Moving UP Thanks to the Union’s Ed Fund: From Dietary Aide to Registered Nurse

July 15, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS A unique Education Fund program opened a door to life-altering opportunities for Dietary Aide Yolanda Jeter and other hospital worker to earn college degrees and acquire skills leading to jobs, promotions and better salaries. “I went to a Local 420 membership meeting and that’s where I learned about this incredible program,” said Jeter, a per diem worker at Susan McKinney nursing home since 2013. “Attending that union meeting changed my life.” What Jeter learned about is the Food and Nutrition Worker Education Fund program for dietary aides and other employees with union titles at NYC Health + Hospitals facilities who are supervised by Sodexo management. The program helps NYC H+H employees advance through higher education and certifications, providing up to $2,000 in annual tuition assistance and reimbursement for education, professional development and [More...]

Union, City Settles Preschool Teachers Pay Gap

July 12, 2019 // 0 Comments

After long marches, huge demonstrations and weeks of intense negotiations, the City of New York and the NYC Day Care Council have reached a tentative contract agreement that will benefit more than 4,000 members of Day Care Employees Local 205. At issue is the wide pay gap between teachers who work in community-run preschools — which enroll the bulk of students in the city’s free, universal pre-K program — and those who teach in public school classrooms overseen by the education department. The new agreement would steadily boost salaries for pre-K teachers over three years, eventually matching what starting teachers in public schools make. Mayor de Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson called the agreement historic, and noted the past difficulties of recruiting and retaining educators at community-based centers. DC 1707 Executive Director Kim Medina praised the Mayor [More...]

Union’s 9/11 Memories at Memorial Glade Dedication

July 12, 2019 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE “It is 17 years since we completed the cleanup of the World Trade Center site. We’re not going to be here that much longer, you know?” said Local 375 member and Dept. of Design and Construction Project Manager and Chapter 4 President, Mike Kenny at the dedication of the 9/11 Memorial Glade near the World Trade Center on May 30. Kenny was part of a contingent of DC 37 members — veterans of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack — who spent months of arduous rescue and recovery work at the site. At the Thursday morning ceremony, the greenspace at the site was packed with spectators; elected officials; workers who toiled at the site, and family members. They congregated under the morning’s gray sky to remember the dedication of thousands of public workers and volunteers who risked their lives to help seal the wound caused by the 2001 event, which took more than 3,000 [More...]

Moving Forward

July 12, 2019 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO Honoring the past is important. Building a future is essential. Perhaps nothing has exemplified the grit and determination of our union quite like our headquarters at 125 Barclay St. in lower Manhattan, which has been our prime location for generations. DC 37 headquarters has been the place where contracts have been negotiated… where elected officials have come to explain themselves… where our rich cultural diversity has been celebrated. It is where members’ rights have been affirmed — and where members’ problems have been solved. This is where DC 37’s past and present come together with a promise and commitment for a better future. During our decades at 125 Barclay St., we’ve had to leave the building twice for prolonged periods of time — the first time after the tragedy of 9/11 in 2001; and, more recently, after the devastation wrought by Superstorm [More...]

Union Wins $70,000 in Owed Longevity for Pest Control Workers

July 8, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Local 768 won a collective $70,000 in owed longevity payments for 35 City Pest Control Aides and Exterminators at the Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene after forcing the agency to apply the contract’s recurring increment payments, or RIPs. “The union remains diligent in protecting members’ hard won wages and benefits, whether it means fighting over federal rollbacks on union rights or correcting the mistakes made by agency management,” said Local 768 President Fitz Reid. “If it impacts our members, we are here to make sure the contract and the members are respected.” Several CPCAs and Exterminators called the union after DOHMH failed to apply or took away the contractual RIPs they were entitled to. Longevity pay is disbursed incrementally in members’ biweekly paychecks. CPCAs do the dirty work that keeps New York City clean by enforcing health codes. [More...]

Quick-Thinking Local 2507 Saves a Man’s Severed Arm

July 7, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS A fast-acting Emergency Medical Technician in Local 2507 saved the severed arm of a man who was struck by a train on Staten Island. EMT Francis Jost usually works in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, but on that chilly February night he was working an overtime assignment in his Staten Island neighborhood when the call came over the radio around 10:30 p.m. that a man was struck by a train at the Pleasant Plains station. “When I reached the train tracks someone handed me the arm and my mind went to ice. I need ice fast. ICE HOSPITAL GO!” recalled Jost. “I knew there was a bar nearby where I would go to shoot pool sometimes. If we could get ice and pack the limb, maybe we’d save it.” Turns out his idea worked. The call went out for ice. Jost ran down the station steps with the limb in his arms and met another EMT holding the trash bag filled with ice from Hot Shotz, the [More...]

We’re Moving

July 3, 2019 // 1 Comment

Throughout the month of July, DC 37 staff will be moving to 55 Water St. in lower Manhattan as DC 37 headquarters at 125 Barclay Street undergoes extensive construction and repairs. DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido and the Executive Board, delegates, local presidents and union officers have agreed on the necessity to do the work which will close most of the building for approximately three years. We are building a new state-of-the-art facility that will allow us to improve member services while bringing the building up to code. The project will include interior renovations, new electrical, air conditioning and water sprinkler systems and, once complete, will leave us with essentially a new union headquarters. Until then, the union must move to space at 55 Water Street in Lower Manhattan for the duration of the project. However, some activity will continue in the building at 125 [More...]

The Education Fund is Moving!

July 3, 2019 // 0 Comments

Throughout the month of July, DC 37 staff will be moving to 55 Water St. in lower Manhattan as DC 37 headquarters at 125 Barclay Street undergoes extensive construction and repairs. DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido and the Executive Board, delegates, local presidents and union officers have agreed on the necessity to do the work which will close most of the building for approximately three years. We are building a new state-of-the-art facility that will allow us to improve member services while bringing the building up to code. The project will include interior renovations, new electrical, air conditioning and water sprinkler systems and, once complete, will leave us with essentially a new union headquarters. Until then, the union must move to space at 55 Water Street in Lower Manhattan for the duration of the project. However, some activity will continue in the building at 125 [More...]

Paid Family Leave Benefit is a Hit

July 3, 2019 // 0 Comments

3 By GREGORY N. HEIRES In the first six months since its inception, more than 1,000 union members took advantage of the new paid family leave benefit. “We are glad so many members are participating,” DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido said. “The union and New York City are setting an example for the rest of the country.” As of early June, 1,032 DC 37 members had applied for paid family leave, which went into effect in January. The union won the benefit as part of the 2017-21 economic agreement. Most participants–64 percent–took the benefit to bond with their newborn child. Other reasons cited were 35 percent responded they took paid family leave to care for a family members. In 2019, the paid family leave benefit allows members to take up to 10 weeks to care for family members. The benefit covers 55 percent of the statewide average weekly wage, with a maximum [More...]

David Paskin, Union’s Long-Time Negotiator, Retires

June 30, 2019 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES David Paskin, the union’s director of research and negotiations, has retired after working as a negotiator at DC 37 for 32 years. Paskin received a warm sendoff at union headquarters on June 17. Speakers praised Paskin for his honesty at the bargaining table and profound commitment to the fight for the dignity of workers. DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido appointed Paskin to head the department after the passing of Paskin’s predecessor Evelyn Seinfeld in 2016. Garrido said Paskin “stepped up like the hero he is” to help preserve the union’s bargaining strength. Over the past four years, Garrido and Paskin teamed up to usher the union through a deal for a new 44-month master contract with no givebacks, a multi-billion dollar agreement with the city that preserves the premium-free health-care of members, and a breakthrough of a seven-year logjam in an [More...]