Union Adopts Changes at Health Centers

June 27, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Beginning in July, the DC 37 health centers in Manhattan and Brooklyn will no longer provide podiatry services. In addition, the vision services in the Manhattan center will no longer be provided. Members and retirees must now get their optical care through the Health & Security Plan’s optical provider network or their own physician. For podiatry care, members and retirees should visit physicians who are on their insurance company’s network of podiatrists. The closings of the podiatry and vision offices at the health centers are part of H & S’s long-term plan to control costs in the face of the skyrocketing pharmaceutical prices. To secure the financial health of the drug and other benefits, the plan raised co-pays at the beginning of the year, and the union later negotiated with the city to provide an additional $200 in permanent funding for each [More...]

Union Adopts Changes at Health Care Centers

June 27, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Beginning in July, the DC 37 health centers in Manhattan and Brooklyn will no longer provide podiatry services. In addition, the vision services in the Manhattan center will no longer be provided. Members and retirees must now get their optical care through the Health & Security Plan’s optical provider network or their own physician. For podiatry care, members and retirees should visit physicians who are on their insurance company’s network of podiatrists. The closings of the podiatry and vision offices at the health centers are part of H & S’s long-term plan to control costs in the face of the skyrocketing pharmaceutical prices. To secure the financial health of the drug and other benefits, the plan raised co-pays at the beginning of the year, and the union later negotiated with the city to provide an additional $200 in permanent funding for each [More...]

Unions Join Daughter to Fight the Deportation of Her Father

June 22, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES DC 37 and other unions are fighting the deportation of a Mexican undocumented worker who has lived 30 years in the United States. Many unionists joined immigrant rights advocates, elected officials and the family of Martin Martinez at a rally in front of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s building in downtown Manhattan for a rally on June 21. In April, ICE detained Martinez — who fled poverty and violence in Mexico to come to the United States —and held him for two weeks. Apparently, ICE picked up the Newburgh resident because he was twice convicted for DWI about 20 years ago. DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido described Martinez’s pending deportation immoral and at odds with the country’s values, which include welcoming the downtrodden of other countries to the United States. Garrido noted that the union is involved in another deportation [More...]

School Activists and Elected Officials Push for Extension of Mayoral Control over Schools

June 21, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO Teachers and principals helping students cheat on standardized tests in 18 of 33 school districts and incompetent contractors who took two years to install just four windows at PS 55 in Queens were just two of the examples of the corruption and incompetence that plagued the Dept. of Education prior to the schools being put under mayoral control in 2002. Mayoral-control supporters fear the DOE could too easily return to those scandal ridden days if legislators in Albany don’t vote to extend mayoral control on this week. The current legislation giving the mayor control of city schools is set to expire on July 1. Legislators are locking horns over the issue of charter schools. State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan wants lift the cap on charters – a move opposed by de Blasio and other mayoral control supporters, including DC 37. “The future of our children is [More...]

Apply by July 15 for DC 37 Education Dept. Scholarships

June 15, 2017 // 0 Comments

Applications are now being accepted for the DC 37 Education Dept. scholarships listed below. Most scholarships are for members’ and retirees’ children and grandchildren. However, the Lillian Roberts Scholarship for Continuing Education is for active members only. The scholarship application deadline is July 15. All applicants will be required to submit a completed application package and include all required documentation. To apply for a scholarship: 2017 DC 37 Scholarship Award Guidelines & Application For more information visit the DC 37 website or call the Education Dept. at 212-341-4999. EDUCATION SCHOLARSHIPS FOR MEMBERS’ CHILDREN & GRANDCHILDREN The DC 37 Education Committee offers scholarships for dependent children and grandchildren of DC 37 eligible members in good standing and retirees who are members of the DC 37 Retirees Association. These scholarships are for [More...]

DC 37 Members and Community Activists Demand More Support for Public Hospitals

June 14, 2017 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS At a series of NYC Health+Hospitals annual meetings in May and June, hundreds of union members and residents sent a powerful message: Do more to save public hospitals! Activists reminded NYC H+H of its mission: to provide quality health care regardless of a patient’s ability to pay. As NYC H+H struggles to retain safe staffing levels, Leapfroggroup.com surveys show New York City’s public hospitals consistently provide better care than private hospitals. Employees said they work harder and longer with much less support, fewer supplies and dwindling staff due to attrition. “Working in constant crisis mode only leads to burnout,” said Nate Franco, a Local 768 member who spoke at Harlem Hospital’s packed forum on June 7. Dedicated NYC Health + Hospitals employees have staved off life-threatening outbreaks of Zika, Ebola, West Nile and Legionnaires disease, and [More...]

“Even Living in Less Than Ideal Circumstances, You Can Have a Healthy and Happy Baby”

June 11, 2017 // 0 Comments

Sandra Steiner, Nurse Home Visitor, Local 436 As a Nurse Home Visitor, there’s never a typical day on the job. I could be visiting a client at a homeless shelter, a foster home or Riker’s Island. People might think Riker’s is dangerous, but I actually feel safer there because they have lots of security. The clients we work with are first-time mothers. We begin providing supportive services when they are seven months pregnant until the baby is 2-years-old. I have a caseload of 15 clients that I visit twice a month. My clients live all over the city. We get referrals mostly from the Dept. of Homeless Services, the Prevention Assistance Temporary Housing program. There’s no typical client They can be as young as 12 and as old as 41. Sometimes they’re having twins or triplets. We make sure they follow up with their pre-natal appointments with their doctors. If they live in a [More...]

“I Look Forward to Helping Union Members on the Job”

June 10, 2017 // 0 Comments

Stacey Peyton, Records Access Officer, Local 1359 Do you remember that Verizon wireless commercial? The one where the guy would say “Can you hear me now?” And he would have millions of people behind him. That visual, all of the folks behind this one man asking if he can be heard, has always stuck out in my mind. To me, that perfectly represents what it is like being part of a labor union. It was 27 years ago that I started working at the NYS Homes and Community Renewal Office of Rent Administration. My coworkers and I process requests for access to public records about apartment buildings, rental histories, and anything else that may be necessary for people looking into where they live or may be considering moving to. This information is essential in many cases to help keep a safe, clean, and comfortable roof over the heads of New Yorkers. Together with a staff of 12 people who I [More...]

Facing Deportation, a DC 37 Member Wins a Reprieve

June 9, 2017 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS A collective sigh of relief was heard earlier this week as Local 983’s Jose Molina won a reprieve from an immigration court judge. After requesting attorneys to file new briefs, the judge set a hearing date for late May 2018. “I am just so happy and relieved,” said Molina, who came to America as an infant and faces deportation to Panama for a crime he committed– and served time for– 20 years ago. For now the Associate Parks Service Worker remains stateside with his family and continues repairing and maintaining ball fields for the city’s Parks and Recreation Dept. Elected city leaders took a special interest in Molina’s case after reading about it in DC 37’s Public Employee Press. After the hearing, Jose, Jennifer and their 15-year-old daughter thanked the many supporters who packed the lower Manhattan courtroom, among them: Local 983 [More...]

Public Employee Pensions Divest From Private Prisons

June 8, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES New York City has become the first municipality in the nation whose public pension system has divested from private prisons. The divestment comes as President Donald Trump plans to use private prisons to warehouse immigrants facing deportation. Trump received $500,000 in campaign contributions the two largest for-profit prison companies in the industry, GEO Group and CoreCivic. “Divesting is simply the right thing to do — financially and morally,” said city Comptroller Scott Stringer when he announced the divestiture at a news conference today. The city’s five public employee pension systems voted to divest from the industry in mid-May. Since then, the Comptroller’s Office and the pension funds have sold $48 million in stocks and bonds of three private prisons companies, GEO Group, CoreCivic (formerly Corrections Corp. of American) and G4S. “For years, [More...]