Articles by freddigoldstein

Local 1482 Member Awarded for Library Cleanup

August 16, 2021 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS For singlehandedly cleaning up debris left from a huge July 4th celebration near Bay Ridge Library, a Local 1482 Library Custodian received an Outstanding Citizenship award from City Council Member Justin Brannan. An early morning July 5 Twitter post alerted Brannan to the mounds of trash littering the intersection of 73rd and Ridge Boulevard in Brooklyn, where the library is located. “This was probably the worst I’ve seen,” said Eddie Rodriguez, the sole Assistant Custodian at the Bay Ridge branch. Rodriguez arrived at work early on July 5. “I was a bit overwhelmed by the amount of garbage in the street,” he said. “I knew people from the neighborhood would be coming to the library so I took the initiative and began cleaning up.” With a broom and leaf blower, Rodriguez corralled the confetti, shredded wrappers and garbage strewn about. The smell of [More...]

PSU Use Rises as Union Responds to Members’ Needs

August 3, 2021 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS When a DC 37 member lost multiple family members and coworkers to COVID-19, their deaths affected her deeply. She developed paralyzing anxiety and could not leave her home for fear of contracting coronavirus. Another member struggled with substance misuse that put his job at risk even as he helped fellow New Yorkers in crisis. These two DC 37 members—and hundreds more– received help and coping techniques from DC 37’s Personal Services Unit. “During the pandemic there has been an enormous amount of anxiety, grief and depression among our members, especially those who are essential workers,” said Stephanie Kleinberg, PSU Director. “People are understandably grieving the loss of family members, friends and coworkers to COVID. Also, the workplace is a community that people miss when working from home.” In 2020 as the coronavirus erupted, disrupting [More...]

Schumer and L. 420’s Charles say: FEMA pay H+H $860M for COVID NOW!  

July 28, 2021 // 0 Comments

BY DIANE S. WILLIAMS In July, DC 37 leaders stood with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and U.S. Congress member Ritchie Torres at Lincoln Hospital to demand $860 million in emergency reimbursements that FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, owes New York City Health+Hospitals. As New York City quickly became the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Schumer and a delegation of New York officials led the campaign for FEMA to reimburse emergency medical expenses. ”This is an injustice that we are fighting to correct,” said Carmen Charles, President of Local 420. “It’s time FEMA cut the bureaucratic red tape and pay up! Our members, along with thousands of other first responders, have worked tirelessly since March 2020 to get New York through this COVID-19 pandemic. We need that money NOW!” “Listen to this, FEMA,” Schumer said. “H+H expanded its [More...]

Women Moving Forward: Union’s Leadership Academy Class Graduates

July 26, 2021 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE The Lillian Roberts Women’s Leadership Academy graduated its third cohort on June 19. The LRWLA, normally an in-person, six-month program that requires participants to dedicate a full Saturday, once a month for the duration of the program, was held virtually due to COVID. Claire Menelas, Assistant Director of the DC 37 Ed Fund, said that with an overwhelming response, the program was split into two cohorts, with the next program scheduled to begin this September. The program, held in collaboration with the American Federation of State, City and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), District Council 37’s national union, the LRWLA is a leadership program designed to support and develop female workers to become leaders in their professions, their union, and in their communities. With the COVID-19 pandemic, the program was converted into a 14-week course, and the first fully [More...]

DOT Highway Repairers Help Staten Island Driver in Fatal Crash

July 16, 2021 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Two fast-acting DOT workers helped rescue a driver from a burning SUV in a fatal crash July 10, on the Staten Island Expressway. The Department of Transportation crew was making road repairs Saturday around 8:30 a.m. on the Brooklyn-bound highway leading to the Verrazano Bridge. “The SUV was traveling in the high-occupancy lane on the left when it hit the wall with such force that it crossed three lanes and stopped near the work zone where we were,” said Assistant City Highway Repairer Michael Sasso, a DOT employee since 2013. “It happened so fast. How no other cars were hit is a mystery.” Sasso and coworker Eusi Pickering, a Local 376 Highway Repairer, ran to the wreckage to find an unconscious driver slumped across the front seats of his Buick. Sasso said, “The OnStar operator called 911 as we worked to figure out what to do.” The SUV started to leak [More...]

Local 983 Enrolls 1K+ New Parks CSAs

July 16, 2021 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Local 983 is working around the clock to build union membership in a massive campaign to enroll 1,500 new City Seasonal Aides. The Parks Department hired the CSAs to clean up public parks across the five boroughs. “Our grievance reps are working 15-hour days in order to get these newest Parks employees to join the union,” said President Joe Puleo. Since June, the local has signed up about 1,000 members as part of their all-out effort. During the COVID-19 lock down, New York City residents are using neighborhood parks, beaches and boardwalks, urban forests and nature trails more than ever. These greenspaces are essential to the well-being of New Yorkers seeking reprieve from the confines of their apartments and homes. But in 2020 and throughout the pandemic, public parks quickly became overrun with trash and debris. DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido, [More...]

Union Wins $10K+ for Four Local 768 Therapists

July 8, 2021 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS A group grievance filed on behalf of Licensed Creative Arts Therapists in Local 768 was settled in May. The union recouped about $10,000 in total retroactive pay owed to four Bellevue Hospital therapists who were not paid RIPs, recurring incremental payments, from 2017 to 2019.   “The local filed the group grievance for these members to enforce the terms of the contract that provide RIPs after two years of service,” said Local 768 President Carmen de Leon.  The licensed therapists use art and music to help patients heal. Their skills are especially useful as patients and Bellevue Hospital staff cope with increased stress during the COVID-19 pandemic. The therapists contacted the union when they realized the Payroll Department failed to add the RIPs to their biweekly paychecks in March 2017. Council Rep Joel Vera Viera filed the group grievance that [More...]