Articles by Mike Lee

Yes We Can. Yes We Did. DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido on the Democratic Primary Victories of Gov. Cuomo And Public Advocate Letitia James

September 17, 2018 // 0 Comments

“Thursday’s primary election victories by Governor Andrew Cuomo and Public Advocate Letitia James were good news for the state’s working men and women. The Governor and the Public Advocate are true friends of DC 37 and the city’s labor movement. They are steadfast fighters against the extreme agenda of Donald Trump. They have fought for pay equity, protected immigrant rights and are firm supporters of working families. I am proud of our volunteers’ efforts to get out the vote that contributed to the high voter turn-out in New York City. As we enter the fall campaign, DC 37’s Green Machine will continue to work to help re-elect Governor Cuomo and to elect Tish James as the first African-American woman to serve as New York State Attorney General this [More...]

Disability Committee Pays Tribute to 9/11

September 14, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS The union’s Disability Advisory Committee paid special tribute to World Trade Center victims and survivors on the 17th anniversary of the terrorist attacks. “Our lives changed forever,” said Shaun D. Francois I, Board of Education Employees Local 372 president and chair of the union’s Disability Advisory Committee. “9/11 took out thousands of lives in one day. First responders came to save others and lost their lives. Today we remember and pay respect to their sacrifice and memory.” Earlier in the day, DC 37 leaders and staff gathered in front of union headquarters to place a traditional wreath for the four members who made the ultimate sacrifice: Rev. Mychal F. Judge, FDNY Chaplain, Local 299; Carlos Lillo, Paramedic, Local 2507; OTB Betting Clerk Chet Louie, Local 2021, and Lt. Ricardo Quinn, Paramedic, Local 3621. September 11 is very personal for DC [More...]

On the Eve of Primary, Governor Cuomo Calls in to Speak With DC 37 Members

September 10, 2018 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE As Primary Day elections loom, the union recently hosted a live telephone town hall with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. More than 14,000 union households dialed in to hear the Governor speak, and ask questions. In his introduction, DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido lauded Cuomo’s stalwart efforts on behalf of the union in the wake of the Janus decision and for his efforts on behalf of the victims of Hurricane Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico last September. Referring to recent state legislation signed by Cuomo, he said: “The governor set an example for the nation by protecting our fundamental rights to collectively bargain and organize.” Cuomo noted the state’s progress since he was first elected in 2010. “Nobody has done what we have done here. We are the first state in the nation to pass a $15 minimum wage. Free [More...]

We Remember

September 10, 2018 // 0 Comments

  As we approach the anniversary of the terrible events on 9/11, we remember the courage and sacrifice of our DC 37 sisters and brothers who worked tirelessly that day and beyond, risking their lives and health to safe others, give comfort and to keep the city functioning during an unprecedented crisis. In 2011, AFSCME, DC 37’s national union, produced the following documentary on that terrible day, and the hardworking city workers—DC 37 members—who worked throughout the [More...]

Fighting Big Pharma’s Excessive Drug Prices

September 8, 2018 // 0 Comments

By NEAL FRUMKIN The costs of prescription drugs are too damn high, forcing working families and retirees to choose between food, rent and life-sustaining medication. That was the opening line of a resolution submitted by Edward W. Hysyk, president of the Retirees Association of DC 37, Juan Fernandez, president of Amalgamated Professional Employees Local 154 and myself, at the July convention of our national union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. The resolution passed with the support of the 3,000 delegates at the convention in Boston. Our goal was to build a campaign against the outrageous ongoing cost increases faced by members of the Retiree Association of DC 37. The theme of the convention was “RiseUp.” I believe that DC 37 along with its labor and community partners should rise up and build a campaign against the criminal costs of prescription [More...]

Union Celebrates Victory for Public Safety at City Hall Rally

September 7, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Hours before New York City schools reopened for 1.1 million students, Dept of Education Local 372 and a coalition of grassroots groups and elected officials rallied outside City Hall to celebrate a major public safety victory after Gov. Cuomo ordered the return of traffic cameras in school zones. “School Crossing Guards put themselves in the middle of busy streets every day to protect lives and keep kids safe,” said Local 372 President Shaun D. Francois I. “We prevent traffic fatalities before they happen.” “There are just 2,500 School Crossing Guards in the city. We need more. We need crossing guards at every school,” said Francois. “School safety is a must. Crossing guards are a must. More cameras now!” Francois joined City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, Lt. Gov.  Kathy Hochul, State Sen. Jose Peralta, Assembly members Robert Carroll and Felix [More...]

Ed Fund Launches Digital Credential Program

September 7, 2018 // 0 Comments

The union has launched a new initiative to make it easier for members to manage and share information about their professional credentials and skills development with their employers and other interested parties. Through a partnership with a New York City-based digital credential platform, called Credly, DC 37 will use “digital badges” to recognize members’ knowledge and competencies. This technology will also help provide members with a clear sense of the skills they need to advance in their chosen fields. How does a digital badge work? “A digital badge is similar to a paper certificate you receive for a training course you have completed,” explained Diallo Shabazz, chief administrator of the DC 37 Education Fund, which manages member training and workforce development programs on behalf of the union. “However, because digital badges are issued and verified online, unlike [More...]

Help the Union Get Out the Vote

September 6, 2018 // 0 Comments

When hardworking public employees and union members ask how the politics of this country got to where they are now, much of the answer can be found in the midterm elections of 2010. That’s when the progressive agenda of President Barack Obama was critically wounded by insufficient turnout and the extreme right-wing took over Congress and statehouses across the country. This time around, we have the opportunity to thwart Trump’s agenda of nurturing the ultra-wealthy and decimating public services, Medicare and Social Security. It begins with the Democratic Primary on Thursday, September 13. Please note the date. Customarily, we go to the polls on the second Tuesday of September, but out of respect for the memory of those who perished on 9/11, it has been changed. The union urges you to support the Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Public Advocate Letitia James for New York State [More...]

The Contract Vote’s Message

September 6, 2018 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO Executive Director, District Council 37, AFSCME, AFL-CIO I was happy, to say the least, that our new economic agreement was overwhelmingly approved. A lot of work went into this contract. Many union locals encouraged members to share their ideas about negotiations. We reported on our progress in the union newspaper and blog. DC 37 carried out an on-line survey. Our bargaining team stuck together. And our staffers provided important background to back up our case. The contract provides for a decent wage increase; protects our prescription drug and other benefits; maintains our premium-free health-care plan; significantly boosts funding for our education program — which helps members advance their skills and enrich their lives — and includes our new employer-provided paid family leave benefit — something only about 15 percent of the U.S. workers enjoy. [More...]

Grievance Victories for Local 768 Members at NYC H+H

September 5, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS The union settled three separate grievances in favor of Local 768 members employed at New York City Health +Hospitals facilities, in an ongoing fight to protect unionized hospital workers from managers who would violate the contract. Kings County Hospital failed to pay Social Worker Level 2 Adam Turkel for the overtime hours he was assigned to work so Hospitals and Healthcare Professionals Division Council Rep Joel Viera-Vera filed a grievance for the Local 768 member. The case went to Step 2 when H+H finally agreed to compensate Mr. Turkel for two hours of overtime. “These members are relied on to make up for staff shortages,” said Local 768 President Fitz Reid. “So while it may seem small, on principle we stood up for Mr. Turkel and in doing so protected the right of every member to be fairly compensation for any overtime hours worked.” Woodhull Hospital [More...]