OSA Newsline - - Special Update - May 27, 2016

By a vote of 50 to 1, uniformed members of the Organization of Staff Analysts have overwhelmingly chosen to retain OSA as their union. The collective bargaining representation election was overseen by the New York City Office of Collective Bargaining. Voting ended on Thursday, March 26th.

The Law Enforcement Employees Benevolent Association had challenged OSA for the right to represent 61 superior officers working in the traffic enforcement and school security divisions of the Police Department. OSA had represented those officers since 2001.

OSA Chair Robert Croghan gave credit to the leadership of the union’s uniformed chapter for the victory. Said Croghan, “Our chapter of uniformed officers is unique in that they organized themselves first – and only then came to OSA. We were delighted with their action on their own behalf and felt they were most appropriate in joining a larger union that had also organized itself.”

Now-retired Administrative Traffic Enforcement Agent Barry Mandel, one of the unit’s founders, wrote a letter to each of the active members of the unit strongly supporting a vote for OSA. In his letter, Mandel noted, “Decertifying OSA as our union would be an insult to our brothers and sisters who welcomed us and made us a part of their family. It would also be unwise and no benefit to our members.”

The current leaders of the OSA uniformed unit, Naomi Aice and Sheila Skinner of School Security and Cheryl Hodge and Peter Murillo of Traffic Enforcement did research and held meetings with most of the eligible voters. OSA Chair Croghan noted, “It was their efforts that led to the OSA victory.”

Administrative School Security Manager Sheila Skinner observed that the election had a positive outcome in many ways. “The need to explain the benefits of OSA membership to the members of the unit reinforced their commitment to each other and to the union.”

The photograph above, taken by OSA Media Director Rob Spencer shortly after the vote was counted, features, left to right, OSA General Counsel Len Shrier, Administrative Traffic Enforcement Agent Cheryl Hodge, Administrative School Security Manager Sheila Skinner, Administrative School Security Manager Naomi Aice, OSA Chair Robert J. Croghan, OSA Assistant General Counsel Gabrielle Martinez and OSA Associate General Counsel Adam Orgel.

In addition, OSA Chair Croghan praised Greg Floyd, President of Teamsters Local 237, observing, “ Greg was kind enough to share the research and campaign materials of Teamsters Local 237 compiled when they fought off an earlier raid by LEEBA.”

Croghan concluded, “ I am delighted to have the right to continue to serve this team of self-reliant and effective union members.”

OSA Newsline - May 27, 2016

Next week looks to be a busy week.

On Tuesday, John Samuelsen, President of Transport Workers Union Local 100 will be visiting our headquarters on 23rd Street. This is important because our union is seeking to pull together DC37, TWU and all the other unions seeking to organize non-represented workers. If we move together, coordinating our efforts, we expect to be able to win thousands of more workers into union covered status.

Then, on Thursday, the votes on the OSA versus LEEBA collective bargaining election will be counted. Given the support shown by many of our activists within the uniformed forces, we are hopeful, but, as always, we will wait until the votes are counted.

Finally, this Thursday evening we will be having our May general membership meeting. Food is available around 6pm and the meeting itself will start at 6:15pm.

OSA Newsline - May 16, 2016

Voting is starting in the collective bargaining election between LEEBA and our own Organization of Staff Analysts. Members of our uniformed chapter for school safety and traffic enforcement have attended on-location meetings on this topic. The response at those meetings has been very encouraging as the members attending have expressed positive comments in favor of OSA as their union. The voting will go on into next week and will lead to a decision on May 26th.

We have been meeting with DC37 on the topic of NYC H+H, the new name for HHC. We are very concerned that forces for privatization are stacking the deck against city hospitals by directing the funding for the care of uninsured patients away from the public hospitals. Public hospitals treat half of such cases, yet receive only 3% of the government funds allocated to pay for such care.

Private hospitals, up until the 1960s, generally left the care of the poor to the city and the charity hospitals. Once Medicaid and Medicare were in place, the private hospitals began to lobby to grab as much of that government money as possible. The long term survival of public hospitals will depend on a fair share of such funds going to the hospitals that actually provide the treatment.

OSA Newsline - May 9, 2016

Last week, there were a number of meetings, the significance of which will be seen in the near future.

We were called in to City Hall for a meeting regarding the future of NYC Health + Hospitals, the old HHC. Two sets of committees were established. The operational committee will examine proposed redeployment of staff to meet new needs. The financial committee will seek additional funds to cope with the projected budgetary shortfall. OSA will be on both committees.

We also met with the Housing Authority on non-economic demands for our contract.

Finally, we had an excellent meeting with our union members from School Safety. The topic there was the upcoming collective bargaining election. The voting in that election starts soon and ends on May 26th.

OSA Newsline - May 2, 2016

There were Hospital negotiations last week and Housing Authority negotiations this week. Also, a meeting of the Municipal Labor Committee is set for this Tuesday, but none of this is at all dramatic.

Meanwhile, our union is engaged in two jurisdictional disputes, both leading to contested elections in order to determine who will be in charge of collective bargaining for groups of workers. Those are, by the nature of the situation, dramatic. First off is an attempted raid by a group called LEEBA, the Law Enforcement Employees Benevolent Association. LEEBA came into existence by raiding another union, SEIU Local 300, and promising heaven on Earth to a couple of hundred Environmental Police Officers for the upstate watershed, if they would only trust them. They did trust them, but the results have not been overwhelming.

In fact, LEEBA has been unsuccessful as a union. Their most recent contract requires its members to give up a vacation day in order to get the City to pay to shore up their Welfare Fund.

The Organization of Staff Analysts, which successfully won representation for thousands of workers without ever once raiding another union, is not impressed by LEEBA.

We promised to match the Management Benefits Fund and we kept our promise over the past 30 years, without ever once giving up anything.

The voting on OSA vs LEEBA will involve our School Safety and Traffic Enforcement uniformed members. Voting will be this month.

The second contest is with a far more respectable opponent, the Transport Workers Union. TWU Local 100 has an excellent record stemming back to the 1930’s under the leadership of Mike Quill and Mattie Guinan.

They recently won the right to represent some computer workers and are now seeking to represent the Analysts at MaBSTOA. MaBSTOA, the Manhattan and Bronx Surface Transit Operating Authority, employs over 400 Staff and Associate Staff Analysts and our union has been seeking to represent them for a long while. We have successfully represented the Analysts in the Transit Authority for many years.

The problem is that there should be no contest between our unions. Both OSA and TWU have excellent records and for us to be fighting them is enough to break one’s heart.

We have reached out to them and will be meeting again the second week in May. It would be far better for all unrepresented workers if those unions willing to organize cooperated rather than competed.

Our recent discussions with DC37 have been very positive and we do not expect to repeat last year’s conflict with them - not at all in the years to come. Our hope is that all of the unions involved can work together for gains for the unrepresented