OSA Newsline - January 27, 2008

There will be a conference call meeting of the Municipal Labor Committee’s Steering Committee today. The main topic will be the New York City economy and our response to the Mayor’s recent prediction of doom and gloom.

We will, of course, be sympathetic to the reality of the situation but, as we are aware, the City has both reserves and a healthy tourist sector of the economy. The decline of the dollar versus European and Canadian currencies makes New York City a relatively cheap trip for foreign visitors.

In any case, members can reasonably hear more on this topic plus the recently concluded contract at this Thursday’s general membership meeting. The location is 220 East 23 Street, Suite 707, at 6pm sharp.

OSA Newsline - January 22, 2008

It really has been a quiet week and the only phone calls we have been getting have been on the interpretation of the contract. The most common mistake being made is that people are under the impression that the longevity goes down in the 20th year and no, that is not the case, because the 10, the 15 and the 20 get added up, so it actually goes up in the 20th year not down. It is cumulative.

OSA Newsline - January 14, 2008

The contract continues to monopolize our news. On Thursday the 10th, the negotiating team and executive board counted the votes and found that 1980 members had voted to accept the contract and 43 members had voted to reject. There were 28 uncounted ballots. So, the contract passed.

The Office of Labor Relations has since provided us with tentative payroll dates – March 7 for pay increments and March 21 for retroactive payments. These dates are probable, but could change, so do not spend the money yet.

Unless substantial events occur, the next update is planned for January 22nd. As you enjoy the Martin Luther King holiday, and bear in mind that it commemorates the life of a man who served all of humanity, please pause to reflect on the lesson that when people work together with patience, they sometimes can make things dramatically better. Have a good holiday.

OSA Newsline - January 11, 2008

Naturally, the voting on the contract monopolizes our news. On Thursday the 10th, the negotiating team and executive board counted the votes and found that 1980 members had voted to accept the contract, 43 members had voted to reject the contract, 7 had provided blank or invalid ballots, 21 votes were set aside and unopened for technical reasons and a few people sent us checks and forms in the ballot envelopes.

So, the contract passes.

OSA vice-chair Tom Anderson extends his thanks to OSA attorney Meaghean Murphy "who kept us all in line," and staff members Vojna Stanic-Gerraghty who organized things very nicely and Carol Moten who helped valiantly. The negotiating team needs no thanks at all since they were pleased to see the results of their work so enthusiastically accepted.

We also want to thank the charming and helpful James Hsi who came in to deliver his ballot just before 5pm and volunteered to serve as a surrogate for the entire membership by observing every move we made. He was very helpful too.

At the very end, he used his OSA calculator to announce that 97.98% of the valid votes went into acceptance.

We hope to have the timing of substantial retroactive payments and salary changes for the next newsline.

OSA Newsline - January 7, 2008

Happy New Year!

Voting is nearly completed on the 2006-2008 main contract for our union. Members who wish to bring their ballot in person should do so before 5pm on Thursday. Any member interested in participating or just watching the vote count are invited to attend at the union office.

Meanwhile, even though the final vote is in progress, a mailing has already been sent out giving more details on the contract and why it came to a vote at this time. The content is already up on this website as the January edition of News From OSA.

The contract will affect some recent retirees, all agency shop fee payers and, by pattern, our members covered by other employers, notably the Transit Authority. Thus, while these groups of workers were not due the ballot, they are due the information.

It is also true that the ballots were sent out quickly but,as the next week passed, member inquiries also helped us craft a more informative summary letter.

In any case, members can expect to learn on the phone newsline or on this page the results of the vote after Thursday the 10th.

Assuming a yes vote, the City will be able to pay us the retroactive monies due by late February or March of this year. Judging by the phone calls coming in most of us seem pleased by the results of the settlement.