OSA Newsline - July 21, 2014

Our union distributed over 5,000 packages to candidates for the Staff Analyst Trainee exam. No pencils this time, but candy and calculators as usual. Candidates who had completed the exam thanked us for both. There was a lot of math on the exam and many had arrived without calculators of their own.

It was not an easy exam.

Candidates learned their scores on the exam right away. The exam was given, not on paper, but on a touch screen computer. One big advantage of using a computer was that candidates were given the results right away. That beats the past practice of waiting for weeks for exam results.

There were complaints. The test room was too cold compared to the heat outside. There was noise in the testing rooms that did distract test takers. Most seriously, one candidate had problems with the computer screen being too low for easy viewing.

Those are valid complaints, but in years gone by we have heard far worse. There were no mice, no high school football game outside the window and no cases of a four hour delay before starting. Still, the test itself was hard and the highest score we heard was a 95.

Good luck to all who took the test.

And thank you to OSA staff and summer assistants who helped distribute the green "care packages" to candidates, including Adam Orgel, Alejandra D'Angelo, Bobby Lee, Carol Moten, Christina Wong, Courtney Burke, Dan Rothstein, David Berger, Diana Carroll, Elba Ujaque, George Morgan, Iris Bailey, John Ost, Julian Medina, Katie Guarino, Kevin Shulman, Krystal Croghan, Laura Ly Rodriguez, Lauren Carroll, Maria Perez, Pam Kolpan, Richard Cates, Stan Williams and Yvonne Rodriguez. Laura Ly and Yvonne Rodriguez and Julian Medina are pictured in the photo to the left taking a brief rest on a very hot and humid day between test sessions at the downtown Manhattan location. Also thanks are due to the OSA executive board members who turned out to provide encouragement to the test takers.

In other news, the city has given us dates for a start of contract negotiations in August. This part is going quickly.

OSA Newsline - July 7, 2014

Last week, we mentioned that DC37 had opened negotiations and this week we note that they have concluded negotiations and will be proceeding to a vote by their delegate assembly.

The numbers look similar to those of the UFT, but there may be provisions of importance of a non-monetary sort. The one clear message is the city is in a hurry to conclude 150 union contracts that they inherited from the prior administration.

By our next newsline, we should have a date for the start of OSA’s negotiations.

This week also starts a two week-long exam period for the job of Staff Analyst Trainee. For the first time, candidates for analyst are being tested by computer at two sites, one in downtown Manhattan, the other downtown Brooklyn. Candidates are summoned 80 or 120 at a time, for testing and a new group follows four hours later.

OSA will have staff at each site for each set of candidates, giving out our traditional good luck and small green envelopes. Those envelopes started as pencil cases and, for many years, held spare, sharpened #2 pencils, but no more. Now the contents include a postcard, a calculator (solar in this case), and, as always, some candy for quick energy.

Best of luck to all those taking the test.

Finally, those of you who tried reaching the phone hotline on Monday and were unsuccessful, receiving a constant busy signal, our hotline vendor was experiencing problems with all of its phone lines, not only OSA's and informed us that they hoped to have the problem resolved with Verizon by the end of the day.