Mail Ballots on CUNY Contract Deal Will be Sent Out in Late November

November 16, 2018 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES By the end of the month, members who work at CUNY will receive an informational packet about a tentative agreement on a new contract. Members will vote on the 52-month deal, which provides for a raise of over 8 percent, through a mail ballot included in the mailing. Besides the mail ballot, the packet will include a summary of the contract proposal and a letter from DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. The mail ballot vote on the agreement will be tabulated on Dec. 18 by the independent American Arbitration Association, which is handling the voting process. DC 37 and the City University of New York agreed on Nov. 1 to the tentative contract, which covers 10,000 union members who work in the city’s public university system. Agreement Protects Health Care Coverage The agreement preserves the premium-free health-care coverage of members and will include back [More...]

Dept. of Education Employees Honored at Ceremony at DC 37

November 15, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS More than 1,000 Dept. of Education employees in a dozen DC 37 locals were recognized for two decades of dedicated service to the city and its 1.1 million schoolchildren at a Quality of Work Life ceremony at union headquarters Nov. 14. “A child will remember your smile, your words of encouragement, and the kindness you show. That interaction may be the only positive adult interaction some children have at that time in their lives,” Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza said. Carranza celebrated with the audience made up of school support staff who had reached 20 years of employment at the city Dept. of Education. “You really care about the children, our schools and our city,” he told the staffers. “Gracias! Thank you for a job well done!” The QWL ceremony coincided with National Education Support Professionals Day and honored school support staff [More...]

DC 37 Played Key Role in Statewide Elections

November 9, 2018 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE In an election that featured one of the highest voter midterm turnouts in recent history, the efforts of DC 37’s vaunted Green Machine were pivotal in finally breaking the Albany legislative gridlock by helping several local state senate candidates to victory. The state’s top elected officials were all re-elected with union help. Gov. Andrew Cuomo defeated Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, while New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand scored easy victories. Letitia James, the city’s Public Advocate and a stalwart DC 37 ally, was elected New York State’s first African American Attorney General, winning by a landslide. “Tonight the working men and women of New York spoke loudly and clearly about our values, our priorities, and how we want to run our state,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. “In record numbers, [More...]

DC 37 and City University of New York Announce Tentative Labor Pact

November 3, 2018 // 0 Comments

Nov 2, 2018 – District Council 37, the city’s largest union of municipal employees, and the City University of New York have agreed to a tentative 52-month contract that provides 8.24 percent in raises for the union’s 10,000 members who work in the public university system. The agreement, which is subject to approval by the CUNY Board of Trustees and ratification by the CUNY members of DC 37, preserves the premium-free health-care coverage of members, and will include back pay. It also protects the health benefits of CUNY retirees. The agreement also calls for CUNY to increase its annual contribution for education and professional development, and provides extra funds to boost benefits and address pay inequities. DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido said: “We promised members that we would work to reach an agreement that was fair and negotiated expeditiously. Both sides wanted [More...]

DC 37 Celebrates Italian Heritage

October 27, 2018 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE A great time was had by all at the union’s annual Italian Heritage celebration, held in Queens on Oct. 13. The event, honors the contributions of Italian-Americans to the labor movement and in building our nation. “This is about celebrating the many accomplishments of Italians and Italian Americans from the past, present, and future. Our culture and traditions make an impact on all Americans, and we look forward to sharing some of those traditions with you today,” said Local 1455 President Michael DeMarco, chair of the Italian Heritage Committee. It was an afternoon of music and dance, a needed break from the ongoing struggle the union has been engaging in against right-wing forces out to dismantle our hard-won rights and benefits. In the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court decision last June in the Janus v. AFSCME case, the union has been on the front lines of the [More...]

City Images

October 26, 2018 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Graphic Artists Marc Brown and Richard Brathwaite are members of a behind-the-scenes team of workers who rely on their creativity to portray and promote city programs. Brown and Brathwaite create brochures, subway ads, pamphlets, billboards, public service announcements, booklets and banners to inform the public about city initiatives, and they also work on in-house material for city agencies. Brown designed the city’s I am NYC identification card used by more than 1 million residents. Brathwaite designed the cover and produced photos for a major mayoral report on homelessness. Away from the city jobs, the Local 375 members devote their free time to depicting the daily lives of New Yorkers. Brown’s passion is recording the city’s subway culture. Brathwaite walks the streets with his cellphone and Canon camera while on the lookout for images of everyday people. [More...]

DC 37 and the City Agree on Unlimited Paid Sick Leave for 9/11 Heroes

October 24, 2018 // 1 Comment

By MIKE LEE After weeks of intense negotiations, the union won a landmark victory for our 9/11 first responders and other members who worked at the World Trade Center site during the rescue, recovery and cleanup. On Oct. 23, Mayor Bill de Blasio, DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido, Local 3621 President Vincent Variale and Local 2507 President Oren Barzilay announced that the city will provide unlimited 9/11 sick leave to city workers who participated in WTC rescue, recovery and cleanup operations and contracted a 9/11- related illness. The sick leave will be retroactive to Sept. 11, 2001, and cover an estimated 2,000 active city workers who work in several city agencies, including Emergency Medical Technicians, peace officers, laborers, engineers, among other job titles. The agreement forms a basis for future arrangements with other unions that represent eligible workers. “This [More...]

Latino Heritage: Focus on Activism

October 20, 2018 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE The midterm elections and Hurricane Maria were the focus of the union’s annual celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month. DC 37 kicked off its 26th annual celebration of Latino heritage and history with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at union headquarters on Sept. 12. After opening remarks by Isabel Figueroa, former vice president of Local 420 and a DC 37 retiree, DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido spoke of the Sept. 20 first anniversary of Hurricane Maria that devastated Puerto Rico. He called for economic and environmental justice for the island. “We renew our commitment to push elected officials to be true to their word,” Garrido said. “But being good to Puerto Rico is not just showing up to a parade or a hashtag in your Twitter. It’s voting and pushing for what the island needs now. The people deserve it and have earned it.” On Sept. 14, Local 420 held [More...]

The Latina Wage Gap

October 19, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Nov. 1 is Latina Equal Pay Day– the day Latinas’ wages catch up to what white men earned in 2017. And for the AFL-CIO constituency group Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCCLA), Nov. 1 is a day of action to call for pay equity and economic justice for Latinas. Across America, Latina mothers on average are paid just 46 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic fathers. In New York, Latinas earn on average less than $34,000 annually while white non-Hispanic men earn around $74,000. Latinas represent about 16 percent of the U.S. workforce. The astounding wage gap is a grim reminder of longstanding gender- and race-based income disparities. But data show Latinas, like other women who belong to unions, are paid better than nonunion workers. Income disparity and poverty A growing number of women are sole providers of food, clothing, shelter [More...]

Union Speaks Out for Sick Time for WTC Heroes

October 18, 2018 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE In a recent hearing before the New York State Senate Civil Service and Pensions Committee, several DC 37 local leaders and members called upon legislators to give city workers the sick time they need as a result of the work they performed at the World Trade Center in the aftermath of 9/11. Earlier this year, the state Senate passed a bill to extend unlimited sick leave, now received by state and local first responders suffering from 9/11-related illnesses, to city workers. The bill has languished in the state Assembly. At the hearing, Local 2507 President Oren Barzilay, who leads more than 4,000 uniformed Emergency Medical Technicians, Paramedics and Fire Inspectors, testified that city agencies have made it difficult for sick members — who only earn one day of sick leave a month — to take time off. “Twelve days a year are not enough for our members who are sick from [More...]