OSA Newsline - January 30, 2017

National news sort of dwarfs any local news this week. We started with a tiff over who had the biggest inauguration crowd, went on to investigate the 5,000,000 illegal and imaginary voters who prevented Trump from winning the popular vote, and we ended the week by detaining a number of innocent people at our airports.

This is not good at all.

Okay, but we still have local news to report.

DC37 has extended its contract by two months and 23 days in order to gain more income for their Welfare Fund.

DC37 has been having a very hard time for many years, in dealing with the ever-increasing cost of prescription drugs.

Most recently, their fund ran a thirty million dollar deficit, covered by reserves, and projected deficits are expected to continue in spite of the recent decision to increase co-pays plus the addition of $200 per member per year to the Welfare Fund.

The impact of this agreement on OSA starts with the stretching of DC37's contract. We were set to be a month behind them on contract dates but now we are set to be two months ahead. This, of course, creates no advantage since the City will not seriously negotiate with us first.

How this affects pattern bargaining is also unclear.

If you'd like to listen to this week's newsline as an audio file, click on this link:

AUDIO January 23, 2017 Audio

OSA Newsline - January 23, 2017

There was a well-attended general membership meeting at which Nora Sullivan, one of our young staff labor attorneys swore in the OSA and OSART Executive Boards. In the photo to the left are (left to right) Tony Lee, Kim Vann, Stephen Parker, Ron Lehman, Jay Warshofsky, Dolores Parson, Tom Anderson, Robert Croghan, Naomi Aice and Jeanne O'Sullivan. Camera shy were Wilfred St. Surin, Al Milton, Michael Falzarano, Sandra Thompson, Cirino Lotta, Mike Daflos and Alice Moise.

We met a number of new members brought into our ranks by the moving of the open competitive Administrative Staff Analyst exam.

Negotiations were discussed. One element of significance was the Transport Workers Union signing of a 28 month contract for two 2.5% increases plus a $500 cash bonus. There were other benefits as well, and no announced givebacks. This may become the City pattern, but only time will tell.

Other members asked about the 3% raise due this February and, as far as we know, it is coming but, there is a long standing rule related to all raises. Based on long experience, never spend the money before you get it.

If you'd like to listen to this week's newsline as an audio file, click on this link:

AUDIO January 23, 2017 Audio

OSA Newsline - January 16, 2017

Today, we honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for 2017.

The big news this week is Thursday’s membership meeting. Thirty years ago, in 1987, we had the first inauguration of officers for OSA and OSART.

That year, there were about 30 OSA union members and over 600 OSART non-union members. This year, we have almost 5,000 union members, a few hundred in OSART and about 2000 retirees covered by our Welfare Fund.

It’s been a good thirty years for the analysts and we hope there is more to come.

If you did not receive the mailing last week, call George Morgan at the union office, so we can check your address and send you a copy.

Otherwise, there will be refreshments at the union office starting at 5:30 and the swearing in of officers should start by 6:15pm.

If you'd like to listen to this week's newsline as an audio file, click on this link:

AUDIO January 16, 2017 Audio

OSA Newsline - January 9, 2017

As expected, it was very quiet at the office over the past two weeks, slowed down by the holidays and many of us being hit with a winter illness or two.

This year should be most interesting, since negotiations will be due to occur again. There were two pieces of good news at the turn of the year. The opening of the three stops on the Second Avenue subway was welcome. The original plans for more subways was sidetracked by Robert Moses in most of the 20th century and, as a result, we have no subway to Staten Island, although one had been planned.

The Second Avenue, also was originally meant to go from Hanover Square down near South Ferry up to the Bronx with lines connecting across 125th Street as well and possibly into Queens.

Instead, we built highways and, so, suburban development followed, This led to jammed highways, so, more highways.

However, a second bright note gives us hope. As of September, both the City and State Universities are planned to be free to students with household incomes under $100,000.

This is a welcome return to the City University policy that had lasted from 1847 until 1975. By 2019, the plan is for families with incomes of up to $125,000 to be given free tuition.

There are those who will say we can not afford it, but we did afford it until 1975 and our City is far richer than it was in 1975.

Who knows, if we can bring back a free college education for our children, perhaps we can even do some more subways.

Mail is out for January and should be received this week.

If you'd like to listen to this week's newsline as an audio file, click on this link:

AUDIO January 9, 2017 Audio