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School Crossing Guard Hospitalized After Car Hits Her in front of Brooklyn School

December 12, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO School Crossing Guard Ezznati Elkhayatia was injured on the job while looking out for school children and pedestrians crossing the street in front of PS 28 in Brooklyn. Elkhayatia, a member of Board of Education Employees Local 372, was helping a pregnant woman cross the street at her post on Ralph Avenue and Herkimer Street when she was hit by a car on Dec. 4. Elkhayatia was taken to Kings County Hospital where she was treated for a broken leg. She is expected to make a full recovery and return to work. “Our members face this danger every day in front of all the schools in this city as they attempt to protect our schoolchildren,” said Shaun D. Francois l, the local president. “She’s doing fine,” said Grace Spinks, who visited Elkhayatia in the hospital. Spinks is a School Crossing Guard at PS 236 on Avenue U and Mill Avenue in Brooklyn. She is also a shop [More...]

“I Hope Members Grasp a Fuller Picture of What a Union Does for Them and the Community.”

December 11, 2017 // 0 Comments

Patricia Peterson, retired Senior Police Administrative Aide, Local 1549 By DIANE S. WILLIAMS After 38 years with, the New York Police Department, I retired in February 2017. I was a Senior Police Administrative Aide in the 33rd precinct in Washington Heights since 1994 where I was responsible for crime analysis, reviewing complaints and classifying them as homicides, shootings, break-ins, noting any trends detectives and commanding officers should know about. A friend invited me to my first union meeting in 1988. I had questions I wanted answered, so I went. I became a Local 1549 shop steward and, later, a delegate. I shared information with my coworkers because not everyone can attend every union meeting. This year I was invited to become a Volunteer Member Organizer. It gives me purpose to visit worksites and talk to members about the importance of belonging to a union. I share my [More...]

Union Helps 40 Urban Park Rangers Prepare for Promotional Exam

December 8, 2017 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Forty Urban Park Rangers enrolled in a course offered through the union’s Education Fund to prepare for a promotional exam to become Associate Urban Park Rangers. The six-session course began in late November; the test is Dec. 12. “If UPRs pass with a score of 70 or higher, they can be promoted to Associate Urban Park Ranger and earn as much as $64,000 to start,” said Local 983 President Joe Puleo. AUPRs and UPRs are Peace Officers who educate park patrons and keep city parklands and beaches safe. The starting salaries for AUPRs pay almost $17,000 more than the $47,125 base salary UPRs earn annually, Puleo said. The rate of pay typically increase when the union finalizes its negotiations with the city for a new contract. Salaries also increase when recurring pay increases and other enhancements negotiated by the local union are adopted. Retired Local 983 [More...]

Climate Activists Ready to Fight

December 6, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO With President Donald J. Trump pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement and his appointment of a climate skeptic to lead the federal Environmental Protection Agency, the battle to protect the environment has gotten more contentious. Those developments and the hurricanes that have swept across the Caribbean were some of the topics discussed at a forum sponsored by the DC 37 Climate Justice Committee. The committee chair, Local 1501 President Jeremy Sanders, Jon Foster, founder of the committee, and the union’s Political Action and Legislation Dept. organized a panel of activists for a lively discussion and a short film on Oct. 5 at union headquarters. Eddie Bautista, one of the panelists and executive director of the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance, said unions have stepped up their support for the transition to renewable energy and highlighted [More...]

South Asian Labor Group Holds Its Annual Convention on Dec. 9

December 5, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES The Alliance of South Asian American Labor will hold its 10th annual convention on Dec. 9. The theme for ASAAL’s convention is, “South Asians in America, We are Stronger Together!” The convention, which will take place from 3 to 9 p.m. at DC 37 headquarters at 125 Barclay St. in Manhattan, will have panels on the 2018 midterm elections, challenges facing the South Asian community and organizing the youth. Several guest will speak at the dinner. The invited guests include state senators, and members from the Assembly, U.S. Congress members and labor leaders from around the country. Honorees include Terrence Melvin, president of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists and secretary-treasurer of the New York State AFL-CIO, DC 37 President Eddie Rodriquez of Local 1549 and Local 375 member and DC 37 Executive Board member Ahmed Shakir, who is the national treasurer [More...]

EMS Workers Save Four New Yorkers Exposed to Deadly Gas

December 4, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO Four New Yorkers were saved from deadly noxious fumes by two quick-thinking Emergency Medical Technicians. Local 2507 members Frantzi Honore and Zache Cox, who work out of FDNY Station 54 in Springfield Gardens, Queens, were responding to an emergency call in Jamaica at 192nd St. When they arrived at the home on Friday evening Nov. 24, they noticed the carbon monoxide detector in the home was registering deadly levels of gas. Carbon monoxide is undetectable by human senses and is referred to as “the silent killer.” Honore and Cox quickly evacuated four people from the Queens home. “A tragedy and potential disaster was avoided by the quick reactions of these two EMS Technicians,” said Oren Barzilay, president of Uniformed EMTs and Paramedics Local 2507. “All of our members receive great training from the Fire Dept. to help us in our job of protecting and [More...]

Union Fights State Workers’ Compensation Changes

December 4, 2017 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE The union is taking part in an all-out effort to fight proposed changes to the workers’ compensation system in New York — 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 threatened by right-wing business interests, such as the Business Council, that pressured the state Workers’ Compensation Board to issue proposed changes to longstanding regulations earlier this year. The board’s action [More...]

“We’re Making a Big Difference in the Lives of Women.”

December 2, 2017 // 0 Comments

  Joanne Schmidt, Family Public Health Nurse, Local 436 Most of my time is spent in the field visiting our clients, with a day to do paperwork in the office. They live all over the city, in shelters, in Riker’s Island or they live with foster families. I work with first-time mothers. They can be anywhere from as young as 12 years old to 41-year-old women. I help them with developing their parenting skills and give them orientation regarding lactation support. I make a lot of referrals on their behalf for social and mental health services at clinics. We make a lot of referrals to the Coalition for the Homeless. There’s really no typical person that I deal with. Their main concern is finding permanent housing, then finding a job. A lot of them are interested in continuing their education but that takes a back seat to finding a job and a place to stay — those are the priorities. [More...]

Union Members Make Sure the New York City Marathon Runs

November 29, 2017 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Collecting his 11th New York City Marathon medal, Jorge Serrano, a senior accountant for Civil Service Technical Guild Local 375, said this year’s race was special because he completed it with his son. “Ramon is a doctor in Boston, but we planned to do this together,” Serrano said. Serrano has been a long distance runner since high school. He preps for the 26.2 mile, five borough race by logging dozens of miles on predawn and weekend runs. The marathon is a major revenue generator for New York City that attracts over 50,000 participants and millions of spectators and tourists. DC 37 members make sure the event runs safely. Union members in the Dept. of Transportation and the city Parks and Recreation Dept. map out the marathon course. Blue Collar Division Local 1455 members paint the blue line that guides racers, Parks locals 983 and 1505 install barriers to [More...]

A Bridge Maintainer’s Mitzvah

November 21, 2017 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS For years Anthony Pisciotta, a Bridge and Tunnel Maintainer in Local 1931, drove past Bayside Cemetery every day. He saw the long neglected Jewish burial ground near Kennedy Airport that was overgrown with knee-high weeds and tangles of brush and trees. Pisciotta found felled tombstones scrawled with graffiti, mausoleums and coffins busted open and robbed of valuables. The grounds were littered with garbage and desecrated and exposed corpses. “I was incensed at what had become of this final resting place,” said Pisciotta, who lives in the Bronx. “I could complain or I could improve the situation.” The synagogue that owns the Bayside graveyard, Shaare Zedek, had stopped hiring groundskeepers years ago. So Pisciotta, though not Jewish, performed a mitzvah, a good deed. He began a restoration project that quickly became his consuming passion. Pisciotta’s [More...]