OSA Newsline - May 26, 2003

There is no special news this week, so we will be content with noting that as we can and must remember those who gave their lives for our country, so we are also obligated to remember the twenty-two of our brothers and sisters who were laid off last week.

The newspapers have ceased their attacks on civil servants for this past weekend, but if news is slow, we can assume they will start up again soon. No matter. If all the newspapers of the entire world did agree that rain fell upwards, it would not make one drop of rain change direction.

Neither will we ever accept that when the Mayor and the Governor have lowered the taxes on the rich, the resulting bill is ours to pay. Memorial Day does not make us feel less militant. We think of those who defended our country and we know they were ordinary sorts very much like us, not at all like the rich nor the editorial writers. Those guys tell us now that we owe them a debt and we answer that we can spot thieves a mile away.
OSA Newsline - May 19, 2003

There were lots of meetings last week. The Municipal Labor Committee met Monday, Thursday and Friday. We crafted a one-half of one percent interest $200 million loan for the City. Our prior offer had been scorned as too expensive. We made the offer on Thursday and both sides agreed to avoid talking to the newspapers about it. The very next morning, before the meeting resumed, the City's rejection of the offer showed up in the Daily News. The reason given was not that the interest rate was too high this time, instead it was the possibility that the IRS would not agree the loan was proper.

Randi Weingarten then offered to bring in major players from the Emergency Financial Control Board to judge the propriety of the offer. Apparently, the City and State Comptrollers had agreed to take a look at the offer and the Mayor could add his appointees as well.

Jim Hanley of the Office of Labor Relations became upset because Randi had named two officials who, as he noted, were Democrats. He charged that this was playing politics, so he jumped up and led his delegation, about forty strong, from the room.

Laying off 22 Analysts into the street while OSA is begging the City to grant, instead, 25 no-cost-to-the-City voluntary leaves of absence is, we guess, not politics, according to Jim Hanley. It is pointless, stupid and evil, but it is not Democrat nor Republican, it is just Bloomberg.

We could have saved all 3000 layoffs at no cost to our City, but the Mayor would not and will not listen.

We believe the Mayor intended to carry out these layoffs from the start, that all of his negotiations with us have been in bad faith from the first day. He is hiring madly as he discards civil servants left and right. You may lose your job as a $23,000 a year teacher's aide. Indeed, about 800 aides were due layoff. In return, however, he is recruiting, from the New York Times, for instructional bigwigs at $130,000 a year.

The same story is going on in other agencies as the personnel departments hire highly recommended persons at giant salaries, while laying off other employees who had been earning moderate salaries.

You won't read a word of this in the News, the Post, the Times or the Sun, but it's going on. We know it's going on and we are not at all happy about it or about the Mayor who is doing it.

Why would the Mayor reject voluntary furloughs? David Dinkins did not. Well, of course, David Dinkins did not actually want layoffs. Mr. Bloomberg clearly wanted these layoffs and nothing we could offer could or would dissuade him.

The Municipal Labor Committee will be meeting on Monday to again seek alternatives to layoffs, but negotiations are really hopeless, so long as the Mayor doesn't want them.
OSA Newsline - May 12, 2003

The Organization of Staff Analysts' offer of voluntary leaves of absence to replace layoffs will be given full coverage in this week's issue of the civil service newspaper The Chief.

The Chief hits the newstands this Tuesday and we are grateful for the coverage. Our other local press, and most TV news, continues to be the Mayor's public relations arm when it comes to us.

As we understand it from the News, the Post, the Times and the Sun, the Mayor is deeply hurt over the layoffs, although he is the only person responsible for issuing the pink slips. Meanwhile, the big bad unions are, in a cowardly fashion, refusing to do generous give backs against the will of their members. Huh?

According to the polls, the public is not buying this blarney and many are blaming Bloomberg. Good. So long as he ignores our offer of voluntary furloughs, he has absolutely no defense and is obviously the only one due blame. He is bent on hurting 3,000 people and their families and we don't even know why. If he is trying to intimidate us, it will never work.

The MLC is bent on making one last attempt to talk to the Mayor but he must halt the layoffs.
OSA Newsline - May 5, 2003

We met with the City last week and again, in even more detail, offered OSA's plan for using voluntary leaves of absence to reduce or entirely halt the need for layoffs.

We were told that the presentation was excellent but, even so, the layoff notices went out Friday in spite of our offer.

OSA is not alone in making this offer, as the leaders of many of the civilian professional unions believe it would work for their members as well, but the city continues silent in response to all of our offers.

OSA will be meeting with representatives of the City Council this week in a desperate move to force the City's hand on this matter. A law may or may not be the most appropriate vehicle to force the Mayor to take our offer seriously, but we are desperate and layoffs for most are only two weeks off.

Members are urged to come to our May general membership meeting this Monday evening. We will be giving an award to C. Virginia Fields who, independent of OSA, came up with the same solution to the fiscal crisis.

Manhattan Borough President Fields used voluntary furloughs to avoid layoffs and it has worked well for her office.

The meeting is at 220 East 23rd Street, between Second and Third Avenues, Suite 709. Refreshments will be provided and the meeting is set for 6pm.