OSA Newsline - November 24, 2014

Members attending last Thursday’s general membership meeting heard a report on the New York City Housing Authority collective bargaining session that was held earlier that day. NYCHA continues to insist that they have the right to expect some of our recently unionized managers to work overtime without compensation. They are also arguing that others, decided by the Office of Collective Bargaining to be members of our union, are not to be covered by our contract.

Both arguments are nonsense, but it does illustrate that collective bargaining can be difficult if the other side chooses to act unreasonably.

The meeting itself was very well attended and nominations were opened for union office. Both OSA and OSART have elections every two years. On request, each of the officer’s duties was described and, in addition, there was information given on the evolution of these officers.

For example, when OSA was a small association of analysts, seeking to become unionized, the treasurer collected the dues and kept the books. Then, as we grew ever larger, those duties were gradually assumed by paid staff, bookeepers and a certified public accountant. The treasurer, however, still oversees the entire process.

On a related topic, one member indicated that he felt the yearly audit of our finances should provide more detail than has been the case. In response, the chair did give more details as requested but also noted that the audit itself followed a format used by other unions and was prepared by an outside accounting firm.

A very welcome side effect of our recent increase in attendance at union meetings has been that we have been recruiting additional volunteer activists. A total of four members came forward during or after the meeting to offer their help in representing our union on their work locations. Such volunteer effort created our union in the first place and is always welcome.

Nominations, as per the constitution, remain open for ten days and two sets of union negotiations are scheduled for this week - School Safety and Traffic, plus the main unit as well.

OSA Newsline - November 17, 2014

The mail with the November OSA Newsletter did arrive late last week. If you did not receive the mailing, call George at the union office. He will check your address and send out a duplicate.

Most of the recent negotiations have been related to the citywide health agreement, but this week, we return to the bargaining table for local unit bargaining. Up front, on the 20th, is our New York City Housing Authority negotiation. Next week, the main unit and the School Safety and Traffic Enforcement unit. Transit Authority negotiations will follow as fast as we can get the Authority to set dates.

Our mailings always generate phone calls asking questions or alerting us to errors, if any. There was one this time. The invitation to our annual holiday party referred you to the reverse side for directions. Unfortunately, there was nothing on the other side, so no directions, although the directions have been on the digital version of the mailing on this website since they were posted.

That is a good sized error, but fortunately, easily handled. Any of our members who are in need of those directions can get them by calling George Morgan at the union office. You can also find them by clicking this link. Also, of course, many of us already know the way because we have been using Grand Prospect Hall for the past few years. Finally, we will have copies of the directions at this week’s general membership meeting.

OSA Newsline - November 10, 2014

Tuesday is Veterans Day and can and should be a day you will use to remember and to honor those men and women who served both us and their country.

The union mailing due out this week was delayed. It was held up so the union audit could be included. The odd result is that most of the mailing has been up on this website since last week.

Some members call in to ask why bother with sending out regular mail at all. Electronic mail is convenient and quick, but some members do not have easy access to a personal computer and others simply prefer traditional mail. So, we try to please both preferences.

The union mailing includes the audits plus a discussion of current negotiations, the city’s reaction to the Ebola crisis and the upcoming membership meeting.

Also included are some important tips to members who transfer between agencies, plus an invitation to the OSA annual holiday party. This year, the party is set for Thursday, December 18th. You will receive it soon and you can see it now on this site as the November 2014 edition of the OSA Newsletter.

OSA Newsline - November 3, 2014

We had negotiations last week and again this Monday, but the negotiations were not about any of our local unit contracts. Those negotiations are set for late November and early December. Last week’s and this week’s also, are the ongoing citywide health benefit negotiations agreed to earlier in the year.

Last week, we learned a lot about the wellness program already in place for the state workers of Connecticut, and this week we will hear of an offering by Cigna. We are far from making any decisions about citywide health benefit changes, but we are learning a great deal about other functioning plans. Eventually, of course, this information will enable us to make decisions that will affect all New York City workers and their families.

The big news this week is election day. We get off from work in order to have time to vote and vote we definitely should. We may often disagree about which candidate does or does not deserve our voete, but we can all agree on the value of our right to vote. So, tomorrow, please do vote.