OSA Newsline - May 28, 2012

Today is Memorial Day, a day set aside to honor our brothers and sisters who sacrificed for our nation. We remember those who have fallen and those who serve today.

The union mailing should have arrived by now, and if you did not receive it call George at the union office so he can check your address and send out another copy. The same content is up on this website as the May edition of the OSA Newsletter.

Our May membership meeting will be this Thursday at the union office, 220 East 23rd Street Suite 707, starting at 6pm sharp.

OSA Newsline - May 21, 2012

We showed the movie Gasland last Thursday. It’s a very powerful movie and may, on its own, slow down the amount of hydraulic fracturing going on. “Fracking” is being pushed by powerful corporations and there is a lot of money in “fracking,” but the ecological results are so frightening they are almost funny.

The fact that homeowners living on the land above sites that have been “fracked” are able to set their tap water on fire is a neat trick. Not so neat is that animals and fish and people drinking that water get sick and die.

If you hear positive things about “fracking” on television – you know, more jobs, clean energy, makes America strong – don’t form a final opinion until you have seen Gasland.

Noted, the Workers Defense League is honoring Michael Goodwin of the Office and Professional Employees International Union and Julie Kushner of the United Auto Workers at the WDL’s annual dinner. Also being honored are OSA’s chairperson, Bob Croghan, and executive director, Sheila Gorsky. OSA Chair Bob Croghan said, "since the Workers Defense League is, itself, an old and honorable organization, the honor is very much appreciated."

OSA Newsline - May 16, 2012

Photos from the May Day rally and march are now posted in the OSA Photo Gallery section of this website. Click on the button for May 2012 and the icon on that page to play the slide show.

On Thursday, May 17, if you work near City Hall, join OSA Chair Bob Croghan and other union leaders for a rally to defend public housing. The rally, which runs from 12noon to 1pm, will be held in front of the New York City Housing Authority's executive offices at 250 Broadway. Organized by Local 375 of DC37 (the architects and engineers), the rally seeks to call attention to the underfunding by the federal government of NYCHA, which is seriously challenging its mission to provide decent, well-maintained housing for low and moderate income New Yorkers. In addition, there is concern with the reliance on outsourcing consulting and construction work to private firms rather than city workers. Public housing in New York City has worked for more than 75 years. It is a valuable resource and one that must be protected. Join us on Thursday. You can download a rally flyer by clicking this link.

OSA Newsline - May 14, 2012

Last week’s Civil Service Chief newspaper had an excellent editorial criticizing the mayor’s recent statement that we will receive no retroactivity on our contracts whenever they are negotiated.

You can pick up a copy on the newsstand if you missed it, but only until Monday, since Tuesday is the next week’s issue.

You can also read a copy of the editorial by clicking this link.

Also, this Thursday, our union is showing a movie. The documentary film “Gasland” is really a good one and was very popular with our retirees when they saw it. It has already been in the theaters and on cable television, but if you missed it, now is your chance.

The film showing is this Thursday at 6pm at the union office and popcorn will be provided. Wait for the moment when the homeowner holds a flame to his running tap water in his kitchen. His tap water catches fire. Interesting and informative film on the side effects of hydraulic fracturing or “fracking.”

You can download a flyer about the screening at this link.

OSA Newsline - May 7, 2012

On May Day, many thousands of workers marched peacefully down Broadway from Union Square to the Bull. The late evening television news ignored the march.

Even so, twice as many union members marched this year as attended the rally last year and that was true for OSA and appeared to be true for the other unions as well.

We are glad that more of our members are coming to demonstrations, but we wonder when the rest will arrive.

We are now nearly two years out of contract. That’s two years of inflation and no raises in sight. Incidentally, in each of the past two years, the City has ended with a huge surplus and, this year, the City has nearly half a billion dollars extra, thanks to the rebate of half the money from the mayor’s CityTime scandal.

On Friday, the mayor went further to announce there would be no retroactive raises when contracts are finally negotiated. Now, since he is not negotiating at all, he is telling us that the next mayor will have no money for us either.

It seems to us that members should want to show their anger at being robbed by the mayor and their solidarity with labor by attending demonstrations and marches – and some did. Those who did preserved the honor of OSA.

Those who joined the OSA contingent were: Sherman Gould, Nancy Russell, John Harper, Sheila Gorsky, Bob Croghan, Tom Anderson, Renee Bash, Leonard Glassberg, Stephen Parker, Sam Sills, Carlos Viguera, Joe Sperling, Michael Spector, Zaron Spector, Marilyn Percy, Stephen O’Brien, Jay Warshofsky, Ron Lehman, Rob Spencer, John Mazzarella, Vladimir Vizner, Sean Dillon, Elena Roman, Keith Kelly, Cecelia McCarthy, Peggy Crull, Verina Hilton Thomas, Gail Ferrero, John Berman, Annette Moore and Nanette Beatrice. Thank you.

Look for photos from the May Day march soon in the photo gallery section of this website on the page for May, 2012.

Meantime, a short video clip below, found on YouTube includes a few brief shots of the OSA contingent marching by. Look closely on the left of the screen.

There was little corporate media coverage of the scope of the march. Tens of thousands turned out, though you probably would not know from the pieces aired on local television news. So, here's someone's cell phone video of a couple of minutes of the march on Broadway. Quite a few people - by some estimates as many as 25,000 - took part.