OSA Newsline - November 27, 2006

The public controversy over the Mayor’s attempt to halt the merger of GHI and HIP is a lot like an iceberg. Most of what’s going on is beneath the surface.

For a score of years now, and more, GHI CBP has been the preferred low-cost panel of doctors for six out of ten OSA members. For just as long, HIP HMO had been the preferred lower-cost alternative chosen by three out of ten of us.

The Mayor now objects that if GHI and HIP merge, it will create a monopoly. So, in a very real sense, what’s new? If nine out of ten of us have been choosing either GHI or HIP in the past, and nine out of ten of us will be choosing them in the future, where is the change?

There is more going on here than meets the eye, and there will be discussions on this topic at Thursday’s membership meeting. Also discussed will be negotiations, exams, and nominations for elections for both OSA and OSART.

Members should have last week’s mailing in hand by now. If not, call the union office and let George Morgan know, so we can send you another copy.

Please make sure to return the enclosed coupon for bargaining demands as soon as possible.

OSA Newsline - November 20, 2006

There was a municipal coalition meeting last week and the pattern-setting terms of the UFT settlement were laid out in detail. Randi Weingarten spoke at length, telling the assembled union presidents what was gained, the value of each item, and why the process went as it did.

Barbara Bowen, the president of the Professional Staff Congress of CUNY, rather generously suggested that the other unions might wish to proceed as a group and that PSC/CUNY would step aside if that was helpful to the group.

The OSA representative suggested, in turn, that such a step might not be needed depending on the City’s response. We have reason to believe that the UFT pattern may be easily achieved by the rest of us based upon the way the City offered the 3.25% of last year’s me-too contract once the UFT had settled. Time will tell.

Health news. GHI and HIP fought off a legal attempt by the City to prevent a merger of the two health providers. The merger, therefore, took another giant step towards completion. The two groups promise, for the foreseeable future, to continue both models of service provision.

The mailing put together last week should arrive at your home by the day before or after Thanksgiving. The contents should be up shortly on this website as the November 2006 edition of News From OSA. Among the items is the Holiday Party flyer and notice of this month’s general membership meeting. See you at the meeting and, hopefully, at the party as well.

OSA Newsline - November 13, 2006

The Municipal Bargaining Coalition will meet this Tuesday to discuss how the UFT pattern translates to the other unions.

The UFT settlement features a 24-month contract period and appears to include the basic DC37 agreement plus a bit more money.

A mailing will go out this week giving details of the UFT package, plus a request for members to submit contract demands.

The fact that a pattern has been set – and one that includes no givebacks – is very positive. It does not, however, relieve the OSA negotiating team from their job of negotiating our contract.

It is unusual that the large units would settle so quickly. We will now see how quickly we can settle. We will move quickly. The rest depends on the City.

OSA Newsline - November 8, 2006

Members are calling to ask if OSA will be following the UFT pattern. Well, we are a part of Randi Weingarten and Harry Nespoli’s municipal coalition, and the new pattern does sound attractive. The problem could be in the details.

Translating the UFT package to fit the OSA contract dates is a minor problem, but many of the terms of the contract are not entirely clear.

We will be working on that problem and will let members know as fast as we do. Meanwhile, the UFT contract does seem to be good news in that there are no more givebacks as a part of the contract.

OSA Newsline - November 6, 2006

Some of our efforts are paying off. The Staff Analyst Trainee exam is due next year. In the meanwhile, Sheila Gorsky, Mike Schady, and Joan Doheny, have been working towards getting those provisional Staff Analyst Trainees who hold an equivalent civil service title transferred into permanent status as SATs. In doing so, each such transfer constitutes a victory, since it guarantees eventual maturation to Staff Analyst. The team has begun to win these cases one at a time and will be pushing harder as time goes on.

Tuesday of this week is election day. Alan Hevesi is in big trouble these days, and it is his own fault. Even so, he has also done a lot of good things for civil servants over the years. We are urging a vote for Alan and if he is censured thereafter, so be it. In any case, voting is important and regardless of who you vote for, do vote.