OSA Newsline - July 31, 2006

At a meeting last Friday, the coalition of unions representing 173,000 workers resolved to use the DC37 pattern as the floor for our current demands as a group. The group will meet again at the end of August and, in the meantime, there will be committee work that will go forward.

It appears that the Health and Hospitals Corporation is going to go to court to stop the election that is due for the Enrollment Sales Representatives. The Hospitals Corporationís case does not sound plausible. Their claim is that ESRís have access to secret marketing strategies that unions might compromise. It is absurd.

Nevertheless, court action will further delay representation rights for a group that should have been given union status as early as 1994.

Meanwhile, Senior Management Consultants will be receiving welcoming packages this summer and there is still pending the election for Systems Project Leader.

We are making progress in negotiations and organizing, but always more slowly than we would like.

Finally, mark your calendars for the 2006 Labor Day Parade which will take place on Saturday, September 9, 2006, the Saturday after the official holiday. Last year, about 50 OSA members and retirees marched up Fifth Avenue. This year, our contingent will gather at 1:30pm at the southeast corner of 47th Street and Sixth Avenue. All those marching will receive an OSA baseball cap and t shirt. You can download a flyer here. Share it with your brothers and sisters at work. Family members are invited and welcome. If you are going to be able to join us, please call the union office at (212) 686-1229 and let us know. Speak with Bobby Lee, Michael Weiss or Robert Spencer and let them know that you're coming and the number of others coming with you.

OSA Newsline - July 24, 2006

Last week was relatively quiet. Our transit authority members voted unanimously by mail ballot on the question of the 3.25% contract for the period 7/1/05 through 7/12/06. We have shared the results with the Transit Authority and we are awaiting the setting of a pay date. Special thanks to our representative for the TA, Michael Collins.

There is a meeting set for this Friday by the coalition of unions covering workers not represented by DC37. That should be interesting. We all now know the floor for our next 20 month period, financially, but where will the ceiling be? We will find out.

OSA Newsline - July 17, 2006

As members are now aware, DC37 and the City have agreed to a 32 month contract. The contract period is July 1, 2005 through March 2, 2008.

The DC37 monies include 3.15% as of July 1, 2005 and some OSA members called to ask when they would be receiving that money. Actually, in the case of our City employee members, that part of the raise is already in place since earlier this year. Our Transit Authority members are voting on the same one year and 12 day contract right now.

OSA took 3.25% for 7/1/05 through 7/12/06 and DC37 took a similar amount for the first year of their new 32 month settlement.

The next raises achieved by DC37 are more interesting. The second raise, of 2%, will be effective August 1, 2006 and the third raise, of 4%, will arrive in February of 2007.

Sweetening the pot is an extra one time payment of $166 per capita to the DC37 Welfare Fund and a $100 recurring grant for that Fund as well.

Finally, on the last day of the contract, there is a 0.34% (one third of a percent) equity payment for various purposes, according to each unionís needs or preferences.

OSA is, of course, a part of a larger coalition, and we look forward to a similar settlement, if we canít do better.

Of special note, DC37 is to be complimented for persuading the City to modify the residency requirements. This will eventually affect us also.

There were no givebacks mentioned and that is most excellent, since even talk of givebacks in a time of prosperity was obscene.

OSA Newsline - July 10, 2006

There are two items this week. First, for our candidates for Administrative Staff Analyst, we have put together answers to frequently asked questions that we have been receiving from those who took the Admin exam. You can download the document here. In addition, we ask the Admins to download this coupon, fill it out and mail it back to the union when you are called from the Admin Staff Analyst list. It will help us to monitor the movement of the list and to ensure that it is being done properly.

Second, the OSA Welfare Fund trustees have voted to revise the rules for dental implants, effective July 1st of this year. (In other words, last week.)

Previously, the requirement was for the proposed implant to be surrounded by healthy teeth. While this made sense because it avoided the necessity for a fixed bridge instead, the policy led to a great many appeals.

The cost of our dental benefit had been climbing for a number of years, due to improvements made by the trustees, so a restrictive policy on implants made sense. This past year, however, costs had leveled off and even decreased somewhat. For a one year trial period, the new policy will allow a change to a single implant per plan year. The only restriction will be that the member or dependent is limited to two implants per jaw or four at maximum in the course of a lifetime. Some members have already had two or more implants.

The reason why this is an experiment is because the trustees do not know how many members will now put in for an implant. If too many requests are received, the policy will have to be adjusted for next year.

The dental year is July to June and members should always have their dentist obtain a pre-treatment estimate from SIDS before proceeding. Implants done by non-panel dentists are very costly.

Members also must note that, while the Fund pays for implants it does not cover implant-related services such as custom abutments, sinus lifts or grafts, etc.

OSA Newsline - July 7, 2006

DCAS giveth. DCAS taketh away. The Associate Supervisor of School Security promotional exam announced at the end of June by the Department of Citywide Administrative Services for October of this year (and which we mentioned in the newsline earlier this week) has been cancelled. More information as we have it.

OSA Newsline - July 3, 2006

Best wishes for a happy and healthy Independence Day holiday.

The Organization of Staff Analystsí Transit Authority bargaining team reached a tentative agreement with the Authority last Thursday. The agreement, calling for a 3.25% raise, effective July 1, 2005, will now be sent out to the members for ratification. The photo at left features the OSA and TA bargaining teams at the contract signing. Seated (left to right) are Tim Collins, Joyce Moran, Naomi Drake, and Erica Siegel. Standing (left to right) are Kwame Asante, Doug Jacobs, Mike Collins, Bob Croghan, Ralph Agritelley, Chris Johnson, Wilfred St. Surin, and Ron Gooding.

Also, the Office of Collective Bargaining has now ruled that the Enrollment Sales Representatives of the Health and Hospitals Corporation will be allowed to choose which union will have the right to represent them.

OSA has spent many years achieving this goal. We were seeking union rights and protections for these employees as early as 1993. We have been in an intense field campaign since 1999. We filed the necessary membership designation cards more than two years ago, but due to other unions intervening, the process was delayed.

Now, the job is almost complete and the ESRís will be voting, probably this fall. Good.

Finally, the Department of Citywide Administrative Services has announced that it is scheduling three exams in titles represented by OSA over the next year. The Associate Supervisors of School Security promotional exam will be given on October 28, 2006, with filing between July 5 and July 25, 2006.

The Associate Staff Analyst promotional exam will be given on May 5, 2007, with filing between January 3 and January 23, 2007.

And the Staff Analyst Trainee open competitive exam will be given on June 16, 2007 with filing between March 7 and March 27, 2007. More information as we have it.