ABOUT DC 37

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...]

Housing Program Marks 13th Year

August 7, 2018 // 0 Comments

BY DIANE S. WILLIAMS Flooding downpours did not stop members from attending the annual August housing fair at the union hall, where many met real estate professionals who offer mortgages, inspections, credit counseling, and other housing-related services. “I came because I’m looking to purchase my first home,” said SSEU Local 371 member Shermaine Taylor. “I got lots of great information on grants and mortgages and even student loan forgiveness. Everything I learned at the union I’m sharing with my coworkers.” “Thirteen years ago, under the leadership of Lillian Roberts, I was tasked to put together a housing program for members,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. At the time more than 300 DC 37 families were living in homeless shelters. The city’s affordable housing stock dwindled as the Bloomberg administration ushered in a luxury housing construction boom. [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...]

Rising Up: First-Time Convention Delegates Speak Out

July 22, 2018 // 0 Comments

More than 1,000 of the delegates to the 43rd AFSCME Convention in Boston last week were attending for the very first time. DC 37’s delegation included four new local unions and dozens of first-time delegates, including a new local president. This new generation of union activists is among the thousands of AFSCME members who have pledged to #RiseUp for working families and public services. Andrew Barfield—Local 1321 What I like about the convention is that you get to meet people from different parts of the country who share the same goals of trying to bring equality to the workplace. I think this is positive and inspiring. It’s really opened up my eyes to what the national level is doing, because I never knew anything about it. I didn’t know that everybody comes together in this capacity and all the issues they’re addressing. It’s not just what’s going on [More...]

AFSCME Members #RiseUp at 43rd Convention in Boston

July 18, 2018 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE AFSCME members are heeding the call to #RiseUp this week at the 43rd International Convention of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees in Boston. AFSCME, DC 37’s national union, now stands at the forefront of labor’s resistance as public workers nationwide are standing together, pushing back against anti-union forces after the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Janus v. AFSCME in June. In his keynote address to the convention, AFSCME President Lee Saunders told the delegates and guests that while the legal setback in Janus presents serious challenges, the union is well prepared to overcome the onslaught. “If they think we’re going to roll over, if they think this is going to slow us down or shut us up, if they think we’re going to let five unelected men in robes steal our freedom, they’ve got a big surprise coming. Because when the stakes [More...]

Trump and Labor: A Betrayal

July 12, 2018 // 0 Comments

Donald Trump won the presidency portraying himself as a champion of workers. So far, his record as president amounts to a great betrayal. With executive orders, political appointments and policy changes, Trump has actually proved himself to be an enemy of working families. The authoritarian president has taken steps to undermine unions, harm public employees, gut the benefits of low-wage workers and promote trade policies that will raise prices for consumers. Simply put, his actions favor corporations and the rich. Real average earnings have actually dropped since Trump signed the GOP tax giveaway into law. The only way workers have managed to increase their take-home pay is by working a few extra hours per week, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The administration submitted an amicus brief in Janus v. AFSCME case, which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on last month. [More...]

A Culture of Organizing

July 11, 2018 // 0 Comments

By BARBARA TERRELONGE For decades, our union has largely focused on providing services to members. But in recent years we learned we must do more. As we faced institutional malaise and a multi-million dollar, anti-union campaign by a national right-wing network intensified we decided to shift our focus toward what’s known as an organizing model of unionism. Through worksite visits and improved communications, we highlight the value of unions, while urging members to become more involved. At our three-year-old Organizing Dept., we aim to “engage, educate, empower.” Those three words sum up our union’s philosophy. About two years ago, the dozens of reps who work for DC 37 embarked on an ambitious plan. The union dispatched the union employees to the city’s five boroughs to conduct one-on-one meetings with 50,000 members and to sign up thousands of agency-fee payers, workers who [More...]