OSA Newsline - February 27, 2012

Something unusual happened last week.

Staff Analyst jobs can be very different from agency to agency and this is well known to the union. For example, we did have one member in her 60's who drove a Mack truck onto construction sites. Dismounting from the truck, she walked through the mud, in her high rubber boots to the construction shack. There, she verified that the proper paper work was being filed at each site. We offered to fight to get her relieved, but it turned out that she liked that job.

Another member went out in the evenings, midnight, to lay traffic counting strips across Broadway so she could track street usage at different hours.

A third member, assigned to the Department of Homeless Services was recently arrested as a part of her job. Our member was visiting a family shelter when one of the clients called 911 and accused our member of abusing the client’s child.

Now, since the leadership of OSA, in many cases, came out of HRA or other welfare agencies, we were not surprised that a crazy client would bring an unfounded allegation. That sort of goes with the territory.

The police sergeant who responded could have acted more intelligently, but instead he insisted that any child abuse allegation required an arrest. That, too, is one of the risks of trying to help troubled people and there was no question that the arrest would eventually be reversed.

The part that was unusual was that an Associate Commissioner and a team of co-workers from Homeless Services went up to the 43rd Precinct to stand by our member. They stayed with her until 1AM, when our member was released.

We compliment Associate Commissioner Julia Moten and her management team for their support of a staff member wrongly arrested. We wish all our superiors would respond as well in a crisis.

The Organization of Staff Analysts’ newsline criticizes management when we believe they are wrong – and that is pretty often.

Once in a while, we have to change direction and praise an act of admirable grace by a specific manager or managers. This was such an occasion. Good work, DHS.

On a completely different topic, on Tuesday, March 6th, for approximately 15 minutes starting at about 8am, volunteers are needed to help pull together "The Line," a direct action/live performance event to raise awareness of the high unemployment rate amongst working Americans and the need for good jobs.The goal: a symbolic unemployment line snaking up Broadway from the Charging Bull sculpture below Wall Street to Times Square.

Volunteers are needed who are willing to stand holding a “pink slip” over their head while on the symbolic unemployment line. "The Line" is being organized in part by The Working Theater, dedicated to creating and performing plays about working people.

Anyone who wants to participate can ask for a specific block that’s convenient for them (close to work, home, or a child’s school, since the event starts early).

Mark Plesent of The Working Theater is organizing volunteers. You can reach him at mark@theworkingtheater.org. Or you can visit The Line's website for more information.

OSA Newsline - February 21, 2012

At a Municipal Labor Committee meeting last week, the OSA representative made a motion to have the MLC expend $100,000 for ads opposing the governor’s plan to sneak pension “deform” and other bad ideas through under the guise of passing a budget. The motion passed unanimously.

OSA Newsline - February 13, 2012

Many members will be working Monday, but the union office will be officially closed in honor of Lincoln’s Birthday.

Abraham Lincoln was born on the 12th and, for many years, the day was a holiday in New York City. In an effort to diminish Lincoln, the city insisted in turning it into a floating holiday and so it is now a floating holiday for all city offices.

Our union, however, wishes to honor Lincoln and that for which he died, so we will be closed on Monday.

There will be one or two staff available for emergencies.

On Tuesday, there will be a meeting of the Municipal Labor Committee at which there will be a discussion of Governor Cuomo’s newly announced desire to deform the civil service.

So, the mayor had a bad, bad idea and Andrew heard about it and liked it. The one percent do think alike.

Bad idea, bad mayor, bad governor.

OSA Newsline - February 6, 2012

Last week, the governor reported that 70% of voters responding to a Marist College poll believe civil servants should pay more for their pensions and/or should be offered a 401(k) instead.

Now, as analysts, we are probably aware of the fact that easily 90% of the voters don’t have any personal knowledge about how much we or any other civil servants are contributing towards a pension.

And, if 90% have no personal knowledge, how can 70% have an opinion about our paying more. There is an easy answer.

The voters are also newspaper readers and they follow the media.

So, the New York Post regularly runs dishonest articles about our pensions and then publishes the results of polls proving that many readers do believe them.

Meanwhile, the governor has agreed to leave our pensions alone and only go after those workers who come after us. Apparently, the governor does not mind inflicting poverty on old civil servants forty years from now, so long as he can make points for himself right now.

John Liu, City Comptroller, has repeatedly debunked the dishonest pension scare stories floated by the mayor, the governor and the Post and, for this reason, they do not like him. And, for this reason, we do like him.

One other topic, members are asked to call the union as soon as they receive notice of an agency hiring pool. The promotional Associate Staff Analyst lists should be moving very soon.