By GREGORY N. HEIRES
The union has dedicated one of its research libraries to Evelyn Seinfeld, the deceased director of the DC 37 Research and Negotiations Dept., who passed away earlier this year.
Coworkers, union leaders, family members and city officials paid tribute to Seinfeld during a ceremony on Nov. 3 that celebrated the naming of the archival library after her.
“Today is not about acknowledging a death but rather celebrating the life of a wonderful person,” DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido said.
Garrido noted that Seinfeld — who worked as a librarian at Brooklyn Public Library before joining the union’s staff — liked to refer to the archival library as “the brains of the operations of the Research and Negotiations Dept.”
As a librarian, Seinfeld was particularly interested in preserving the union’s historical documents and records. This motivated the union to honor Seinfeld’s memory by dedicating the library to her.
“Our vision is to create a living space where members can learn about the union’s history,” said David Paskin, director of Research and Negotiations.
Sr. Associate Director Moira Dolan, spoke on behalf of the department’s staffers.
Dolan described Seinfeld as a mentor with a wealth of knowledge that she liked to pass along to the staff. Her special love was protecting the civil service system, as well as members, Dolan said.
Labor Commissioner Robert W. Linn said he met with Seinfeld in the early days of the de Blasio administration.
Linn said he and Seinfeld committed themselves to creating a positive working relationship, noting that labor relations suffered during the years Michael Bloomberg was the mayor of the city. The new relationship was critical to effort of both parties to conclude negotiations of a new contract, Linn said. When he became mayor, Bill de Blasio faced more than 150 outstanding contracts that Bloomberg failed to on.
Deputy Labor Commissioner Renee Campion read a proclamation on behalf of de Blasio that marked the day of library dedication as Evelyn Seinfeld Day.
Seinfeld’s twin sister, Phyllis Feinberg, spoke on behalf of the family. Sixteen family members attended the dedication.
“You helped thousands of people make their lives better and made the world better,” said Feinberg, speaking about Seinfeld’s legacy.
Garrido informed the gathering that the union plans to establish a scholarship for students studying labor relations.