Long-time Urban Park Rangers Win Big Raises in New Contract

September 13, 2019 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Urban Park Rangers and Associate Urban Park Rangers overwhelmingly approved a new contract that will boost their salaries by nearly 7.5 percent over 49 months. For veteran workers with at least 20 years of experience in the covered titles represented by Local 983, the increase will ultimately bring home more than $9,000 over the duration of the contract. Significantly, the contract also adds three new recurring increment payments (RIPs) to the local’s contract. The old contract included such hikes at the fifth, tenth and fifteenth year of employment. The new agreement calls for additional hikes at three years ($241), seven years ($603) and 20 years ($5,529). “With these RIPs, we are essentially creating a step-pay plan that guarantees our members receive pay increases outside of our regular salary hikes,” Local 983 President Joe Puleo said. “The RIPs are a [More...]

De Blasio Seeks Local Legislation to Provide Health Insurance to Spouses and Partners of all City Workers Who Die from 9/11 Ilnesses

September 11, 2019 // 0 Comments

Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced his support for local legislation to provide health insurance for the survivors of all city employees fatally stricken by 9/11 illnesses. Currently, coverage is limited to the surviving spouses and domestic partners of police officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians and higher-ranking employees in those titles who died during their active service or in retirement. This legislation would close a gap in current law so that all city employees who die of a 9/11 illness are treated the same. “On our city’s darkest day, thousands of city employees answered the call,” de Basio said. “They didn’t hesitate. We need to be there for their families, now and always.” About 5,000 employees across several city agencies and in various titles could be covered by this legislation over time.  This population represents city [More...]

UNION STRONG, UNION PROUD: Labor Day Parade 2019

September 9, 2019 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE Thousands of union members and supporters marched up Fifth Avenue Sept. 7 to show the world that they are working together to build worker power in New York York City. Throughout the day, midtown Manhattan thundered with the sounds of labor unity and activism. DC 37 members filled 48th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues. for more than two hours before marching behind a banner that declared, “Never Quit!” Bolstered by the recent, historic unification of DC 1707’s private sector workers and DC 37’s public employees, members chanted, danced and celebrated worker pride. Led by Executive Director Henry Garrido, DC 37 marched as a single mass, a defiant force showing its enhanced power. In what has become a tradition in recent years, members took the opportunity to boo loudly as they passed Trump Tower. More than a dozen elected officials stopped by in solidarity to pay [More...]

Stronger Together: DC 37, 1707 Unite

September 9, 2019 // 0 Comments

Private Sector Members Add to Union Power By GREGORY N. HEIRES and SARA HAAS New York labor history is being made this fall as District Council 1707, which represents 20,000 private-sector members, joins forces with District Council 37, the city’s largest public employees union. As a result, the six unions that made up DC 1707 — Locals 95, 107, 205, 215, 253, and 389 — will comprise a new, private-sector division  within DC 37, bringing DC 37’s total membership to 150,000. Each local union’s structure and leadership remain unchanged. “We are delighted to welcome these hardworking members, who provide vital services in the private sector to the city’s largest union of public employees,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. “This unification signals a new era in the fight for workers’ rights in New York.” “In unifying with our brothers and sisters at DC [More...]

DC 37 Offers Help to Workers Running for Political Office

September 5, 2019 // 0 Comments

  Do you have what it takes to run for political office? Will you be part of the change we need to fix the outdated and rigged system so working families can finally win? Our city needs more elected officials who understand the challenges working people face. DC 37 is leading the way, providing the tools, training and support for union members to run for political office. Join DC 37’s Emerging Leaders Candidate Training to learn effective campaign strategies and explore a wide range of topics that will prepare you to run and win! The first training session is scheduled for 9 a.m. on Oct. 5 at 125 Barclay St. in Room 1. Participating members must commit to all three Saturday classes of the training. The other sessions will be held  Oct. 19 and Nov. 2. Space is limited. You must register by Monday, Sept. 30, 5 p.m. to attend. Please contact Omi Harris by email  [More...]

Summer School and Sisterhood

September 4, 2019 // 1 Comment

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Women comprise more than half of DC 37’s membership. And one of our union’s highest priorities is to support the ascent of women within the ranks of leadership and activism. Toward that end, a contingent of DC 37 women attended a week-long boot camp,  hosted and coordinated by the City College of New York School of Labor and Urban Studies, at Hofstra University,  , where they honed their union-building skills. “It really motivated me to continue encouraging as many people as possible to get involved in the labor movement,” said Dept. of Education Employees Local 372 member Trina Prior. The DC 37 activists who attended are all graduates of the Women’s Leadership Academy, a program initiated by our national union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).  At DC 37, the program is named in honor of former Executive [More...]

DC 37 Hits a Grand Slam

September 3, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Fifty lucky DC 37 members and retirees won tickets to a recent New York Mets game at Citi Field through an online giveaway at DC37rewards.com. The ticket winners joined DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido on the field Aug. 27 for the singing of the national anthem, along with Dilcy Benn, president of Local 1505, Don Nesbit, vice president of Local 372, and Director of Community Partnerships Raul Rodriguez, who coordinated the event. “This was a truly amazing night to have the home team, the New York Mets, take time to honor the union members who make New York City run,” Garrido said. The contest drew a tremendous response from more than 3,000 members and retirees who receive DC 37 Action Alerts and News emails and signed up for the chance to win. The first 50 people to respond were awarded two tickets each to the Mets vs. Cubs night game. Winners responded [More...]

Public Support for Unions Continues to Surge

August 30, 2019 // 0 Comments

Labor unions are continuing to gain momentum, with the latest proof coming from a new Gallup poll, which shows that 64 percent of Americans approve of unions, a near 50-year high. More and more people, regardless of political party, view unions as essential to levelling the playing field, providing economic security and unrigging a system that’s for too long favored the wealthy and powerful. Recent union momentum isn’t just a passing fad. It’s the result of workers facing the facts about how much more powerful a union can make them, and of a broader desire for the voice on the job that only comes with being a union member. “Despite relentless anti-union attacks from wealthy corporations, more and more people recognize that unions are a force for progress and national strength, improving the lives of all working families and their communities,” said President Lee Saunders, [More...]

HVAC Workers at Met Win Huge Pay Hike

August 29, 2019 // 1 Comment

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS After more than a year of negotiations, Local 1503 resolved long-standing wage and retention issues, resulting in an unprecedented 63 percent pay hike for licensed heating and ventilation workers at three New York City museums, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Met Breuer and the Met Cloisters. “We were very straight forward with management,” Local 1503 President Rawle Campbell said. “The solution is simple: Pay workers their worth and retention and other problems will go away,” Union negotiators convinced Met managers to raise the starting pay for licensed HVAC assistant maintainers to $35 from $22 an hour. The annual salary for new hires is now $72,800, up from $45,760. Seven senior HVAC engineers will earn about $81,000.  A 22 percent wage hike increases HVAC Supervisors’ earnings to $86,000 a year. News of the wage boosts drew cheers at a [More...]

Big Turnout at Housing Fair

August 27, 2019 // 0 Comments

BY DIANE S. WILLIAMS Hundreds of DC 37 members and retirees took their first steps towards buying a home at the union’s 14th annual housing fair on Aug. 24 at 125 Barclay Street. “Home ownership is possible for our members,” said Ruth Pena, director of the Municipal Employees Housing Program. “We start with budgeting and saving for the purchase to closing on a house, condo or coop apartment. We offer a range of service providers — real estate agents, home inspectors, mortgage lenders, and more. We work within members’ budgets and even repair their credit report.” Members participated in workshops and classes Saturday afternoon that helped them prepare for home ownership. Those searching for apartments can access a special 5 percent set aside of affordable rentals. Members who may be homeless or victims of domestic violence can also find safe housing through the program. [More...]