OSA Newsline - May 30, 2011

It was a quiet week last week. There was a demonstration, but it was the outer borough gypsy cab drivers outside City Hall this time – and not us.

At our union’s general membership meeting, copies of Plunkitt of Tammany Hall were given to those attending. Other members had called in asking for a copy to be mailed to them, but we are not able to do that, as we don’t have that many copies. We will save a few for the September membership meeting for anyone who could not make this one, but can make it in September.

We did not give out Hellhound of Wall Street, Michael Perino’s story of how Ferdinand Pecora investigated the great crash of 1929 and forever changed American finance. We do recommend that book also, but the book is more recent, so copies are twenty dollars each in bookstores or on line.

Plunkitt is a good answer to our mayor’s proposed civil service reforms and Hellhound tells how Pecora nailed Wall Street for the Depression of the 1930s so, while different, each book is pertinent today.

Instead of negotiations for our next contract, the mayor is focused on ruing the civil service, lowering our salaries and reducing our pensions. Therefore, on June 14, 2011, we will be at City Hall, after work, alongside DC37 members, at their rally. Make note of the date. We need to let the mayor know how unhappy he is making us. You can download a flyer to remind yourself, your colleagues, your family members or your neighbors of the time and place of the rally by clicking this link. We will have more information on this page and the phone hotline as the rally date gets closer.

OSA Newsline - May 23, 2011

A mailing is due out this week and, if you do not receive it by Wednesday, call George at the union office so he can check your address and send you a copy. The same information is up on this website as the May 2011 OSA Newsletter.

The mailing includes notice of the general membership meeting for this Thursday and a special offer as well.

The mayor has recently been pushing a number of reforms for the civil service. When or, perhaps, if you read his proposals carefully, you learn that he is being deceptive. Instead of being reforms, his proposals would destroy the civil service law entirely and leave him king of a 300,000 person, hire-at-his-will, promote-at-his-will, reward-at-his-will, or fire-at-his-will workforce. It is a power grab and not very appealing.

Meanwhile, OSA is aware of two earlier arguments along the same line. Ed Koch’s in the 1980's and G.W. Plunkitt’s after the turn of the century, in the early 1900's.

Of the three, the only one that was clear, mostly honest, and very entertaining, was G.W. Plunkitt’s. Plunkitt may have been corrupt, but he was pretty honest about it.

Therefore, each member attending our general membership meeting will receive a copy of William Riordon’s “Plunkitt of Tammany Hall.” Plunkitt, just like Bloomberg and Koch, opposed the civil service system, but he was neither dull nor dishonest about it.

Mike Schady has asked us to remind those who are provisional Staff or Associate Staff Analysts, that in some cases where the member has another, permanent civil service title, a lateral transfer to a permanent Analyst title can be effected through the 6.1.9 rule. For details, click on this link. There is a May 4th letter from Sheila Gorsky giving the details. 6.1.9's can’t be done if a promotional list is in existence, so please act before the list comes out.

Finally, some photos of the May Day rally for labor rights, immigrants rights and jobs for all can now be found on this website in the OSA Photo Gallery for May 2011.

OSA Newsline - May 16, 2011

Last week, nine unions took the time to testify before the City Council civil service committee on the topic of the mayor’s proposed civil service “reforms.”

The unions were united in their belief that these proposed “reforms” would lead to increased cronyism and corruption, but each union attacked different parts of the proposals.

OSA had two representatives speak on the topic. Our General Counsel, Len Shrier, pointed out that the proposed disciplinary changes not only cancelled out any semblance of progressive discipline, but also addressed a problem that did not exist and, finally, would likely violate protections of the New York State Constitution. Your chairperson also analyzed in detail a number of the mayor’s proposals and did so with sufficient clarity that the council members attending the hearing seemed amused by the analysis.

On conclusion of our testimony, we sympathized with the City Council because they had been forced to read a dull, boring and dishonest set of proposals from the mayor. As partial compensation for their suffering, our union distributed copies of William Riordan’s famous book, “Plunkitt of Tammany Hall.” In that book, one hundred years old, the proponent also opposed the civil service, but he did so openly, honestly and with humor and charm.

The council members expressed pleasure in receiving copies of the book and Chairperson Sanders asked for a few extra copies for his staff.

We have the impression that Chairperson Sanders understands what the mayor is trying to do and that works out well for us and our city.

On another front, an employee recognition ceremony was held at the Administration for Children's Services last week. OSA Chair Bob Croghan was among those honoring employees with 25 or more years of service. OSA DJJ Chapter Chair Eddie Birch took the picture of Bob with OSA's honorees which appears above.

OSA Newsline - May 9, 2011

Our representatives will be testifying Monday morning before the New York City Council’s civil service committee. The Mayor is trying to put through a law that will end civil service as we know it and take away our union at the same time.

A letter was sent out in January detailing his plans for replacing the rule of law with the rule of Bloomberg. He calls it a “reform,” but so did Ed Koch when he tried to do the same thing. You can re-read the January letter by clicking this link.

Meanwhile, as the Mayor works against you, you have a chance to tell him how much you appreciate his attacks on your pension, your health benefits, your salary and your jobs.

On May 12th, there will be eight separate rallies. You can download a flyer by clicking this link.

All the rallies start at 4pm and are at City Hall or south of it in Manhattan. So, essentially, as soon as you get off work, go and find a rally and join it. The Mayor, we hope, will be watching. Here are the assembly points

  • Education: City Hall @ 260 Broadway
  • Students: The Charging Bull @ 26 Broadway
  • Transportation & Energy: Bowling Green @ 1 Bowling Green
  • Immigration: Battery Park
  • Housing: Staten Island Ferry @ 1 State Street
  • Peace: Vietnam Veterans Memorial @ 55 Water Street
  • Jobs: Wall Street Fountain @ 110 Wall Street
  • Human Services/Safety Net: South Street Seaport @ 20 Fulton Street

    Finally, photos from the April 28, 2011 Women's Committee event are now posted in the OSA Photo Gallery section of this website. Take a look.

  • OSA Newsline - May 2, 2011

    For those who check this page before Sunday, May 1st, a reminder that the May Day demonstration will be held at Foley Square between Centre and Lafayette Streets. Please note that the OSA contingent will meet in front of 125 Worth Street (the Health Department building) at 1pm sharp.

    There are three items to note this week.

    First, candidates who took any of the recent Analyst exams are reminded to keep DCAS aware of any change of address since the exam. We have no official notice of those exam lists coming out, but, logically, they should soon, since test validation is completed and the first round of E&E disqualifications and appeals is nearing completion. Thus we do expect the Analyst lists out before the Summer. So it is important that DCAS have your correct address.

    Second, the longevity payments went out to most, but not all, agencies. If you are due, but did not get, check with payroll as to when the payment will arrive. If you are due money and you don’t get it, the process is to complete a payroll complaint form first and, if that does not work, to grieve thereafter.

    Finally, there was a nice showing at last Thursday’s OSA Women’s Committee event, “Women on the Move,” so it’s likely we will be doing more in the months to come. Congratulations to the organizers.