ABOUT DC 37

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...]

“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...]

Member at Harlem Hospital Wins Title Upgrade and Back Pay

July 15, 2017 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS A Local 420 member at Harlem Hospital won a $7,400 title upgrade and $3,200 in back pay after the Office of Labor Relations favorably decided a grievance the union filed on her behalf. Shirley Medina worked for Harlem Hospital as a Central Supply Assistant since 2002. By November 2015, she met the state requirements for certification as a Central Service Technician, Level 2, which pays about $7,400 more annually. The following year, in 2016, the union and Health and Hospitals revised the Central Supply Assistant title to Central Service Technician, levels 1 and 2. “I took the exam, met the hour requirements and submitted my paperwork so I thought I’d automatically get the bump up. I was already doing the work,” Medina said. “I talked to a coworker and we compared our paychecks.” That’s when Medina found out she never received the upgrade. Her manager had [More...]

State Court Workers Win With New Contract

July 14, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES State court workers represented by Local 1070 overwhelmingly approved a new contract that provides for 2 percent annual pay increases over three years. Members voted 687-54 in favor of the contract in a mail ballot vote tabulated on May 31. “We worked very hard on this contract, and we’re glad members recognized that in approving our new economic agreement,” said Fausto Sabatino, president of Local 1070 Court, County and Dept. of Probation Employees. “We didn’t have any givebacks. At a time when unions are under attack across the country, we were able to improve our contract, protect our benefits and get fair salary increases.” The contract boosts location pay — the extra compensation members receive for the high living expenses of New York City — and the longevity bonus for years of service. The contract, which runs from April 1, 2016, to March 31, [More...]

Why Unions Matter for Everybody

July 10, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ELAINE BERNARD The decline in strength, density and influence of the labor movement must be a concern for all of us — whether we are union members or not. It has led to stagnating and declining wages and benefits of workers, undermining the entire community. So let’s look a little closer at what unions do, for members, for employers and for the entire community. When union workers talk about the benefit of their union, they think of a wide variety of rights, services and benefits that the union offers: job security, salary protection, paid vacation, the promotion of consistent and fair treatment; a voice in scheduling; recognition and a premium for overtime; a say in hiring and promotion; a united voice in dealing with the employer; an impartial process for resolving complaints; protection against unfair treatment; a role in setting and enforcing occupation health and safety [More...]

“The more I get involved with my union, the more I grow.”

July 8, 2017 // 0 Comments

Rhonda Carter, Patient Care Associate, Local 420 “The more I get involved with my union, the more I grow.” I am a Patient Care Associate at Kings County Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Outpatient Clinic. The clinic handles orthopedic, neurology and neurosurgery. Patients are here for knee replacements or other bone issues; some have epilepsy or migraines, or even trauma from gunshot wounds. They come for post-operative care. I check patients’ vital signs such as blood pressure, pain scale, and more. I explain follow-up appointments and rehabilitation. Seniors really appreciate my help. Patients are in pain. Their aggression is not intentional. I try to explain things so they understand what’s required to heal. I used to work for a dentist. I was the receptionist, the clerk. I did everything. With no union, when work was slow the doctor just sent me home. I had no regular [More...]

Breaking point

July 3, 2017 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Sammy Kamara was 7 when his parents sent him to live with an uncle in Monrovia, Liberia, to learn English with hopes for a better life. The uncle betrayed Sammy’s parents, brutalized the child and gave him away. “I was really a house slave,” said Sammy Kamara, a Local 374 Maintainer at the New York Botanical Gardens. “I was the perfect child laborer. I was not paid a penny. I worked. I cleaned. I helped with the children.” “It was slavery. I could not move until master said ‘Move.’ If I made eye contact, they would whip me,” Kamara said. His 2015 memoir “Breaking Point: A Journey of Self-Awareness and Finding Purpose in Pain,” recounts his eight years as a slave in Monrovia and the Bronx, and finally freedom. Kamara has worked for the Botanical Gardens for 40 years and attended New York Theological Seminary. His book draws on the wisdom of U.S. [More...]

Emergency Medical Technicians Help Panic-Stricken Riders of Derailed Subway Train

June 30, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO An A train heading downtown during the morning rush hour earlier this week derailed at the West 125th Street station in Harlem and rammed into a concrete wall causing a small fire in the tunnel.  The accident left hundreds of panic-stricken passengers stranded underground in the dark on stalled trains, causing the transit system to be disrupted for several hours. Emergency Medical Technician Tuanika Brown and her partner Ricky Delgado arrived at the scene within a couple of minutes and began evacuating passengers from the station and providing first aid. Among the many people Brown helped evacuate was an asthmatic mother and her 6-month-old boy. The child, Yousef Cisse, was wearing just a diaper and was crying. EMT Brown gave oxygen to the mother and her son before they were transported to Harlem Hospital in an FDNY ambulance for an evaluation. “The only thing on [More...]

Ready for the Summer

June 28, 2017 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS To be ready for the summer, the Parks and Recreation Dept. got an early start. Its Municipal Lifeguard Training Program helped 350 fresh-faced teens qualify as state-certified City Lifeguards represented by DC 37 Local 461. To meet the job’s demanding qualifications, the recruits attended weeks of rescue classes and workout sessions after school to ace the written exam and swim test at Manhattan’s Chelsea Pool April 17. “The training is grueling but these kids have proven themselves to be the best of the best—strong competitive swimmers who are eager to work hard to keep the public safe,” said veteran Lifeguard Supervisor Javier Rodriguez of Local 508, one of the test administrators. “These first responders have a tremendous responsibility beyond their years,” said Local 508 President Peter Stein. “Most kids’ first jobs are in fast food or at the [More...]

Union Adopts Changes at Health Care Centers

June 27, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Beginning in July, the DC 37 health centers in Manhattan and Brooklyn will no longer provide podiatry services. In addition, the vision services in the Manhattan center will no longer be provided. Members and retirees must now get their optical care through the Health & Security Plan’s optical provider network or their own physician. For podiatry care, members and retirees should visit physicians who are on their insurance company’s network of podiatrists. The closings of the podiatry and vision offices at the health centers are part of H & S’s long-term plan to control costs in the face of the skyrocketing pharmaceutical prices. To secure the financial health of the drug and other benefits, the plan raised co-pays at the beginning of the year, and the union later negotiated with the city to provide an additional $200 in permanent funding for each [More...]