NEWS, UPCOMING EVENTS and SERVICES

PRIORITY COVID-19 VACCINE APPTS at AMNH

LET DC 37 BOOK YOUR COVID-19 VACCINE APPOINTMENTS: DC 37 members who are a cultural or museum workers at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) are eligible for priority vaccine appointments beginning April 23. DC 37 can help members book their COVID-19 vaccine appointments. 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 is accepting applications. 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. Call the FEMA hotline: 844-684-6333 (TTY: 800-462-7585), 8 AM to 8 PM Central Time, Monday through Friday. For additional burial assistance programs, please visit: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/hra/help/burial-assistance.page.

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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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MSK CANCER CARE

MSK Direct presents “What you need to know about vaccines and COVID-19”: With the vaccine rollout, many people have concerns. Join this webinar Tuesday, April 27, from 1 to 2 PM to learn about vaccines’ safety and get your COVID-19 vaccine questions answered by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center experts. MSK Direct can help you make an informed decision about your health and well-being. Register here.

April is MSK National Minority Cancer Awareness Month. MSK offers various virtual events, including some offered exclusively in Spanish. Register here.

Join MSK’s webinar Keeping up with Breast Cancer Screening and Treatment During a Pandemic on Tuesday, April 27, 2:30 to 3:30 PM. MSK experts will discuss COVID-19 and the importance of cancer screenings for the African-American and Latinx communities.

DC 37 has a partnership with MSK Direct to provide members and their families dedicated access to exceptional cancer care, support, and expert resources. To discuss treatment options at MSK, call the dedicated MSK Direct phone line for DC 37 members: 833-786-3365.

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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 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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MELS

MELS lawyers will host a webinar Bankruptcy, an Opportunity For a Fresh Start, onWednesday April 28, at 5:30 PM. Legal experts will discuss the difference between Chapters 7 and 13, garnishments and judgments, protecting your privacy, rebuilding your credit, and more. Register at www.DC37MELS.com to get a meeting ID. 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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COVID-19 EMERGENCY EVICTION and FORECLOSURE PREVENTION: A sweeping eviction ban that gives relief to qualifying tenants fearful of losing their homes during the pandemic ends Saturday May 1.

In March, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) extended the residential eviction ban until at least June 30, where a tenant submits a completed Hardship Declaration. The CDC form can be downloaded here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/declaration-form.pdf. This form should be completed and signed and delivered to the landlord, the landlord’s attorney and any court staff.

New York State recently enacted the COVID-19 EMERGENCY RENTAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM [ERAP] OF 2021. Under the program, a household, regardless of immigration status, will be eligible for emergency rental assistance and/or utility assistance, if criteria is met. For more details see the DC 37 blog on COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention.

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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UPDATE on STUDENT LOAN FORBEARANCE thru SEPT. 30: President Joe Biden extended the student loan payment forbearance created under the CARES Act through Sept. 30. Until that time, attempts to collect FFEL loans in default must cease and no further interest shall accrue. For FFEL borrowers who defaulted after March 13, 2020, the loans are to be returned to good standing. For more details, check the updated article on the DC 37 blog. Any member with questions about the status of their FFEL student loans can call the MELS Screening and Intake office at 212-815-1111.

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WANT TO QUIT SMOKING? Learn how at the DC 37 DISABILITY ADVISORY COMMITTEEmeeting Tuesday May 11, at 6:00 PM on smokers’ cessation with guest speaker Paula Celestino, MPH Client Relations and Outreach Director of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center of the New York State Smokers’ Quitline. Members can join the webinar at: https://meetings.ringcentral.com/j/1465669559  Meeting ID: 146 566 9559. No password is required.

Or iPhone one-tap: US: +1(646)3573664,,1465669559#

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WORKWELL NYC MAY EVENTS

Shedding Light On Substance Use: On Wednesday May 12, at 12:00 PM, you can join the webinar discussion on substance use, when to seek help, and the treatment and care options available. Register here

Introduction to Equity and Inclusion:  On Monday May 19, at 12:00 PM, you can join this interactive discussion to learn how you can help build equity and inclusion in your community.Register here

Returning to the Office: Navigating the Transition: On Tuesday May 27, at 12:00 PM, you can join the discussion on returning to the office and learn of mental health resources to help employees during the transition. Register here

Let’s Bring the Pressure Down is a 10-week hypertension program designed to help you take action to prevent or control high blood pressure (HBP). Register here

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#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 PM: A panel of NYC employees discusses ways to have difficult conversations around racism, inequity, and the path to social justice. Register here for these events: https://on.nyc.gov/3u0KExt. 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. For more 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 EDUCATION FUND

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 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 address on the application. These classes are only for DC 37 Retirees Association members. For 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? Visit WorkerEd@slu.cuny.edu.

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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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