3% versus the 2% all unionized employees have already received.

All of us were aware that there was a possible 1% more due us as of last year when and if givebacks worth 1% were negotiated between the unions and the City. This however, is the first concrete sign that the money is real. Non-represented analysts did however, pay for the increase. Reductions in paid vacation plus abolition of night differential and meal allowances are a part of the package.

The union's negotiating team will review the details and report in writing on this odd situation and how it may affect us.

OSA Newsline - February 7, 2005

Our union was able to help a number of candidates for Staff Analyst last week. We had learned from Personnel that four hundred candidates had passed that difficult exam, but had been disqualified based on their experience and education papers.

OSA offered free help on their appeals to any candidates who had passed, but had been disqualified. We extended the offer to disqualified candidates for Education Analyst and Transit Management Analyst as well, since all three exams were the same.

Our experienced test paper reviewers were able to help a few score candidates, but we regret that the brevity of the appeal period probably means a number of potentially successful appeals were never submitted.

A word of thanks is due to the reviewers and the staff who did assist until late in the evenings.

The Staff Analyst list has been sent out by DCAS to the agencies and we expect candidates with numbers near the front of the list to be receiving invitations to hiring pools quite soon. More details will be shared as soon as Sheila Gorsky comes up with them.

On a different issue, an inter-union task force chaired by Cecelia McCarthy, OSA Chapter Co-Chairperson at the Department of Design and Construction did good work last week.

DDC had installed security cameras all throughout their headquarters, allegedly to guard against theft. In fact, as the committee determined, those cameras were now being used to surveil the staff during working hours.

In 1946, George Orwell wrote a book about a time when the authorities would be watching us at every moment. Orwell had guessed that time would arrive by 1984, but apparently "Big Brother," as he named the privacy-invading authorities, took until 2005 to show up at DDC.

As we understand it, the cameras are now to be switched off during working hours, which is a nice start. The committee is also interested in the Agency's plans for any information obtained by their sneaky peeking.

Congratulations to our representatives and the other union activists for their unified and effective response to Agency misbehavior.