OSA Newsline - November 30, 2009

The big news this week is the exams. Filing for one or more of six Analyst exams opens this week on December 2nd. These exams are the Staff Analyst open competitive, Education Analyst open competitive, Associate Staff Analyst both open competitive and promotional, and the Associate Education Analyst, also both open competitive and promotional.

Help is available to assist you in filling out the application and the Education and Experience part of the application form. Call Carol or Katie at the union office. It is important that you get help on the E and E part of the application, since many candidates are disqualified based on those papers.

Also, training for these exams is free to OSA and OSART members and is due to start on December 21st. In order to register for the classroom training, check out the information available on this website. The material for these classes is already available online and can be downloaded by clicking on the button for "Analyst Exam Training" in the row of buttons on the left side of this page.

Finally, don’t forget the OSA holiday party at the reduced price of $20 per person or two tickets for $39. The coupon is available in the Newsline for November 23, 2009.

OSA Newsline - November 23, 2009

There are three topics for this week’s newsline.

First, the union’s executive board, after lengthy discussion, has decided to lower the cost of this year’s holiday party. Instead of $39 per person, the new price will be $20 per person or two tickets for $39.

Members are still required to send in the form and pay by money order, but we are sending out new forms and a cover letter early next week. You can download the same information here.

The second topic is the NY Post article that indicated the mayor is negotiating with union leaders to have us pay 10% of the cost of our health insurance. Now, it is true that the mayor has asked for that kind of give back in recent years and we have always said no, until now.

It is more than likely that the mayor will ask again, but the Post article implies current talks and there have been none with the MLC over the past couple of months.

Actually, as soon as bad news (even potentially) arrives on the horizon, the OSA newsline warns the membership immediately.

The final topic is the upcoming set of exams. This website has been updated to include the material for study for the exams. Click on the button for "Analyst Exam Training" or simply click here.

Also, before you send in your application for any of the open competitive exams, you would be wise to have your Experience and Education papers checked by a union E&E paper counselor. To avail yourself of this free service, you can call Katie or Carol at the union office.

Now, you might think the E&E paper is easily completed without union help, but if you do it wrong, you can and will lose your application fee and be disqualified. Our union has been assisting members on their E&E papers for years and we would not provide this service unless it was valuable to and necessary for our members applying for open competitive civil service exams.

A letter on this topic is also going out to the members this week but the details are reported below in the November 18th newsline segment.

OSA Newsline - November 18, 2009

Thousands of our members should be and will be taking one of the many upcoming Analyst exams. The (once in every thirty years) Open Competitive Associate Staff Analyst exam alone should attract many candidates. All provisional members must take one or more of these exams in order to avoid losing their jobs with New York City.

If you need or could benefit from taking one or more of these exams (note: the ASA job starts, for new employees at $59,536, for incumbents at $68,466) you should register for training now.

There are two separate sorts of help offered by the OSA Education Department.

First – You can register for a seven-week training program with classroom instruction or purchase a set of DVDs for home viewing. If you register for classroom training late you may not get your choice of weekday, so please register now.

Second – OSA has recruited a number of experienced civil servants to review your education and experience papers and your application forms before you submit them. To obtain this service (free to OSA/OSART members) please call Katie or Carol to schedule an appointment. These appointments will take place at the OSA offices at 220 East 23rd St, Suite 707, between 6PM and 9PM Monday through Friday and 9AM to 5PM on Saturday and Sunday -- starting December 2nd and running through December 20th. Blank E & E papers will be available at the office, as well as application forms.

Coupons for exam training materials can be found in the union’s November 2009 newsletter under the heading “Tests.” This mailing has been posted in its entirety on this website as the November “News from OSA.”

OSA Newsline - November 16, 2009

There will be a meeting this evening of counselors, being prepared to assist members in filling out the Education and Experience Papers required for the upcoming open competitive Staff and Associate Staff Analyst exams.

At the same time, Executive Director Sheila Gorsky will be continuing work with her trainers who are preparing to teach the classroom part of the OSA training.

We will also be having an executive board meeting on Tuesday and, on Thursday evening, the November general membership meeting. The meeting starts promptly at 6pm at the union office.

All in all, it will be a busy week.

OSA Newsline - November 9, 2009

Two weeks ago, our union won an election to represent the Managers, Scheduling and Control (EDP) at the Health and Hospitals Corporation. The story started almost two years ago. OSA field organizer Ron Lehman found a group of workers in HHC who had been placed into a new title. The title had been designed by the HHC to keep the workers out of a union, but Ronnie found them and they wanted to be covered by a union.

Of course, getting your job title covered by a union is not as easy as all that. First, most of the workers in the title signed union designation cards.

Then, OSA’s Executive Director Sheila Gorsky assigned lawyers to represent the group before the Board of Collective Bargaining, as we sought union status for them. Attorneys Len Shrier and Lauren Shapiro were easily able to argue that the title did not have managerial duties.

Then, DC37 intervened and stated that, if the title could be covered by a union, it had to be Local 2627 of DC37.

After hearings and testimony, the Board ruled that the Managers, Scheduling and Control (EDP) would not be assigned to a union against their will, but would be allowed to vote to choose which union.

The election was then held and DC37 made a good effort, emphasizing their size, benefits and strength as a union.

For our side, we were supported by a number of our location activists. Saundra Sidberry took the main initiative and she was supported on the night shift by Marcus Freeman. In addition, OSA was especially assisted by Cirino Lotta, one of our executive board members from the HHC and Bonita Simmons from Jacobi Hospital. On the locations concerned, we also had our local representatives, Albert Hernandez and Saul Weber.

We won the election. Actually, we won in two ways. First, we helped unorganized workers win the right to join a union. Second, they chose OSA, perhaps because we cared about them in the first place when no other union had sought them out.

On another note, the OSA Retirees Club can’t meet at the union office this week, since the office is closed for Veterans Day on Wednesday. Instead, the meeting will be held the Wednesday after this, November 18th, and State Senator Liz Krueger will be among the guest speakers.

OSA Newsline - November 2, 2009

The recent mailing should have reached you by now. If you did not receive it, please call George Morgan at the union office and we’ll check your address and send out another copy. Meanwhile, the same content is on this website as the November News From OSA.

The information regarding the upcoming exams is most important. Also, we need the coupons for the exam training and the holiday party returned as soon as possible.

Tuesday, of course, is election day. Please remember to take the time to vote. It is a civic duty and it’s always important. The union office will be closed.