“Disasters are avoided because of the job my co-workers and I do”

September 16, 2016 // 0 Comments

Odell Horton, Fire Protection Inspector, Local 2507     Photo: Clarence Elie-Rivera People never really think about the tragedies that don’t happen and the lives that aren’t put at risk. Disasters are avoided because of the job my co-workers and I do as Fire Protection Inspectors. New York City is constructing some of the tallest buildings in the world, and we make sure those buildings are up to all safety standards. This helps incidents from happening, and also means that if there ever is an emergency such as a fire, our uniformed Firefighters in the FDNY can safely do their job and save lives. We are at an all-time low for deaths caused by fires right now. I have always had an interest in public safety. Before joining the FDNY over 22 years ago, I was a journeyman plumber by trade. As a plumber, we protect the health of the nation. Transitioning into a role protecting the [More...]

Union-Backed Candidates Score Big Wins Citywide

September 15, 2016 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO DC 37 activists were out in force on Primary Day, September 13, going door-to-door to get out the vote for the union’s endorsed candidates. In the weeks preceding the primary, they also made thousands of telephone calls from union phone banks. “We have to support those candidates who support our issues,” said union volunteer Luis Romero, a member of Local 1597, who went knocking on doors in Brooklyn. Retiree and Local 371 member Aurea Mangual was assigned to Co-op City in the Bronx. “We had a nice turnout of volunteers,” said the veteran activist. “So much is at stake now for working families and public service workers on the national, state, city and local levels,” said Political Action Director Jeremy John. “It is crucial that we continue to build an army of activists to engage our members in the political process and help shape the future of our [More...]

That September Morning

September 11, 2016 // 0 Comments

It was a perfect September morning. The weather was perfect, cloudless, heralding the end of summer. The day was Tuesday, primary day in New York City. As then-favored mayoral candidate Public Advocate Mark Green campaigned near Greenwich Village’s Sixth Avenue, a plane flew overhead. Witnesses from several miles away remember it sounded like a truck driving over metal plates. To them that was how they remembered the sound of a Boeing 767 crashing into the World Trade Center’s North Tower. Eighteen minutes later, a second Boeing 767 struck the South Tower. In less than two hours, nearly 3,000 were dead or missing, including four DC 37 members. Hundreds more were injured, while hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers — some covered in toxic dust — marched in all directions under a cloud of billowing smoke and ash spewing from the flaming wreckage of the World Trade Center complex [More...]

DC 37 Hosts 9/11 Exhibit in September

September 10, 2016 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE The union will hold a special opening at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 12 in the First Floor Gallery for the stone lithographic work of pioneer firefighter and retired FDNY officer Brenda Berkman, to honor the memory of the thousands of heroes who gave their lives and survivors who now cope with debilitating illnesses in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, on Sept. 11, 2001. Berkman, who broke barriers by becoming the first woman firefighter in FDNY history, was a FDNY fire officer who was a first responder on 9/11 and was survivor and witness of that terrible day, when hundreds of her colleagues lost their lives. Since 2008, Berkman began working with stone lithographs as an artistic medium. Two years later, she started working on 9/11 lithographs and the World Trade Center. She also organized a collaborative art project with 13 other artists based on a self-portrait she [More...]

DC 37 Endorsements for Primary Day on September 13

September 9, 2016 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO The Green Machine, the union’s team of activists, has been busy making telephone calls on behalf of candidates endorsed by District Council 37 for the upcoming primary election on Tuesday, Sept. 13. “DC 37 volunteers will be on the phone and on the streets from now until primary day to ensure victory for these candidates,” said Executive Director Henry Garrido. “The candidates we have endorsed have solid records and demonstrate their dedication to their communities.” There are five state legislative races that are a priority for the union. In Brooklyn’s race to represent the 19th District, the union is supporting state Sen. Roxanne Persaud. She served as president of the 69th Precinct Community Council in Canarsie and is a member of Community Board 18. Persaud is an advocate for seniors and has introduced legislation to protect the elderly against [More...]

Trump: No Friend of Workers

September 8, 2016 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO Executive Director, District Council 37, AFSCME, AFL-CIO Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump portrays himself as a champion of the financially suffering middle class and disaffected blue-collar workers. He can say what he wants. But I agree with Vice President Joe Biden, who says Trump’s claim to be the “people’s candidate” is “a bunch of malarkey.” When you examine Trump’s qualifications for the job of president and his policies, it becomes quite clear that he is unfit to be president and that his interests don’t coincide with ours. A business background does not mean you’re necessarily prepared to run a government. Business is about profits. Government is about providing services. Many foreign policy experts believe Trump doesn’t have the background or temperament to represent the United States on the global stage. They are also wary [More...]

Union Backs Legislation for Halal and Kosher Meals for City Schoolchildren

September 7, 2016 // 0 Comments

BY MIKE LEE Local 372 is working with a coalition to secure healthy school lunches that meet the religious requirements of observant Jews and the city’s growing Muslim student population. On Sept. 6, along with other DC 37 leaders and activists, Local 372 Executive Vice President Donald Nesbit spoke out at a press conference on the City Hall steps in support of the effort. “We need to provide halal and kosher food in our schools,” Nesbit said. “I was a cook in the schools for 17 years,” Nesbit said. “I know first-hand what it is like to see children hungry and to leave the lunch room without eating. You can see it in their expressions and they can’t function and learn during the day.” Several Muslim students joined the press conference. They spoke of going hungry because their schools are unable to provide halal school lunches. Tasheef Chowdhury, a student at Stuyvesant [More...]

DC 37 Organizing sets lunchtime meetings and activist trainings

September 6, 2016 // 0 Comments

Throughout the fall, the DC 37 Organizing Department will hold a series of lunch time meetings and activist training sessions to strengthen the power of our collective voice and equip members with the tools necessary to move forward together. During October, Lunch Time meetings will be held at various New York Health and Hospitals locations citywide. For a leaflet with details, click here. In addition, general activist training sessions will be each month at DC 37 union headquarters. Each activist training will be followed by a second session about two weeks after the first session. To register for a training session, call DC 37 Organizing at (212) 815-1095. “These meetings and trainings are part of an effort to strengthen the union from the grassroots,” said Barbara Terrelonge, director of the DC 37 Organizing Dept. “With more active members, our union will be stronger, [More...]

Lifeguards Save an Elderly Man at Manhattan Beach

September 2, 2016 // 0 Comments

By JOSEPH LOPEZ The scorching sun that has been a staple over New York City skies during this year’s heatwave-heavy summer has had many residents flocking to local beaches for a little fun and relief. The uptick of people cooling off in the water has also meant more potential drownings, keeping the lifeguards and supervisors of Local 461 and Local 508 on high alert. On the morning of July 18, Lifeguards Sharon Greaves and Andrey Povroznik sprang into action at Manhattan Beach in Brooklyn when a 76-year-old man’s dip in the ocean turned into a matter of life-or-death.  The two lifeguards pulled the elderly individual out of the waters that had overtaken him, and they brought him to land, where they began CPR procedures. “He had no pulse,” said Greaves, a 28 year veteran.  Using lifesaving techniques, Greaves and Povroznik were able to revive his heartbeat before EMTs arrived. [More...]

Agreement protects cultural workers pensions

September 1, 2016 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES The union reached a tentative agreement that protects the pensions of DC 37 members working at cultural institutions and other workers who are employed at day-care centers. On Aug. 11, DC 37 concluded talks on the five-year agreement with the employers’ representatives, the Cultural Institutions Group and the Day Care Council of New York, after months of tough negotiations to find a way to preserve the Cultural Institutions Retirement System (CIRS). “The members of our bargaining committee made the hard choices and took the responsible actions needed to protect our hard-won benefits for current employees and to preserve our pension benefits into the future,” DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido said. The agreement will maintain the benefits of the 9,000 current employees, including 1,200 DC 37 members enrolled in the pension system. They will still be able [More...]
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