By DIANE S. WILLIAMS
A new agreement between the union, the city and the Police Department created a first-ever opportunity for promotion for Local 372 Schools Crossing Guards to advance to Level 2 supervisors positions.
NYPD promoted about 100 Crossing Guards Level 2s, the new position created to replace precinct Coordinators. They oversee day-to-day operations and assignments for the city’s corps of 2,276 School Crossing Guards.
“Never before in the history of this local has there been an annualized, promotional opportunity created for our members who are School Crossing Guards,” said Board of Education Employees Local 372 President Shaun D. Francois I. “Those who NYPD hired for Level 2 jobs are experienced Crossing Guards who know the job well and safeguard the lives of New York City’s 1.1 million school children and pedestrians every day.”
Creating the Level 2 position is a step in the union’s ongoing effort to have the city implement civilianization at NYPD.
“For years Police Officers worked as Coordinators, supervising School Crossing Guards. Now that the union has negotiated this opportunity for School Crossing Guards to promote to Level 2, Police Officers can return to patrol and keep streets and New Yorkers safe,” Francois added.
DC 37’s Executive Director Henry Garrido and Francois worked with the city’s lead negotiator Robert W. Linn and the union’s Research and Negotiations Dept. staff to create the Level 2 title, defining the salary, hours and duties. A memorandum of understanding was entered by the union and the city under the recently ratified city economic agreement.
The union advocated for NYPD to hire Level 2s from the ranks of School Crossing Guards. To qualify for the promotion, NYPD sought SCGs with at least two years’ experience who have a high school diploma, a valid state driver’s license, and have passed the NYPD driving course.
NYPD tasks Level 2s to oversee Crossing Guards. They drive agency vehicles to check that assignments are covered and Crossing Guards are on assigned posts. They cover absences, time and attendance issues and assign substitutes as needed.
Level 2s work 10 hours a day, Monday through Friday, with a daily two-hour unpaid break. They earn about $16 an hour, roughly 10 percent more than SCGs. As annual city employees, Level 2s receive all paid city holidays, accrued vacation and sick leave, and get year-round health benefits, explained Schools Division Director Michelle Menduina.
Last year Local 372 held hiring halls at DC 37 headquarters in lower Manhattan where thousands applied to become School Crossing Guards. SCGs are hourly employees whose health benefits are active during the school term. Crossing Guard vacancies at precincts are significantly reduced.
“These hirings are another indicator that Mayor Bill de Blasio, the city and NYPD are listening to us as we continue to advocate for this vital public-safety service that our members provide,” Garrido said.
The DC 37 Blog is an official online publication of District Council 37, AFSCME, which represents 121,000 municipal employees in the New York City area. This article originally appeared in the November-December 2018 issue of Public Employee Press.