OSA Newsline - February 25, 2008

The union is preparing a mailing that will go into some detail about longevities and other aspects of the recent contract. As far as we know, the City remains on schedule for the March payment of the raise on 3/7 and the retroactive money on 3/21.

Meanwhile, a location meeting scheduled for the Brooklyn Early Intervention Program was cancelled last Friday due to the snowstorm. We’ll try to reschedule quickly.

Staff Analyst hiring pools are set for the Comptroller’s Office on Monday, Administration for Children’s Services on Tuesday, and the Transit Authority for later this week. Candidates seeking advice should call Sheila Gorsky at the union office as soon as they get their notices.

OSA Newsline - February 18, 2008

The union met with ACS, the Administration for Children’s Services, last week. The proposed change of title of a number of Analysts was discussed. ACS gave its reasons and the union expressed our concerns over the impact of the change on our members. Going from one title to another can affect a member’s welfare fund since different unions have different benefits. Also, salaries can be impacted and longevity differentials as well.

Additionally, questions were raised over job security, since newly appointed provisionals do not have the right of due process for the first two years after appointment. There were other, less significant but valid, concerns raised, including a fingerprinting fee usually charged employees going from one title to another.

The agency’s response was quite positive and they indicated they will work with OSA Executive Director Sheila Gorsky to satisfy our demand that our members do not get hurt in the process of transfer.

The number of members involved is fourteen and the union will be meeting with them as the process goes forward.

Those due a rise on March 7th will be pleased to learn that the City seems to still be on track for that day.

Candidates for appointment from the Staff Analyst list will be pleased to hear of two pools set for this week. Parks is calling in candidates up to list number 995 on Wednesday the 20th, and the Department of Health is calling up to list number 917 on Thursday the 21st. More pools are set for next week as well.

One problem is that some candidates have been knocked off the list and may not be aware of it. If your Staff Analyst list number is below 996 and you were not called to the Parks Department pool for Wednesday, call Sheila Gorsky at 212-686-1229 and she will check the list and suggest remedial action, if needed.

OSA Newsline - February 11, 2008

The union office will be closed tomorrow for Lincoln’s Birthday. Many years ago, the citywide contract made Lincoln’s Birthday into a floating holiday, but the OSA office has been closed on February 12th each year anyway. We did not agree with the City’s desire to diminish the status of our sixteenth president and we still honor his birthday.

Last week was interesting. The Municipal Labor Committee met and moved to strengthen its organization by amending the rules to add a part-time Executive Director, as well as to confirm the subcommittees already functioning on an ad-hoc basis. At that same meeting, the City economy was discussed at length and statistical reports on the City’s fiscal health were distributed.

The next day, our members in the Buildings Department called in to seek clarification on a non-mandatory meeting set for February 29th. The meeting of the entire agency staff was non-mandatory, but workers were told to submit leave forms if they chose not to attend.

Calls from the union office to the Buildings Department did not instantly clarify the situation. It appears that some representatives initially could not understand why we were upset over the concept of a non-mandatory meeting which would, nonetheless, penalize non-attendance with a loss of time or money.

Eventually, the matter was resolved by the Buildings Department representative informing the union that attendance at the event was mandatory. We were satisfied. Our members at that Department were satisfied. Words are important and saying one thing, but meaning another is really not acceptable.

Next came the Administration for Children’s Services. ACS informed the union that they would like to reclassify dozens of our members into social service series titles. To help us understand why this was going forward now, we were told that there were six months of study that had gone into the decision. We were not impressed.

About six months ago, ACS announced that they planned to replace Child Protective Services workers with Staff Analyst titles and OSA responded harshly to an obviously bad idea. Six months later, we are notified that they now wish to do it the other way.

We are looking forward to this week’s Labor-Management meeting with ACS.

The City seems to be trying hard to reach the target date for payment of our raises due on March 7th. The process is complex, especially as it involves the longevity monies.

The New York City Housing Authority has set its own target date one week later – on March 13th – but, as always, don’t spend it until you get it.

OSA Newsline - February 4, 2008

The general membership meeting was well attended last week. Members asked questions about the longevity due from the recently approved contract. Yes, longevity does count as base pay and yes, the amounts for 10, 15 and 20 years are cumulative. They do add up.

Also, the raises of 2% and 5% result in a total rate increase of 7.1% due to compounding. When the rate increase goes through, hopefully for the March 7th City payroll, members can check the City's accuracy. Multiply the prior gross rate of pay by 1.071 on your calculator to see if the City is correct.

Note that the 10 and 15 year longevities are counted as part of that main calculation, but that the 20 year longevity is itself increased by any rate increases. If this last note confuses you, please wait until you have the new increased pay stub in front of you, before you call the union office. It is easy to understand when you have the pay stub right in front of you.

The rate increase is due for March 7, 2008 and the retroactive for March 21, 2008, but payroll does not always meet their own deadlines, so don't spend it until you have it.

Negotiations should start soon on our Transit Authority contract. Mail will be going out to our TA members.

Tuesday is primary day. Voting is both a right and a privilege and if we don't use it we could lose it. Vote for whomever you want, but do vote.