Local 983 Wins Higher Pay and Better Benefits for Urban Park Rangers

February 22, 2017 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS From March 1 to March 27, New York City will offer an open competitive exam for Urban Park Rangers. To apply, file an application with the Dept. of Citywide Services (DCAS). Once you apply, you may register for prep classes at www.dc37.net. “We urge all provisional UPRs to take the exam and the test prep courses offered through the DC 37 Education Fund,” said Local 983 President Joseph Puleo. DC 37 and Local 983 have made outstanding strides improving salary and benefits for its members. Puleo said, “Newly hired Urban Park Rangers start with a 15 percent salary increase.” The union negotiated: A $41,200 new annual starting salary for UPRs, up from $32,700. After five years, UPRs get a $1,500 raise to bring them to $42,700, plus future increases negotiated in the citywide agreement. Longevity pay of $800 annually and pensionable Recurring Increment Payments [More...]

Activists Flock to Organizing Summit

February 18, 2017 // 0 Comments

  By ALFREDO ALVARADO The increase in “right to work” legislation being passed around the country, the threats to immigrants and the upcoming constitutional convention vote in November were some of the urgent issues DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido addressed during his welcoming remarks at the union’s first organizing summit. “They say New York is not Wisconsin and it can’t happen here, but I’m not so sure,” said Garrido, referring to the union-busting legislation introduced in Wisconsin by Gov. Scott Walker. Garrido shared his comments at the Feb. 11 summit for union activists sponsored by the DC 37 Organizing Dept. Encouraged by Walker’s success in Wisconsin, anti-union activists around the country are working hard to introduce similar union-busting legislation in other states, Garrido said. “Wages in Wisconsin are down and raises are capped, thanks to [More...]

Vote “Yes” to Protect Your Drug Benefit

February 17, 2017 // 0 Comments

  By GREGORY N. HEIRES Mail ballots went out today  to more than 90,000 members for a vote on a contract extension to protect the union’s popular prescription drug plan, which has been rocked in recent years by the pharmaceutical industry’s pursuit of excessive profits. The contract extension, which the union and city agreed to in January, will enable the DC 37 Health & Security Plan to continue to provide stable benefits to members and retirees. During the past eight years, the pharmaceutical industry has raised prescription drug prices by 105 percent. Today, prescription drugs consume 76 percent of the costs of the welfare fund, which also covers the dental benefit and other benefits managed by the plan. The DC 37 Health & Security Plan faces a $55 million deficit. The contract extension is one of a number of critical steps the union is taking to protect the drug [More...]

Local 1549 Activists Consider Political Agenda

February 16, 2017 // 0 Comments

By JOE LOPEZ The troublesome political climate of our nation and the imminent threat to labor were the topics of conversation for the 260 activists, staff and politicians who gathered at Union Headquarters on Feb. 4 at the 16th Annual NYC Clerical-Administrative Employees Local 1549 Advocacy and Political Action Conference. Coordinated by Local 1549 2nd Vice President Ralph Palladino, the conference included guest speakers included Rev. Terrence Melvin, Secretary-Treasurer of the New York State AFL-CIO and President of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, and NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “We have a lot of work to do and we are the right people in the right place at the right time to do it,” said a fired-up Rev. Melvin. Referring to Donald Trump as a “monster of a problem,” he said that it was now time to fight and make sure his stay in the White House is [More...]

No To a Constitutional Convention

February 14, 2017 // 0 Comments

On the November 2017 ballot, New York voters will be asked to decide whether to call a convention to rewrite the New York State Constitution. The constitution mandates that this question be put to a vote every 20 years.  If the measure passes, the state must then schedule another vote in 2018 to choose delegates for the convention. This convention would open in Albany on April 2, 2019, and proposed changes to the state Constitution would likely be put before the voters in November 2019. If this sounds like a long and cumbersome process, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. This is also a wasteful process that would give big business interests and anti-worker interests the opportunity to attack public services and the retirement security of the men and women who provide them. A convention would cost taxpayers more than $300 million. That is a ridiculous price to pay to give special [More...]

I Have My Dream Job Training Animals in New York City

February 12, 2017 // 0 Comments

Andrew Egyud, Animal Trainer, Wildlife Conservation Society Local 1501 I’ve been working with animals for about 10 years. I came to the New York Aquarium as an Animal Trainer a year ago. I’ve always liked animals. Growing up I did not know what I wanted to do for a living. As a teen I watched a show on Animal Planet, the Croc Hunter Diaries with the late Steve Irwin. I admired all the work, education and passion he had. He inspired me. I went to college and studied biology. Being a Zoo Keeper is not viewed as a real job by most people. In the summer of my freshman year, I got a job at Busch Gardens in Virginia, where I am from. I fell in love immediately! I was determined to become the best animal care specialist I can be. Over the years, I’ve worked with gray wolves, hawks, and beluga whales at Sea World in San Antonio, Texas. But of all the animals, I really get sea lions: I can [More...]

High Turnout for Library Jobs Fair at Union Headquarters

February 10, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO District Council 37 and the New York Public Library collaborated to sponsor a job fair to fill positions at the NYPL. Union and NYPL staff screened and interviewed 100 individuals at the Feb. 10 job fair held at DC 37 headquarters. After filling out applications, candidates were then interviewed by staff from the library’s Human Resources Dept. Among the positions the NYPL is looking to fill are Building Superintendent, Junior Library Custodian, Library Maintainer and Porter. “Our libraries are a great resource for New Yorkers, but we have to make sure they’re properly maintained. This increase in staff is long overdue,” said Cuthbert Dickenson, president of Quasi-Public Employees Local 374, which represents blue-collar and custodial titles. The NYPL and DC 37 will hold another job fair at the Bronx Library Center at 310 East Kingsbridge Road on March 3. [More...]

Get Involved! DC 37 Sets Organizing Summit for Saturday, Feb. 11

February 8, 2017 // 0 Comments

  By GREGORY N. HEIRES District Council 37 will hold an organizing summit on Saturday. Feb. 11, to encourage members to become more involved in the union. The meeting is part of the “Leading the Way” initiative, a long-term plan to transform DC 37 from a service-oriented union into an organizing union. “We are making a lot of progress in our effort to draw new blood into the union,” said Barbara Terrelonge, director of the DC 37 Organizing Dept. “This will be a great opportunity for members who are not very familiar with the union to learn about the labor movement’s agenda. For our veteran activists, it’s a chance to renew their commitment.” The DC 37 Organizing Summit will take place in Room 1 at DC 37 Headquarters at 125 Barclay St. in Lower Manhattan. The summit will last from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. “We are facing a lot of [More...]

Local 372 Backs Mayor’s Plan to Hire 300 New School Crossing Guards and Supervisors

February 6, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO For three straight years New York City has seen a reduction in traffic fatalities, with 2016 being the safest-ever. Aiming to make sure accidents continue to drop, Mayor Bill de Blasio has included $400 million in the proposed 2018 budget for the Vision Zero traffic enforcement program. The funds will used to improve street designs, lighting and add 300 School Crossing Guards. De Blasio’s new budget will allow for the hiring of 100 School Crossing Guard supervisors and 200 additional part-time School Crossing Guards. With these additional positions, all schools will now have a School Crossing Guard. A mobile replacement squad will also be created to make sure schools are covered in the event a SCG is absent on a particular day. “Every school now will have a School Crossing Guard assigned to them, this is what we have been fighting for the last couple of [More...]

Union Members Set a Record for Handling 311 Calls in 2016

February 3, 2017 // 0 Comments

By JOSEPH LOPEZ New Yorkers in need of vital information contacted 311 nearly 36 million times in 2016, setting a new record for the service’s handling of calls. Call Center Representatives–members of NYC Clerical-Administrative Employees Local 1549–played an important role in providing this service. Thanks to DC 37’s recent agreement with the city to move away from using private contractors at 311, the jobs of the workers are no longer threatened, and they continue to provide the best quality experience possible. “The job is fast-paced and changes with the climate of the city,” said Brunetta Tanner, chair of the Local 1549 chapter that represents 311 operators. “I’ve been doing this for 13 years, so I know the system well and often know the answers to questions before the person even finishes asking it,” she said. New Yorkers call 311 about everything from how [More...]