OSA Newsline - July 30, 2007

This summer, the City is working hard on the Coastal Storm Plan. The City has involved the Municipal Labor Committee and is providing training for many of the staff.

Some agencies are mandating the training and scheduling it during regular working hours. Meanwhile, the unions have been assured that volunteering during a future disaster is voluntary.

Why, then, are we training individuals who have not volunteered? Thatís a good question. Meanwhile, the City is ordering us to take the training, so we shall.

If the City had first found the volunteers and then, only then, given the training to those volunteers, all of this would make more sense than it does now.

OSA Newsline - July 23, 2007

The last of the holdouts, the Police Department, is in the process of moving the Administrative Staff Analyst list Ė at last. The Staff Analyst list is at number 715 and we continue to press the City on both lists.

The union also continues to meet with the City on a number of matters, contractual and otherwise.

OSA Newsline - July 9, 2007

The walk-in test review and protest session for the Staff Analyst Trainee exam is set for this Wednesday, July 11, 2007, at 9am at DCAS's test center, 26 Washington Street, in Lower Manhattan. The preliminary answer key for the exam has been released and can be downloaded at the link below.

Staff Analyst Trainee Exam Preliminary Answer Key

Meantime, for those candidates who did not take their "candidate's record of answers" out with them on the exam day or did not have the time to complete the form or have since lost it, DCAS allows candidates to request a copy of their official answer sheet by sending a $1 money order made payble to DCAS to:

Municipal Bldg Rm 1448
One Centre Street
New York, New York 10007
Attn: Record Room

The request must include your name, social security number, exam number (#7300),exam title (Staff Analyst Trainee) and the date you took the exam.

Given the fact that the review session is coming up so quickly, if you fall into the category of needing a copy of your original answer sheet for the protest session, you may wish to call the record room at (212) 669-7229 and find out if you can bring the money order in person on Monday or Tuesday.

Our second bit of news is rather special. We have made mention, on occasion, of the negotiations of our School Safety and Traffic Enforcement unit. OSA represents the highest level of officers in both of those fields and bargaining has been hard. Our first contract on their behalf took over two years to complete and their current negotiation has taken far longer.

The contract, just ratified, covers the period August 1, 2002 through December 12, 2008. The two reasons why negotiations took, literally, years are first, that the City kept seeking to shortchange these high level workers and second, that the unitís bargaining team refused to accept less than was due to them.

Years of negotiations, and at least one favorable arbitration, finally resulted in a contract so acceptable to the unit that the vote on the contract was 47 to 2 with 90% of the unit voting.

The compounded raise for the entire contract is 19.96% on their basic salary, plus improvements in salary related to promotion, plus welfare fund and equity increases. There were give backs, as there had been in our other OSA contracts for the 2002-2005 period.

Praise is due to our lead negotiator Tim Collins and to Joan Kiok, our chief attorney, as well as the bargaining team and the entire chapter. A good job, well done.

OSA Newsline - July 2, 2007

Both Tom Anderson and Rob Spencer testified before the Civil Service Committee of the City Council last week. Councilman Addabbo has been following up on OSAís efforts to reduce the abuse of civil service hiring and promotion lists by some city agencies. An article about the hearing in the Chief appears here.

OSAís representatives thanked the council members for their efforts so far and specified further improvements that really are needed. Our representatives were pleased to be joined by Lillian Roberts, head of DC37. Lillian came down hard, in testimony submitted for the record, against any use of the 1 in 3 rule at all. Since OSA is convinced that the rule is more often abused than it is reasonably used, we completely agree.

There were other meetings last week and all this month and next there will be business conducted, but given the season and vacation schedules, things will slow down somewhat in the summer. Accordingly, the newsline from now until mid-September will be biweekly.

Finally, we repeat the following information we first posted on Friday. The union has finished compiling the item analysis for the recent Staff Analyst Trainee exam. At the links following this paragraph you can download the item analysis compiled for the June 16, 2007 Staff Analyst Trainee exam and the Sunday, June 17, 2007 Sabbath Observer session. The item analysis shows the number and percentage of those who took the test and sent us a copy of their answer sheets who chose each answer to the 80 questions. We base the analysis for the Saturday session on the first 200 answer sheets sent in to the union. The Sunday session is another story. We only received five answer sheets and, while we have compiled the data and present it below, we do not know if it is statistically valid. To get a passing grade you need to have answered at least 56 of the 80 questions correctly.

Item Analysis For the Main, Saturday, June 16, 2007 Staff Analyst Trainee Exam Session

Item Analysis For the Alternate, Sunday, June 17, 2007 Staff Analyst Trainee Exam Session

We provide the analysis for two reasons. First, candidates can get a general idea of how they did before DCAS issues its proposed key on the 4th Monday after the exam. Second, and perhaps more important, by comparing your own answers against the analysis and the proposed key, when it is issued in July, you can single out questions where many other candidates also got the answer "wrong." This is of value if there are questions related to judgment -- and there often are. If a question is a matter of fact, it does not matter if most candidates are wrong, they are just wrong.

At the walk-in test review session on the 4th Wednesday after the exam, you will have the opportunity to review the entire test and compare your answers with DCAS's proposed key. The item analysis can help guide you toward those questions that may be especially valuable to review and protest. You can submit a protest at the review session or within 30 days to DCAS (though it probably makes sense to do it at the review session, since you can't take notes or the questions out of the session).

You must justify why the answer you've chosen should be accepted as correct. In some cases, DCAS may revise its proposed key to accept more than one answer or they may give credit for all answers to an especially poorly worded or confusing question.

In the item analysis, we have highlighted those answers selected by more than 50.1% of those responding. In cases where no answer drew more than 50.1% of total responses, we have highlighted the highest two (or in a few cases, more) answers chosen.

Thanks to George Morgan for compiling the numbers and Rob Spencer for developing the spreadsheets with the results.