OSA Newsline -- July 20, 2018

Three topics of importance this week.

First, an exam for Staff Analyst is due this fall. DCAS will open filing from August 1st to the 21st.

AUGUST 1, 2018 UPDATE: You can download the Notice of Examination by clicking this link.

We will be offering help to candidates on how to complete the application. We will not know if help is actually needed until we read the Notice of Examination but, based on prior exams, such help is often needed.

Experience and education requirements can result in many qualified applicants being disqualified simply because their paper was filled out in a fashion unsatisfactory to DCAS.

So valuable has our help been on past exams that we are already contacting trainers to come in during August to help candidates with this E&E paper.

If you or anyone you know is filing for the exam and wants our help, call George at the union office, starting August 1st. The service is, as always, free to OSA and OSART members. Non-members can join OSART if they want this help and the training that follows.

The next topic is negotiations. We have sought to enter our own local unit negotiations even before the vote on the DC 37 contract is taken. The Office of Labor Relations has tentatively agreed, but has warned us that Summer schedules may make it difficult. Actually, we did expect that.

Finally, our union, and all the other City and State unions are being disrupted by the Supreme Court Janus decision.

Many of our card-signing, pro-union members are noticing that the City has stopped collecting dues. They are calling the office and we are sending out replacement cards.

We will also include a return envelope and a fresh card in the Summer mailing.

Many members have also reported receiving e-mails from anti-union forces urging them to stop paying dues. Other members have noted seeing TV commercials urging union members to also stop paying dues. This is a hugely well-financed campaign designed to end our public sector unions once and for all.

They will not succeed, but it will make for a rough Summer.

By October or November, the dust will have settled and there will be two types of workers clearly defined, members and non-members. That is the new law and we accept it.

Meanwhile, those dropping out should cease calling the union to explain that their dropping out is our fault, because of the failings of the union. We are a democratic, membership-run union and we are not, nor ever have been, perfect.

We welcome helpful criticism from any member, but we respond with annoyance to those who, seeking to save money, blame us for their decision.

Check back again in two weeks or sooner, because we may or may not need to update the newsline. It is a busy Summer.

If you'd like to listen to this week's newsline as an audio file, click on this link:

AUDIO July 20, 2018

OSA Newsline -- July 12, 2018

The first reports are now coming in of members whose paychecks no longer include a dues deduction. We did expect the 600 agency shop fee payers to be dropped, but the Cityís record keeping seems to be very poor. Many, many voluntary union members are being dropped off as well.

The union is putting out mail to obtain fresh union designation cards whenever we hear about such cases, but it is a problem and potentially a very big one.

There will be further updates on this as it develops. Meanwhile, if your dues deduction is missing from your paystub, please call the union office and let us know. If you do not call, we will not know for weeks to come, until the City sends us the member list with you missing.

Other news. Activists, officers and staff handed out over 5,000 green pencil cases at the Staff Analyst Trainee exam this week. Each case included a calculator, pens, a card for test-takers to return to the union so we can stay in touch with them, and, of course, a little bit of candy to tide them over during the exam.

We have also learned that the City will be offering filing for a Staff Analyst exam in August from August 1-21. If you have friends interested, look for the Notice of Exam early next month. We will have it on the newsline page and on the "Exams, Lists and Training" page of this website.

Check back. we may need to update the newsline sooner, but normally, in July, the newsline is biweekly.

If you'd like to listen to this week's newsline as an audio file, click on this link:

AUDIO July 12, 2018

OSA Newsline -- July 2, 2018

The speed of the past two weeks in negotiations will probably now slow down. When we called to schedule a bargaining session for our local unit agreement, we learned that the Deputy Commissioner assigned to OSA was out-of-town and would be gone over a week.

Thatís okay. The details of the health benefits agreement, plus the details of the economic pattern will be sent out in the summer mailing to our members. There are a lot of details. Too many for the newsline, certainly.

Our union will be busy this summer for many reasons. The Staff Analyst Trainee exam is next week. The NYC Health + Hospitals organizing drive is fully in action. DC37 will be holding citywide bargaining on non-fiscal issues within the next few weeks and we must absorb the impact of the Supreme Court decision in Janus v. AFSCME.

All this in addition to our intention to get started on local unit contract negotiations, assuming the City cooperates.

Even so, since all of this will take time, the newsline will now go to biweekly, since July is upon us. Naturally, the newsline will be updated in between if anything dramatic occurs.

If you'd like to listen to this week's newsline as an audio file, click on this link:

AUDIO July 2, 2018