OSA Newsline - March 26, 2007

The membership meeting is at 125 Worth Street, this Thursday. The building is the main office of the Health Department and is at the north end of Foley Square. The second floor auditorium is quite spacious and the room was renovated about three years ago.

Nearby train stops are Brooklyn Bridge, Worth Street and Canal Street on the IRT and BMT lines. See you there.

This is the last week for applications for Staff Analyst Trainee. Any serving provisional who wants a permanent line should be applying to take this exam, unless they already have a permanent line higher than Staff Analyst.

If you have any questions about taking the test, please call Sheila at the union office.

One last piece of news concerns the recent announcement about changes in the Agency for Childrenís Services. In what appears to be an assault upon the caseworkers, John Mattingly, the Commissioner, and Mayor Bloomberg, are proposing wholesale layoffs of staff and replacement, in many cases, by non-union workers.

We feel sure that the Social Service Employees Union local 371 will fight hard for their members, and we will support their efforts as needed.

From Mayors Koch to Bloomberg, for 30 years straight, our City has screwed up Child Welfare by not staffing it properly and by frequent cases of mismanagement. Meanwhile, every time it goes wrong, it is always the workers who are to blame, and every time, the newspapers buy the Administrationís story.

The Organization of Staff Analysts, and our analyst members within ACS, know the truth, that management is responsible for the sins of Child Welfare Ė and sins they are.

OSA Newsline - March 19, 2007

Many of our members who pre-registered for the Staff Analyst Trainee course have not yet registered. So, we know they want the training, but we donít know what day of the week is desired.

Those individuals should either send in their registration form immediately or else, if they lost the form, call the union office or download it again by clicking on the link earlier in this paragraph.

Each potential SAT candidate also must mail in their application to DCAS, without delay, or else there is no point to taking the training. All materials for the SAT exam can be found on this website on the Campaigns and Updates page. Scroll down to the section on the Staff Analyst Trainee Exam.

A mailing is due out by mid-week and the main topic is negotiations. I f you do not get the mail by next Monday, call George Morgan at the union office. He will check your mailing address and send you a duplicate copy. The same content is up on this website as the March, 2007 edition of "News From OSA."

OSA Newsline - March 12, 2007

Our training course for the Associate Staff Analyst exam is in progress, with classes being held seven days a week. Executive Director Sheila Gorsky is overseeing the training while also preparing for the upcoming Staff Analyst Trainee exam.

Incidentally, Sheila came up with a new class of potential candidates for the Staff Analyst Trainee exam. She is reaching out to those of our Health and Hospitals Corporation members who are earning at or below the level of Staff Analyst Trainee.

Even if a member is currently earning as much as a Staff Analyst Trainee, the Trainees mature after two years service into Staff Analysts at a higher salary.

Those members who have recently received the Staff Analyst Trainee exam material are reminded to get the application in quickly. Send the application to DCAS, return receipt requested. Also, send in the request for training to OSA, as soon as possible. The same information and forms to be completed can be downloaded from the Campaigns and Updates section of this website. Scroll down to the section on the Staff Analyst Trainee Exam.

OSA Newsline - March 1, 2007

Our main unit negotiations fell apart on Tuesday. Our bargaining team had worked out most details for the 2006-2008 contract, when the City inserted a poison pill at the very last moment. Prior to the start of negotiations, we had told the City we were not giving up the 1% due to us since July of 2004. At first, the City said we would have to agree to sign a waiver of our rights to the 1% before negotiations could get going. We said we would not.

Then, the City said we would not have to sign a waiver. So, we began negotiating. At the negotiating sessions, the City representatives repeatedly assured us that we could always bring up productivity savings at any time, now or in the future.

Thus, we had every reason to believe that we could conclude the current contract and resolve the 1% at a later date. The City, however, appears to have been playing a game of bait and switch. We were given every reason to believe that the 1% was not an issue until the moment when it looked like negotiations were almost done.

Tim Collins, our chief negotiator, confronted the City representative with her own earlier words. In response, she insisted we had all misunderstood her. Moreover, she pointed out, we did not have to officially sign a waiver giving up our rights to the 1%.

The OSA Chairperson pointed out that, nonetheless, the City was now, for the first time, telling us we would lose the 1% if we signed the new contract.

In fact, as far as any of us can tell, the City has been negotiating with us in hideously bad faith. Our position is clear and has been clear since DC37 got the 1%. We will give up what they gave up and not one thing more and we are due the 1% and not one cent less.

A second meeting, with the Labor Relations Commissioner, occurred the next day. We were offered the chance to forever give up the 1% and go forward. Alternatively, we could accept a ten month delay in our next contract and get the 1% in return.

The two alternatives are unacceptable. We're not giving up the 1%, nor are we giving a ten month delay in our contract in return for 1%.

We can, and will, take legal action if the City does not modify its position. The City often holds back on a contract in order to squeeze concessions out of union members. This has never worked before with OSA and it will not work this time.

It is unusual for the City to make believe they are near agreement and then to pull a switcheroo, but from their point of view, it might have worked. It did not.

We are due the 1, the 2 and the 5 and not one penny less. Period.We will fight for this.

The next newsline will be the one for March 12, 2007.