The Equifax Data Breach: What Consumers Should Do

September 22, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ROBERT MARTIN and RENEE CONDE The dust is still settling on the Equifax data breach in which hackers accessed personal records of the majority of American adults. This breach was so huge that you should presume your information has been compromised. Equifax (a big three credit reporting agency or “CRA”) has only come forward now to reveal that between May and July, records of 143 million persons were hacked. What makes it more serious than prior breaches (Equifax itself has had four breaches in the last two years) is that the stolen records include not just credit card numbers, but also Social Security numbers and birth dates. These are the first building blocks for identity thieves. With this information, thieves can potentially open fraudulent new credit accounts – in our names. How should people protect themselves? This is a slightly complicated topic, and the answer depends [More...]

DC 37 Prepares for U.S. Supreme Court Ruling Against Public Employee Unions

September 20, 2017 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE On Sept. 25, the U.S. Supreme Court returns from its summer recess to decide whether to move forward on perhaps the most important case facing the labor movement in our lifetime. This case, Janus v. AFSCME, is expected to be heard during the court’s upcoming October term with a decision no later than next June. Janus is the latest attempt by anti-union forces to take away public workers’ hard-won freedoms to organize, negotiate for fair pay and working conditions, as well as to strip them of their benefits. Janus seeks to overturn the ability of unions to collect fees from agency fee payers, who enjoy the benefits of union representation without membership. A ruling may force public service workers’ unions into such a right-to-work environment. For the rich and powerful 1 percenters and corporate CEOs, a legal victory in Janus will hurt a union’s ability to fight on [More...]

Union sets fall 2017 lunch time info sessions and activist training

September 14, 2017 // 0 Comments

The DC 37 Organizing Department has scheduled lunch time information events this fall to strengthen the power of our collective voice and equip members with the tools necessary to move forward together. At the top of the agenda: voting “NO” on the New York State Constitutional Convention to protect worker rights and safeguard the pensions of members and retirees, and engaging the union’s membership on this and other issues. In addition, the next general activist training is scheduled for Nov. 2 at DC 37 union headquarters. A second session will be scheduled about two weeks after the first session. To register for the training or for more information, call DC 37 Organizing at (212) 815-1095.  “Workplace info sessions and activist training are part of an effort to strengthen the union from the grassroots,” said Barbara Terrelonge, director of the DC 37 [More...]

A Fair Tax on the Wealthy

September 14, 2017 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO Our city is engaged in a vibrant public discussion about the crisis at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. For the general public, the injury of dozens of people in the derailment of a subway in Manhattan in July underscored that the crisis is a matter of public safety. Riders are also fed up with high fares and delays. The MTA’s track signals date from a century ago, when the subway system was established, and the constant malfunctioning from this aging equipment causes delays. Straphangers are angry about the uncomfortable commutes in overcrowded subway trains and the crumbling infrastructure, including deteriorating stations. Elected officials and public transportation advocates are looking for solutions. We fully support a progressive plan that Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled in August. The de Blasio plan offers a sensible way to deal with short- and [More...]

DC 37-backed Candidates Win in Four Key City Council Races

September 13, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO DC 37’s activism helped determine the winners in the Democratic Primary elections earlier this week. “We focused our efforts in districts with high density DC 37 membership, communities where literally thousands of DC 37 members live,” said DC 37 Political Action director Jeremy John. Those areas include southeast Queens, central Brooklyn and northern Manhattan/the Bronx. An army of more than 200 DC 37 activists, volunteers and leaders began making phone calls and knocking on doors in July and helped provide the margin of victory for Mayor Bill deBlasio, Public Advocate Letitia James and numerous City Council candidates, in particular: Francisco Moya, District 21 (Queens) Adrienne Adams, District 28 (Queens) Alicka Samuel, District 41 (Brooklyn) Diana Ayala, District 8 (upper Manhattan/Bronx) Ayala took to Twitter on the day after the primary to express her [More...]

Don’t Let the Flu Catch You—Get Your Flu Shot Today

September 13, 2017 // 0 Comments

Don’t let the flu catch you—get your flu shot today. Flu season is coming! A flu shot is the best way to protect yourself, your community and your loved ones. Everyone aged 6 months and older should get vaccinated every year. The flu shot takes just seconds, but can prevent days or weeks of serious illness. Free flu shots are available to City employees, dependents, and retirees four convenient ways: At the worksite At the pharmacy At an in-network doctor’s office At an AdvantageCare Physicians (ACPNY) medical office Don’t let the flu catch you—get your flu shot today! Visit nyc.gov/workwellnyc for more [More...]

City Launches Free School Lunch Program with Help from the Union

September 8, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO After DC 37 spent years battling City Hall to make sure all students, regardless of their ability to pay, receive a hot meal at lunch time, free lunch will now be available to all of the city’s 1.1 million students. “We are extremely proud to have played a role in making this happen,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. “With this change in policy, learning just became easier for many kids in our schools.” Garrido joined Chancellor Caren Farina, Local 372 President Shaun D. Francois I, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Public Advocate Letitia James and activists from the Lunch 4 Learning coalition on Sept. 6–the day before the beginning of the new school year–at PS 51 in Manhattan to mark the start of the new program. “This is about equity,” Farina said at the press conference. “All communities matter.” DC 37’s Local [More...]

DC 37 launches new, enhanced website

September 7, 2017 // 0 Comments

District Council 37 has launched a new, redesigned website. It’s at the same web address www.dc37.net — but with a whole new look and feel that aims to offer our members an enhanced user experience, whether they visit to learn about union activities or to access benefits and services. Here are a few highlights of the new District Council 37 website: A new home page slide show focuses on union news – from profiles of DC 37 members and the work they do to upcoming events and valuable benefits. An interactive calendar, on the right side of the home page, gives details of upcoming events, links to leaflets offering more information and a map showing the event location. The DC 37 blog is front and center on the home page with regular updates so the members always know the latest union news. A new blog feed on internal pages assures that this news is always visible no matter [More...]

DC 37 Annuity Funds Shows Strong Growth

September 5, 2017 // 0 Comments

DC 37 Annuity Fund Growth 1999-2017 By GREGORY N. HEIRES Since its inception, the District Council 37 AFSCME Annuity Fund has grown annually by nearly 6 percent. “The annuity is a painless and cost-effective way to save for retirement,” said Audrey Browne, associate administrator and counsel at the DC 37 Health & Security Plan, which oversees the annuity. The annuity was established in 1999 after DC 37 won the optional benefit — which requires the approval of locals — in an economic agreement. Each DC 37 member from locals that opted to participate received a $522 one-time contribution from the city for the annuity. The $522 in seed money for individual accounts has grown to $1,467 since 1999. The annual interest rate of the fund is a healthy 5.99 percent. By comparison, in July, investors in U.S. Treasury notes and bonds could count on 1.99 percent in earnings over 10 [More...]

Public Service Workers on the Front Lines of Hurricane Harvey

September 1, 2017 // 0 Comments

By NAMITA WAGHRAY and CLYDE WEISS During what may be the worst natural disaster in Texas history, public service workers and first responders represented by DC 37’s national union are making heroic efforts to keep people alive, restore essential services and protect property. With at least eight people reported dead so far from Hurricane and now Tropical Storm Harvey – and with flooding in Houston already at historic proportions – stories of courage by state and local government employees will continue to emerge in the coming days. This we know so far about the work members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees are doing on the front lines: On Saturday, Aug. 26, hardworking members of AFSCME Texas Corrections based in Angleton, Beaumont and Huntsville evacuated approximately 4,500 prisoners from three prison facilities as a precaution when [More...]