Forum Set for April 3 on Transportation Service for People with Disabilities

March 22, 2017 // 0 Comments

The DC 37 Disability Committee will hold a forum on Access-A-Ride, the transportation service for people with disabilities. The forum will be at 6 p.m. on Monday, April 3, in the first-floor gallery at union headquarters, on 125 Barclay St. in Lower Manhattan. The speakers will include a City Council member and a representative from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The goal of the meeting is to have a conversation on how the service can be improved, said Committee Chair Eileen Muller, who is also president of Brooklyn Library Guild Local 1482. DC 37 retirees and members who rely on the service complain about frequent long waits at the Barclay Street side of union headquarters. “This is not intended to be an Access-A-Ride bashing session,” Muller said. “We all know the service has problems. We want to open up a constructive dialog about finding [More...]

New York City Mourns Slain EMS Worker

March 20, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO New Yorkers from all over the city are not only expressing their condolences to the family of Emergency Medical Technician Yadira Arroyo–who was tragically killed on a Bronx street when a man hijacked her ambulance–but they are also helping the five children the Local 2507 member left behind. “She was a great mentor, great friend and colleague,” said EMT Anastasia Roble, a coworker. Arroyo was killed on Thursday night, March 16, when a man hijacked her ambulance while she was on duty in the Soundview section of the Bronx and ran her over. Police arrested Jose Gonzalez, 25, of the Bronx, charging him with murder, grand larceny and operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs. Arroyo and her partner, EMT Monique Williams, confronted Gonzalez after a passerby signaled that he was riding on the back bumper of the ambulance. Arroyo, a 14-year [More...]

EMS Worker Killed in Ambulance Hijacking

March 17, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO An EMS worker was killed and another was injured on Thursday, March 16, as a 25-year-old man attempted to commandeer their ambulance. Emergency Medical Technicians Yadira Arroyo and Monique Williams were responding to a nighttime emergency call in the Soundview section of the Bronx, when someone on the street noticed a man riding on the back bumper of their ambulance and alerted the workers. When the Local 2507 members pulled over and confronted the man, he shoved them aside and took over their vehicle. The man knocked Williams to the ground, but put the ambulance in reverse and ran over Arroyo. The 14-year veteran and mother of five children was pronounced dead on Thursday evening at Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx. “An Emergency Medical Technician lost in the line of duty bravely doing her job and encountering the kind of danger EMTs should not have to [More...]

Big Pharma Spent Big Bucks on New York Politics in 2016

March 15, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Drug companies have increased their political contributions in New York State as they come under fire for excessive prices and face calls for greater government regulation. In 2016, pharmaceutical companies contributed $799,150 to candidates for state office in New York, according to state Board of Elections records, POLITICO New York reported. That’s up from $588,750 in 2015 and $667,485 in 2014. Big Pharma is campaigning against a plan by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to create a price ceiling on certain high-priced drugs that Medicaid covers. His plan also calls for greater transparency. The debate in New York over the political influence and price gouging of the drug industry mirrors the concerns in Washington, D.C., where progressive politicians are pushing for greater regulation and control over prices. Critics of the industry would like to open up the drug industry [More...]

Lunchtime & Town Hall Meetings and Activist Training set for March, April 2017

March 15, 2017 // 0 Comments

The DC 37 Organizing Department is heading into spring with lunchtime and town hall meetings and activist training sessions to strengthen the power of our collective voice and equip members with the tools necessary to move forward together. Town Hall Meetings are scheduled at Queens Hospital Center on March 21 (for day shift workers) and March 28 (for evening shift workers). Lunchtime meetings will be held at FISA/OPA on March 30 and April 27, and at DOHMH in Long Island City on April 7. General activist training sessions, scheduled every other month, start in April at DC 37 union headquarters. A second session will be scheduled about two weeks later for activists who attend the first session. To register for the training or for more information, call DC 37 Organizing at (212) 815-1095.  “These meetings and training sessions are part of an effort to strengthen the union from [More...]

Members Overwhelmingly Pass Contract Extension

March 13, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Members overwhelmingly approved a contract extension that will allow millions of dollars to be poured into the union welfare plan’s financially-troubled prescription drug plan. An independent monitor, the American Arbitration Association, announced the results of the mail-ballot vote on March 10. Members approved the extension by a vote of 94 percent, with 22,526 in favor and 1,196 opposed. “The passage of the contract extension is a very significant step toward protecting the plan from being devastated by the relentless pressure of rising drug prices,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. This extension will earmark $24 million to the DC 37 Health & Security Plan, which provides the popular drug benefit. Under an agreement between the city and the union, the city will permanently raises its annual contribution to the DC 37 Health & [More...]

“Unions Fight for You. Non-union Workers Can be Dumped, No Questions Asked.”

March 12, 2017 // 0 Comments

I grew up just two blocks away from the American Museum of Natural History. It always amazed me that so many people would come from around the world to see the dinosaurs and exhibits of ancient cultures in the same neighborhood that my father’s local store stood in. When a friend of mine started working at the museum and told me about how great a place it was, I eagerly applied for a job there as well. That was 1967. Since then, for 50 years now, I have been a Supervising Attendant Guard and proud member of Local 1306. The union has been there for me since day one in so many ways. I’ve always seen people who are afraid of losing their jobs or struggling with paying for health insurance, and that’s something I’ve never worried about. I don’t know how anybody could raise a family here without the kind of amazing health benefits that I and my coworkers, who are also union [More...]

“My Union is My Passion. We Stand Tall for All. I Do What I Enjoy Most–Helping Others”

March 11, 2017 // 0 Comments

Shawn Gray, Service Aide, Local 420 I believe in working for change. But in order for people to change, they have to start with self. I was raised by my mom in Queensbridge Houses. In my Park Slope North community, I volunteer to work to empower young men, to give the youth the tools I didn’t necessarily have growing up. I want them to avoid the mistakes I made. I let them know they can be leaders and think for themselves; they can rise above their environment. I am a Service Aide for the Health and Hospitals Cook Chill plant in Brooklyn. We are the main kitchen and have the very important work of preparing and delivering meals to all public hospitals, nursing homes and long-term care facilities. We prepare over 100,000 meals a day for patients. Our food nourishes sick people to recovery. We maintain strict standards of cleanliness and food safety to avoid food-borne illnesses and [More...]

Local 372 Shop Stewards Get Fired Up at Training Conference

March 10, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO “Stay ready,” was the rallying cry at the weekend retreat for Local 372 shop stewards. The local’s president, Shaun D. Francois I, welcomed 154 shop stewards to the training sessions, which began on March 3 with a “State of the Local” address by Francois. Board of Education Employees Local 372 represents more than a dozen titles working in the public schools, including School Crossing Guards, Parent Coordinators, School Aides, Lunch Helpers. “As shop stewards, you play a critical role in our local,” said Francois in his opening remarks. He also expressed his concern with the new Republican administration in Washington and its anti-union views. “More than half of the states now are right-to-work states,” warned the local leader. States with right-to-work-laws pay lower wages, have higher rates of people not covered by health insurance and their [More...]

Celebrating the “Everyday Woman”

March 9, 2017 // 0 Comments

By JOSEPH LOPEZ Women’s History Month is not only an opportunity to honor the many women who have made historic contributions to the world, but it’s also a time to appreciate every woman’s unique input in daily life. Local 1549 recognized the “Everyday Woman” on March 4 at its Women’s History Month luncheon celebration. “We are all special in our own right,” said 1549 Women’s Committee Chairperson Tracye Hawthorne to the large crowd of women who are mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, and proud city workers and union members. “All women are strong and powerful. They make you and they can break you,” said Local 1549 and DC 37 President Eddie Rodriguez. Guests were treated to performances by the Wings of Glory Dance Missionary and the Local 1549 Choral Group, under the direction of 1549’s Executive Vice President Alma Roper. The program also honored women who [More...]