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Union Honors EMS Week

May 22, 2018 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO Thousands of emergency medical technicians around the country will be honored during National EMS Week for the critical work they do saving lives. The week of activities for the annual event begins May 20 -26. In New York City EMT Yadira Arroyo was one of those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arroyo, a member of Uniformed EMTs and Paramedics of the FDNY Local 2507, was run over last year with her own ambulance by a deranged man. EMT Kellan Squire works at Station 17 in the Bronx and occasionally shared a tour with Arroyo. “We were in shock when we heard the news,” said Squire. “She was well respected by her colleagues and the people in her community.” EMT Squire began his career in Miami before moving to New York City. “You can’t compare the number of calls you get in Miami to New York,” said the Florida native. Squire is part of the Counter Terrorism [More...]

EMS Workers Prevent Attack on Bronx Man

May 21, 2018 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO Two DC 37 members jumped into action in the Bronx to protect a defenseless man in a wheelchair. Lt. Daniel Burgos and FDNY Paramedic Kevin Costello spotted a woman punching a 62 year-old man and trying to take his wallet. They quickly intervened to stop the attack until the police arrived. Burgos, a member of Uniformed EMS Officers Local 3621, and Costello, a member of Uniformed EMTs and Paramedics Local 2507, were on 230th Street and Broadway on Saturday evening, April 7, when they spotted the assailant. “She was beating him up and wanted to take his bag,” said Burgos, who works out of Station 19 in University Heights. Police then arrived on the scene and arrested the assailant. The assailant, according to The Daily News, was busy that Saturday stealing the bag of another wheelchair user. Burgos, who has been on the job 11 years, doesn’t only lend a hand when [More...]

City Comptroller Calls for Ban on Commercial Bond Companies

May 16, 2018 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer has introduced a bill in the City Council calling for the banning of commercial bail. Earlier this year, Stringer’s office released a report on the predatory nature of the commercial bond industry in New York. His report showed that bail bond companies extracted between $16 million and $27 million from low income New Yorkers in 2017. And that money paid to private bail bond companies is non-refundable. “This industry is about making money off of misery,” he said. “It’s why we’ve called for commercial bail to be banned and have worked with our colleagues in government to propose state legislation that will do just that.” The comptroller’s report found that the use of commercial bail bonds increased by 12 percent over the past two years despite a decline in crime and arrests. DC 37 supports banning commercial [More...]

The Mission of Public Service: People Over Profits

May 15, 2018 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Many DC 37 members joined the city’s workforce after spending years in the private sector. Those interviewed by the Public Employee Press say they are now happier with their work, because it comes with union representation, good benefits, and job security. Helping city residents instills a motivation absent in the private sector, where work was about helping their bosses make a profit. The members say their enthusiasm for the private sector wasn’t as great because they received fewer benefits and they could be fired at the whim of a boss. “It’s really nice to help the public — and the community as a whole,” said Dental Assistant Lisa Blackett. A dental hygienist and Local 768 shop steward, Blackett has worked at Harlem Hospital for nearly 10 years. “A lot of the people without insurance come here and are happy to find they can get affordable dental [More...]

Union Calls for Additional Parks and School Workers

May 14, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS and ALFREDO ALVARADO DC 37 leaders are making their case on behalf of understaffed agencies and overworked employees at a series of City Council budget hearings. At a recent Parks Committee hearing, the union asked lawmakers to fully restore funds to the Parks budget to save 300 seasonal jobs and add 225 new hires to keep public parks clean and safe. Mayor Bill de Blasio presented his $88.7 billion preliminary 2019 budget for the city back in February. At the City Council hearings ,union leaders said more funds — not less — are needed. The preliminary Parks budget for fiscal year 2018-2019 is about $500 million, down from $531 million last year. More funding needed The funds, leaders said, would add more Urban Park Rangers, Parks Envorcement Patrol Officers, City Seasonal Aides, City Parks Workers and Gardeners to the Dept. Parks and Recreation workforce. [More...]

DC 37 Launches Women’s Leadership Academy

May 9, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS District Council 37 is preparing women for future leadership roles through a six-month training program that begins in June. Local leaders, officers and activists are invited to apply to the union’s Women’s Leadership Academy. The application deadline is May 31. To encourage diversity, DC 37 seeks applicants from every experiential, racial and socio-economic background for the Women’s Leadership Academy. The course begins with a conference call orientation in June. The program requires participants to complete an interim project and attend a final session in January 2019. Participants will learn to: develop high-level presentation and communication skills, develop strategic planning skills for internal organizing, create a personal five-year plan, establish a mentoring relationship with a seasoned leader, build capacity in their own local or chapter. DC 37 [More...]

Union Celebrates Jewish Heritage

May 8, 2018 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE Summer came early, so it was of no surprise that the party was hot during the Jewish Heritage celebration at DC 37 headquarters. The event celebrated the anniversary of the founding of Israel — known in Hebrew as Yom Ha’atzmaut — proclaimed in Tel Aviv on May 14, 1948. After an invocation by Rabbi Michael S. Miller, executive vice president of the Jewish Community Council of New York, Dr. Leonard Davidman, president of Psychologists Local 1189 and chair of the DC 37 Jewish Heritage Committee introduced DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. In his remarks, Garrido stressed the importance of thoughts coinciding with action. Citing the recent commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Memphis Sanitation Workers strike and the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who went to Memphis to support the strikers, Garrido said, “In his legacy, it was clear that [More...]

The Role of Women in Electoral Politics

May 7, 2018 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO A discussion about how women can become more engaged in electoral politics is taking place around the country. That discussion took place also at DC 37 recently with Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Public Advocate Letitia James, Local 372 President Shaun D. Francois I and City Council member Carlina Rivera. Activists from Local 372 and Transit Workers Union Local 100 also participated in the April 28 conference presented by the Latino Leadership Institute. Also in attendance was Mei-Ling Ho-Shing, who lives in Florida and survived the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. On Feb. 14, 17 students from the school were killed. “Those students from Florida, especially the young women, are doing a great job organizing young people,” said Francois, who met the high school activist in Memphis recently during the commemoration of the death of [More...]

Union Carries Out Town Hall Meetings

May 4, 2018 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO There was standing room only as more than 300 union members jammed the conference room at the offices of the Human Resources Administration in Brooklyn for a town hall style meeting. Members came to hear DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido talk about the fight with the city for a new contract and the court decision in the Janus v. AFSCME case, which is expected by the end of June. If the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court rules against AFSCME, it could financially cripple DC 37 and public employee unions throughout the country. Janus argues that the mandatory collection of union dues violates the individual’s constitutional right to freedom of speech. “This decision is the start of a bigger attack,” said Garrido. He pointed to Wisconsin and how workers lost their collective bargaining power once it became a right to work state. “They’re paying as much as [More...]

Please Attend DC 37 Town Halls Scheduled for May

April 19, 2018 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE The union is under attack. Our collective future is at stake. As the nation waits for the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court on Janus v. AFSCME District Council 31, DC 37 and you — the members — have many questions about the future of your union after the ruling by the court, which could go against us. The Janus case aims to undercut unions by reducing the vital funds used to negotiate with management for raises and benefits, handle grievances and fight for workplace rights. In reality, Janus is a carefully crafted assault on our freedoms to organize and to bargain fairly with our employers for wages and benefits. But DC 37 is fighting back. We are educating and organizing, explaining our future, and answering your questions as the clock ticks down to the court’s decision. Please attend a DC 37 Town Hall Please join DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido and local [More...]