OSA Newsline - October 30, 2006

A mailing was sent to the mailing house and is expected to reach members as early as Wednesday or Thursday of this week. Included are the coalition demands and information about upcoming exams. The same content is already up on this website as the October edition of News From OSA.

A meeting was held this week by the leaders of our bargaining coalition and a strategy for going forward was accepted unanimously by those attending. Details, of course, are in the mail.

A public meeting on air quality around the World Trade Center area is set for this Monday evening at 6pm at the Borough of Manhattan Community College at 199 Chambers Street in the Richard Harris Terrace. Those of our members who work in the area might choose to attend. More information can be found in the flyer you can download by clicking here.

And in keeping with the spirit of the approaching holiday - Boo!

OSA Newsline - October 23, 2006

The big news last week was the start of coalition bargaining. Tom Anderson reported that the City initially seemed to be resisting coalition bargaining on various technical grounds, but that it looks like some arrangement may be worked out.

The bargaining demands will be for the period starting, for most OSA members, on July 12th of this year. The details on the demands, how much we are asking for, the residency issue, welfare fund increases, etc. can be downloaded here. They will also be mailed out to members this week and should be received by this weekend or early next week. The same information will also be up on this website as the October 2006 edition of News From OSA.

Tom reported that he felt Randi Weingarten, as spokesperson, did very well for our side and that the coalition appears strong.

Along with a copy of the demands, next week’s mailing will also include a letter explaining the background to these negotiations

OSA Newsline - October 16, 2006

We had some very good news last week. The ballots in the collective bargaining election for the title of Systems Project Leader were counted on Friday.

The Systems Project Leader title is held by only sixteen employees of the Health and Hospitals Corporation.

There was a seventy-five percent return of ballots and, of the twelve votes cast, eleven were for OSA. We are grateful for the support shown by the Systems Project Leaders and will do our very best to provide responsive and aggressive representation for our new brothers and sisters.

Meanwhile, the main contract negotiations are set to begin this Thursday. These negotiations are led by Randi Weingarten and Harry Nespoli and are on behalf of a score of unions representing about a hundred and fifty thousand union members.

Other negotiations are also in progress affecting the Department of Education, the Housing Authority, and our uniformed police unit, but the Coalition negotiations on the 19th affects all of us, since it will set the civilian pattern for the near future.

OSA Newsline - October 9, 2006

There were negotiations last week with the Housing Authority at our union office. These are non-monetary talks, but important nonetheless.

There were no other negotiations scheduled, but there was a gathering down at City Hall. A number of union locals turned up for a press conference against the hand scanning timekeeping system installed at the Department of Design and Construction. The press conference was hosted by Local 375 of DC37 and a number of union leaders, three from OSA, took turns explaining what is wrong with the new system. In the photo at left, taken by Neal Tepel, OSA Chair Bob Croghan took a turn at the mic.

Next week, we will have the results of the collective bargaining election for the title of Systems Project Leader. We’ll keep our fingers crossed.

OSA Newsline - October 2, 2006

At the membership meeting last week, it was noted that the new electronic hand-print method of time-keeping is due to spread from the Department of Design and Construction to other agencies soon. This is a really bad idea, since the technology is unneeded, works badly, is unhygienic, and hugely costly.

If anyone knows what was wrong with the card swiping or, even, for that matter, with the old time clocks, we would love to hear about it.

Meanwhile, at a cost of millions, the City is moving forward with a machine that might catch Osama Bin Laden someday, but only if he gets a job with New York City first.

We also had a negotiating meeting with the City last week related to the one percent raise. However, none of our other suggestions for saving the City money were greeted with much enthusiasm by the City's representatives.

Perhaps our next suggestion, that they junk the stupid hand-print system before wasting millions on machines and service contracts, perhaps that suggestion will find the City more receptive to our ideas. Nah. Never happen. But we’ll keep trying.