OSA Newsline - July 27, 2004

Our union signed off on the current City contract for Analysts today. We still don't have a proper version in front of us, but all substantive issues have been resolved.

The City now can and should look to pay us the monies due as soon as possible. Members who call the union office asking when the retroactive money will come will be referred to the newsline. As fast as the City tells us that they expect the money to be in a future check, the information will be up on the newsline.

Even when the City says the money will come, sometimes it does not, but any information will be on this page first.
OSA Newsline - July 26, 2004

Negotiations on the details of the contract language proceeded rather well last week. A meeting is set for early this week. Members should expect a newsline update early this week.
OSA Newsline - July 21, 2004

Votes were counted Tuesday evening on the proposed economic agreement for a large number of our members.

The total number of ballot envelopes received was 1,150. Of these, 38 were not counted due to lack of identifying information on the envelope. If the number on the envelope is missing, the ballot can not be counted.

The remaining ballot envelopes were opened publicly and the enclosed ballots, still folded, were tossed into the ballot box. This process preserved the secrecy of the vote. In three cases, members included two ballots in their envelope. Only one ballot per envelope was counted.

The ballots were then sorted into accept, reject and blank ballot piles and counted. Nine hundred and thirty (930) voted to accept, one hundred and seventy three (173) voted to reject and nine (9) ballots were left blank. Many comments were added to the ballots, some hostile, some friendly, but most expressing regret over the contract, even while voting to accept.

Ballots and ballot envelopes will be available for checking, upon request, at the union office for thirty days.

The 84% approval of accepting the economic terms offered does not mean that members can expect to receive retroactive monies anytime soon. The Mayor was swift to brag about OSA agreeing to his terms. In fact, he did so a week ago, in the newspapers. The City may not be so swift getting us the detailed language needed to finalize the contract. There is always the danger that the City will offer language that will potentially hurt our members.

Even if no problems arise, the City does not usually rush to pay. Members must always keep in mind, do not spend the money until it is in your hands.
OSA Newsline - July 19, 2004

There are two major items this week -- the Staff Analyst test results and the contract vote.

DCAS has now posted the proposed answer keys for the Staff Analyst, Education Analyst, and Assistant Transit Management Analyst exams. All three exams were composed of the same questions. There are three different proposed answer keys because question order was shuffled around due to the exam being given in the AM and PM on June 19th and a third time in the AM on June 20th for Sabbath Observers.

You can download and print the keys in PDF format by clicking here. A reminder: to open a PDF file you must have Adobe Reader on your hard drive. If not, you will need to download it from the Adobe site.

Copies will also be available in the union office this Monday or Tuesday. Also, it is expected that the Civil Service Chief will probably print the keys as well.

Members who used the results of the union's item analysis to anticipate the results they got will note that the most popular answer was also the one proposed by DCAS as the correct answer for almost ninety percent of the questions asked. Members about to review the exam preliminary to writing a protest might wish to pay special attention to those questions where the majority chose the wrong answer.

An updated version of the item analysis based on all answer sheets submitted to the union as of this date can be accessed by clicking on the following links:
AM Session
PM Session
Sabbath Observer Session

This Tuesday night, the mail ballot on the 2002-2005 contract will be counted. We always do these things publicly, so all members are invited down after work.

The sealed envelopes will have already been checked for numbers against the list provided by the mailing house. That avoids anyone casting extra ballots. All that is left is to slit open the envelopes, remove and unfold the ballots and then count.

We have a large number of ballot envelopes already received and we will accept any that arrive by 5PM on Tuesday. If you want to see democracy in action, or even be a part of it, do attend. We will be providing food and drink as usual. There will be a newsline update for Wednesday morning, but there is not much suspense since the contract is expected to be grudgingly approved by a wide margin.
OSA Newsline - July 12, 2004

By now, members should have received ballots on the contract vote and, if you did not, call Sheila Gorsky or Shirley Gray at the union office. Members only.

There were actually negotiations last week on the Police unit contract, which we had hoped was almost settled but, apparently, not yet. We are awaiting action by O.L.R.

Some members have been calling to notify the union that Personnel has changed the qualification requirements for Analyst jobs. We know. We were notified on June 18th that the new requirement is for at least a college degree plus two years of appropriate service. This does not affect currently serving provisionals as far as their current job is concerned nor will it be a problem for successful candidates on last month's Staff Analyst exam. It will affect persons currently seeking provisional appointments as Analysts and it may affect future eligibility requirements for the next exam for Staff Analyst.

As a union, OSA disagrees with the change and has scheduled a meeting with DCAS to give our reasons. This is not the first time that individuals at Personnel have sought to make a four year degree a requirement for Analyst. Up until now, at least, OSA has been able to persuade the authorities that it is a bad idea. We hope to succeed on this occasion as well.
OSA Newsline - Special Update For Staff Analyst Exam Candidates - July 8, 2004

Some advice concerning Staff Analyst exam reviews and protests.

As explained in the material handed out by the union on the day of the exam, a request for a review of the exam had to be made within the first week after the exam. Those who submitted a timely request to review the exam should shortly be receiving an appointment from DCAS. Some candidates have already begun receiving their appointments.

The exam reviews will take place after the tentative answer key has been published five Mondays after the exam. The tentative answer key for the Staff Analyst, Education Analyst, and Assistant Transit Management Analyst exams will be published on July 19, 2004.

The key will be available on this website (www.osaunion.org) and on the City's website (www.nyc.gov/html/dcas/html/examkey.html). It will also be posted at 18 Washington Street as of 7/19/04. It should also be in the civil service newspaper The Chief the same week or the following week. The Chief is on newsstands on Tuesdays.

When you go to your review session, bring your copy of your own answer sheet. You will be shown the proposed key and will be given the test booklet to see the questions.

You may protest then and there by filling out papers you will receive at the review. If you do not wish to protest at that time or wish to protest again later (after you leave the review session), you must make a formal request to protest by sending a request to protest on any sheet of paper along with four (4) copies, and mail them to

P.O. BOX 974
New York NY 10274-0974

Information about this process appears on the reverse of your answer sheet.

If you did not request to review the exam, it is now too late to request such a review. However, you may still request to protest by following the procedure just outlined. Unless you've memorized questions, it will probably be difficult to protest them without the review session.

You must file your protest between 7/19/04 and 8/18/04.
OSA Newsline - July 5, 2004

A mailing due out this week covers most of the news in detail. The same content is posted on this website as the July, 2004 "News From OSA." Over 3,000 voluntary members of OSA are being asked to vote on the contract that, if approved, will cover them for the period from July, 2002 to June, 2005.

Agency shop fee payers, who will also be covered by the contract if it is approved, are being asked to sign voluntary membership cards so that they can vote on future issues that are presented to the membership.

Members in the New York City Housing Authority are probably aware that the annual leave provisions of the proposed contract will need to be modified to fit the special circumstances of the Housing Authority. The NYCHA Labor Relations office is sending OSA a proposed set of changes in time and leave "accruables" but we don't have it yet. When we do, we will be sharing it with the NYCHA members.

Some members have already called in to ask if they could vote for the contract overall, but against the one or two percent and the givebacks that are attached to those percents. The answer is no.

But a "no" vote on the contract will have the same effect, since all that is at risk is the 1% or at most 2% of the third year of the contract. In effect, a "no" vote does not reject the $1,000 of the first year or the 3% of the second year or the first 1% of the third year. It does send OSA back to the bargaining table and delays payment of monies already offered, but that money would be paid retroactively upon later agreement.