September 15, 2021 // 0 Comments

The DC 37 Municipal Employees Legal Services (MELS), the Building Service 32BJ Legal Services Fund,  CUNY’s Citizenship Now! Program and the Emerald Isle Immigration Center (EIIC) are jointly presenting a citizenship seminar on Wednesday Sept. 22 at 6 pm on Zoom. Learn how to become a U.S. citizen and the benefits of citizenship. To join the Benefits of Becoming a U.S. Citizen Seminar, register [More...]

Local 983 Members Clean Up After Ida

September 13, 2021 // 0 Comments

BY DIANE S. WILLIAMS Torrents of rain poured down as remnants of Hurricane Ida tore through New York City, flooding subways and turning roadways and streets into rushing rivers on Sept. 1. The historic deluge dumped over three inches of rain in an hour and overloaded the city’s vast and aging drainage systems. It created life-threatening conditions and caused millions of dollars in damage, the likes of which have not been seen since Superstorm Sandy made landfall in 2012. Wednesday’s super storm led state and local officials to call a State of Emergency in New York City. Hardest hit were parts of Manhattan and Queens, where subway station stairs became thunderous waterfalls. Ida’s angry floodwaters crashed through house foundations and inundated some ground level businesses and apartments. It quickly made a watery deathtrap for basement dwellers. In New York City, Ida claimed 13 [More...]

Never Forget: 20th Sept. 11 Remembrance

September 10, 2021 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS This Sept. 11 marks the 20th anniversary of the terror attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and Flight 93. District Council 37 remembers that horrific day and what New York’s public employees did to save thousands of lives. The union also recounts what its leaders did to protect staff members at 125 Barclay St., and provide uninterrupted services for members and retirees. Dennis Sullivan, the union’s lead negotiator, arrived at 125 Barclay early that morning. “I was scheduled for a 9 a.m. meeting on the 39th floor of the North Tower, Building 1,” he said. “I saw the first plane hit. I was around for the 1993 bombing. I came back to 125 and called the mayor and the police.” About 200 MELS staff were in the union building. Some 150 retirees were waiting to hear City Council Speaker Peter Vallone in Room 1. It was Primary Day and most staff were [More...]


September 7, 2021 // 0 Comments

IMPACT of 9/11 TOXINS 20 YEARS LATER and the FEDERAL RESPONSE THURSDAY, SEPT. 9, 9:30 am to 12 pm and 2 to 3:30 pm FRIDAY, SEPT. 10, 9:30 am to 1 pm Join this live-stream, two-day event from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. This program will bring together health professionals, legal experts, elected officials, as well as responders and 9/11 survivors. Thursday’s presentation will highlight the health effects of the toxins at the WTC, the Pentagon, and the Shanksville crash site and the lifesaving medical monitoring and treatment that responders and survivors receive through the WTC Health Program Clinical Centers of Excellence and National Provider Services that help more than 110,000 responders and survivors in every state across the country. Friday’s program will discuss efforts to pass the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act and reauthorize the WTC [More...]


August 27, 2021 // 0 Comments

New York State lawmakers agreed on September 1 to extend sweeping protections against evictions. The state’s amended eviction moratorium, extended through January 15, 2022, is one of the most extensive protections put into place in the nation. Under the amended law, landlords can challenge a tenant’s declaration of hardship.  However, tenants are still encouraged to file New York State hardship declaration forms. MELS can help with issues related to the N.Y.S. hardship declaration form and the other protections available to tenants. Call our Screening Unit at 212.815.1111 for advice and legal representation. The U.S. Supreme Court has recently invalidated the CDC Federal Eviction Moratorium. This means that tenants who filed a hardship declaration form under the federal CDC provision are no longer protected under that provision. Tenants who owe rent or are facing an eviction case [More...]


August 24, 2021 // 0 Comments

MELS NEW YORK EVICTION MORATORIUM The US Supreme Court issued an injunction suspending New York’s Eviction Moratorium. This means that tenants who filed a hardship declaration are no longer protected and landlords can now ask the court for the necessary permission needed to evict. This does not mean that tenants who owe rent or are facing an eviction case should give up and move out. There are still many steps landlords must take to proceed with an eviction, and there are still many ways tenants can defend their homes. MELS can help. Call our Screening Unit at (212) 815-1111 for advice and legal representation. ### EMERGENCY RENTAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (ERAP) New York State’s Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance is accepting applications to help tenants pay rent arrears. The Emergency Rental Assistance Program can provide up to 15 months of rent and up to 12 months of gas [More...]

Local 1482 Member Awarded for Library Cleanup

August 16, 2021 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS For singlehandedly cleaning up debris left from a huge July 4th celebration near Bay Ridge Library, a Local 1482 Library Custodian received an Outstanding Citizenship award from City Council Member Justin Brannan. An early morning July 5 Twitter post alerted Brannan to the mounds of trash littering the intersection of 73rd and Ridge Boulevard in Brooklyn, where the library is located. “This was probably the worst I’ve seen,” said Eddie Rodriguez, the sole Assistant Custodian at the Bay Ridge branch. Rodriguez arrived at work early on July 5. “I was a bit overwhelmed by the amount of garbage in the street,” he said. “I knew people from the neighborhood would be coming to the library so I took the initiative and began cleaning up.” With a broom and leaf blower, Rodriguez corralled the confetti, shredded wrappers and garbage strewn about. The smell of [More...]

MELS: Eviction Moratorium Update

August 11, 2021 // 0 Comments

In May 2021, Governor Cuomo signed a bill continuing the eviction moratorium to August 31, 2021.  Any tenant who has not served their landlord with a New York State Hardship Declaration form or filed the form in Housing Court can do so at any time before August 31, 2021 to secure coverage under the Act. On August 3, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) issued an eviction moratorium that remains in effect for two months, until October 3, 2021. The CDC issued the order temporarily halting evictions in counties with heightened levels of community transmission to respond to recent unexpected developments in the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the rise of the Delta variant. All five counties of New York City are covered by the CDC order.   Any tenant may serve their landlord a completed CDC Hardship Declaration form and file it with [More...]


August 10, 2021 // 0 Comments

EARLY DETECTION SAVES LIVES “Post-pandemic, it is important to prioritize your health and wellbeing. Be proactive. A lot of things can be caught early.”   – MSK Cancer Survivor DC 37 has partnered with Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) to help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening and prevention. Screenings help detect cancer early when it’s easier to treat. Take MSK’s short assessment here to get personalized screening recommendations and tips on how to lower your risk for cancer. In less than 5 minutes, you can take the first step toward taking charge of your health. Note:  On July 27, MSK discovered a system glitch where a few users did not receive their results. MSK immediately resolved the issue and sends their sincere apologies to those affected. If you did not receive your results, please retake the test to get your results. — DC 37 [More...]

Alyce’s Story: Colon Cancer Survivor

August 4, 2021 // 0 Comments

She was being stubborn. Alyce knew her age and race put her at higher risk for colorectal cancer. But she did not want to have a colonoscopy, something she felt would be too uncomfortable. Still, her family encouraged her to schedule the procedure. “I’ll do it, if you do it,” said Alyce’s sister. Alyce could not turn down a dare from her sister. She had a colonoscopy and it spotted cancer. Alyce was shocked. “How did I have colon cancer? I did not even have any symptoms!” After she told her family and her workplace about her diagnosis, Alyce started cancer treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK). After surgery and 9 months of chemotherapy, Alyce was cancer free. But she secretly lived with the fear the cancer could come back. “Now I follow all of my doctor’s recommendations,” said Alyce. “Your health is your responsibility.” Cancer screenings and preventive [More...]