Articles by gheires

DC 37 Joins Rally in Philadelphia to Protest Trump’s Administration’s Abuse of Immigrants

August 17, 2018 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO DC 37 members, immigration activists and union leaders traveled to Philadelphia for a rally to protest the abusive immigration policies of the Trump administration. Among the union leaders at the Aug. 15 rally at Penn’s Landing was Elissa McBride, secretary-treasurer of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, DC 37’s parent union. McBride criticized the White House policies that have separated hundreds of children from their parents at the border. “A decent society does not traumatize children or treat people like caged animals,” McBride said. “The policy of zero tolerance is immoral and Trump should be in jail for it,” said Unite Here President D. Taylor. Unite Here — which represents workers in the food service, transportation and hospitality industry — was one of the main organizers of the rally. Members of the [More...]

98 Percent Vote ‘Yes’ on Contract

August 15, 2018 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES DC 37 members voted overwhelmingly for a contract that provides for a total wage increase of 7.42 percent and preserves their premium-free health-care coverage with no givebacks. Members voted 31,133 in favor and 743 against the contract, an approval rating of 97.6 percent. The mail-ballot vote was tabulated on Aug. 14 at the American Arbitration Association’s office in downtown Manhattan. “Our members have spoken loudly and clearly in favor of a new 44-month economic agreement, which provides for a total pay hike of 7.42 percent, substantial funding for benefits, a new paid family leave plan, and a continuation of premium-free health insurance until at least 2021,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. “The 98 percent yes vote was a powerful display of union solidarity.” The contract includes a new paid family leave benefit, which a growing number [More...]

Members Participate in National Night Out Activities Around the City

August 13, 2018 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO Union activists joined neighborhood residents and police officers around the city for the annual National Night Out. The first Tuesday of August police precincts around the country join with community residents in an effort to build stronger relationships and safer communities. In Harlem police officers from the 32nd Precinct closed down 135th Street between 7th and 8th avenues and set up games for the neighborhood children to enjoy. “This’s a nice thing to do for the community and the kids have a great time,” said Local 1549 member Nakisha Crown, who works as a payroll supervisor. “The police and the community have to work together, so this is a good start.” DC 37 activists joined the Police Dept. and community activists at Baisley Pond Park in Queens, Midland Beach in Staten Island, in the Bronx and at Restoration Plaza near the 79th Precinct on Fulton [More...]

New York City’s Black Women Earn 57 cents for Each Dollar Earned by White Men

August 10, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Black Women’s Equal Pay Day, Aug. 7, was a grim reminder of longstanding gender and racial income gaps, but data shows women who belong to unions fare much better than those who don’t. “The income gap and pay disparities between men and women and women of color are harsh realities,” said Carmen Charles, Local 420 president, who chairs the union’s Women’s Committee. “The sting of lower wages–and poverty–is especially felt by single mothers and their children,” Charles said. The National Women’s Law Center notes that a college-educated black woman can lose about $870,000 in potential earnings over the course of her career. In New York City, black women earn an estimated 57 cents for every dollar earned by a white man. “In a city like New York that touts its progressive ideals, it is an outrage that Black women in 2018 are still denied [More...]

Union Helps Members Fight Off Unscrupulous Debt Collectors

August 8, 2018 // 0 Comments

    By ALFREDO ALVARADO  President Donald Trump has rolled back financial regulations of all kinds. And now, thanks to his policies, the slimly debt collection business is back. Debt buyers are companies that purchase debt from an original creditor, usually a credit card issuer or a bank. They then try to collect the amount owed. Usually, they sue the debtor without notification. When the unsuspecting consumer does not show up in court, a default judgement is entered, paving the way for his or her salary to be garnished. Sheldon Barasch, supervising attorney for the union’s Municipal Employees Legal Services, does not think highly of the debt collection business. “These debt settlement companies are a total scam,” he said. “We’ve seen this going on for many years.” The MELS Bankruptcy Unit handles as many as 1,000 of these cases annually. A 2009 MELS study found that [More...]

Union Launches the New DC 37 Women’s Leadership Academy

August 3, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Blazing a trail for the future of the labor movement, the new DC 37 Women’s Leadership Academy held its inaugural meeting in July at union headquarters. As attacks on organized labor increase, the union is doubling down its efforts to protect and grow its ranks by training a corps of women rank-and-file as strong leaders. “One of the best ways to continue to move our organization forward and to show people the power they can harness when they come together is to train and prepare more future leaders now,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. “This leadership academy is composed of a select group of activists with promise and potential,” Barbara Edmonds, the union’s director of field operations, said. “We have with us strong women who can be counted on as mentors and women who will be ready to shoulder the responsibility of leading labor’s [More...]

Join DC 37 for a Rally Aug. 15 to Protest ICE Deportations

August 2, 2018 // 0 Comments

    By ALFREDO ALVARADO Union activists from the Northeast will gather in Philadelphia on Wed., Aug. 15 to rally and call for the end of deportations by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and an end to President Trump’s zero-tolerance policy on immigration. “The administration is so extreme on immigration that they’re deporting the spouses of military veterans,” said Florida U.S. Congress member Darren Soto. And The Washington Post has reported that the Trump administration’s policy of separating families at the border has been unable to reunite 572 immigrant children with their parents. DC 37 activists will be joining Unite Here!, which represents workers in the hotel, food service and transportation industries, and other union and immigration activists at 4 p.m. at Penn’s Landing to call for an end to the Trump policies. In New York City, DC 37 has taken a [More...]

A No-Giveback Contract UPDATE: Ballots go out on Tuesday, July 24. (see below)

June 29, 2018 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES IMPORTANT: Mail ballots will be sent out to all covered union members on Tuesday, July 25. Ballots must be received by AAA on August 14. If you do not receive a ballot, please call AAA, at 1-800-529-5218. The union and city agreed June 25 on a new no-giveback 44-month economic agreement, which provides for a total pay hike of 7.42 percent and substantial funding for benefits, including a new paid family leave plan. DC 37 delegates approved the tentative agreement on June 26. DC 37 members and retirees will continue to enjoy premium-free health insurance until at least 2021 as a result of parallel negotiations between municipal unions and the city. The economic agreement–which covers 100,000 members and sets the pattern for the separate contracts of the union’s other 25,000 other members–calls for: 2 percent raise on Sept. 26, 2017 (the first day of the [More...]

Statin coverage now compliant with Obamacare

June 22, 2018 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Low-dose generic statins will be provided for free by members’ health-care plans instead of the DC 37 prescription drug benefit. This change meets a requirement of the Affordable Health Care Act and goes into effect July 1. To fill statin prescriptions, members ages 40 to 75 need to present their health insurance card when filling statin prescriptions at their pharmacy. Under the ACA, low-dose statins are free. Members outside of the 40-75 years age group will continue to be covered by the DC 37 prescription drug benefit. The low-cost statins include atorvastatin (10 mg tablet), fluvastatin ER (20 mg); fluvastatin sodium (20 mg) and fluvastatin sodium (40 mg); lovastatin (20 mg), lovastatin (40 mg) and lovastatin (80 mg); pravastatin sodium (10 mg), pravastatin sodium (20 mg), pravastatin sodium (40 mg) and pravastatin sodium (80 mg); rosuvastatin calcium (5 mg) [More...]

Local Presidents Administer Exam for Parks Dept.’s Arborist Jobs

June 20, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS The Dept. of Parks and Recreation tested 10 applicants hoping to join the agency’s “delta force” of expert arborists who maintain and remove damaged and dead trees in the five boroughs. Dept. of Parks Climbers & Pruners Local 1506 President Ibn Mann and Mike Zeno, president of Parks Supervisors Local 1508, administered the exam in Forest Park, Queens earlier this month. In addition to a timed climb up a tree using brute strength, a harness and ropes, applicants took a written test and a practical exam to test their knowledge of knot tying, ability to identify species of trees and operate bucket trucks. Climbers and Pruners jobs are physically taxing, making it a hard-to-recruit title. This year, 10 men applied for five openings. “I was very pleased to see many viable candidates take the climbing test,” Mann said. “I’m confident Parks will [More...]