ABOUT DC 37

Union Activists Demand More Aid for Puerto Rico

October 5, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO Union activists from District Council 37, 32 BJ SEIU, and the Communication Workers of America joined elected officials at a rally at Foley Square in downtown Manhattan, demanding President Donald J. Trump and the federal government step up their recovery operations in Puerto Rico and cancel the island’s $72 billion debt. “We can’t afford to waste any more time,” said DC 37 and Local 1549 president Eddie Rodriguez at the lunchtime rally, across the street from Federal Plaza. “Our brothers and sisters on the island desperately need our help now.” Like many Puerto Ricans throughout the United States, Rodriguez has been unable to contact family members who live on the island. Hurricane Maria swept through Puerto Rico after Hurricane Irma and destroyed the island’s power grid. The Oct. 4 rally was organized by Vamos4PR, a coalition of union and community [More...]

Delegates Elect Deborah A. Pitts as DC 37’s Secretary

September 27, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO Deborah A. Pitts, president of Finance Administrative Employees and City Investigators Local 1113, was elected on Sept. 26 to serve as secretary of the District Council 37 Executive Board. Union delegates elected Pitts at their monthly meeting. Pitts defeated Local 375 member, former 1st Vice President, and DC 37 delegate Michelle Keller-Ng. The election was held to fill the secretary’s seat on the union’s executive board, made vacant by the retirement earlier this year of Local 957 President Walthene Primus. “It is an honor to serve DC 37 and our members–that’s the most important thing for me, helping our members,” said Pitts. Pitts also serves as the chair of the DC 37 Black History Committee, which every February coordinates a month of activities for members. Pitts has spent more than 30 years as a union activist, and she has been active with the [More...]

DC 37 Gets Ready for Contract Bargaining

September 26, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES The union is preparing to start bargaining with the city for a new economic agreement this fall. Union delegates are expected to vote on demands at their monthly meeting on Sept. 26. The demands will be in part guided by an on-line survey in June of members covered by the union’s master contract. The union’s Negotiating Committee was scheduled to vote on the demands in late August. “We are hoping to enter negotiations in earnest as soon as possible,” DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido said. “We would like to see a quick settlement, but we also know the road to a new contract has historically often been a bumpy one filled with obstacles.” The 2010-17 economic agreement was originally set to expire on July 2. But earlier this year, members voted overwhelmingly to extend the economic agreement to Sept. 25 to help the union’s welfare plan shore up its [More...]

The Equifax Data Breach: What Consumers Should Do

September 22, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ROBERT MARTIN and RENEE CONDE The dust is still settling on the Equifax data breach in which hackers accessed personal records of the majority of American adults. This breach was so huge that you should presume your information has been compromised. Equifax (a big three credit reporting agency or “CRA”) has only come forward now to reveal that between May and July, records of 143 million persons were hacked. What makes it more serious than prior breaches (Equifax itself has had four breaches in the last two years) is that the stolen records include not just credit card numbers, but also Social Security numbers and birth dates. These are the first building blocks for identity thieves. With this information, thieves can potentially open fraudulent new credit accounts – in our names. How should people protect themselves? This is a slightly complicated topic, and the answer depends [More...]

A Fair Tax on the Wealthy

September 14, 2017 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO Our city is engaged in a vibrant public discussion about the crisis at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. For the general public, the injury of dozens of people in the derailment of a subway in Manhattan in July underscored that the crisis is a matter of public safety. Riders are also fed up with high fares and delays. The MTA’s track signals date from a century ago, when the subway system was established, and the constant malfunctioning from this aging equipment causes delays. Straphangers are angry about the uncomfortable commutes in overcrowded subway trains and the crumbling infrastructure, including deteriorating stations. Elected officials and public transportation advocates are looking for solutions. We fully support a progressive plan that Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled in August. The de Blasio plan offers a sensible way to deal with short- and [More...]

City Launches Free School Lunch Program with Help from the Union

September 8, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO After DC 37 spent years battling City Hall to make sure all students, regardless of their ability to pay, receive a hot meal at lunch time, free lunch will now be available to all of the city’s 1.1 million students. “We are extremely proud to have played a role in making this happen,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. “With this change in policy, learning just became easier for many kids in our schools.” Garrido joined Chancellor Caren Farina, Local 372 President Shaun D. Francois I, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Public Advocate Letitia James and activists from the Lunch 4 Learning coalition on Sept. 6–the day before the beginning of the new school year–at PS 51 in Manhattan to mark the start of the new program. “This is about equity,” Farina said at the press conference. “All communities matter.” DC 37’s Local [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...]

“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...]