NEWS, UPCOMING EVENTS and SERVICES

COVID-19 VACCINES

LET DC 37 BOOK YOUR COVID-19 VACCINE APPOINTMENTS: DC 37 can help you book your COVID-19 vaccine appointment. Please fill out this form and a DC 37 representative will call you to book your appointment.

What you need to know:

* To confirm eligibility, you can check nyc.gov/covidvaccinedistribution.

* Proof of eligibility required:

1. Members who are eligible by virtue of job function must bring proof of employment. This can include an employee ID card, a letter from an employer or affiliated organization, or a pay stub.

2. Members who are eligible by virtue of underlying conditions or comorbidities will be asked to provide proof of NYC residence and will be asked to attest to their condition during the scheduling process.

3. Members who are eligible by virtue of age will be asked to provide proof of NYC residence and proof of age.

* Employees are granted 4 hours excused leave to go to their vaccination appointment if the appointment is during work hours and, upon receiving the second dose, employees at mayoral agencies only will get 3 hours compensatory time.  The 3 hours of comp time for the second dose of vaccine excludes employees at libraries, cultural institutions, authorities (MTA, TBTA), CUNY and the State.

* You will not be charged; the vaccine is completely free.

* For frequently asked questions about the vaccine, please visit https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/doh/downloads/pdf/covid/covid-19-vaccines-faq.pdf.

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FEMA COVID-19 BURIAL RELIEF

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) burial relief program starts accepting applications on April 12. The maximum amount of financial aid available is $9,000 per funeral up to $35,500 per application with multiple COVID-19 decedents. FEMA federal funeral assistance can be used to help with expenses for funeral services held in 2020 for COVID-19 deaths, interment or cremation.

Beginning April 12, you can call FEMA for help with applying for funeral aid. Call the FEMA hotline: 844-684-6333 (TTY: 800-462-7585) between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Central Time, Monday through Friday. For additional burial assistance programs, please visit: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/hra/help/burial-assistance.page For more information on FEMA burial relief, please check the DC 37 blog.

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POLITICAL ACTION

DC 37 endorses Eric Adams in the New York City mayoral primary race. Eric, whose mother was a DC 37 member, knows the critical importance of labor in this city. He’s stood with us countless times and is committed to prioritizing labor-friendly policies once in City Hall. To learn more about his policies, click here. Be sure to check the DC 37 blog at https://bit.ly/32bV2qE for a full list of union- endorsed candidates in the June 22 New York Primary.

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AFSCME GET VACCINATED: As AFSCME members, we value our neighbors’ health and safety the same as our own. We can show the way and protect one another by getting the COVID-19 vaccine. This virus is so dangerous and contagious, and 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: https://vaccine.afscme.org.                                                                                          

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The DC 37 Disability Advisory Committee will meet TONIGHT April 13, at 6 p.m. on Ring Central with guest speaker cardiologist Perry Franklin, M.D. Join the virtual meeting at: https://meetings.ringcentral.com/j/1488556690 Or iPhone one-tap : US: +1(646)3573664,,1488556690# Meeting ID: 1488556690. For more information, email: L2627President@gmail.com or visit: www.Local2627.org

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MELS

MELS lawyers will host a virtual Housing Discrimination webinar with the NYC Commission on Human Rights on April 14 at 5:30 p.m. Register at www.DC37MELS.com to get a meeting ID 24 hours before the event. For more information, call the MELS Screening Unit at 212 815-1111 or email MELSscreeningunit@dc37.net

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MELS legal experts will host a webinar on Bankruptcy, An Opportunity For A Fresh Start, on April 28 @ 5:30 p.m. Legal experts will discuss the difference between Chapters 7 and 13, garishments and judgments, privacy, how to rebuild your credit, and more. Register at www.DC37MELS.com to get a meeting ID 24 hours before the event.

For more information, call the MELS Screening Unit at 212 815-1111 or email MELSscreeningunit@dc37.net

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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: https://www.foodbanknyc.org/taxhelp/

The MELS Tax Tips 2020 Webinar video and PowerPoint slide show are now online: http://bit.ly/3a4JtVC. MELS Tax Tips webinar slides: http://bit.ly/3qXdvkT

The IRS income tax filing deadline is Monday, May 17.

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NYS EVICTION MORATORIUM ends 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. View https://bit.ly/3nj8O2u for 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: MELSscreeningunit@dc37.net.

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WORKWELL NYC #STOPASIANHATE The recent hate crimes against members of our Asian community are devastating. Over the last year, violence against the Asian American and Pacific Islander community has increased dramatically, especially against those who are most vulnerable. These acts of violence are rooted in ignorance and racism. WorkWell NYC and DC 37 condemn these acts and stands in solidarity with our Asian American colleagues and their families. Everyone deserves to live with dignity, without fear of working, walking, communing or thriving. We see you, we believe you, we support you. NYC prides itself on our diversity. We celebrate it each day and thrive on its enrichment to our daily lives. Hate has no home in our city. Together we can make that message louder than ever before.

5 THINGS YOU CAN DO TODAY

1. Speak up and speak out against hate, racism and violence. Use this guide to learn how to have conversations about racism.

2. Report hate crimes here or by calling 212-416-0197.

3. Seek support. Experiencing racism as a victim or as a bystander can be traumatic.The NYC EAP can help at eap@olr.nyc.gov.

4. Build space for dialogue. WorkWell NYC can help coordinate conversations for small teams to discuss and process these events. Contact Anna Tan at anna.tan@olr.nyc.gov for more information.

5. Practice self-care. There are many ways to help nurture yourself as a daily restorative practice. Here is a self-care guide to get you started. For additional resources, please visit the Project BUILD resource center here.

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Conversations that Matter: Responding to Racism  Wed., April 28 at 12:00 p.m.: Hear a panel of NYC employees discuss ways to have difficult conversations around racism, inequity, and the path to social justice. Register here for these events: https://on.nyc.gov/3u0KExt and visit the Upcoming Events webpage to see a full list of WorkWell NYC events and programs to help you reach your life goals this Spring!

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BENEFITS

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: http://on.ny.gov/2LsklQ8

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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: http://bit.ly/3ptCdt0

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EDUCATION

DC 37 EDUCATION COMMITTEE SCHOLARSHIPS DEADLINE APRIL 30: Applications 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: https://form.jotform.com/210605566272150

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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: https://freecollege.afscme.org/

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DC 37 ED FUND

DC 37 EDUCATION FUND PROVIDES FREE SOCIAL WORKER WORKSHOPS FOR LOCAL 768 MEMBERS

The District Council 37 Education Fund, in conjunction with the National Association of Social Workers, New York City Chapter plans to host three (3) continuing education workshops during the month May for eligible Local 768 licensed Social Workers. These workshops are:

The Art of Creating Meaning from Loss (3 CEU’s) Tuesday, May 11 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. (Registration deadline is April 20)

Suicide Prevention, Crisis Intervention and School Reintegration for Youth during COVID-19 (2 CEU’s) Monday, May 17, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. (Registration deadline is April 26)

Managing Conflict in the Workplace (2 CEU’s) Wednesday, May 26, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. (Registration deadline is May 5)

All workshops will be held online. If you are interested in attending any of these workshops, please use this link to complete the online application: www.dc37edfund.org/socialworkmay2021.

If you have any questions, please email: dtelemaque-peschier@dc37.net or kking@dc37.net.

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The DC 37 Education Fund is offering classes online Spring 2021: DC 37 Education Fund is currently accepting applications for the Spring 2021 cycle online classes. The Ed Fund offers classes on labor, business, the Lillian Roberts Women’s Leadership Academy, and more. For a full list of DC 37 Ed Fund courses and programs and to register, please visit: www.dc37.net/benefits/education/edfund and click on your program of interest.

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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: www.dc37edfund.org/retireeseducation, 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 mgomezrosa@dc37.net, or call 212-815-1679.

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CUNY COUNSELING IS HERE FOR YOU! Let Worker Education at the CUNY School of Labor & Urban Studies (SLU) help guide you through the process of finding the best CUNY program to match your education and career goals. Expert advisors offer FREE one-on-one phone sessions on: academic requirements for specific jobs; choosing a CUNY campus and major; applying to and financing a CUNY degree; certificate and non-credit options at CUNY, transferring previous credits, and more. Each session is free and catered to your specific goals and needs. To view the calendar and schedule your CUNY advisement session visit: CUNYDays.eventbrite.com Can’t find a date/time that works for you? Please contact WorkerEd@slu.cuny.edu for more information.

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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 ppunch@dc37.net.

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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: MELSscreeningunit@dc37.net.

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CLIMATE JUSTICE BIKE RIDE APRIL 24

Join the April 24 Bike Ride organized by the DC 37 Climate Justice Committee. The CJC meets on Tuesdays at 6 pm via Zoom and telephone, every two weeks to plan the ride, highlight the sustainability work of DC 37 members, and more. For more information, please email: 4unionnow@gmail.com and follow CJC on Facebook.

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