OSA Newsline - November 30, 1998

All of organized labor has reason to be very saddened over the news coming last week out of the investigations into wrongdoing at DC37.

During the past few months, there have been a number of stories of financial misdeeds and even allegations and admissions of kickbacks. Until now, there were also suspicions of vote fraud going back to 1996, but no proof and no admission by guilty parties.

Until last week, the financial wrongdoing was properly an internal matter, first for DC37 to handle, and if they were unable to do so, for the parent International Union, the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees.

As the New York District Attorney continues to seek indictments of union officials who are implicated, AFSCME has, in fact, moved swiftly.

On the sixth floor of 140 Park Place, there is a large conference room suitable for its normal usage as the meeting place of the Municipal Labor Coalition. At present, the huge table that dominates that room is covered with papers relating to the financial dealings of many of DC37's member locals. Auditors sent from AFSCME have replaced the normal place holders around that table and normal business is disrupted as labor seeks to clean its own house.

To the south of the conference room lies the offices of Local 375, whose President has had his suspension by his own executive board lifted by the International, although the charges are still pending. To the north of the conference room lies the headquarters of DC37's largest local, 372, now in the hands of Trustees appointed by the International.

And last week, the news got worse.

Fraud was acknowledged regarding the Local 1549 vote cast during the 1996 vote on our current contract. The significance of that admission is that, in effect, all of us were cheated of our right to try to obtain the best possible contract. This month's membership mailing will try to trace the details of what occurred. The result of the actions now revealed are to call into question the accepted labor practice of the past quarter century.

Neither the Mayor nor his appointees are entirely free of reproach on this matter, and harsh words have already been spoken by the PBA and other unions. Still, absent proof of direct collusion between the City and DC37, the City takes the position that our contracts stand unchanged and unchangeable.

The PBA has threatened to test that issue in court and, if they do so, many other unions may also do so.

DC37 has been, over many decades, a force for good in many ways and especially for the City work force and their families. For that reason, the tragedy of their recent and serious misdeeds is all the greater.

OSA Newsline - November 23, 1998

Nominations were opened at last week's membership meeting and will remain open until next weekend in order to receive mail nominations. Thus far, nineteen candidates have been nominated for eighteen positions. If all candidates nominated accept their nominations, we will have an election next month. In the past twenty years of our union, on six occasions there were contested elections, and in four cases there were not. If there is a contested election, it will be decided by mail ballot.

In addition to elected positions, OSA has a number of appointive positions currently vacant in various Agency Chapters. If you are interested in a Chapter position, call Marzie Eisenberg at the union office. Your name will be passed on to your Agency chairperson and you will be contacted.

OSA Newsline - November 16, 1998

A number of our politically active members will be attending the Labor Party Convention in Pittsburgh this weekend. Good luck on their endeavors.

Our general membership meeting will be held Thursday at 125 Worth Street, second floor auditorium. The time is 6pm sharp. On the agenda will be nomination of officers, since we are again due for our biannual election.

Among topics to be discussed, there will be a report on our efforts in the campaign at the Transit Authority and MaBstoa. Membership input is always welcome in these collective bargaining elections.

OSARC, our retirees club will be meeting this Wednesday at lunchtime at the union office and the union executive board will also meet, same day, same place, but at 6pm in the evening.

OSA Newsline - November 9, 1998

Our union continues to focus on the Staff and Associate Staff Analyst collective bargaining election at the Transit Authority and MaBstoa.

Meetings at lunchtime were held last week and more are set for this week as well.

There are between four and five hundred Analysts involved and it is our union's intent to contact each and every future member in person.

OSA Welfare Fund Administrator Barbara Kohler has learned that the City Management Benefits Fund is planning a few improvements for the next year. Since our fund parallels the MBF on benefits, their increase will be matched by OSA as soon as we know more details.

Interestingly - recently the Management Fund switched to OSA's provider, SIDS, to handle their own Superimposed Major Medical. For once we led, and they followed.