OSA Newsline -- October 25, 1999

OSA is joining both CWA Local 1180 and DC 37 in favoring a no vote on the proposed changes to the City Charter this November 2nd. If we get a mailing out in time, we will give detailed reasons for our negative opinion.

Eric Mayr, formerly of SEIU Local 144 and Local 1199, and currently of OSA, has been working quite hard on resolving the problems of the GHI chronic drug rider changes. We are forming a coalition of unions whose members are being hurt by those changes. Currently in support are the Marine Engineers, the Doctors' Council, the Assistant Deputy Wardens, School Custodians, Deputy Sheriffs, Fire Alarm Dispatchers, and the Supervisors and Administrators of the Board of Education. Our tentative name for the group is the Easy Rider Coalition.

OSA Newsline -- October 18, 1999

Nearly all of our members at the Health and Hospitals Corporation are still awaiting their June 1 longevity raise. We have filed our grievance and are now contemplating more dramatic gestures.

HHC, which can't seem to pay properly, is nonetheless willing to offer us extra money if we would leave. Members with over ten years of service will be offered early retirement this December. The incentive is an extra month's retirement credit for each year of service up to a maximum of 36 months. This is a good deal for those who are already planning their departure.

If you wish to attend our pre-retirement seminar starting this Monday, simply come in to the union office on 23rd Street this Monday evening at 5:30PM. We will have coffee and cake available.

OSA Newsline -- October 12, 1999

Happy Columbus Day! Good news, bad news, and bad rumors this week.

In reverse order, the bad rumor is that the Health and Hospitals Corporation still may not cough up the longevity money this next pay period. Based on our lack of faith in one John Yan ever doing his job, we submitted a group grievance sometime back. Looks like we were right again.

The bad news is that the GHI chronic drug screw-up continues to torture many of our members each week. Keep the letters coming in folks.

OSA is reaching out to other affected locals to effect a structural change to resolve this in the short term and to prevent its recurrence in the long term.

The good news is that the wording of the Citywide contract concluded last week looks quite satisfactory. Members will be sent a copy of what we won as fast as we receive the camera ready copy from the Municipal Labor Committee.

OSA Newsline -- October 4, 1999

The Municipal Labor Committee remained firm on the Citywide, non-financial bargaining last week — and the City finally yielded. To our considerable surprise, we may even yet be able to sign a Citywide contract during the remaining term of the Mayor. It had begun to seem as if no such contract could be negotiated. Not only has the substance abuse policy, which so offended us, been dropped, but also we will be shortening the amount of time a per diem employee needs to serve before getting full salary and benefits. There are a dozen other minor or not so minor gains.

Supper money will be going up by 75 cents upon ratification of the contract and the City will be selling a transit pass through voluntary check-off. This last item will result in a saving to members of a few tax dollars each month since such purchases will come from pre-tax wages and will reduce our taxable income. It is a cute trick.

Special thanks are due to Tom Anderson, Shirley Gray, Joan Doheny, Tim Collins and Marzie Eisenberg for all their efforts on all our behalf. The negotiations, off and on, have taken years and the steady pressure of our representatives have made this a much better contract than we ever expected. Not great mind you, but still better than expected. There are no givebacks at all nor any other self-inflicted wounds in this contract.

The written documents will be presented to the full committee soon and ratification is likely.

At our rather well attended membership meeting last week the OSA Welfare Fund trustees unveiled a couple of improvements due for our Plan.

First our retirees who are eligible for medicare and who are paying the GHI drug rider will finally get some help. As of November 1, 1999, OSA will pay $26 per month on their behalf or $50 per month if a couple are involved. This is a companion piece to last year's help for retirees using an HMO drug rider.

Also, basic life insurance coverage for all members will be increased to $50,000 up to age 65, and $25,000 after age 70. Details will follow in the mail and on this website shortly.