OSA Newsline - May 25, 2015

Today, Memorial Day, is a day when we honor those who have served our nation and especially those who were seriously hurt or died protecting all of us.

Last week’s Chief newspaper broke the news of planned reduction in staff in the New York City Housing Authority. We have been in contact with the authorities at NYCHA and have learned that their plans will impact upon our members. According to NYCHA, a small but not yet determined number of our members will be affected by the downsizing. They will contact us as soon as their plans are more concrete.

We brought up the possibility of furloughs in lieu of layoffs since the Housing Authority was the only agency that in recent years did use furloughs to save targeted members from layoffs. The agency reassured us that the plans being worked out by the de Blasio administration envision redeployment of staff, not layoffs. It is expected that our members affected will be transferred to City agencies utilizing functional transfers to avoid any loss of salary or time.

The entire process, we were told, may take a full year to implement. We will stay on top of this, but are reassured by the dialog so far.

The City did not meet with us for negotiations last week, citing scheduling conflicts. It is true that, just as we have over a score of our members on our side of the table at each formal session, the City also assembles that many of their agency representatives and staff for each session. Even so, we are impatient to proceed and communicated that to the City.

One bit of very important news that occurred last week concerned notices finally going out to candidates scheduled to take the upcoming Analyst exams. The school locations were given and members are urged to learn how to get to those sites, in advance of the day of the exam. Also, take into account probable transit delays due to repairs or just slow weekend service. Aim to arrive very early for obvious reasons.

If any candidate has not yet received his or her notification by this Tuesday, do reach out to DCAS to make sure that the test will not be missed due to clerical or postal error.

OSA Newsline - May 18, 2015

The May general membership meeting was very well attended last week. There was some discussion of the imminent exams, but most of the discussion was regarding contract negotiations.

A number of members expressed a desire for a speedy settlement and payment of retroactive raises. Other members spoke strongly in favor of staying the course and seeking the long term gains that would come with the union's success.

The fact that our union has fought this exact sort of fight before and that we have won on each prior occasion was mentioned.

A further issue was raised that some of our members are in need of more evidence of the ability of our union to protect them from mistreatment on location.

This discussion went on at length, with many members praising our grievance department. Our union has a superb grievance department and a consistent record of victories both recent and over the years gose by. Our fault, perhaps, lies in two areas - that we have not regularly publicized our victories and that we do not have enough activists on our very many locations.

In order to start to remedy the first, we will begin with the next newsletter, when we will recount our most recent victory, one that resulted in a member’s restoration to the job with a six figure settlement for back pay.

OSA Newsline - May 11, 2015

The union newsletter went out last week in hard copy form. If you did not receive it, call George at the union office at 212-686-1229 so he can check your address and send you a copy. The online version has been up on this website as the May 2015 OSA Newsletter since the end of April.

Classes for the upcoming exams are continuing at the union office. As a result, this week's membership meeting will again be held at 125 Worth Street, in the Second Floor Auditorium.

Enter by the Lafayette Street entrance. The meeting starts at 6:15, but give yourself a couple of extra minutes to get through the security checkpoint.

The only formal negotiations last week concerned our School Safety and Transportation Chapter. That particular contract is close to agreement.

The next session of our main union negotiations are set for May 20th.

OSA Newsline - May 4, 2015

This week, some of our members received their Staff Analyst Trainee exam scores. The list itself will not be established for several weeks. After the list is established, it will be certified and will be sent to agencies so they can call candidates in for possible appointments.

Also this week, the Personnel Section of the Department of Citywide Administrative Services sent new appeal forms to those candidates who had been disqualified on the current Staff Analyst, Associate Staff Analyst and Administrative Staff Analyst exams. These appeal forms were only sent to individuals who had already appealed their disqualification.

If you have any questions on how to proceed in completing these appeals, you can call the union office at 212-686-1229.

On the negotiations front, there was some progress last week. The City finally conceded on a few of the minor items in dispute and, in return, the union also dropped some items of less than vital importance to us.

This did reflect the City becoming serious at last -- and that was welcome. A total of eleven demands out of twenty two were resolved and the City agreed to meet again during the week starting May 18th.

We are pleased that there was some progress, but we are distressed that the City has taken so long to get serious.