OSA Newsline - January 26, 2015

This month’s general membership meeting is being held on this Wednesday evening. That is unusual since we try to hold our meetings on the last Thursday of the month. We had scheduling problems this month forcing the change to Wednesday.

The meeting itself will start at 6:15 and there will be refreshments for those who arrive early.

The first thing on the agenda will be the swearing in of the new officers for OSA and OSART for 2015 and 2016.

Other news. We anticipate our next collective bargaining session to be held next week.

Also, the applications for the Analyst exams will be open on line from February 4 through February 24th. If you need help completing your applications, please call George at the union office.

The training for the exams will begin Monday, February 23rd. Please register ASAP as the slots are going fast. The registration form is on this website under "Exams, Lists and Training."

OSA Newsline - January 19, 2015

Monday, the union, like the City, observed Martin Luther King Day.The membership mailing got out late last week,but should be in your hands this week.The contents of the mailing can already be viewed as the January edition of the OSA Newsletter on this site.

There was also some late breaking news related to negotiations. Communications Workers of America Local 1180 thought they were on the brink of concluding their contract when the City pulled a fast one. CWA, like OSA, is seeking fair treatment for newly unionized Administrative level employees. In their case, they sought a minimum salary for Admin employees and the City said “no,” so the union brought the matter to impasse.

Now, the City has chosen to hold up the rest of the CWA contract unless the union agrees to give up a part of the pattern settlement in case the arbitrator rules in favor of CWA.

We strongly support CWA local 1180 in their current dispute with the City. It is absurd to set Administrative salaries below that of their subordinates with identical seniority and credentials.

Arthur Cheliotes has sent out a two page explanation of what has occurred and you can read it at this link.

The City is trying to have it both ways.

OSA Newsline - January 12, 2015

A mailing will be going out later this week and is already posted on this website as the January "OSA Newsletter." Just click on the OSA Newsletter tab to the left. In it is a discussion of our contract negotiations and also a very important section on the upcoming series of Analyst exams. We never had a year before when all the exams - Staff, Associate and Administrative - were given in the same year. All of our members, especially our provisional members, should be paying a lot of attention to this.

Our union met with the personnel division of DCAS and we have learned a lot about the computerized education and experience application. That application is required before the actual competitive exam itself is given. If you file for any open competitive exam and fail to qualify on the education and experience application, you not only will be barred from the later test but you will also lose your filing fee.

The new system makes use of groups of tasks. You will have to indicate that you spent enough years working at enough of the specified tasks to qualify. Members who are planning to file for any of the open competitive exams will be assisted in completion of this E&E application by OSA trainers on request.

In order to assure that you will be given this help, please call George at the union office to reserve your spot and to obtain preliminary instructions. You can register for the training for the actual exams by downloading the form from this website (visit the Exams, Lists and Training section) and either faxing or mailing it in.

Also in the mailing is an offer aimed at the baseball fans among us. David Rothstein, a union activist from the Department of Environmental protection, has suggested that OSA might gather some of our baseball fan members into a group and thereby save them money. It all depends on how many members are interested in Mets baseball, but if there are enough, it will lead to savings.

OSA Newsline - January 5, 2015

The big news this month are the upcoming exams for Staff, Associate and Administrative Staff Analyst. Our union has, as one of its three main goals, helping our members obtain permanent status.

We do provide training and assistance in preparing for the upcoming exams, but to attend you will have to register.

First comes assistance in filling out the education and experience paper needed for open competitive exams. An education and experience paper is not needed for a promotional exam, but the coming series of exams includes both promotional and open competitive exams.

Over the years, many candidates who were fully qualified to take an open competitive analyst exam have been denied that chance because they did not fill out the education and experience paper properly. Our union offers one-on-one in-person guidance in filling out those papers. If you are applying to take one or more of those open competitive exams, call George at (212) 686-1229 so he can register you to attend a review session. Assistance will be available in the evenings and on weekends from February 7 through to February 22nd.

Then, on February 23rd, our union will begin providing training for the exams. It will be an eight week course lasting from February to April. There will also be a repeat of the course from April 20th through June.

The training will include the same topics that were covered in prior years’ training for the analyst exams plus 2 additional topics which might be on the Administrative Staff Analyst exam.

If you have previously participated in the training and are taking the Admin Staff Analyst exam and do not wish to take the training again, the 2 additional topics will be covered separately on weekends on one day seminars starting Saturday May 22nd through Sunday June 6th.

If you choose not to take the training again and have not bought the DVD’s they will still be available for purchase. The two additional topics that the Administrative Staff Analyst Exam may have on it: Employee Counseling and the In-basket orientation training will be made into videos before that and will be on the website along with all the other training materials.