OSA Newsline - May 26, 2010

A late update -- Work on the much delayed state budget may keep Senator Diane Savino and Assemblymember Peter Abbate in Albany tomorrow and prevent them from joining us at our membership meeting. However, we hope to see you there.

OSA Newsline - May 24, 2010

Last week’s newsline stated, incorrectly, that the New York State legislature had already passed an early retirement incentive bill. No -- we were wrong. The Governor apparently wants one passed and the legislature prepared the bill and probably will pass the bill, but it has not been made law yet. And, of course, the Mayor has not agreed to it either.

However, in order to make up for our newsline error, members will have a chance to meet in person with two of the legislators sponsoring the bill.

Both Diane Savino of the New York State Senate and Peter Abbate of the State Assembly will be at our membership meeting this Thursday at the union office. Also available at that time will be copies of the memo detailing the proposed legislation.

Diane and Peter are our friends in Albany and we are very pleased that they will be coming to visit with our members – Thursday evening at 6pm at the union office.

On a different note, our bargaining team at the Transit Authority met with the TA about the overdue contract. A letter will be going out to our Transit Authority members with details but, in brief, the MTA position continues to be that they wish they didn’t have to pay the 4% and 4% of the pattern. The MTA has been grasping at every straw to avoid the pattern for two years now – and we are rightly furious at their delay.

The general membership mailing for May is out and should have been received by you already. If you did not get your copy, call George Morgan at the union office, 212-686-1229, so he can check your address and send you a copy. The same contents are posted on this website as the May issue of News From OSA.

OSA Newsline - May 17, 2010

There was bad news from the Health and Hospitals Corporation last Friday. They are planning a restructuring that will include layoffs and privatization of some HHC functions. We are not planning on accepting their plans quietly.

What is really bad about the HHC plan is that we, members of organized labor, are the only consistent allies that HHC has or ever has had, since it was crated out of the Hospital Department in 1970.

When Rudolph Giuliani wanted to sell Coney Island Hospital, he was stopped by organized labor. When Ed Koch wanted to give away North Central Bronx Hospital, he was stopped by organized labor.

Every single boss at HHC owes his or her job to us and our efforts on behalf of HHC over a forty year period. Yet, they still seek to cut costs by exploiting a private sector casual labor workforce, instead of treasuring a career work force dedicated to City hospitals. There will be more on this topic as the scenario plays out.

On another topic members have been calling the union office to ask about the early retirement incentive. That just means they did not call the phone hotline or check this newsline last week, because we told the story then. Yes, there is an incentive. Yes, it was passed in Albany. Yes, it could affect us. But no, Mayor Bloomberg has not yet agreed to offer it. We do hope he does, but he has not yet done so.

OSA Newsline - May 10, 2010

The Mayor’s announcement of 11,000 layoffs was dismal news. No details are available, although we have already been suffering layoffs most of the past year.

The only positive note is that the State is passing an early retirement incentive bill. Unfortunately, the Mayor has not yet signaled his agreement, so all we have so far is the bad news.

OSA Newsline - May 3, 2010

It has been a slow week for news. The Mayor and his minions continue to go after the UFT while awaiting the state budget. One Deputy Mayor (who we didn’t like) is being replaced with a new one. This fellow was big with the anti-labor Manhattan Institute, so the Mayor will love him but, probably, we will not.

Citywide negotiating items are being compiled by DC37 for a possible new Citywide Contract. Even so, it all depends on the atmosphere. If the Mayor would like to worsen our current Citywide Contract, we will stick with the old one.

Last week’s Chief newspaper carried an article by Organization of Staff Analysts’ Chairperson Bob Croghan on page six. The issue will be on sale until Monday. The article recounts the story of the last time a boss went after the older workers to save money. The older workers were bus drivers that year and older teachers this year. You can download a copy of the article by clicking here.

Finally, this is the season for demonstrations, so some of our members were out at City Hall last week and tomorrow, May 1st, there is a rally at 11am at Foley Square. The goals of the rally are somewhat open-ended so we can consider it a May Day rally for general good purposes The rally is called by a range of unions and immigrants rights groups coming together as the Alliance for Labor and Immigrant Rights and Jobs For All. Assembly is at 11am on Saturday at Worth Street (between Centre and Lafayette Streets). You can download a flyer for the event by clicking here.

You can view a clip of AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka addressing the April 29th rally and march on Wall Street by clicking the link below.