Articles by gheires

EMS Workers Prevent Attack on Bronx Man

May 21, 2018 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO Two DC 37 members jumped into action in the Bronx to protect a defenseless man in a wheelchair. Lt. Daniel Burgos and FDNY Paramedic Kevin Costello spotted a woman punching a 62 year-old man and trying to take his wallet. They quickly intervened to stop the attack until the police arrived. Burgos, a member of Uniformed EMS Officers Local 3621, and Costello, a member of Uniformed EMTs and Paramedics Local 2507, were on 230th Street and Broadway on Saturday evening, April 7, when they spotted the assailant. “She was beating him up and wanted to take his bag,” said Burgos, who works out of Station 19 in University Heights. Police then arrived on the scene and arrested the assailant. The assailant, according to The Daily News, was busy that Saturday stealing the bag of another wheelchair user. Burgos, who has been on the job 11 years, doesn’t only lend a hand when [More...]

City Comptroller Calls for Ban on Commercial Bond Companies

May 16, 2018 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer has introduced a bill in the City Council calling for the banning of commercial bail. Earlier this year, Stringer’s office released a report on the predatory nature of the commercial bond industry in New York. His report showed that bail bond companies extracted between $16 million and $27 million from low income New Yorkers in 2017. And that money paid to private bail bond companies is non-refundable. “This industry is about making money off of misery,” he said. “It’s why we’ve called for commercial bail to be banned and have worked with our colleagues in government to propose state legislation that will do just that.” The comptroller’s report found that the use of commercial bail bonds increased by 12 percent over the past two years despite a decline in crime and arrests. DC 37 supports banning commercial [More...]

The Mission of Public Service: People Over Profits

May 15, 2018 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Many DC 37 members joined the city’s workforce after spending years in the private sector. Those interviewed by the Public Employee Press say they are now happier with their work, because it comes with union representation, good benefits, and job security. Helping city residents instills a motivation absent in the private sector, where work was about helping their bosses make a profit. The members say their enthusiasm for the private sector wasn’t as great because they received fewer benefits and they could be fired at the whim of a boss. “It’s really nice to help the public — and the community as a whole,” said Dental Assistant Lisa Blackett. A dental hygienist and Local 768 shop steward, Blackett has worked at Harlem Hospital for nearly 10 years. “A lot of the people without insurance come here and are happy to find they can get affordable dental [More...]

Union Calls for Additional Parks and School Workers

May 14, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS and ALFREDO ALVARADO DC 37 leaders are making their case on behalf of understaffed agencies and overworked employees at a series of City Council budget hearings. At a recent Parks Committee hearing, the union asked lawmakers to fully restore funds to the Parks budget to save 300 seasonal jobs and add 225 new hires to keep public parks clean and safe. Mayor Bill de Blasio presented his $88.7 billion preliminary 2019 budget for the city back in February. At the City Council hearings ,union leaders said more funds — not less — are needed. The preliminary Parks budget for fiscal year 2018-2019 is about $500 million, down from $531 million last year. More funding needed The funds, leaders said, would add more Urban Park Rangers, Parks Envorcement Patrol Officers, City Seasonal Aides, City Parks Workers and Gardeners to the Dept. Parks and Recreation workforce. [More...]

DC 37 Launches Women’s Leadership Academy

May 9, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS District Council 37 is preparing women for future leadership roles through a six-month training program that begins in June. Local leaders, officers and activists are invited to apply to the union’s Women’s Leadership Academy. The application deadline is May 31. To encourage diversity, DC 37 seeks applicants from every experiential, racial and socio-economic background for the Women’s Leadership Academy. The course begins with a conference call orientation in June. The program requires participants to complete an interim project and attend a final session in January 2019. Participants will learn to: develop high-level presentation and communication skills, develop strategic planning skills for internal organizing, create a personal five-year plan, establish a mentoring relationship with a seasoned leader, build capacity in their own local or chapter. DC 37 [More...]

Union Celebrates Jewish Heritage

May 8, 2018 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE Summer came early, so it was of no surprise that the party was hot during the Jewish Heritage celebration at DC 37 headquarters. The event celebrated the anniversary of the founding of Israel — known in Hebrew as Yom Ha’atzmaut — proclaimed in Tel Aviv on May 14, 1948. After an invocation by Rabbi Michael S. Miller, executive vice president of the Jewish Community Council of New York, Dr. Leonard Davidman, president of Psychologists Local 1189 and chair of the DC 37 Jewish Heritage Committee introduced DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. In his remarks, Garrido stressed the importance of thoughts coinciding with action. Citing the recent commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Memphis Sanitation Workers strike and the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who went to Memphis to support the strikers, Garrido said, “In his legacy, it was clear that [More...]

The Role of Women in Electoral Politics

May 7, 2018 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO A discussion about how women can become more engaged in electoral politics is taking place around the country. That discussion took place also at DC 37 recently with Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Public Advocate Letitia James, Local 372 President Shaun D. Francois I and City Council member Carlina Rivera. Activists from Local 372 and Transit Workers Union Local 100 also participated in the April 28 conference presented by the Latino Leadership Institute. Also in attendance was Mei-Ling Ho-Shing, who lives in Florida and survived the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. On Feb. 14, 17 students from the school were killed. “Those students from Florida, especially the young women, are doing a great job organizing young people,” said Francois, who met the high school activist in Memphis recently during the commemoration of the death of [More...]

Union Carries Out Town Hall Meetings

May 4, 2018 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO There was standing room only as more than 300 union members jammed the conference room at the offices of the Human Resources Administration in Brooklyn for a town hall style meeting. Members came to hear DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido talk about the fight with the city for a new contract and the court decision in the Janus v. AFSCME case, which is expected by the end of June. If the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court rules against AFSCME, it could financially cripple DC 37 and public employee unions throughout the country. Janus argues that the mandatory collection of union dues violates the individual’s constitutional right to freedom of speech. “This decision is the start of a bigger attack,” said Garrido. He pointed to Wisconsin and how workers lost their collective bargaining power once it became a right to work state. “They’re paying as much as [More...]

Defend Our Jobs and Benefits

May 2, 2018 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO Members of a DC 37 delegation were among the thousands of people who visited Memphis, Tenn., last month to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. We feel a personal connection to the tragedy on April 14, 1968, because the civil rights leader was in Memphis to support striking sanitation workers represented by our national union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. King described the goals of the civil rights movement and labor movement as intertwined. He recognized that unions built our middle class. “The labor movement was the principal force that transformed misery and despair into hope and progress,” King said. “Out of its bold struggles, economic and social reform gave birth to unemployment insurance, old age pensions, government relief for the destitute, and, above all, new wage levels [More...]

Labor Film Festival Opens on Friday

May 1, 2018 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES The seventh annual Labor Unite! Film Festival opens  in the Tribeca neighborhood in Manhattan on May 4. The opening will feature “The Iron Triangle,” which explores the history of deindustrialization, urban renewal and gentrification in New York City. The evening also includes three other screenings: “Bullies,” a five minute animated film that highlights how the Real Estate Board of New York has harmed New York City, “The Cost of Construction,” a documentary about death on the job, and “Bowery Tenants Fight Back,” a short film about gentrification in Chinatown. The films will be shown at Cinema Village at 22 East 12th St. in Lower Manhattan. The festival opening includes a reception at 6 p.m. The program will begin at 6:30 p.m. After the viewings, Joshua Barnett, president of Local 375’s chapter at the New York [More...]