INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY March 8: The Red Carpet for Justice Coalition and DC 37 needs your support for a campaign to get New York State to recognize International Women’s Day March 8 as a state holiday. Please add your name to our effort and sign the petition here: #IWD2021 #InternationalWomensDay


GET VACCINATED, AFSCME: As AFSCME members, we value our neighbors’ health and safety the same as our own. That means we have to show the way on the COVID-19 vaccine. Because this virus is so dangerous and contagious, we have an obligation to get vaccinated. That’s how we protect one another, and how we get to gather with friends and relatives again without fear. It’s been such a brutal year, but AFSCME and DC 37 have led every step of the way. Together, we will crush this virus and get back to normal. Be a hero – get your vaccine. Add you name here:

The DC 37 POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE meeting on Thursday March 11 will offer training on Ranked Choice Voting. Members can register for the 6PM meeting here:                                                                                                                                  ###  

DC 37 DISABILITY ADVISORY COMMITTEE: The DAC will host a virtual meeting March 9 at 6 PM on the topic of suicide with special guest speaker Brett A. Scutter. Join us on RingCentral: or telephone: 646-357-3664, Meeting ID: 1471919728


DC 37 HEALTH & SECURITY PLAN: Update Your H&S Plan information. The new year brings new changes. The DC 37 Health & Security Plan makes sure you and your family are covered, healthy, and safe through 2021. It’s vital that your information is up-to-date. Submit the necessary forms and supporting documentation to the DC 37 Eligibility & Enrollment Unit. All H&S Plan forms, including the Change of Status Form, are at:


WorkWell NYC’s Project XYZ, a wellness initiative intentionally created to focus on the health and wellness of City employees from Generations Y and Z, has launched “Transformation Tuesdays”, a three-part professional development series in partnership with DCAS and LeadNYC to help employees improve their skills and learn how to successfully navigate the civil service system and build their careers. All employees, regardless of age, are welcome to participate in Project XYZ Programs! Two sessions are still available:

You on Paper: Resume & Cover Letter Building: March 23, 12:30 PM Learn how to shine on paper with tips to develop a compelling resume and cover letter.

You in Person: Interviewing & Networking: April 20, 12:30 PM Learn 5 easy steps to prep for an interview and how to use networking. Register at:




Learn how NYC Rent Freeze Programs will affect you. MELS housing experts and lawyers will explain rent law changes and programs such as Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption,
Disability Rent Increase Exemption, the online application process, updates for NYC Tenants COVID-19 Eviction Restrictions, filing a Tenant Declaration, and more. Register at to get a Meeting ID by e-mail 24 hours before the event on TUES., MARCH 16, 5:30 to 7PM. For more information, call the MELS Screening Unit at 212 815-1111 or email:

FREE TAX PREP: The Food Bank for NYC offers free, contactless tax preparation services for low income New Yorkers to help them get the refunds and credits they are entitled to, including the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) that can be worth up to $8,852 for some families. For free tax prep visit here:

The MELS Tax Tips 2020 Webinar video and PowerPoint slide show are now online: MELS Tax Tips webinar slides:

The IRS income tax filing deadline is April 15.

STUDENT LOAN FORBEARANCE thru SEPT. 30: President Joe Biden extended the student loan payment forbearance created under the CARES Act through Sept. 30. Borrowers with direct federal student loans in repayment continue to be excused from making their regular month payments. No interest and no penalties will accrue. Collection activity is also suspended. Borrowers can opt to make voluntary principal balance payments. For more information, call the MELS Screening Unit at 212 815-1111 or email:

NYS EVICTION MORATORIUM thru MAY 1: A sweeping eviction ban gives relief to qualifying tenants fearful of losing their homes during the pandemic through May 1. To qualify for protection from eviction, tenants must file a “hardship declaration.” The law does not absolve the financial obligations of renters who file declarations, leaving them subject to eviction after May 1. Click on to view a sample “hardship declaration” that you can print and submit to your landlord. To speak with a MELS attorney about the eviction ban or any other housing matter, and to access your free legal service benefits, call the MELS Screening Unit at 212 815 1111, or email:



PAID FAMILY LEAVE BENEFIT: The NYS Paid Family Leave benefit is 12 weeks. The maximum weekly paid benefit is $971.61, or $1,943 bi-weekly. This union negotiated New York State benefit is available to nearly all DC 37 members, including those in the six nonprofit and private sector locals. PFL provides a salary and job security while you bond with your newborn or adopted child, care for a sick parent, and more. For details please read the DC 37 blog. To acess the 2021 PFL calculator, visit:


COVID-19 WORKERS’ COMP and SHORT-TERM DISABILITY BENEFITS: DC 37 members who believe they have contracted coronavirus in the line of duty can apply for New York State Workers’ Compensation. Additionally, DC 37 Health & Security short-term disability benefits may be available for members who have filed Workers’ Comp claims. For more information click here:



DC 37 EDUCATION COMMITTEE  SCHOLARSHIPS are now available for dependent children and grandchildren of eligible DC 37 members or retirees, and active members pursuing technical or trade schools, undergraduate or graduate degrees. Online applications must be submitted by Friday, April 30, no exceptions. Winners will be notified by June 4. For more details and to apply online visit:


AFSCME FREE 4-YEAR COLLEGE: The free 4-year college program has been extended for good. This can be combined with the Free College program, under which AFSCME members and their immediate family can earn associate degrees for free. This means members of the AFSCME family can go to college for free from anywhere in the country. All they need is a computer and an internet connection. For more information visit:  



THE DC 37 EDUCATION FUND IS NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR THE SPRING 2021 SEMESTER: The DC 37 Ed Fund is currently accepting applications for the Spring 2021 cycle online classes. Classes in labor, computers and language will be offered beginning this April. For a full list and schedule of Ed Fund course offerings for the Spring 2021 cycle, please visit: today!


ADVANCED GRIEVANCE HANDLING IS NOW AVAILABLE FOR ELIGIBLE DC 37 MEMBERS: Advanced Grievance Handling/Arbitration is now being offered for the Spring 2021 semester. This course prepares Stewards, members who are on union release time and other activists by emphasizing the critical nature of embracing the grievance process. The class is offered on Tuesday evenings, March 30,  through May 11, with exception to dates when union meetings are held. Applications are now being accepted. Visit:

*Pre-Requisite: General Shop Steward Course. Seating is limited.


FREE SOCIAL WORKER WORKSHOPS FOR LOCAL 768 MEMBERS: The DC 37 Education Fund, in conjunction with the National Association of Social Workers, New York City Chapter hosts three (3) continuing education workshops in April for eligible Local 768 licensed Social Workers:

Crossover Youth: Policy & Practice (2 CEU’s) Mon., April 12 from 7 to 9 p.m. (Register by March 22)

Understanding Otherness when Working with LGBTQ Clients (2 CEU’s) Tues., April 20, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. (Register by March 30)

Unpacking Black Women’s Mental Health: Past, Present, and Future (2 CEU’s) Thurs., April 29, 7 to 9 p.m. (Register by April 8)

All workshops will be held online. If you are interested in attending any of these workshops, please apply online at: If you have any questions regarding the online application or the workshops, please email: or


CONFUSED ABOUT CUNY? SIGN UP FOR A FREE PERSONAL ADVISEMENT SESSION: Are you interested in CUNY but feeling confused or overwhelmed by all the options? Let Worker Education at the CUNY School of Labor & Urban Studies (SLU) help guide you through the process. SLU’s experienced advisors are available for free, 1-to-1 virtual pre-admissions sessions to discuss: Academic requirements for specific jobs; special programs at SLU for union members; choosing a CUNY campus and major; applying to and financing a CUNY degree; certificate and non-credit options at CUNY and SLU; transferring previous credits, and more. Each session is free and catered to your specific goals and needs. View the calendar and schedule your CUNY advisement session at Can’t find a date/time that works for you? Please contact:


YOU CAN GET YOUR HIGH SCHOOL EQUIVALENCY DIPLOMA. LET THE ED FUND HELP: Do you need your High School Equivalency Diploma? You may be eligible for the TASC test waiver in effect through June 30, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The test for the High School Equivalency Diploma is now called the TASC Test. The TASC, Test Assessing Secondary Completion, replaces the GED exam. If you took and passed at least three subtests on the TASC and/or the GED exam you may qualify for the COVID-19 waiver. For more details, email


THE RETIREES EDUCATION COURSES ARE BACK: We are accepting applications for online classes for the Spring 2021 cycle. Click HERE to fill out the application online; or visit:, or print and mail in the application to the DC 37 Education Fund (the mailing address is on the application). Look for the application in the next issue of the Retirees edition of PEPtalk. Keep in mind that these classes are only for DC 37 retirees who are members of the DC 37 Retirees Association. Gor more information, please contact Manuel Gomez-Rosa at, or call 212-815-1679.


TUITION REIMBURSEMENT: As DC 37 resumes its Tuition Reimbursement program, the streamlined application process may be longer than usual processing time required; thank you for your patience. Members should mail in their completed reimbursement applications and supporting documents to: DC 37 Education Fund Attn: Tuition Refund, 75 Broad Street, Suite 2204 New York, NY 10004



SAVE THE DATE: Join the April 24 Bike Ride organized by the DC 37 Climate Justice Committee. The CJC will meet on Tuesday, March 16, at 6 pm via Zoom and telephone, and every two weeks thereafter to plan the ride, highlight the sustainability work of DC37 members, and more. For more information, please email: and follow CJC on Facebook.

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