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Join the Climate Change March in Washington on April 29

April 13, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO President Donald Trump wasted no time trying to dismantle the Affordable Care Act and prevent Muslims from entering the country. Those plans stalled when they came up against massive opposition. The Trump administration has been equally aggressive attacking regulations and laws that protect the environment. Trump’s new head of the federal Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, doesn’t even believe human-caused climate change is a fact. He has said there’s “tremendous disagreement” about the impact people have on the environment. According to The Atlantic magazine: “This is wrong… Pruitt’s claim runs so counter to the findings of the international scientific community, to the conclusions of the U.S. government, and even to the marketing materials of the oil-and-gas industry that it is difficult to label it anything but a falsehood.” So it’s [More...]

Union and City Raise Public Awareness about Safety in Highway Work Zones

April 12, 2017 // 0 Comments

By DIANE WILLIAMS The union is working with the Dept. of Transportation to encourage motorists to be more cautious as they drive in highway work zones, where four workers have died in recent years. On a raining April 4 under the Seeley Avenue bridge in leafy Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn, New York City Dept. of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg and Local 1455 President Mike DeMarco were joined by Council member Ydanis Rodriguez and dozens of workers in neon safety vests to highlight National Work Zone Awareness Week, April 3 through 7. “This is one of the more important concerns that both labor and management collaborate on and strongly support,” DeMarco said. “We work very hard to keep all DOT workers and motorists safe in work zones as we improve and repair streets and roadways.” DC 37 Locals 376, 983, 1157, 1455 and 1506 represent hundreds of DOT workers who maintain [More...]

Contribute to the New York Daily News Fund for the Family of Yadira Arroyo

April 10, 2017 // 0 Comments

Dear Sisters and Brothers, As many of you know by now, a fund has been established by the Daily News in conjunction with the FDNY Foundation in order to aid the family of Sister Yadira Arroyo, the EMT who was recently killed in the line of duty. The fund will send the donations directly to the Arroyo family via the FDNY Foundation. AFSCME, the national union of DC 378, has contributed $10,000 to this fund and our Council will be asking to match this amount. We ask that you consider making a donation to the Arroyo family to help them through this challenging time. The following is information on how you can make your donation: Donors can send payments electronically to Daily News Charities, account number 9387-575-837, routing number 021-000-322. The charity also has a PayPal account at nydn.us/ArroyoFund. Checks can be made payable to Daily News Charities Inc. and mailed to: New York [More...]

Member Confronts Racism in Online Media

April 6, 2017 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Veteran news reporter Anita M. Samuels’ new book, “Rants & Retorts,” examines often anonymous— and always vitriolic— racist online comments posted on internet news stories. “I became a journalist because I wanted to write positive stories about African Americans,” said Samuels, a member of Civil Technical Guild Local 375 who works as an administrative coordinator at Borough of Manhattan Community College. After the historic election of Barack Obama in 2008, many were quick to say America transitioned to a post-racial society. But in “Rants & Retorts: How Bigots Got A Monopoly on Commenting About News Online,” Samuels exposes an ugly truth: Racism is festering on social media. Reading disturbing online comments on several news stories the New York Daily News had published in 2008, an upset Samuels complained to her editor. The comments [More...]

Union Advocates Better Transportation Services for People with Disabilities

April 5, 2017 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido joined advocates for the disabled, union activists, city officials and MTA representatives to discuss the need to improve the Access-A-Ride service at a forum held in union headquarters on April 3. After initial remarks by DC 37 Disability Advisory/Health Committee Chair Eileen Muller, who is also president of Local 1482 Brooklyn Library Guild, Garrido spoke of the importance of the Access-A-Ride service, which handles as many as 23,000 trips daily. The Access-A-Ride paratransit service provides shared-ride transportation service for people with disabilities unable to use public transportation for their trips.y. Garrido warned the audience of the attack on safety net services in the proposed Trump/Republican congress budget, including potential cuts in federal grants for services such as Access-A-Ride. “Everything we hold dear is at [More...]

Trump’s Nationalistic Policies Worry Immigrant Members

March 31, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO President Donald J. Trump’s executive order issued on Jan. 27 sought to ban people from seven Muslim majority countries from entering the United States. The order was swiftly struck down by the federal court with orders not to deport or detain travelers. Chaos prevailed at airports around the country on the weekend the day after Trump issued the ban. At Kennedy Airport in New York City, hundreds of demonstrators joined cab drivers and protested against the ban. Panic also spread among the thousands of immigrant New Yorkers. Fear spread to immigrants not covered by the ban and even immigrants who have green cards and visas. Ferdous Ahmed, a member of Electronic Data Processing Personnel Local 2627, was one of those New Yorkers. Shocked by what he was seeing on the evening news that weekend, Ahmed called the union’s Municipal Employees Legal Services (MELS) the [More...]

DC 37 Members Play a Critical Role in New Subway Line

March 26, 2017 // 0 Comments

  By JOSEPH LOPEZ After nearly a century of delays and dead ends, New York City’s long- proposed Second Avenue Subway line finally opened to the public on Jan. 1. The completion of this first phase of the project — with stations along the East Side of Manhattan at 72nd, 86th and 96th streets — could not have been achieved without the diligence and determination of the handful of members from Civil Service Technical Guild Local 375, who have worked on the development since the Metropolitan Transportation Authority made it a priority roughly a decade ago. “There’s a real feeling of accomplishment seeing the Second Avenue Line running at last,” said Senior Code Enforcement Official Lambert Egbuchulam. For eight years, Egbuchulam has been involved in the venture, reviewing designs of tunnels and stations to make sure that all engineering and safety practices were being met [More...]

Forum Set for April 3 on Transportation Service for People with Disabilities

March 22, 2017 // 0 Comments

The DC 37 Disability Committee will hold a forum on Access-A-Ride, the transportation service for people with disabilities. The forum will be at 6 p.m. on Monday, April 3, in the first-floor gallery at union headquarters, on 125 Barclay St. in Lower Manhattan. The speakers will include a City Council member and a representative from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The goal of the meeting is to have a conversation on how the service can be improved, said Committee Chair Eileen Muller, who is also president of Brooklyn Library Guild Local 1482. DC 37 retirees and members who rely on the service complain about frequent long waits at the Barclay Street side of union headquarters. “This is not intended to be an Access-A-Ride bashing session,” Muller said. “We all know the service has problems. We want to open up a constructive dialog about finding [More...]

Member’s Estate Awarded $20,000 for Back Pay

March 22, 2017 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS The DC 37 General Counsel’s Office obtained a consent award that granted posthumously $20,000 in back pay to a Local 1597 Custodial Assistant, who was wrongfully terminated from Brooklyn College. Management alleged that Hope McNeill failed to follow the college’s procedures for approved medical leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and fired her. Ms. McNeil died before her case went to arbitration. McNeil had worked for Brooklyn College for about three years when an illness left her unable to work. But when McNeill was ready to return to her job at the college in April 2015, she learned she was terminated. Management fired McNeill in a letter that accused her of abandoning her job and alleged that her medical leave had not been approved. Blue Collar Council Rep Norlita De Taza filed a grievance to appeal McNeill’s termination. It was denied at [More...]

New York City Mourns Slain EMS Worker

March 20, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO New Yorkers from all over the city are not only expressing their condolences to the family of Emergency Medical Technician Yadira Arroyo–who was tragically killed on a Bronx street when a man hijacked her ambulance–but they are also helping the five children the Local 2507 member left behind. “She was a great mentor, great friend and colleague,” said EMT Anastasia Roble, a coworker. Arroyo was killed on Thursday night, March 16, when a man hijacked her ambulance while she was on duty in the Soundview section of the Bronx and ran her over. Police arrested Jose Gonzalez, 25, of the Bronx, charging him with murder, grand larceny and operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs. Arroyo and her partner, EMT Monique Williams, confronted Gonzalez after a passerby signaled that he was riding on the back bumper of the ambulance. Arroyo, a 14-year [More...]