OSA Newsline - September 26, 2011

Thirty copies of “Plunkitt of Tammany Hall” were distributed to members attending last week’s membership meeting. This meant that thirty members attended in September who did not attend in May, since anyone attending last May already had a copy.

Well, okay, we can take a hint. We will put aside the remaining copies for our November membership meeting.

Another possibility does exist. OSA had a 30% increase in attendance at this year’s Labor Day Parade and an unusually large September general membership meeting. It could be that Mayor Bloomberg deserves some credit for all this, since it is now thirteen months since our contract ended and all he wants to discuss is give backs and civil service deform.

So, perhaps his final legacy will be that his behavior causes an upsurge in union awareness and solidarity.

Speaking of solidarity, here is a slide show of photos from the 2011 Labor Day Parade by OSA Director of Media Services Rob Spencer:

OSA Newsline - September 19, 2011

Our general membership meeting is this Thursday at 6pm at the union office, 220 East 23rd Street, on the 7th Floor.

There is not a lot of news about negotiations these days but we are doing well on the organizing front and there was a small amount of progress in one area.

The issue of due process for provisional employees brought up on serious charges has been in limbo since the initial reaction to the City of Long Beach decision by New York City. No more.

A new set of rules has been set to cover such cases, past and present, so we will now be able to proceed with over two dozen pending arbitrations. Details will be available at the meeting.

Finally, anyone who wants a copy of “Plunkitt of Tammany Hall,” but missed the May general membership meeting, will now be offered that copy this Thursday.

OSA Newsline - September 12, 2011

It was an excellent Labor Day Parade.

Over five dozen folks wearing green OSA union t-shirts and contrasting baseball caps marched proudly up Fifth Avenue to the frequent applause and shouted well wishes from the spectators.

We are not the largest union in town, but we made a nice showing and it was a good day for us all.

After our short march from 45th Street to 67th Street, the OSA marchers reassembled at a diner on 35th Street and Second Avenue for our Labor Day luncheon in a section reserved for us.

Special thanks to Rob Spencer, coordinator of the effort, and especially for the signs provided. Our blunt analysis of the situation was reflected in our signs. The most popular of these signs contained the three words, “Tax the Rich.” This sign, never carried in a Tea Party demonstration, proved to be very popular with New York City bystanders.

Comptroller John Liu, a candidate for mayor, went out of his way to visit the OSA delegation on the march. Given his efforts on behalf of City workers, he was very well received.

Photos will be posted in the OSA Photo Gallery soon, but in the meantime, here's a short video from the smart phone camera wielded by Steven Gewirtz:

Marching as part of the OSA contingent were Kazi Ahmed and guest C. English, Michael Altman, Annis Ambris, Rafiu Balogun and his wife Ganiat, Sofiya Brand and husband Mikhail,Myrtelle Cadet and son Jonathan, Joyce Cleveland, Stanley Cohen, Bob Croghan, Margaret Crull, Jim Curry and his wife Pat, Hui Da Chen and two young guests, Jeanette Emmarco, Delois Evans, Denitrice Frye Williams and guest,Almeta Gadsden, Albert Gall, Thomas Garvin and guest, Steven Gewirtz, Sheila Gorsky, Anna Grigoratos, Abdel Hamada and J. Hamada, Glennis James, Keith Kelly, Tony Lee, Webster Leung, Cirino Lotta, Cecelia McCarthy and friend Kirk Bigelow, Stephen M. O’Brien, Stephen Parker, Dolores Parson, husband Charles and her parents Mattie and Tyrone Pettiford, Celina Reynolds, Nilsa M. Rios and her husband Francisco, David Rothstein, Nancy Russell, Michael Spector, Robert Spencer, Joe Sperling,Paulette Starks, Sallie Stroman,Verina Hilton Thomas, Emeka Umunna, Kim Vann, and Carlos Viguera, wife Idania and their children Karlos and Victoria.

Finally, this Friday, September 16th, the NY Committee for Occupational Safety and Health wll be coordinating a day-long conference entitled "Protecting Worker and Community Health: Are We Prepared for the Next 9/11? The conference will run from 9am to 5pm at the headquarters of the United Federation of Teachers at 52 Broadway in lower Manhattan. The conference features an extraordinary list of speakers including leading doctors, scientists, labor leaders, environmental health and community activists. You can check out the full program here.

This is extremely important conference. More than 18,000 people are suffering from illnesses linked to the dust from the World Trade Center attacks. The conference will evaluate what steps have been taken to prevent occupational and environmental health hazards in future catastrophes and what still needs to be done to insure harm can be avoided in future disaster response efforts. The conference will undertake an assessment of public health regulation and policy in order to identify and advocate for the changes necessary to better protect the health of rescue, recovery, and cleanup workers, area workers, and residents in future disasters. You can register for the conference at this website or for more information call NYCOSH at 212-227-6440. Registration costs $25 and includes lunch.

OSA Newsline - September 5, 2011

Our union has agreed to the Department of Parks voluntary attrition program. Under the program, a member can retire, if eligible, and get a lump sum payment for sick and annual leave up to but not exceeding one year’s income.

In addition, volunteers for this force reduction can expect to be hired for a six month period of employment in each of three subsequent years.

It sounds like a nice offer if you were planning to retire soon anyway.

This offer comes to you courtesy of the labor movement. The labor movement also brought you a day off on Labor Day and two days off every weekend.

OSA will be marching next Saturday in the Labor Day Parade, showing our thanks for days off on weekends and voluntary buyouts rather than layoffs. If you can walk with us on that day, you will get a neat t-shirt, a hat, and a nice meal afterwards. Please call Katie or Steven at the union office for details and to register, 212-686-1229.

Also, there are several important special elections on Tuesday, September 13th, as well as primaries in some districts. As always, we urge you to pay attention to these races - and if you have a race where you live, please vote. Between now and September 13th, there are many opportunities to volunteer to assist in phone banking and canvassing, as well as election day work on September 13 itself. If you have the time and would like to volunteer, call Sean Mackell at the NYC Central Labor Council. He can be reached at 917-273-9426. Let him know you are a member of the Organization of Staff Analysts and you have time to devote to one or more of these campaigns.

Here are the key 9/13/11 elections:

  • NYS Assembly Member David Weprin is running for Congress as a Democrat for the Queens and Brooklyn 9th District seat formerly held by Anthony Weiner. His opponent, Bob Turner, is a wealthy businessman who recently questioned whether 9/11 volunteers deserve federal health assistance.
  • Philip Goldfeder is running for Assembly in District 23 in Queens.
  • Mike Simanowitz is running for Assembly in District 27 in Queens.
  • Dan Quart is running for Assembly in District 73 on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

    If you have time, give Sean a call and let him know your availability.