OSA Newsline - January 27, 2003

OSA representatives met with the City last week on the topic of furloughs and with DC 37 on our joint effort to amend the Civil Service law related to the "1 in 3" rule.

The City representatives have indicated an interest in our offer of voluntary furloughs but they are checking with those in higher authority. Incidentally, the members who are calling in or writing letters against voluntary furloughs are not paying close attention to the words used in the mailing. Voluntary is voluntary. The letters make it clear that the writers are objecting to an involuntary furlough, but the union has not suggested an involuntary furlough nor is the City requesting one.

On the other hand, those members calling in with suggestions can be of help. One unit of Analysts are apparently willing to consider a four day work week for a year to come if pension and health coverage are not diminished. It is an interesting concept on a purely voluntary basis.

Our attempt to correct agency abuse of the one in three rule may require a bit of rephrasing of the law. One point raised at last week's membership meeting was to emphasize the need for the proposed legislation to take care of the current problem, not to just avoid future abuse of the lists.
OSA Newsline - January 20, 2003

Returns on last week's mailing have been very satisfactory. Over a dozen of our members have already responded, indicating a willingness to take a furlough in the immediate future.

Since, at present, only one Staff Analyst is in danger of layoff, the union has requested an immediate meeting with the Office of Labor Relations to present our results.

We are hoping that the City will accept the exchange of voluntary, unpaid, furloughs for layoffs. If they do not, then Mayor Mike's statement that layoffs are a last resort would be shown to be false. We are betting he is a man of his word.

A number of members have written or phoned with other suggestions to avoid layoffs and all such advice is welcomed. Members suggesting givebacks in salary, however, should not go in that direction. If unions reduced salaries every time the government chose to budget unwisely, we would soon find ourselves paid less than the WEP workforce and the government would continue to cut taxes and overspend anyway.

The general membership meeting is set for this Thursday at the union office, 220 East 23rd Street, 7th Floor. The meeting starts at 6pm.
OSA Newsline - January 13, 2003

There are two updates to the January "News From OSA" which appears on this website and which you should have received in the mail this week.

First, our actual number of layoffs has, very fortunately, gone down. The two layoffs of permanent civil service Staff Analysts from the Conflict of Interest Board have been modified. The positions, and one of the two workers, are being transferred to fully funded permanent civil service lines at the New York City Housing Authority. The result of that action is that the possibility of two provisional Staff Analysts being laid off has been averted, for now.

We still have one member being laid off the job, from the Department of Probation, and for that reason and because of the fiscal crisis, members are asked to respond to the survey enclosed in the mailing as soon as possible. If a member wants a leave of absence, let us know now, please.

Our second update concerns a sort of tennis match that goes on between the City and the Union. When it comes to money owed to us, it seems the Union always works at top speed but the City can not or will not manage to do so. From August to December, the ball (in this case our Equity award) was in their court. After two misdirected swings by the City, the ball finally landed back in our court in late December. A week later, as the mailing was written, the ball was still on our side of the net. As of today, we have accepted their numbers and the ball is back on the City's side of the court again. That does not mean anyone should start spending the money. We await the City's response.
OSA Newsline - January 6, 2003

A mailing will be going out this week and is already posted on this website as the January, 2003 edition of "News From OSA." The key issue is our efforts to avoid layoffs. Three analysts are already scheduled for layoffs and more could be scheduled over the months to come.

The deliberate decision of former Mayor Giuliani to budget dishonestly is the reason, but having our union know and state that fact for over two years does not help us today. Mayor Bloomberg has said that layoffs are a last resort. We will take him at his word and offer an alternative to layoffs.

Members are urged to respond quickly to the survey enclosed in the mailing. You can also download the survey form from the link on the News From OSA page of this site. If even a small number of our members wish to take a year off without pay, this is a good time to ask and it may save other jobs.

We also report on our progress in obtaining the one percent equity payment and the drug rider reimbursement. In both cases, some progress but no money yet.

Also noted is our need for volunteers to work on the February Black History Month celebration. The first meeting of that committee will be this Tuesday, January 7th at 5:30pm at the union office. If you are interested, call and leave your name with Shirley Gray or George Morgan.