Inmates at Riker’s Island Jail Say “Thanks!” to a Dedicated Library Worker

August 19, 2017 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Stacks of handwritten thank-you notes for the New York Public Library’s mobile library and literacy program at Riker’s Island underscore the value of the services Local 1930 member Louise Stamp provides to hundreds of incarcerated men awaiting trial. In their letters, the men at Riker’s express profound respect for Stamp, a Library Administrative Assistant in Correctional Services at the George R. Vierno Center on Riker’s Island and a vice president of Local 1930. “I would love to give thanks to a very blessed and brave woman for faithfully bringing books to men like me…locked up on Riker’s Island 24/7. Ms. Stamp you are forever loved and appreciated,” one detainee wrote. “Many take the time to complain, I thought it was necessary to give thanks to Ms. Stamp and the NYPL,” said another detainee, who even offered money to support the unique [More...]

Parks Worker Facing Deportation Released from Detention

August 12, 2017 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Jose Molina is back on the job restoring Bronx ball fields for the New York City Parks and Recreation Dept. after the Local 983 member was detained almost a month after reporting to Immigration Court at 26 Federal Plaza. Four years of liberty ended for no apparent reason, his lawyers said, after Molina dropped off his passport July 13 and told his deportation officer of his next court date in May 2018. He was moved to the Varick Street federal detention center for deportation. DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido , Local 983 President Joe Puleo, City Council members Carlos Manchaca and Fernando Cabrera, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and other elected officials and immigration advocates called for Molina’s immediate release. Molina was freed on Aug. 8. Molina, a dedicated Associate Parks Service Worker, is glad to clear another legal hurdle in his fight [More...]

How NYPD 911 Operators Set Responses in Motion as Emergencies Like the Bronx Hospital Shooting Unfold

August 8, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GRAHAM RAYMAN It began with a panicked 911 call from a woman at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital routed to NYPD Operator Joann Tindal. Gunfire had erupted on the 16th floor. As the caller cowered in her dad’s hospital room, deranged ex-medical technician Henry Bello roamed the floor. He was armed with a rifle and on the hunt. For the next 11 wrenching minutes, Tindal patiently talked her through the chaos. Stay calm, stay quiet, the 911 operator told the woman. Lock the door. Keep everyone in the room. Joy at baby’s birth turned to fear during Bronx hospital shooting “You can stay on the phone with me if you want,” Tindal recalled telling the woman. “There were other people in the room with her and I was telling her to reassure them that help was on the way,” she told the Daily News. “This was the first time I had a call like that.” In another part of the sprawling [More...]

Union Backs Mayor de Blasio’s Plan to Tax the Wealthy to Fix the City’s Troubled Subway System

August 7, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO DC 37 members and activists joined Mayor Bill de Blasio at Brooklyn Borough Hall to show union support for a plan to generate more revenue to get the underfunded Metropolitan Transportation Authority back on track after a summer of constant subway delays and even several derailments that caused the system to be shut down. “It’s not just a subway crisis, it’s a human crisis and the status quo is not working,” said the mayor at his Monday morning press conference on Aug. 7 at Brooklyn Borough Hall. The mayor called for Albany to pass legislation that would tax individuals with an income of $500,000 a year and married couples making $1 million a year. “We support the mayor’s plan for a fair fix,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. “It’s time for everyone to step up to the plate. The irony is our 2,000 members who work as engineers and in [More...]

Hospital Worker Wins $2,550 in Retro Pay

July 27, 2017 // 0 Comments

By DIANE WILLIAMS Serious illness almost cost Harlem Hospital Patient Care Associate Daniel Brewington his job. With help from his union, the Local 420 member is back at work — and receiving approximately $2,550 in retroactive longevity pay that a management snafu had denied him. After 22 years on the job, Brewington left Harlem Hospital on a medical leave that extended beyond one year. In accordance with NYC Health+Hospitals policy, the length of leave triggered termination of his employment. Brewington recovered and the hospital reinstated him in September 2015, after DC 37 attorneys brought his case before the NYC H+H Personnel Review Board (PERB). “The outcome of that hearing was favorable for Mr. Brewington and he got his job back, but NYC H+H managers failed to restore his longevity pay for years of service,” said union Council Rep Joel Viera Vera. So Viera Vera filed a [More...]

Participate in Storm Safety Program

July 26, 2017 // 0 Comments

New York City is at great risk for coastal storms starting Aug. 1 and New York City Emergency Management Dept. is looking for people interested in joining a storm safety program. StormStaff is a vital piece of the city’s Coastal Storm Sheltering operation that keeps New Yorkers safe during and after storms. StormStaff participants come from all backgounds, ranging from management to entry-level workers. They receive training online or in a classroom, and are first to be notified of citywide sheltering activations. As a StormStaff member, you have the opportunity to volunteer to work at the shelter nearest to your home or another location convenient to you. For information on compensation, please see the Shelter Worker Quick Guide issued by the New York City Emergency Management Dept., or check with your agency’s Coastal Storm Plan liaison. Make sure your supervisor approves your [More...]

Book Review: Beyond the $15 an Hour Movement and the Revival of Labor

July 24, 2017 // 0 Comments

By MOLLY CHARBONEAU How to build genuine trust among labor, faith and community partners to create a powerful movement is the universal message of Jonathan Rosenblum’s new book, “Beyond $15: Immigrant Workers, Faith Activists and the Revival of the Labor Movement.” Rosenblum directed a groundbreaking Service Employees International Union campaign for a $15 minimum wage in the Seattle-Tacoma area — the first major initiative in the country to win this demand. Soon after, the Fight for $15 — which began when 100 fast-food workers walked off their jobs in New York City in 2012 — exploded nationwide. “But the campaign was about a lot more than just fair wages,” Rosenblum said. “It was, at its core, a struggle against the maldistribution of power in society.”This vision, echoing the earlier Occupy movement, attracted community and faith partners to the fight. In “Beyond [More...]

DC 37 Endorsements for the Sept. 12 City Primary

July 19, 2017 // 0 Comments

On July 18, District Council 37 announced its endorsements of candidates for NYC elected offices in the Primary Elections on Tuesday, September 12. Among the endorsed candidates are NYC Public Advocate Letitia James, NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, Borough Presidents Eric Adams of Brooklyn, Gayle Brewer of Manhattan, Ruben Diaz, Jr. of the Bronx, Melinda Katz of Queens and James Oddo of Staten Island. The union also endorsed 46 candidates for City Council seats, including the following incumbents in these competitive districts of particular interest to the union: Antonio Reynoso in District 34 (Bklyn-Queens), Laurie A. Cumbo in District 35 (Bklyn), and Carlos Menchaca in District 38 (Bklyn). The contests in the following open districts are also of special interest: Carlina Rivera running in District 2 (Manhattan), Diana Ayala in District 8 (Bronx-Manhattan), Marjorie Velazquez in [More...]

“Many are now afraid to sign up for insurance because of President Trump’s agenda against immigrants.”

July 18, 2017 // 0 Comments

Candido “Candy” Ramos, Certified Application Counselor, Local 1549 Photo: Clarence Elie-Rivera One of the worst feelings possible is when you are in need of help and those people who could assist you refuse to do so. I have experienced this in my life and it is the reason why I love the job that I have, a career that revolves around helping people with something that they cannot take for granted — their health. Not only is it my job to help people when they need it, but I want to help people when they need it. I want them to never experience the kind of hopelessness I had to when I was on the other side of the table. As a Certified Application Counselor at New York City’s Department of Human Resources and Administration, I spend my days signing people up for medical coverage through either Medicaid or other affordable coverages. People tend to think that health insurance is too [More...]

Ruling Upholds Members’ Right to Extra Compensation for Handling Medical Waste

July 18, 2017 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Seven hospital workers, members of Local 420, have received a total of $7,000 in back pay to settle a group grievance filed after Bellevue Hospital failed to pay them the contractual differential for handling medical waste. The seven Housekeeping Aides cleaned patients’ rooms and removed and disposed of bagged infectious materials known as red bag waste for more than a year. Management omitted paying them the annual differential for performing the hazardous duties. The members reached out to Grievance Rep Monique Jaysura, who filed a group grievance on their behalf. Management did not respond at Step 1, so the grievance went to Step 2. “Once we filed the grievance, management did not want the case to drag on so they paid the members before the union took the grievance to arbitration,” Jaysura said. Housekeeping Aide Doris Khodra said she is happy to receive [More...]