OSA Newsline - January 30, 2006

Lots of news this week.

First, our retirees over 65 years of age will be receiving greatly diminished pension checks this month. The January pension checks are wrong for our Medicare-eligible retirees.

The City took out the full pre-2006 drug rider premiums. This is wrong and the City caught this error but too late to stop the checks. A refund check for the monies improperly deducted will follow under separate cover from the City.

Next, if you are not yet retired, but considering it, slow down. The union is aware that a spring pension buy-out may be coming down the road. If so, retirees will be off salary by June 30, but with a retirement sweetener of one extra month's credit per year of service.

Now, there is absolutely no guarantee that there will be a re-opener nor that, if there is one, you or your agency will be included. Still, this is the first re-opener news in three years, so it may be of importance to some of our members.

Also, if your W2 shows a lower annual salary, join the crowd. We received numerous phone calls on Friday, but have not yet determined the problem, if any. One possibility is the number of pay days in 2005 versus 2004. Some years there is one extra payday due to the 365 or 366 day year. It's no emergency, so more information next week.

Also, at the union meeting last Thursday, a bulletin board was set up to display both the friendly and the unfriendly letters sent in regarding the request for help of the Transport Workers Union.

Members enjoyed both sets of letters. Many of the dozen hostile responses received included a certain amount of profanity, but only one actually included a signature. We naturally respect the one member who objected and did sign her name to her opinion.

Over two hundred members have sent in support checks so far. If you are willing, but have not yet done so, remember to address your check to OSART and mail it to OSART, 220 East 23 Street Suite 707, NY NY 10010 attn: Support Fund.

The individual contributions thus far have ranged from $10 to $100. The total thus far is over $5100.

Finally, the Mayor, in his "State of the City" address told us he would be demanding both health contributions and pension deform. Wall Street is booming, taxes are up and the City is rich. Therefore, it is time for the civil service to give back still more so the rich can continue getting richer.

On the same day, OSA Chairperson Bob Croghan was tapped to chair the panel on the City Budget at the NY City Municipal Labor Committee's annual conference. The conclusion of the expert panel, with State and City representatives speaking, was that there is money enough to go around, even if the Mayor says otherwise.

OSA Newsline - January 23, 2006

The recent decision by the membership of the Transport Workers Union to reject the contract offer is, at least, interesting. Our own members have been sending in their monetary contributions to assist that union and, given the fact that the fight may not be over, those contributions are very welcome indeed.

Closer to home, OSA will be hosting a meeting of unions in need of solutions for the overdue one percent. The City continues to insist on making the remaining unions jump through hoops for the one percent and no end is in sight.

Also this week, Thursday will not only be the day of the Municipal Labor Committee conference during the day, but also of our general membership meeting that evening.

Finally, in accord with the OSA constitution, the OSA executive board filled the vacancy created by the loss of Michael Mackey early this month. Richie Guarino (pictured left) will assume the duties of treasurer for our union.

OSA Newsline - January 16, 2006

Michael Mackey, a brother who fought for the union cause and especially for OSA is no longer with us. Michael (pictured at left) passed away last week.

Mike was one of the first of us to gain union status. He helped OSA win the vote at the Board of Education in 1985 and this was the election that established the right of Analysts to a union.

Mike served as OSA's treasurer for nearly twenty years and as a Welfare Fund trustee as well.

Michael will be waked Monday at Cobble Hill Chapel, 171 Court Street, Brooklyn. The hours of the viewing are from 2-4pm and 6-7pm. If you need directions, call 718-875-1640.

The funeral mass will take place at St. Boniface Church, 190 Duffield Street, Brooklyn at 10am on Tuesday morning.

Michael was a major part of the story of our union and he will be missed.

OSA Newsline - January 9, 2006

A mailing will go out this week. If you don't receive it by next weekend, call George at the union office. The contents will also be posted on this website as the January edition of "News From OSA."

The letter covers the progress of current negotiations, but the major topic in the mailing is our fundraising effort on behalf of the Transport Workers Union. The victory won by the Transport Workers Union came at a high price and since, in effect, we share to an extent, their victory, we can and should contribute to their cause.

There is a meeting of the Municipal Labor Committee this week. The topic will be coalition bargaining.

In addition, a number of unions still awaiting the one percent have signed up for a club to assist each other on the negotiations for that one percent. The City is giving a score of unions difficulty on that topic, so we will seek to help each other.