OSA Newsline - September 29, 2008

At a fairly serious union meeting last week, members discussed the current economic situation as it relates to us as city workers. It is clear that the fiscal problems will have an impact on us.

Members were assured that our retirement funds are backed by New York State and City, so that those monies are relatively safe. Also, our Welfare Fund reserve is invested in federal bonds, not stocks, so that too is secure.

Our increase in 10, 15, and 20 year longevity payments is still set to arrive on October 17th and with it will come a month and a half of retroactivity.

OSA is set to enter negotiations in October and the negotiations team is hoping for a speedy resolution.

The Staff Analyst Trainee pools are going well. Many of the SATs being appointed are currently serving in higher provisional titles and have taken the exam in order to have a permanent underlying civil service title.

OSA Newsline - September 24, 2008

The New York City Central Labor Council has announced an "Emergency Mobilization" for tomorrow at noon. "No Blank Check for Wall Street" will urge Congress and members of the New York City congressional delegation to "act quickly and responsibly and to hold those who caused our national financial crisis accountable." They urge union members to turn out for the rally, which is tomorrow, Thursday the 25th, at 12 noon at Broad and Exchange Place. The goal is to "protect Main Street and not Wall Street." For a statement by the Central Labor Council on conditions that should be imposed on the financial bailout to protect working families, click here.

If you work nearby and can take part during your lunch hour, by all means do so.

OSA Newsline - September 22, 2008

At the general membership meeting of the Municipal Labor Committee last week, Harry Nespoli, president of the Uniformed Sanitationmen’s Association, was elected to chair the MLC during Randi Weingarten’s transition. Randi is currently head of the national American Federation of Teachers, as well as the New York City UFT. Her role with the MLC is continuing for now, but with Harry in day-to-day charge.

At that meeting, OSA's chairperson Bob Croghan was also re-elected for another term on the Steering Committee of the MLC.

OSA’s general membership meeting is due this Thursday at the union office at 6pm. Contract negotiations will be discussed in light of the Teamsters Local 237 settlement.

Also at the union office, this Tuesday (the 23rd), after work, a group of Barack Obama supporters are gathering and have asked for mention on the newsline. The group is providing its own coffee and cake and all are welcome.

OSA Newsline - September 17, 2008

We delayed this week’s newsline because news was breaking and we needed the details.

First, our now retroactive longevity increase is due for payment on October 17th. The raise was actually due after August 26th but the City was not able to implement it on time, so now we will receive a little bit of retroactive pay. If, in fact, the money does arrive on October 17th, the City plans on including back monies as well. We are glad we have a pay date but don’t spend it until you get it. The city has missed planned pay dates on occasion in the past.

Second, as a part of the fallout from the Long Beach decision, a hearing was held at the State Civil Service commission in Albany on Tuesday of this week. OSA , CWA, DC37, and other unions were present and all spoke strongly on behalf of the civil service and competitive testing. The City meanwhile argued for more exempt positions and non-competitive jobs.

Finally, Local 237 of the Teamsters has now settled its contract for the next two years. This will certainly be discussed at the Municipal Labor Committee meeting tomorrow. OSA has already filed to begin negotiations and we are waiting upon the City. The Teamster settlement is less than DC37 was seeking and this could have an impact on all the current negotiations. For those not aware of the details, the Teamsters settled for 4% and 4% compounded, plus a quarter of one percent equity at the close of their contract.

OSA Newsline - September 8, 2008

It did not rain on the Labor Day Parade and, as a result, those who marched had a pretty good time. For one thing, since fear of the hurricane did reduce the numbers attending, the line of march was a bit shorter, we started walking earlier, and were done about one hour before we thought we would be. It is a very nice day when you are marching with friends.

And here are all the friends who marched, members and guests, most of whom are in the photo at the left -- Mike Altman, Annis Ambris, Tom Anderson, Roberta Burse, Ida Chin, Victor Chin, Joyce Cleveland, Juanita Corsiglia, Bob Croghan, Sonia Florentino, Marciano Florentino, Serena Freeman, Marilynne Gamblin,Sheila Gorsky,Wellington Guevor, John Harper, Keith Kelly, Betty Lee, Vyda Liaugaudas, Marvin Lutenberg, Hemsley Moe, Stephen Parker, Dolores Parson, Charles Parson, Tyrone Pettiford, Mattie Pettiford,Wendy Richard, Michael Spector,Zaron Spector,Rob Spencer,Joe Sperling,Valerie Stahl,Christina Stahl,Noreen Fabre Stahl,Sallie Stroman,Josie Sullivan,John Sullivan, Carlos Viguera, Idaina Viguera, Victoria Viguera, Karlos Viguera and Jay Warshofsky. We were joined for most of the parade by union brothers from Local 333 of the International Longshoremen's Association who work on the Staten Island Ferry. It's their banner you see in the picture, in front of the sea of green OSA t-shirts.

Most of our members are due an increase in longevity payments starting on August 24th. The City is aware that we are due the money and has issued the appropriate orders but don’t spend the extra money just yet.

Taking into account the one week pay lag that is always required since the 1975 fiscal crisis, members who are eligible are due extra money since September 1st.

The amount owed depends upon your years of service. Over ten years and you are due an extra $516 a year or a bit less than $2 per working day. If over 15 years, you are due a bit less than $4 per day and, over 20 years gets you a bit less than $6 per day.

The City should be paying the money now but, as often occurs, they are late and they do not expect to have the money in our paychecks for a while. When it comes, it will include retroactive monies as well.

Our negotiations section is pushing for the payment, but a late payment by the City is hardly novel.

As soon as the City tells us the payment is scheduled, we will let you know.