Articles by gheires

Union, City Set Pension Investment Goals

October 15, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS At a press conference on Sept. 13, Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Comptroller Scott Stringer announced the New York City pension fund goal to invest $4 billion in clean energy and other climate change solutions by 2021. “New York City leads from the front when it comes to the fight against climate change,” said de Blasio. “We’re taking a stand for generations to come with our goal to double our pension investments in job-creating climate solutions. I know that other cities will look to our example, and I implore them to join us.” The mayor said NYCERS new goal doubles investments in climate change solutions to $4 billion, or 2 percent of the city’s $195 billion pension portfolio over the next three years. “This is an important step in finding clean energy solutions,” said Henry Garrido, executive director of DC 37. “I applaud the Mayor and [More...]

The Referendum on Trump

October 13, 2018 // 0 Comments

The mid-term elections on Nov. 6 are a referendum on President Trump. We say: “Vote no!” No to Trump’s policies that favor the wealthy and throw crumbs to the working class and poor. No to his lack of empathy, whether it’s for hurricane victims, sexually abused women or powerless immigrant children. No to the political lackeys who encourage his worst instincts and his bigoted attitudes. If extremists maintain control of the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate, Trump will ram through an anti-worker agenda that will cause pain and suffering for years to come. We cannot allow that. During the 2016 campaign, Trump promised to protect Medicare and Social Security. But Republicans are already saying that the skyrocketing debt caused by the lowering of taxes — most notably in favor of the rich — will force the government to reduce spending on both. Consider the [More...]

“The union is there when you need help. It provides job security.”

October 12, 2018 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Local 1549 member Geraldine Morina signed her union card in 1992, and since then she has remained a passionate activist. Morina, 63, is the local’s chapter chair at the Dept. of Transportation, where she enjoys being an advocate for her coworkers and a source of information about their workplace rights and union benefits. With a keen interest in politics, she keeps members updated on DC 37’s legislative and electoral priorities. “A lot of members are unaware of what the union provides,” said Morina, a clerical associate level 3. “I tell them they should view their membership as an investment. The union is there when you need help. It provides job security.” Through her own experience, Morina learned how joining the union makes a good investment. She once avoided being evicted from her apartment by going to the union’s Municipal Employees Legal Services [More...]

Local 1549 Shop Stewards Help Energize the Union

October 11, 2018 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES More than 200 shop stewards in Local 1549 are fired up about carrying the union message to the workplace after they spent the Columbus Day weekend at a training conference. The stewards had a full agenda at the gathering, whose theme was “Rise Up & Stay Strong Shop Steward.” They learned about communicating effectively with their coworkers, organizing members to strengthen the union, dealing with workplace conflict, and getting involved in politics. “The conference provided members with a wonderful opportunity to strengthen their skills in communicating with their coworkers and defending them in the workplace,” Local 1549 President Eddie Rodriguez said. “By gathering everyone in one place, the conference encouraged our stewards to interact and trade stories about what they do at work to be the voice of the union.” “We have this [More...]

Our Pensions and Renewable Energy

October 9, 2018 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO Executive Director, District Council 37, AFSCME, AFL-CIO NEW York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Comptroller Scott M. Stringer and other trustees of the city’s pension funds recently announced a new goal to double the funds’ investments in climate change solutions to $4 billion, or 2 percent of the city’s $195 billion pension portfolio, over the next three years. This plan builds upon an earlier announcement to divest city pension funds from fossil fuels within five years. Opponents have engaged in scare tactics. In recent months, the Daily News has published two hyperbolic op-ed pieces criticizing these moves and falsely assailing the motives behind them. On the internet, opponents exploit the anxieties of pensioners and urge them to sign a petition, essentially just saying no to the future. Safeguarding our retirement As a trustee of the New York City Employees [More...]

Pay Dates Set for 2017-18 Raises

October 5, 2018 // 0 Comments

Full-Time and Local 372 Hourly Salary calculators below: Full-Time Salary Calculator Local 372 Hourly Calculator   By GREGORY N. HEIRES The city has set the dates for the 2017 and 2018 pay increases of most of the DC 37 members covered by the new economic agreement. The contract calls for raises of 2 percent on Sept. 26, 2017, and 2.25 percent on Sept. 26 of this year. Mayoral agencies The rate increase and retroactive for 2017 was included in the Oct. 5 pay checks of workers at mayoral agencies. The 2.25 percent raise for 2018 is scheduled for Oct. 19. Dept. of Education At the Dept. of Education, administrative, full-time and hourly employees received the 2017 rate increase and retroactive pay on Oct. 5. They will receive the 2018 increase on Nov. 2. Family workers will receive their rate increases and retroactive pay on Dec. 4. School Crossing Guards receive their 2017 rate and [More...]

Union Mourns Passing of Retirees Association’s Former President

October 1, 2018 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO Rochelle Mangual, who began her career as a civil servant working at the City University of New York, passed away on Aug. 13. Mangual worked at Hunter College in the Bursar’s Office and was a member of City University of New York and Educational Opportunity Centers Local 384. Shortly after joining the city workforce, she became active in the union and served as a shop steward and executive board member. In 1999, Mangual retired, and in the following year she became active in the DC 37 Retirees Association. She served as the associate recording secretary and in May 2013 Mangual became president of the 27,000 member association. Mangual played a role in several committees that advocated on behalf of senior citizens. She was a member of the Senior Citizens Advisory Committee for the Metropolitan Transit Authority and was also the community director for the local [More...]

Members Outraged by Radical Right’s Anti-Union Campaign

September 5, 2018 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES DC 37 members are angry that, in the wake of a politically charged U.S. Supreme Court attack on unions, wannabe union-busters are trying to dupe New York City public employees into giving up their rights. Janus v. AFSCME capped a decades-long effort by a nationwide anti-labor network to cripple public employee unions, cut government services and support anti-worker state legislators and governors throughout the country. A group calling itself NewChoice NY — which is supported by the Koch brothers and other ultra-rich labor foes — recently sent out an email blast to a total of 500,000 New York public employees — including DC 37 members — at their workplaces, trying to cajole public employees to leave their union. DC 37 also received reports of home visits by right-wing network representatives. “They try to sound as if they’re just doing workers a favor by [More...]

March to Fight Climate Change and Support Jobs, Justice

September 4, 2018 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES DC 37 environmental activists are gearing up for a march on Thursday to protest against climate change and speak up for green jobs. Hundreds are expected to show up to “Rise for Climate Jobs & Justice,” occurring in advance of the four-day Global Action Summit in California later this month. The summit will bring together leaders and activists from around the world to accelerate action to put the brake on dangerous climate change and fulfill the Paris Agreement on the environment. “The Rise for Climate, Jobs & Justice will begin at 6.pm. on Thursday, Sept. 6 in Battery Park in Lower Manhattan. It will move north from the park. One of the march’s aims is to demand that New York elected officials step up the political pressure  to avert a climate catastrophe. Its principal demands of the demonstrators will be to call for: a just [More...]

Labor Day and Downward Mobility

September 3, 2018 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Since 1890, children could count on having a higher standard of living than their parents. Not anymore. Today–as we mark Labor Day–is a time to ask, why? Many factors account for this troubling trend: public policy, tax cuts for the wealthy, globalization, labor-saving technology, a corporate attack on worker benefits, and de-unionization. What are the consequences of the disappearing American Dream, the result of decades of the erosion of our benefits and pay? Here are some of the most disturbing signs of downward mobility: Only 50 percent of the children born 1980 earn more than their parents. About 90 percent of children born in 1944 surpassed the income of their parents. Black children from well-off families (the top fifth of income distribution) are more likely to fall behind their parents than white children, according to a study by Raj Chetty of [More...]