Articles by Mike Lee

Lifeguards Mark Four Years Without Drownings

November 15, 2017 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS City Lifeguards in Local 461 and their Supervisors in Local 508 are credited for achieving an outstanding public safety record as they complete their fourth consecutive season with no fatalities or drownings at public pools and beaches while Lifeguards were on duty. “These first responders protect millions of residents and tourists who visit New York City’s beaches and pools daily during the summer,” said Local 508 President Peter Stein. The locals’ record is especially impressive when considering on average, 10 people die every day from unintentional drowning in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control names it the fifth leading cause of unintentional injury or death. “As first responders Lifeguards, most of whom are still in their teens when hired, have a tremendous responsibility beyond their years,” Stein said. “Most kids’ first jobs [More...]

When Terror Struck, DC 37 Members Responded

November 7, 2017 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS DC 37 members were crucial first responders to the deadly rampage in lower Manhattan on Oct. 31 that claimed eight lives and sent eleven injured people to the hospital. Mayor Bill de Blasio called the incident “an act of terror, and a particularly cowardly act of terror aimed at innocent civilians.” Officials called it the deadliest terrorist attack in New York since thousands of lives were lost when the World Trade Center towers were destroyed on Sept. 11, 2001. Local 983 Urban Park Rangers in Hudson River Park first spotted a rental truck speeding southbound on the bicycle and jogging paths at Houston and West St. around 3 p.m. “They made the first calls to 9-1-1,” said Local 983 President Joe Puleo. The driver mercilessly plowed into pedestrians and cyclists along the West Street path. Victims laid strewn and broken among crumpled Citibikes. “In the [More...]

Mayor de Blasio Speaks Out on the Millionaires’ Tax to Save Subways

November 3, 2017 // 0 Comments

Editor’s Note: DC 37 members last week came out in support of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s fight for a millionaires’ tax to help fix the country’s largest subway system. Also joining the fight was Vermont U.S. Senator and former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. The mayor’s remarks from the press conference at a lower Manhattan subway station are excerpted here… Standing in the presence of Bernie Sanders means a lot to me, because… he has said things that needed to be said. He said something simple; the economy is rigged against working people. And it’s time to take action to change that and we have to do that in every city, in every state and across our nation in the halls of Congress. We have to understand that a millionaire’s tax to fix the MTA is another way of responding to the inequality that plagues our society… Now, we happen to be here in a subway station [More...]

Family Paid Leave Fight Examined in “Zero Weeks” Documentary

November 1, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO Paid family leave is offered to workers all over the world from Iraq to Mexico and Brazil. Papua New Guinea and the United States are on a very short list of countries that don’t offer the benefit to their workers. “Why is it that the rest of the world has figured this out and we haven’t,” asks one of the many people interviewed in a new documentary examining the failure to provide the benefit for millions of American workers. Only 14 percent have paid family leave. The documentary, “Zero Weeks: America’s Family Leave Crisis,” is set to premiere in Manhattan on Saturday, Nov. 11 at the SVA Theater at 333 W. 23rd St. The film examines the struggle of American workers as they juggle full-time jobs with taking care of sick parents, spouses and children. One woman talks about having to get cancer treatment during her lunch break. The documentary [More...]

Six DC 37 Members are in Puerto Rico to Help with Relief Efforts

October 6, 2017 // 0 Comments

By KEVIN ZAPF HANES Six members from New York City-based AFSCME District Council 37 (DC 37) are in Puerto Rico to help residents rebuild their lives after Hurricane Maria devastated the commonwealth. The Caribbean island, home to 3.5 million U.S. citizens, is in desperate need of highly skilled workers. The DC 37 members are lending their expertise to the larger relief effort under way as our union works to help all residents, including thousands of working and retired AFSCME sisters and brothers represented by Servidores Publicos Unidos de Puerto Rico (SPUPR)/AFSCME Council 95, get back on their feet. Partnering with the AFL-CIO and some of its member unions, AFSCME sent five construction workers and a nurse to the island. AFSCME Pres. Lee Saunders said the DC 37 members’ efforts are characteristic of how the women and men of AFSCME show their commitment to service even beyond their [More...]

Hiring Hall for School Lunch Helpers on Oct. 17 and Oct. 19

October 2, 2017 // 0 Comments

Due to popular demand, registration for the Oct. 17 and Oct. 19 hiring hall is now closed. Future hiring halls are planned for the near future. By ALFREDO ALVARADO District Council 37 and the Dept. of Education will be holding a hiring hall to fill part-time positions throughout the city’s school districts. The department is looking to hire Sr. School Lunch Helpers. Their responsibilities include accepting food deliveries and cleaning the school kitchen. Applicants should be able to lift a minimum of 30 pounds. The hiring hall takes place on Tuesday, Oct. 17 and Thursday, Oct. 19 from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at DC 37 headquarters at 125 Barclay St. in Manhattan. “This is a great opportunity to begin a career at the Dept. of Education,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. “This is our way of reaching out to the community and sharing these opportunities. We look forward to [More...]

Fight Cuts to Workers’ Compensation! Take Action Now!

September 28, 2017 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE The union is taking part in an all-out effort to fight proposed changes to workers’ compensation system in New York State, changes that affect all workers injured on the job. The NYS Workers’ Compensation Board has proposed medical treatment guidelines and regulations that would eliminate monetary awards for dozens of arm and leg injuries, while also denying workers the right to have an independent medical examination. The change would also deny benefits and care to workers injured on the job who fail to answer all the questions posed by an employer’s medical examiner. Workers’ compensation, which has been on the books in New York for a century, is being threatened by right-wing business interests, such as the Business Council, which was able to pressure the state Workers’ Compensation Board to issue proposed changes to longstanding regulations earlier this [More...]

Workers on Janus: A Political Effort to Further Rig the Rules Against Working People

September 28, 2017 // 0 Comments

On Sept. 28, the U.S. Supreme Court decided to hear Janus v. AFSCME Council 31. This court case is the latest attempt by anti-union forces to take away public workers’ hard-won freedoms to organize, negotiate for fair pay and working conditions, as well as to strip them of their benefits. The following statement was issued by members and leaders of AFSCME, AFT, NEA, and SEIU – the nation’s four largest public sector unions – in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to grant Certiorari in Janus v. AFSCME Council 31: The Janus case is a blatantly political and well-funded plot to use the highest court in the land to further rig the economic rules against everyday working people. The billionaire CEOs and corporate interests behind this case, and the politicians who do their bidding, have teamed up to deliver yet another attack on working people by striking at the [More...]

New York Attorney General Leads Opposition to Trump’s Overtime Pay Rollback

September 26, 2017 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman led a coalition of Attorneys General in opposing the Trump administration’s efforts to roll back overtime pay protections for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers and millions of Americans. The US Department of Labor threatens to roll back the Obama administration’s rule set to go into effect last year that would have expanded overtime pay protections for workers by setting a salary floor below which the exemption from overtime laws cannot apply. The proposed changes jeopardize protections involving overtime pay for millions of low-wage workers in the service and medical sectors, as well as office clericals, among others. In New York, this would have a devastating impact for hundreds of thousands of working families trying to get by in an unbalanced economy. “The Labor Department should be protecting workers’ rights, not [More...]

Don’t Let the Flu Catch You—Get Your Flu Shot Today

September 13, 2017 // 0 Comments

Don’t let the flu catch you—get your flu shot today. Flu season is coming! A flu shot is the best way to protect yourself, your community and your loved ones. Everyone aged 6 months and older should get vaccinated every year. The flu shot takes just seconds, but can prevent days or weeks of serious illness. Free flu shots are available to City employees, dependents, and retirees four convenient ways: At the worksite At the pharmacy At an in-network doctor’s office At an AdvantageCare Physicians (ACPNY) medical office Don’t let the flu catch you—get your flu shot today! Visit nyc.gov/workwellnyc for more [More...]