Articles by Mike Lee

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...]

How NYPD 911 Operators Set Responses in Motion as Emergencies Like the Bronx Hospital Shooting Unfold

August 8, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GRAHAM RAYMAN It began with a panicked 911 call from a woman at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital routed to NYPD Operator Joann Tindal. Gunfire had erupted on the 16th floor. As the caller cowered in her dad’s hospital room, deranged ex-medical technician Henry Bello roamed the floor. He was armed with a rifle and on the hunt. For the next 11 wrenching minutes, Tindal patiently talked her through the chaos. Stay calm, stay quiet, the 911 operator told the woman. Lock the door. Keep everyone in the room. Joy at baby’s birth turned to fear during Bronx hospital shooting “You can stay on the phone with me if you want,” Tindal recalled telling the woman. “There were other people in the room with her and I was telling her to reassure them that help was on the way,” she told the Daily News. “This was the first time I had a call like that.” In another part of the sprawling [More...]

DC 37 Endorsements for the Sept. 12 City Primary

July 19, 2017 // 0 Comments

On July 18, District Council 37 announced its endorsements of candidates for NYC elected offices in the Primary Elections on Tuesday, September 12. Among the endorsed candidates are NYC Public Advocate Letitia James, NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, Borough Presidents Eric Adams of Brooklyn, Gayle Brewer of Manhattan, Ruben Diaz, Jr. of the Bronx, Melinda Katz of Queens and James Oddo of Staten Island. The union also endorsed 46 candidates for City Council seats, including the following incumbents in these competitive districts of particular interest to the union: Antonio Reynoso in District 34 (Bklyn-Queens), Laurie A. Cumbo in District 35 (Bklyn), and Carlos Menchaca in District 38 (Bklyn). The contests in the following open districts are also of special interest: Carlina Rivera running in District 2 (Manhattan), Diana Ayala in District 8 (Bronx-Manhattan), Marjorie Velazquez in [More...]

“Many are now afraid to sign up for insurance because of President Trump’s agenda against immigrants.”

July 18, 2017 // 0 Comments

Candido “Candy” Ramos, Certified Application Counselor, Local 1549 Photo: Clarence Elie-Rivera One of the worst feelings possible is when you are in need of help and those people who could assist you refuse to do so. I have experienced this in my life and it is the reason why I love the job that I have, a career that revolves around helping people with something that they cannot take for granted — their health. Not only is it my job to help people when they need it, but I want to help people when they need it. I want them to never experience the kind of hopelessness I had to when I was on the other side of the table. As a Certified Application Counselor at New York City’s Department of Human Resources and Administration, I spend my days signing people up for medical coverage through either Medicaid or other affordable coverages. People tend to think that health insurance is too [More...]

The Era of Gender Wage Inequality is Ending

July 17, 2017 // 0 Comments

By LETITIA JAMES The era of wage-based inequality is beginning to end. On May 5, after 50 years of fighting, women of New York City took a huge step towards closing the gender wage gap and achieving true economic parity with the signing into law of my bill that bans employers from asking applicants about their salary history. This legislation will provide women of all backgrounds with a chance for economic equality; and mitigate the rising inequality in our city. For too long, the reality for women, and particularly women of color, has been bleak. My office found that for every dollar that a white man working in New York City makes, a white woman earns 84 cents, an Asian woman earns 63 cents, a Black woman earns 55 cents, and a Hispanic woman earns 46 cents. In total, women in New York City are shortchanged by $5.8 billion per year compared to their male counterparts. When previous [More...]