OSA Newsline - November 30, 2015

We had a serious collective bargaining session with the New York City Housing Authority last week. NYCHA has been slow to move on our demands, awaiting the results of our main unit negotiation. Since that is now done, we are discussing the outstanding, mostly non-monetary issues.

On a less cheerful note, payroll has notified us that some agencies may miss the December date for payment of the main unit raises and retroactive monies.

Hopefully, they will get it all done on time, but to help them do so, please do not call them to ask how they are doing. A few hundred phone calls will ensure that the process is slowed down.

This happens most years when retroactive monies are due and, as a result, there is a long standing bit of folk wisdom that always applies. Donít spend it until you get it. If not on the 4th of December, then on the 18th.

OSA Newsline - November 23, 2015

Our members at the New York City Housing Authority will be happy to learn that NYCHA plans on paying our members the raises and retroactive monies due based on the main unit contract. The scheduled pay date is December 11th, but of course, do not spend the money until you get it.

Our NYCHA contract is still being negotiated, so we are appreciate of the courtesy by the NYC Housing Authority. We are still busy with the other three contracts and we did have a friendly meeting with the Transit Authority this past Friday. Our main goal in all outstanding contracts is to conclude as soon as possible.

And so, there is good news just before Thanksgiving. Happy holiday to all.

OSA Newsline - November 16, 2015

The City has announced that it is their intention to pay our main unit contract raises and retroactive monies on December 4th. Members, however, should never spend the money until it is actually received. There are often errors and unexpected delays.

It is also important to note that our Housing Authority, Transit Authority and Department of Education contracts are not yet settled. Even our School Safety and Traffic Enforcement Officers contract, although recently agreed upon by the bargaining team, is not yet ratified by those members. In this last case, we are awaiting completion of the Memorandum of Understanding by the City, so it can be mailed out to the members.

Meanwhile, by this evening, most members should have received our November mailing. In that mailing is notice of this Thursdayís general membership meeting. The meeting is being held this week, since next week Thursday is Thanksgiving. See you at the meeting.

OSA Newsline - Special Update - November 10, 2015

Agencies under our main unit contract are telling members that the raises and retroactive pay will be coming in the December 4, 2015 paycheck. One such communication, from HRA to OSA members in that agency, can be viewed by clicking on this link.

Of particular note is the deadline of this Friday, November 13th for those seeking to delay the payment of the retroactive and signing bonus monies to the December 18th paycheck in order to increase the percentage of their pay being diverted into their Deferred Compensation Plan account.

If you seek to increase your deferral percentage temporarily to absorb the larger retroactive payment, we encourage you to check with your own payroll office on Thursday to see if a similar situation exists at your agency.

OSA Newsline - November 9, 2015

Our School Safety and Traffic Officers bargaining team met last week. The Cityís final offer was superior to earlier offers made before the summer. Our team chose to accept the most recent numbers.

This particular bargaining was for a nine year contract since Safety and Traffic did not get the original 4% and 4% won by the other units of our union. One serious problem that arose was that the City initially demanded an unreasonable extension of that unitís contract in order to provide the retroactive 4% and 4% to the unitís retirees. Our bargaining team objected, yet also insisted that the retirees should get the full retroactive payment.

An agreement has now been reached that fully covers our uniformed civilian Traffic and School Safety Superior Officers, active and retiree alike. Credit is due to the bargaining team which held out until acceptable terms were reached.

Next, a memorandum of agreement will be drawn up and offered to the members for ratification. Thus our longest ever delayed contract will be concluded and raises totaling over 18% will be due.

Next will come our remaining three contracts, the Housing Authority, the Transit Authority and the Department of Education.

OSA Newsline - November 2, 2015

Our union won the Senior Consultant (Management Information Services) HHC election. The results were 115 votes for OSA versus 81 for DC 37. You can see the OCB tally sheet by clicking this link.

The DC37 and AFSCME organizers deserve credit for a very hard fought campaign. Our own campaign was seriously impacted by the fact that in August and September, we had no contract for our main unit.

Even so, we were able to win the election and we owe a vote of thanks and congratulations to our volunteer organizers. Pictured at left (photo by Volunteer Organizer Daphne Carr) is part of the OSA team after the vote count - left to right - OSA General Counsel Len Shrier, Volunteer Organizer David Berger, OSA Chairperson Robert Croghan, OSA Executive Director Sheila Gorsky, OSA Associate General Counsel Adam Orgel and OSA Director of Media Services Rob Spencer. Starting Wednesday, we begin the Manhattan and Bronx Surface Transit Operating Authority organizing drive.

Meanwhile, we will enjoy election day on Tuesday. The union office will be closed.