OSA Newsline - July 29, 2002

Only one piece of upsetting news this week. The Transit Authority had failed to deduct pension and/or tax deferred annuity from the recent large retroactive pay checks of two thirds of our Transit Authority members. Those deductions are now being made from the following paycheck.

In one sense there is no final problem, since any impact on taxes will be reconciled by filing next year's tax returns. Meanwhile, some members are bound to be inconvenienced by this error.

If you get many extra thousands of dollars one pay day and little or nothing the next, the least you could call it is inconvenient.

OSA Newsline - July 22, 2002

The good news is that the City is again focusing on the one percent equity payment due to the City's workers for the past contract. The matter had been delayed for months due to problems on management's end. We had asked for a new $250 at each of the three current longevity levels ten years, fifteen years, and twenty years. The Office of Management and Budget has now agreed that our numbers look good and there is even a little bit left over. We'll try to complete bargaining quickly.

The bad news is the situation at eleven Long Island hospitals that are threatening to drop out of the Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield program.

The City hires Empire to provide a list of reasonably priced hospitals and they have done so over the years. In the current dispute, both Empire and the hospitals are seeking to use the customers, us, to pressure the other side. Hopefully, the dispute over money will be resolved before our members are inconvenienced. If not, there are other hospitals, but that would be -- in some cases -- very inconvenient.

Finally, nearly two hundred of our members attended our general pension counseling sessions given by Richard Guarino, assisted by John Mazzarella, last week. It was really quite pleasant for many of us to have a chance to renew old acquaintances and chat, in addition to the helpful information provided

OSA Newsline - July 15, 2002

As most members are already aware, the City has offered the early retirement incentive very broadly. For those needing an overview of the details, OSA is sponsoring information sessions this Wednesday and Thursday. If you wish to attend and have not yet registered, you must call George Morgan at the union office (212) 686-1229.

Members seeking individual pension counseling, must make an individual appointment apart from the general meeting.

Other news. OSA was delighted to learn of the election of Charles Ensley to the position of Vice-President for our region of the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees. AFSCME is the parent union to DC37. Charles is the president of the Social Service Employees Union and, easily, the most senior leader of the reform group within DC 37.

SSEU is one of the five local unions who spurred the original Analyst organizing drive back in the late 1970's and early 80's. OSA's fiscal practices and emphasis on idealistic service expected from union activists is modeled on the SSEU's example.

The election of President Ensley to the board of his International is certainly a good move for labor.
OSA Newsline - July 9, 2002

OSA has received a packet of written information on the early retirement incentive from the City's Office of Labor Relations. We have scanned and converted sixteen pages of the material into a PDF file which can be downloaded and printed by clicking on the "2002 Retirement Incentive Information" link below. As always, you need Adobe Acrobat Reader on your computer's hard drive to read PDF files. You can download the latest version for free at the Adobe site.

2002 Retirement Incentive Information

Our pension expert Richard Guarino suggests that for most OSA members the most relevant information can be found on pages 1, 2, 3, 7 and 11.

Additional information on the incentive should be available from your Agency personnel staff.

A reminder: OSA will be holding meetings for prospective retirees on July 17 and 18. Those who previously registered for a session on the early retirement incentive should have received a mailing with the date of their session. Others can call George Morgan at the OSA office (212)686-1229 and he will try to fit you in.
OSA Newsline - July 3, 2002

The City has finally, verbally, laid out their plan for the early retirement package. They won't have anything in writing until July 8th.

What we know now goes as follows:

Who?The City has specified it will be wide open for City employees. This means a very wide eligibility including all City departments, at least civilian departments.

When?The open period for the City starts on July 11th and goes through October 8th.

OTB's offer opens in September and the HHC in November. For the Board of Ed, the period is August 20th to September 10th and no information was available for NYCHA.

Neither NYCHA nor the Transit Authority is affected directly by the current City fiscal problems, so we are not sure if they will participate or to what extent.

The City has promised no layoffs during the term of the offering, but has hinted that there could be layoffs if not enough workers took the offer.

Terminal leave, if you have time on the books, will be paid in thirds, first payment two months after retirement, the next payment 12 months after retirement and the final 24 months after retirement. So, if you are a City retiree that should work out to first payment on December 8, 2002, then a second piece on October 8, 2003 and a final payment on October 8, 2004.

Prospective retirees who have previously registered for a meeting on this topic will receive their appointment in the mail going out today. Anyone late registering can call George Morgan at the OSA office (212) 686-1229 and he will try to fit you in.

OSA Newsline - July 1, 2002

One bit of news. Tomorrow we get the details of the buyout at an MLC meeting. By Wednesday some details should be on this newsline page.