OSA Newsline October 30, 2000

Happy Halloween. The Municipal Labor Committee met this past weekend and is meeting today as well. The MLC is the closest we come to the idea of one big union in New York City, with all city unions negotiating those benefits held in common.

Right now we are concentrating on the 400 to 500 million dollars in the stabilization account and there are other monies under discussion as well.

Basic across-the-board increases have not been mentioned as of yet by management as they dance around the edges of actual bargaining. The Mayor will either put some money on the table soon for such raises or all of us will know he is just stalling.

The Mayor must know we will not settle for less than is our due but he also may not care. In any case, on our side, at present, lots of effort, on the City side, no sign of real offers.

OSA Newsline
October 23, 2000

Our anniversary party was splendid. First, there was the marble hallway, then the wood paneled bar and the hors d'oeuvres and, finally, the main dining room.

The program at each setting was more history book than not and will be reprinted for a later membership mailing.

The food, from portobello mushrooms at the beginning through fruit filled pastry and coffee at the finish, received compliments – and the music filled in between speeches.

The speeches were limited, but full of the history of our group and thanks are due to those who came to speak so kindly on our behalf – former commissioner of the Human Resources Administration Lilliam Barrios-Paoli, who also headed a number of other City agencies; Joyce Miller, who stepped in for her husband, Congressmember Jerrold Nadler, unexpectedly delayed in Washington (Joyce had been a member of our organization for many years); former mayoral candidate Sal Albanese, the man who sponsored the living wage bill; SSEU Local 371 AFSCME president Charles Ensley; City Councilmember and former president of SSEU Mary Pinkett, a longtime friend of labor and Fire Alarm Dispatchers Benevolent Association president David Rosensweig. They all spoke and spoke very kindly about our union's history.

A proclamation on OSA's behalf was presented from the New York City Council, recognizing the remarkable history of our union as an organizing force within City labor.

Officers from a score of fraternal local unions took part and numerous elected officials sent representatives with messages of congratulations, among them Peter Vallone and Archie Spigner, the two top ranking members of the City Council.

We were most pleased that the attendance was a bit higher than expected, with 235 dinners served and another two dozen members who stopped by but could not stay for the dinner portion.

It was a nice night overall, but it was over as promised by 9:30pm and members commented on the ease of the trip home, since both express busses and the subway are at that location.

Major thanks are due to the small army of folks who prepared the affair, but the two commanding generals without whom nothing would have finally gotten done were Sheila Gorsky and Marzie Eisenberg. Without them it would not have all come together.

There were also negotiations last week, but no actual progress.

OSA Newsline
October 16, 2000

Pressure continues to be exerted by the unions to encourage the City to broaden the City incentive retirement program. Our efforts have not yet met with much success and the highly arbitrary eligibility rules are unfair and infuriating.

If the City can't be fair on a retirement incentive, why on earth should we listen to their demand that we give up our raises in return for discretionary merit increases. We don't trust them to do it right because they don't.

This Thursday evening, OSA celebrates its 30th year at the big party on 23rd Street. If you have not yet bought your ticket, call Marzie at 686-1229 and make your reservation now.

OSA Newsline October 9, 2000

Happy Columbus Day. A mailing went out last week and if you don't receive it by this Wednesday, call Vyda at the union office so we can check your address.

No major news this week. Members who have called regarding the pension payment reduction of 3% due to Tier IV members as of October 1st have been told to be patient.

The Mayor apparently insisted that the 3% reduction for union members occur only after the close of negotiations on the current contracts. His theory is that the delay will make us more anxious to settle. Maybe so, maybe so. But we are still not going to settle for a contract consisting of discretionary raises and give backs.

Meanwhile, we do not appreciate his insistence on delaying a benefit paid for with our own money. We will get every penny, retroactively, according to the law, but we'll have to be patient.

And don't forget next week, on October 19th, our 30th Anniversary party.

OSA Newsline October 2, 2000

The final list is out for the City's incentive retirement program and it is a disappointment for many. In the first draft, our ACS members were excluded, but those in Social Services included. On the final draft, the opposite is true. If you are interested, check with your agency personnel office to see if you are eligible. The basic provisions for those who might be eligible in each agency are as follows:

First, you must be 50 years of age with ten years of pension service and you must be on pay status during the period February 1, 2000 through October 2, 2000, with a maximum of 12 weeks of unpaid approved leave. Both this incentive and the prior "Pataki" award can be used as qualifying service. Tier I Plan A members who have 20 years of pension service can retire with payability at any age, but with a penalty of 5% a year for each year below the age 55.

Staff who opted for the 25/55 plan will have a 5% per year penalty ending at age 55. Staff in the "straight normal Tier 4 Age 62" plan will have a maximum penalty of up to 46.6% if retiring at age 50.

You will receive one month's additional credit for each completed year of pension service, up to a maximum of 36 months.

Those staff who accept immediate payability will receive full health plan coverage, as well as continued Welfare Fund benefits.

Tier I Plan A members who choose to defer retirement payability will receive five years of medical coverage, but no Welfare Fund benefits for that time.

Terminal leave is calculated in the usual manner with full annual leave and comp time credit but one half of the sick leave credit up to a maximum of 240 days. In other words, you get a maximum of 120 days credit for the sick leave.

Significant Dates. The filing period opens on October 2nd and staff must be off payroll by December 29th. All staff must submit "notice of intent" to their agency by December 8, 2000. In addition, all staff must file with the Retirement System in a timely fashion.

Special Note. Tiers I and II members who will be retired only if they are found eligible to receive the retirement incentive should file a retirement application with NYCRS between 14 and 29 days prior to their effective date of retirement. If they fail to file the required written notice with their employer or if they are found to be ineligible for the incentive, their retirement application will be void if it wasn't filed 30 days before it was to be effective.