OSA Newsline - February 27, 2006

The leadership of OSA was involved in discussions related to the merger of GHI and HIP last week. Both companies are seeking this merger, and both insist that the new joint organization will continue that which each has done historically quite well. The two separate systems will continue and only the name of the parent body will change. Bizarrely enough, the name of the new company is New Company Newco. Oh well....

The union's representatives can and do accept that there will be no immediate change in the short run, but we are all very cautious about accepting that the status quo will continue indefinitely after the merger. A matter of great concern to us is the desire of the new joint company to move from not-for-profit status into becoming a for-profit company listed on the stock exchange.

The day could easily come when New York City premiums as a result of the needs of the company will rise in order to reward those stockholders. Blue Cross has already gone for-profit and the ranks of the not-for-profit health care providers seems to be shrinking quickly.

We may soon be driven to a national health program as a result of the changes going on in the health care industry.

OSA Newsline - February 20, 2006

The good news, for a few hundred of our members, is that the 3.25% raise may be paid out this week to our members in the Health and Hospitals Corporation. Members in City agencies are still due their payment in March but, for once, HHC was able to move more quickly. That said, never spend the money until you get it, because last minute glitches do occur.

OSA has been negotiating on a number of fronts recently and there has been some progress at the Transit Authority. Non-represented employees at the TA and MABSTOA had received the one percent payment over a year ago, but attached to it were major give backs. OSA is now studying the changing management attitudes and we do discern some small progress at last. More, later, as this particular story develops.

OSA Newsline - February 8, 2006

With a lot of help from Tim Collins of our negotiations section and Joan Kiok, our counsel, the problems mentioned below have been resolved. The difficulties with the 3.25% contract have been ironed out and members can expect payment of the raise during the month of March.

Since the raise is effective, taking into account the 7 day pay lag on all raises, as of July 8, 2005, members will be due over eight months of retroactive monies when the raise finally hits next month.

Do not spend this money before you receive it. City payroll dates on raises are often delayed unexpectedly.

This page will next be updated on February 20th.

OSA Newsline - February 6, 2006

Negotiations continue on the 3.25% already voted upon by our membership. Now, that is unusual.

We met with the City, made a deal and put it to a vote based upon the City's verbal commitment. All that was needed was to put the agreement on paper, but that turns out to be more difficult than expected, because the City keeps on changing the agreement.

We know what we agreed to at the bargaining table. The entire bargaining committee was present and the offer, as made, was presented to our membership. Any later changes the City chooses to make would not be acceptable and would constitute bad faith bargaining on their part.

The City is now offering us language that would require retroactive savings in order to gain the 1% due us and yet they refused to meet with us about those savings for the entire three years of the old contract.

We are not giving up our rights to the one percent set by the DC37 pattern in order to obtain the 3.25% of the fourth year of the UFT contract. Both sets of raises are due us.

Nothing, it turns out, goes easy.

Postscript. A website only update. As of Tuesday, February 7, 2006, the problems outlined above appear to be resolved.