LOCALS

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...]

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...]

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...]

Mounted Unit Protects City Parks

May 25, 2017 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Keeping New York City’s natural jewels, verdant parklands like Van Cortlandt Park, Central Park and Prospect Park, safe are the equestrian detail of Parks Enforcement Patrol Officers. The Parks Mounted Unit consists of eight Local 983 Urban Parks Rangers and their supervisors, who ride and groom six horses that are used to patrol acres of meadows, wooded trails, ravines and sandy beaches. “We select UPRs with at least two years’ experience for training,” said lead trainer Jessica Cowan, a 20-year veteran Associate Parks Enforcement Patrol Officer in DC 37 Local 983. Parks trains its horses at HOOPH, a new heated stable on Staten Island that houses horses used to help people with special needs. The nonprofit organization lends two stalls to the city Parks Dept. to board horses. The grounds have an indoor rink and five miles of riding trails that allow 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...]

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...]

EMS Worker Killed in Ambulance Hijacking

March 17, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO An EMS worker was killed and another was injured on Thursday, March 16, as a 25-year-old man attempted to commandeer their ambulance. Emergency Medical Technicians Yadira Arroyo and Monique Williams were responding to a nighttime emergency call in the Soundview section of the Bronx, when someone on the street noticed a man riding on the back bumper of their ambulance and alerted the workers. When the Local 2507 members pulled over and confronted the man, he shoved them aside and took over their vehicle. The man knocked Williams to the ground, but put the ambulance in reverse and ran over Arroyo. The 14-year veteran and mother of five children was pronounced dead on Thursday evening at Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx. “An Emergency Medical Technician lost in the line of duty bravely doing her job and encountering the kind of danger EMTs should not have to [More...]

“Unions Fight for You. Non-union Workers Can be Dumped, No Questions Asked.”

March 12, 2017 // 0 Comments

I grew up just two blocks away from the American Museum of Natural History. It always amazed me that so many people would come from around the world to see the dinosaurs and exhibits of ancient cultures in the same neighborhood that my father’s local store stood in. When a friend of mine started working at the museum and told me about how great a place it was, I eagerly applied for a job there as well. That was 1967. Since then, for 50 years now, I have been a Supervising Attendant Guard and proud member of Local 1306. The union has been there for me since day one in so many ways. I’ve always seen people who are afraid of losing their jobs or struggling with paying for health insurance, and that’s something I’ve never worried about. I don’t know how anybody could raise a family here without the kind of amazing health benefits that I and my coworkers, who are also union [More...]

Local 372 Shop Stewards Get Fired Up at Training Conference

March 10, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO “Stay ready,” was the rallying cry at the weekend retreat for Local 372 shop stewards. The local’s president, Shaun D. Francois I, welcomed 154 shop stewards to the training sessions, which began on March 3 with a “State of the Local” address by Francois. Board of Education Employees Local 372 represents more than a dozen titles working in the public schools, including School Crossing Guards, Parent Coordinators, School Aides, Lunch Helpers. “As shop stewards, you play a critical role in our local,” said Francois in his opening remarks. He also expressed his concern with the new Republican administration in Washington and its anti-union views. “More than half of the states now are right-to-work states,” warned the local leader. States with right-to-work-laws pay lower wages, have higher rates of people not covered by health insurance and their [More...]