OSA Newsline - November 25, 2008
Most members will now have received their ballots on the proposed two year contract covering August 2008 to August 2010. If you did receive the ballot, you will also have received an invitation to our holiday party.
If neither came, call George Morgan, so we can check your address and create a replacement mailing.
If only the party invitation was received, you may be either an agency shop fee payer (that is, you pay a biweekly deduction, but have not yet signed a union voluntary membership card) or you may work in an area not covered by this contract, such as the Transit Authority or School Safety or Traffic Enforcement. Those contracts are still pending.
In any case, the counting will occur Friday, December 5th at the union office. All are welcome.
Three days earlier, on Tuesday evening, December 2nd, from 6 to 7:30pm, there will be an information session at the union office concerning the Health and Hospitals Corporation’s World Trade Center Environmental Health Center. If you plan to attend and have not RSVP'd yet, call Rob Spencer at the union office (212) 686-1229 or fax back the coupon you received in the mail to (212) 686-1231. The Center provides no cost (free) treatment services for those with new, worsened or persistent physical or mental health problems related to 9/11. You can obtain more information by clicking here. More information about 9/11 related health issues can be found in the Member Services section of this website by scrolling down and clicking on the button marked "World Trade Ctr Health Issues." Or you can click here.
Finally, nominations for the bi-annual officer elections of OSA/OSART were held at the membership meeting last week and remain open until ten days thereafter.
Check back after the December 5th counting so you can obtain the results. Meanwhile, Happy Thanksgiving.
OSA Newsline - November 18, 2008
A special newsline update. We have a tentative agreement with the City of New York on our main union contract.
As noted earlier, the terms of the agreement are as follows. There will be a 4% raise retroactive to August 25, 2008. There will be a compounded 4% raise, effective August 25, 2009. Finally, there will be a tenth of a percent (0.1%) equity award due on August 24, 2010.
The City has promised to begin the process for paying the raise as soon as we have voted to ratify the agreement. Mail ballots will go out this week.
This is a yes or no decision, so please vote quickly as counting will occur on December 5th. All members, as usual, are invited to be present at the counting.
Our members in the Off-Track Betting Corporation and the New York City Housing Authority are also involved, because OTB and NYCHA always accept the economic terms of the City contract.
Our members at the Board of Education will be voting on the same offer, but slightly different dates.
Special thanks to Tim Collins, our lead negotiator and to our negotiating team for one of the quickest negotiations in our history.
Tim will now open negotiations for our School Safety and Traffic Enforcement members. Mike Collins, our TA representative has already sent a letter to the Transit Authority seeking dates for those negotiations.
Other business. Tom Anderson and Rob Spencer asked us to mention a letter you should now be receiving. The letter concerns the Health and Hospitals Corporation’s World Trade Center Environmental Health Center. The Center provides no cost (free) treatment services for those with new, worsened or persistent physical or mental health problems related to 9/11. The same information can be viewed by clicking here. An information session about the Center will be held at the union office from 6-7:30pm on Tuesday, December 2nd. We hope you will review the material and take action to help yourself if your health has been affected by 9/11. More information about 9/11 related health issues can be found in the Member Services section of this website by scrolling down and clicking on the button marked "World Trade Ctr Health Issues." Or you can click here.
Please don’t forget that our general membership meeting is set for this Thursday and will include nominations for the biannual election of officers. Also, a report will be given on the background to this year’s rather quick negotiations.
OSA Newsline - November 17, 2008
Negotiations appear to be moving quickly right now. If we are able to conclude negotiations over the next few days, the information will be reported on this newsline as fast as we know it. Please do not call the union office for the latest news since, first, staff will not have any information until it is on the newsline and, second, because it prevents other members from getting through to grievances or the Welfare Fund. Meanwhile, this newsline and the phone hotline at 212-330-8833 is available on a 24 hour a day basis and, if there is news, good or bad, the new hotline phone message will start with the phrase “special newsline update.”
OSA Newsline - November 10, 2008
Negotiations started well last week. The City heard our demands and even responded on a few of them. In most cases, the City argued that some of our demands should be part of Citywide negotiations, but they always argue that. In one case, the answer was no. We had demanded the right to do job sharing or furloughs after three years of permanent service. In spite of the national economic situation, the City is still resisting our clearly sensible suggestions.
The City will get back to us to set the second session as soon as their calendar permits.
Our members from the Health and Hospitals Corporation can get a free flu shot from their hospital. The HHC sent us a flier strongly urging our members to take advantage of the free flu shot. The flier did not specify how to actually get the shot, leaving that part a mystery. Still, every hospital probably has a site where the shot is given, so it should be fairly easy to find. Start by asking your boss and, if that does not work, go higher.
OSA Newsline - November 5, 2008
OSA Executive Director Sheila Gorsky was honored by the Council of Jewish Organizations in Civil Service at its annual breakfast on Sunday, November 2nd, MC'd by Larry Glickson. This year, the theme was "defending civil service" and most of the honorees, including Sheila, had considerable background as defenders of the civil service. Sheila's award was presented by Arthur Cheliotes, President of Communications Workers of America Local 1180. Larry Glickson and Arthur Cheliotes flank Sheila in the photo at left.
Among the other honorees were NYC Comptroller William Thompson, Fire Alarm Dispatchers Benevolent Association President David Rosenzweig and HRA Deputy Commissioner Burton Blaustein. SSEU Local 371 President Faye Moore gave the keynote address, in which she outlined the myriad problems with DCAS's new plan to reduce or eliminate the number of provisional employees in City service.
OSA Newsline - November 3, 2008
The mailing went out last week and by now should have been received. If you did not receive the mail or if you are missing any part of the four wages, call George Morgan at the union office and he will mail a replacement. The content is also up on this website as the November edition of News From OSA.
Our Transit Authority members did get their longevity payments last week, but in some cases the TA may have done it wrong. We received reports that some members did not receive credit for City service prior to work at the TA.
If you went directly from the City to the TA, you should have been given credit for that in the longevity raises. If your check came up short, call Michael Collins or Rose Collins at the union office and let us know. Most errors can be corrected with a payroll complaint form, but we will grieve where necessary.
DC37 appears to have settled for 4% and 4%, but that does not mean we have received such an option ourselves. Our first bargaining session is set for this Wednesday. Wish us luck.