Articles by gheires

Unions Support Legislation to Curb Excessive ER Charges

June 7, 2019 // 0 Comments

By RUDY OROZCO DC 37 has joined the four of the state’s largest unions to call for legislation that seeks to protect patients from excessive hospital emergency room charges. DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido, 32BJ SEIU President Héctor Figueroa, United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew and Civil Service Employees Association President Danny Donohue backed the legislation in a joint letter they sent to state Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and other legislators on June 3. The union leaders are pushing for the passage of NY S3171 (19R) / NY A264 (19R), which would protect patients from exorbitant costs for out-of-network emergency care, an issue they said “threatens to bankrupt working families.” They said the bills — which have yet to make it to the floor in either chamber — could also help members fight for [More...]

Local 1549 Conference: A Call to Action

January 31, 2019 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES About 200 shop stewards, activists and union leaders attended Local 1549’s annual conference on advocacy and political action on Jan. 26. Each year, the local holds the conference reviews its political and legislative priorities. Its purpose is to educate shop stewards and chapter chairs about key and critical issues, giving them background information to share with their coworkers. But beyond spelling out the local’s agenda, the conference serves as a call to action. Local leaders and panelists reinforce to conferees the importance of getting involved in politics and community issues—in addition to being the voice of the union in their workplaces. “We have to protect each other,” said Local 1549 President Eddie Rodriguez. Local 1549’s 2019 agenda includes: The 911 surcharge. Winning back jobs taken over by the state to the Human Resources [More...]

Take an Opportunity to Return to School

January 29, 2019 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Interested in going back to school? At a series of one-on-one meetings at the union—“CUNY Days at DC 37”—you will have an opportunity to discuss how you can complete your degree and take advantage of other educational options. The District Council 37 Education Fund is working with the Murphy Institute (the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies) in a new collaboration to help members return to school and advance in their career. This program will help you: Learn about the academic requirements for specific jobs; Choose a CUNY campus and major; Apply to and finance college; Become informed about continuing education and certification options; Long term career development; Find out about the fastest-growing industries in New York City; …and more. Over three months, the program is going to hold free 30-minute individual sessions for members to discuss their [More...]

Head of Legal Services Retires

January 25, 2019 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Family, friends, coworkers and judges on Jan. 18 gathered to bid farewell to Joan Beranbaum, the director and chief counsel of the DC 37 Municipal Employees Legal Services Plan, who is leaving the union after 39 years with the program. Beranbaum was among the first group of employees to join the legal services program when it opened in 1977. Beranbaum learned about the job opening while she was working at the Legal Aid Society, where she was hired right after she graduated from New York University Law. MELS attracted her because it was a pioneering service for union workers. At her retirement party, Beranbaum noted that over the course of her nearly four-decade career at DC 37, MELS handled the cases of half a million DC 37 members and retirees. Speakers praised Beranbaum for devoting her career to working people rather than the rich and powerful. She remained [More...]

PROUD TO SERVE: DC 37 Leadership Team Elected

January 24, 2019 // 0 Comments

  By GREGORY N. HEIRES Executive Director Henry Garrido was overwhelmingly elected to a second, three-year term by DC 37 delegates on Jan. 22. Shaun D. Francois I, president of Dept. of Education Employees Local 372, defeated incumbent DC 37 President Eddie Rodriguez, long-time president of Clerical Administrative Employees Local 1549. Treasurer Maf Misbah Uddin, president of Accountants, Actuaries and Statisticians Local 1407,  was re-elected. Secretary Deborah Pitts, president of Finance Administrative Employees and City Investigators Local 1113, did not face opposition. Local 384 Treasurer Debbie Lane, chair of the DC 37 Election Committee, announced the results at about 11 p.m. and swore in the winners right after her announcement. Below are the winners of the executive board seats. Executive Board members who were either elected for the first time or re-elected. All are [More...]

Activists Gear Up for the Jan. 19 Women’s Unity Rally at Foley Square

January 13, 2019 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES DC 37 members will be among thousands of demonstrators expected to turn out for the Women’s Unity Rally on Saturday, Jan. 19. We will gather at 10 a.m. on Foley Square, at Lafayette and Worth Street, in downtown Manhattan. We encourage participants to come dressed in DC 37’s color–green. To register for the rally, go to http://bit.ly/2019Women. For more information, contact DC 37’s Office of Community Partnerships Director Raul Rodriguez by calling 212-815-1502 or emailing raulrodriguez@dc37.net. The mission is to raise women’s voices through education and activism. Stand with us arm-in-arm in defense of women’s and immigrants rights. The DC 37 Blog is an official online publication of District Council 37, AFSCME, which represents 125,000 public service workers in New York City and surrounding [More...]

Concerned About Your Personal Finances? Attend a Free ‘Financial Empowerment’ Course at DC37

January 12, 2019 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Are your credit card applications being denied? Are you having difficulty being approved for a mortgage? Are you being turned down for affordable housing even though you meet the income requirement? We are here to help. DC 37 is holding a personal finance course to offer members guidance on their finances so they will have excellent credit scores to qualify for lottery housing, credit and home purchases. About 70 people from the union and the community attended the first class, which was held on Jan. 9. Director of Community Outreach Paul Rodriguez encourages anyone interested in attending the remaining classes to register for the course. The second class will be on Wednesday, Jan. 16, in Rooms 2 and 3 at DC 37 headquarters at 125 Barclay St. in Lower Manhattan. The class will help you understand your credit and debt profile, the basics of borrowing, and how to [More...]

City Launches New Paid Family Leave Benefit

January 7, 2019 // 0 Comments

Today, the new paid family leave benefit is open for application in most agencies. The benefit–which the union won through negotiations for the 2017-21 economic agreement–is now available to nearly 100,000 DC 37 members who are covered by the contract and work at mayoral agencies, NYC Health+Hospitals, the New York City Housing Authority and the Dept. of Education. There are a number of ways to apply for the benefit. But you should start by asking your human relations office which process applies to you. The union worked with worked with human resources, payroll agencies, and the Dept. of Citywide Administrative Services to open up the paid family-leave benefit.  In upcoming weeks, the union will work with management to address any confusion and concerns that arise. During the contract negotiations last year, DC 37 and the city agreed to arrange for coverage through the [More...]

Pension System to Adopt New Investment Strategy as Fossil Fuel Divestment Moves Ahead

December 21, 2018 // 0 Comments

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Comptroller Scott M. Stringer on Thursday, Dec. 20, announced the next big step in the New York City pension funds’ action to address the risk posed by climate change by divesting from fossil fuel reserve owners – an unprecedented process and the first-of-its-kind in the United States. A request for proposal (RFP) released today seeks advisers to analyze, evaluate, and recommend prudent fossil fuel divestment strategies for the New York City Employees’ Retirement System (NYCERS), the Teachers Retirement System (TRS), and the Board of Education Retirement System (BERS). Together, the three pension systems representing 70 percent of the total assets of the city’s $200 billion pension funds. The RFP will result in a comprehensive analysis of the city pension funds’ holdings and the risks the fossil fuel industry poses to pension assets. This [More...]

CUNY Members Overwhelmingly Approve New Contract

December 19, 2018 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Members at the City University of New York voted by more than 98 percent in favor of a 52-month new contract that provides a raise of more than 8 percent with no givebacks. The contract–which covers 10,000 members–includes a new paid family leave benefit, which will go into effect in 2019. “It’s a good contract,” said information technology assistant Anthony Chambers, a Local 2627 shop steward. “It’s in line with what the other city workers got, it’s equitable.” “We are proud to have negotiated a no-giveback contract, with a decent wage increase, that protects our benefits and provides a great new benefit,” said DC 37 executive director Henry Garrido. He expressed his appreciation to the union’s negotiations committee and staff for working hard on the contract. DC 37 and the City University of New York reached agreement in [More...]