Gender roles are changing, and it’s time for people to understand that’s a good thing.

April 29, 2017 // 0 Comments

Yasmine, Garcia, Traffic Device Maintainer, Local 1455 A lot of women should know they can move into nontraditional jobs. I came into the Dept. of Transportation 12 years ago as an Auto Service Worker where I assisted mechanics with inspections, brake jobs and servicing city-owned vehicles. But I needed to earn more money. A coworker told me about the Traffic Device Maintainers’ exam. I took the test and passed it, was interviewed and got the job. I really enjoy working a nontraditional job outside an office. In the Sign Shop I cut metal to make street signs. In the field I paint traffic lines, crosswalks and bike lanes, and hang signs around Manhattan. I always wanted to work with the men — to prove that being a women does not prevent me from doing the same quality job. Women can do this! Too often as women we have to prove ourselves and we don’t get the credit. I use a rock [More...]

Unions Gather to Pay Tribute to Workers Killed on the Job

April 28, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES City unions and workplace safety advocates paid tribute to workers who died on the job during a ceremony outside DC 37 headquarters on April 28. The Workers’ Memorial Day ceremony was dedicated to Emergency Medical Technician Yadira Arroyo, a Local 2507 member who was killed in the line of duty on March 16, when a man ran her over her as he tried to hijack her ambulance. “Today and every day, let us recommit to doing all we can to honor those we have lost at work and to advocate for policies designed to protect the health and well-being of all workers,” said Vincent Alvarez, president of the New York City Central Labor Council, a sponsor of the event. “Every person who is killed on the job or dies due to workplace illness leaves family and an entire community in mourning,” said Charlene Obernauer, executive director of New York City Occupational Safety and [More...]

Taxes and Inequality

April 24, 2017 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO Thousands of demonstrators across the United States on April 15 — Tax Day — called for President Donald Trump to release his taxes. The protest was a reminder of the country’s unfair tax system and glaring inequality. And it was the opening act of resistance to what stands to become the next big political battle: tax reform. Having failed to replace and repeal the Affordable Care Act with the Republicans’ health-care plan — which in itself would have deepened inequality — Trump aims to implement the greatest tax overhaul since President Ronald Reagan’s changes to the tax code in 1986. This is very troublesome, because the policies coming out of the White House and the Republican-controlled Congress have favored the rich and powerful — and the Trump administration’s tax “reform” plan continues in that vein. Trump’s federal budget proposal [More...]

Member Gets Promotion and Pay Increase in Out-of-Title Grievance

April 22, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES A Local 1407 member won a promotion and an 8 percent raise after the settlement of an out-of-title grievance. Ahsan Masood joined the city workforce in 2014, when he was hired as an Associate Analyst. A provisional worker, he took a civil service exam within a year and became a permanent city employee with the title of Management Auditor. He took that step because he wanted the security of a permanent job. “There was a change in my salary, which I was okay with,” Masood said. “But as time went on, they kept adding tasks.” This extra work involved coming up with the budget that the Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene needs to obtain grants from the Dept. of Homeland Security. Masood did the work for about a year even though it was not included in his responsibilities as a Management Auditor. But he grew tired of putting in the extra effort without the extra [More...]

DC 37 and Community Allies Fight Trump’s Public Housing Budget Cuts

April 21, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO If the Trump administration has its way and slashes $6 billion from the budget of the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, members like Mary Baez and La’Nette Murphy will have to continue to wait as the backlog of repairs at their New York City Housing Authority apartments gets thicker. More than half of the funds to maintain NYCHA apartments–the largest housing authority in the country–comes from HUD. The proposed budget cut would also terminate the Community Development Block Grant program. The grants help fund programs like Meals on Wheels, which delivers healthy meals to the homebound and elderly. Baez is one of the more than 15,000 DC 37 members who live in apartments managed by NYCHA. The Local 768 member has lived at the Alfred E. Smith Houses in the Lower East Side for 40 years and remembers the good old days. Back then, same day repair [More...]

Public Housing Advocates to Protest Trump Budget Cuts on April 20

April 18, 2017 // 0 Comments

Council member Ritchie Torres denounced Donald J. Trump’s budget cuts to the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, which would devastate the New York City Housing Authority. Torres was joined by U.S. Congress member Jerrold Nadler (left). By ALFREDO ALVARADO DC 37 is part of a coalition that is mobilizing against President Donald J. Trump’s plan to cut $6 billion from the federal Dept. of Housing and Urban Development’s budget. The #NoCut  coalition will hold a rally at noon on Thursday, April 20, in Foley Square in Lower Manhattan. Under the Trump cuts, HUD’s budget would shrink by 14 percent to $40.5 billion in fiscal year 2018, down from $46.9 billion in fiscal year 2017. Fifty-six percent of the New York City Housing Authority’s revenue comes from HUD. If the cuts go through, residents of NYCHA’s 238 developments could see their rents increased, and they will likely [More...]

New York is the Most Unionized State, By Far

April 17, 2017 // 0 Comments

By JOSEPH SPECTOR New York’s union ranks dropped by nearly 5 percent between 2015 and 2016, but the state remained the nation’s leader in unionized workers. The drop of about 96,000 union workers in New York erased a 58,000 increase in union employees made between 2014 and 2015, according to recently released records by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. Still, New York’s unionized workforce has remained fairly steady over the past decade — giving the state by far the largest percentage of union members of any state and bucking national declines in union membership. Union members accounted for over 23 percent of wage and salaried workers in New York in 2016. Nationwide, the average was almost 11 percent. So overall, New York had 1.9 million union members last year, second only to California with 2.6 million. “We take great pride in continuing to lead the country in union [More...]

NYC Health + Hospitals Honors 36 Social Workers

April 14, 2017 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS NYC Health + Hospitals honored 36 dedicated Social Workers at its first Social Worker Recognition ceremony held at Gouvernuer’s Hospital in March, Social Workers Month. “You help Health and Hospitals remain committed to its mission to serve regardless of the patient’s ability to pay, and we value the great work you do,” said Dr. Rosa Colon Kalacko, who coordinated the event. For decades licensed Social Workers have worked alongside doctors, nurses and other health-care professionals with compassion, strength and dignity helping families through health crises. On March 31, management recognized Social Workers as “equal partners with other licensed professional clinicians, not just support staff.” H+H culled a list of the “best of the best” employed in their expansive system of hospitals, long-term care facilities, nursing homes and clinics to [More...]

Join the Climate Change March in Washington on April 29

April 13, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO President Donald Trump wasted no time trying to dismantle the Affordable Care Act and prevent Muslims from entering the country. Those plans stalled when they came up against massive opposition. The Trump administration has been equally aggressive attacking regulations and laws that protect the environment. Trump’s new head of the federal Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, doesn’t even believe human-caused climate change is a fact. He has said there’s “tremendous disagreement” about the impact people have on the environment. According to The Atlantic magazine: “This is wrong… Pruitt’s claim runs so counter to the findings of the international scientific community, to the conclusions of the U.S. government, and even to the marketing materials of the oil-and-gas industry that it is difficult to label it anything but a falsehood.” So it’s [More...]

Union and City Raise Public Awareness about Safety in Highway Work Zones

April 12, 2017 // 0 Comments

By DIANE WILLIAMS The union is working with the Dept. of Transportation to encourage motorists to be more cautious as they drive in highway work zones, where four workers have died in recent years. On a raining April 4 under the Seeley Avenue bridge in leafy Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn, New York City Dept. of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg and Local 1455 President Mike DeMarco were joined by Council member Ydanis Rodriguez and dozens of workers in neon safety vests to highlight National Work Zone Awareness Week, April 3 through 7. “This is one of the more important concerns that both labor and management collaborate on and strongly support,” DeMarco said. “We work very hard to keep all DOT workers and motorists safe in work zones as we improve and repair streets and roadways.” DC 37 Locals 376, 983, 1157, 1455 and 1506 represent hundreds of DOT workers who maintain [More...]