OSA Newsline - June 28, 2012

Recently, OSA's Political Action Committee hosted fundraisers for City Councilmember Sara Gonzalez and Andy King. At the event, reporter Marc Bussanich of LaborPress interviewed a number of those attending, including OSA Chair Bob Croghan, Municipal Labor Committee head Harry Nespoli and Councilmember Gonzalez.

Below, we post the interviews with all three:

Bob Croghan

Harry Nespoli

Councilmember Sara Gonzalez

OSA Newsline - June 25, 2012

The Health and Hospitals Corporation has now revised its list of layoff units. Our union has been highly critical of the size of the HHC units since cases had occurred where a twenty year veteran was laid off in one unit while a six month recent hire in the same title was unaffected in another layoff unit.

Apparently, in response to our criticism and that of the other labor unions, HHC has proposed to reduce the number of layoff units. This is a small but welcome step towards increased fairness at HHC.

OSA Newsline - June 18, 2012

Last week, our Political Action Committee hosted a fundraiser for Sara M. Gonzalez, member of the City Council.

The fundraiser was attended by a dozen major political office holders, as well as a lot of representation from other unions.

Councilmember Gonzalez, assuming she is re-elected, will be the senior elected official for New York City, since she was elected in a special election for Council a couple of cycles back. She is also a warm and nice person who always fights for the little guy and has an excellent pro-labor record.

OSA Newsline - June 11, 2012

Last week brought us two bits of unhappy news. First, in Wisconsin, our side lost and, in very small measure, with help from some union members who voted against their own long term interests. That anyone would vote against themselves is a tribute to the power of advertising and its ability to deceive.

The second disappointment was closer to home. Gary LaBarbera, President of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, apparently joined with the Committee to Save New York in order to help Cuomo pass Pension Tier VI.


Now that, as Sylvester, the Warner Brothers cartoon cat would say, is despicable.

Both pieces of news are disheartening, but not all that surprising. The solidarity of labor is a very real thing for those of us who believe in it, but never in history has everyone believed in it.

Fortunately, there are many of us who do believe in the right of workers to fair and just treatment and almost all of us understand that it is not just our workers, but all workers who matter.

It was about forty years ago that a union leader named Peter Brennan led the construction trades workers to physically attack college students demonstrating against the Vietnam War. In return, President Nixon awarded Peter a medal. Of course, the war was soon ended, Nixon was disgraced and pushed out of office, and history moved on.

If, somewhere, here or in the next world, there is a Hall of Shame for labor leaders who betray the interests of the working class, the custodians are probably are now moving Mr. Brennan’s portrait to make room for the latest candidate.

You can read an article about Mr. LaBarbera's support for Cuomo's agenda by clicking this link

OSA Newsline - June 4, 2012

At last week’s membership meeting, it was announced that the OSA Welfare Fund Trustees had increased the number of dental implants allowed under our dental benefit program.

As of July 1st, members can spend up to $4,000 a year and can get reimbursed for up to six implants during their lifetime.

Under the prior rules, the limit was $3,000 a year and four implants. Family members are also allowed the same benefits.

Our Welfare Fund’s experience with implants is, so far, pretty positive. The initial implanting is often a lengthy and sometimes unsuccessful process, but once the implant is in place, we have received no complaints at all.

Tomorrow is an important recall election in Wisconsin. Governor Scott Walker and other extreme politicians who pushed through anti-labor legislation last year that has stripped public workers in Wisconsin of their collective bargaining rights are facing recalls. Walker's supporters have pumped in millions of dollars. The Koch Brothers and other extreme anti-worker special interests see these races as critical tests for their radical anti-public worker agenda. So, should you. And you should do what you can to help remove these anti-labor pols from office.

You can help in the recall effort by reaching out to people in Wisconsin and talking to them about what is at stake.

The AFL-CIO, the national labor federation has launched a tool, called Friends and Neighbors, to make it even easier for you to connect with the people you know—and other Wisconsinites—about why we must recall Walker, Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch and Senators Scott Fitzgerald, Van Wanggaard, and Terry Moulton.

You can sign up at the following page: Wisconsin Friends and Neighbors

Signing up is as easy as logging in using your Facebook account. Even if you don’t have a Facebook account, you can still sign up by creating your own FAN account.

For those who may be available between 2:30pm and 5pm New York time Tuesday for get out the vote calls, you can sign up at this link.