Youngest Local President Elected

November 15, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS When members elected Donique Berry president of Local 3778 New York City Police Department Civilian Unit in July, the 23-year-old scientist became the youngest local president in District Council 37. “This is my first job out of college,” Berry said. “All I knew is that having a union means they can’t fire me. Now I realize there is much more.” Local 3778 launched in 2018 to represent 15 science and engineering titles at NYPD. A coworker nominated Berry for secretary and she did not shy away from the challenge to get involved in her union. “I learned it takes patience and dedication,” she said. “My responsibility as secretary was to assure that things get done.” Now the initial one-year president’s term set by the local’s constitution has Berry’s “clock ticking” to make a difference. Her shift was changed to days which allows her to reach [More...]

NYPD Traffic Enforcement Agent/Local 983 Member Linda Mercer Succumbs to 9/11 Cancer

November 13, 2019 // 0 Comments

By RUDY OROZCO On Nov. 6, the toxic environment at Ground Zero claimed another victim. After a long battle, DC 37 Local 983 member Linda Mercer succumbed to 9/11-related breast cancer in her Queens home. Mercer, an NYPD Traffic Enforcement Agent for 35 years, was assigned to Ground Zero in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, where she took part in the weighing and securing of dust-covered trucks emerging from the pit carrying debris to the Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island. Her prolonged exposure to the toxic air eventually led to her cancer diagnosis. While suffering from the effects of cancer treatment, the mother of two relentlessly lobbied Mayor Billl de Blasio for unlimited sick leave for city employees suffering from 9/11-related diseases. “We mourn this terrible loss to our DC 37 family,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. “Linda was a relentless advocate for [More...]

Head Start Workers Ratify Agreement that Provides for Pay Equity with Public-School Teachers

November 4, 2019 // 0 Comments

Story and Photos by G.L. TYLER DC 37 members employed by Head Start recently ratified a three-year contractual agreement that will allow certified teachers in the federally-funded program to earn $68,652 by 2021. The Head Start educators, members of Local 95, join unionized day-care teachers represented by Local 205 – who ratified their contract agreement this past summer — in becoming the highest paid early childhood educators in the country.  The Head Start workers approved their contract Oct. 23, by a 162-26 vote. The contract will bring the salaries of Head Start teachers into line with their counterparts in the city’s public schools. The contract calls for a retroactive 1.77 percent wage hike dating from Feb 1. It also provides a ratification bonus of $1,000 for non-certified Head Start employees. Under Head Start practices, the program’s centers must have a lead [More...]

City Lifeguards Preserve 6-Year Safety Record

November 4, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Four City Lifeguards saved two drowning children from the waters of Manhattan Beach on August 24. The rescue was among the most dramatic of the many acts of exemplary service that has resulted in a six-year safety record of no drownings or fatalities at any public beaches or city pools guarded by the Parks Department corps of first responders in DC 37 Locals 461 and 508. “The emergency skills learned at the Municipal Life Guard Training School and their rapid response saved the lives of two young victims who otherwise may not have survived,” noted Peter Stein, president of Lifeguard Supervisors Local 508. “It’s very unfortunate that the Parks Department has failed to recognize these lifeguards for their heroism. It’s a shame and a huge oversight that the agency has not publicized the outstanding and unmatched safety record set by City Lifeguards and their [More...]

NYC Charter Revision Proposals: Vote No on #4!

October 28, 2019 // 0 Comments

The New York City Charter is the city’s constitution. It controls how the city spends our tax dollars, how decisions are made about changes to our neighborhoods and the power of our elected officials. We now have an important opportunity to help amend the charter by voting on ballot proposals covering a wide variety of issues. This election, there are five Charter Revision proposals on the ballot. Most are sensible plans to curb undue influence in elections, enhance police accountability and increase government transparency. But then there’s Proposal #4. Proposal #4 calls for the creation of a mysterious “rainy day fund” without any clarity about where the money comes from – or where it will go.   And at a time when many city agencies are understaffed and as the union pushes to resolve issues that have left too many “hard-to-recruit” titles unfilled, we are troubled by [More...]

DC 37 Recommendations on the New York City Charter Amendment Proposals

October 26, 2019 // 0 Comments

The New York City Charter is the City’s constitution. It controls how the city spends our tax dollars, how decisions are made about changes to our neighborhoods and the power of our elected officials. This fall, New Yorkers have an important opportunity to amend the charter by voting on ballot proposals covering a wide variety of issues, from elections to police accountability. Election Day is November 5. Early ballot voting begins October 26. This year there are five proposals on the ballot to amend the Charter: Proposal # 1: Elections Establish a “rank choice” voting system for all municipal primary and special elections (Mayor, Comptroller, Public Advocate, Borough President, City Council). Extend the required time period to hold special elections if an office becomes vacant during a term. The time period would change from 45 to 80 days. Amend the timeline for redistricting to [More...]

Discounts for DC 37 Members

October 22, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS New 25 Percent Parking Discount at DC37Rewards.com! It’s not cheap to park in New York City but DC 37 members can now enjoy a 25 percent discount with Icon Parking, the largest garage chain in New York. Access your savings through DC37 Rewards. DC 37 Rewards is free to all DC 37 members in good standing. Save 25 percent off the next time you park by clicking on the Icon Parking banner on DC 37 Rewards and follow the simple instructions. Icon has over 300 parking garages throughout the city. DC 37 Rewards and Icon Parking are proud to serve DC 37 members and provide savings on parking and more at DC 37 Rewards! Mandela Returns “Mandela” the play is back by popular demand – and DC 37 members can purchase tickets at a discount. “Mandela,” which recounts Nelson Mandela’s lifetime struggle against apartheid in South Africa, was co-written and [More...]

Top Cancer Treatment Center Is Available To Help You

October 16, 2019 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES One of the world’s premier cancer treatment centers has made it easier for DC 37 members and their families to access its services. Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Cancer Center’s MSK Direct program offers DC 37 members and their families who are covered by the EmblemHealth HMO and PPO plans guided access to MSK’s expert cancer treatment. Contact MSK Direct if you or a family member: ▪ are diagnosed with cancer and want to explore options for treatment at MSK; ▪ receive results from a medical test or exam that signal you may have cancer; ▪ are told by a doctor to schedule an appointment with an oncologist, or ▪ would like an in-person second opinion on a cancer diagnosis. The MSK Direct Team will arrange for a patient’s first appointment within two business days typically. The MSK Direct Team will: ▪ help gather necessary medical records for the [More...]

Into the Fray: Union Begins Training for Future Leaders

October 16, 2019 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE Dozens of DC 37 members with aspirations to become part of a new generation of progressive, elected officials recently attended the first Emerging Leaders Candidate Academy. The introductory session, held at union headquarters on October 8, is the first of three meetings with members who have stepped forward to run in future local, state and federal elections. With DC 37’s guidance, their dreams may very well come true. The participants come from a variety of backgrounds, but with a single goal in mind: to make a difference by entering the political arena. Christopher Birch, from Washington Heights spoke about the need of being part of the political process. “I need to be at the table,” he said. “I don’t want to be knocking at the door and asking for a little, when I can be part of the decision process for my district.” Angela Guyton-Cyril, a member of SSEU Local [More...]

U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Union Busters — For Now

October 15, 2019 // 0 Comments

The nation’s public employee unions received a bit of good news on Monday, Oct. 7, when the U.S. Supreme Court turned down a joint request by two national union-busting organizations to hear a case that would decide whether states can continue to designate unions as the exclusive representatives of groups of public employees. “Exclusive representation” means a duly chosen union is the sole voice for all workers and source of worker power. It is the basis on which our union is organized and the way we bargain for meaningful change. Through the process of collective bargaining and exclusive representation, DC 37 members — and AFSCME members across the country — earn fair wages, safe and reasonable working conditions, job security, health benefits that cover us when we are sick, and retirement benefits that provide us with dignity as we age. Attacks on public employee unions have [More...]