OSA Newsline - July 28, 2008

As usual, most things slow down in the summer. It is, however, distressing to note that DC37's negotiations are going very slowly at present. The City seems to be unwilling to offer DC37 the pattern set by earlier collective bargaining agreements between the City and other unions.

Since OSA is due to begin negotiations soon, the difficulties experienced by DC37 don’t auger well.

Things may be slow, but they are definitely not stopped entirely. Randi Weingarten, head of the local United Federation of Teachers (UFT), has been elected president of the national American Federation of Teachers (AFT). Immediately thereafter, she asked Howard Shore, her chief organizer, to contact us to arrange a presentation by AFT representatives.

On Tuesday the 29th, those representatives will be making the case for affiliation with their international and we will be interested in learning as much as we can. At this stage, we are simply gathering information.

For a little humorous summer viewing on a topic of serious concern, we direct you to the YouTube link below for a short four minute video entitled "Intro 650 Is All Wrong - Civil Liberties Will Be Gone" in which a group of New York environmental testing advocates call attention to a rather problematic piece of legislation, Intro 650, currently under consideration in the New York City Council and urge calls to Council Speaker Christine Quinn's office opposing the bill.

View the clip and read more about the bill at www.intro650.net. If you want a flyer about the bill to share with others, you can download it here. OSA submitted testimony against the bill at a City Council hearing in late April. Consider adding your voice.

Finally, many City workers have artistic skills in a range of media from photography to painting to sculpture. From July 21 to August 2, there is an exhibition of more than 200 works by municipal workers at the Salmagundi Club at 47 Fifth Avenue. For more information, call the Club at (212)255-7740 or download the flyer here. If you get a chance, visit the show.

OSA Newsline - July 14, 2008

Good news this time. First, our Transit Authority contract has been formally approved by the MTA board. Those raises are now scheduled for the August 7th paycheck, with the retroactive monies due to arrive two weeks later.

Second, the court has ruled on the delayed Municipal Credit Union election. About one third of our members use the Municipal Credit Union as their bank and our union has a member serving on the nominating committee of the MCU.

On March 27th of this year a group of directors of the MCU violated the MCU bylaws. They voted to cancel the annual election of officers. They did so because three incumbents were not re-nominated and, instead, new candidates were nominated. The incumbents would, under MCU rules, be allowed to run for re-election anyway, but that was not good enough.

Instead, in an obvious violation of law and fairness, they chose to cancel the election, discharge the nominating committee and to rescind the nominations of their opponents.

Judge Marylin G. Diamond, on June 20th, responded to a complaint by Mark Brantley. Mark is a member of the board of directors of the MCU and he was appalled by the actions of the board last March.

The judge ruled in favor of Director Brantley on all three issues. The MCU board of directors was wrong to cancel the election and had no right to annul properly made nominations.

The judge has reinstated the nominating committee of the MCU, reinstated the candidates for election and called the actions of the sitting board “unauthorized and unlawful.”

It does begin to look like there will be an election soon at the Municipal Credit Union. Good.