LOCALS

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...]

Local 372 Backs Mayor’s Plan to Hire 300 New School Crossing Guards and Supervisors

February 6, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO For three straight years New York City has seen a reduction in traffic fatalities, with 2016 being the safest-ever. Aiming to make sure accidents continue to drop, Mayor Bill de Blasio has included $400 million in the proposed 2018 budget for the Vision Zero traffic enforcement program. The funds will used to improve street designs, lighting and add 300 School Crossing Guards. De Blasio’s new budget will allow for the hiring of 100 School Crossing Guard supervisors and 200 additional part-time School Crossing Guards. With these additional positions, all schools will now have a School Crossing Guard. A mobile replacement squad will also be created to make sure schools are covered in the event a SCG is absent on a particular day. “Every school now will have a School Crossing Guard assigned to them, this is what we have been fighting for the last couple of [More...]

Union Members Set a Record for Handling 311 Calls in 2016

February 3, 2017 // 0 Comments

By JOSEPH LOPEZ New Yorkers in need of vital information contacted 311 nearly 36 million times in 2016, setting a new record for the service’s handling of calls. Call Center Representatives–members of NYC Clerical-Administrative Employees Local 1549–played an important role in providing this service. Thanks to DC 37’s recent agreement with the city to move away from using private contractors at 311, the jobs of the workers are no longer threatened, and they continue to provide the best quality experience possible. “The job is fast-paced and changes with the climate of the city,” said Brunetta Tanner, chair of the Local 1549 chapter that represents 311 operators. “I’ve been doing this for 13 years, so I know the system well and often know the answers to questions before the person even finishes asking it,” she said. New Yorkers call 311 about everything from how [More...]

DC 37 Approves Tentative Contract Extension to Help Stabilize Financially-Squeezed Drug Benefit

January 27, 2017 // 0 Comments

  By GREGORY N. HEIRES DC 37 and the city agreed to a contract extension that allows the union to pour millions of dollars into its financially pinched prescription drug benefit. The agreement, reached Jan. 12, calls for extending the union’s 2010-17 contract by two months and 23 days. Savings achieved through the extension will significantly help the union address the budget gap at the DC 37 Health & Security Plan, which provides the drug and other benefits. The agreement will help reduce the shortfall by requiring the city to permanently increase its annual welfare fund contribution to the DC 37 Health & Security Plan by $200 for each full-time worker and retiree. That will generate $24 million in new funding for the plan. Under union rules, the agreement must be sent to DC 37’s 100,000 members covered by the current contract for a vote. Mail ballots will be sent out [More...]

Activists Send Trump a Message at Women’s March on Washington

January 25, 2017 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Answering a groundswell call to action, DC 37 activists joined hundreds of thousands of pink-hatted protesters at the Women’s March on Washington, D.C. on Jan. 21, the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration. The march was the largest ever in the United States, drawing over 500,000 people in Washington and 3.3 million around the country. Hundreds of thousands gathered in Manhattan and in 500 cities from Boston to Honolulu, and on all seven continents. “This historic Women’s March advances human rights for all and dignity and equality for women, minorities and immigrants,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. “We are vigilant and we are watching Trump and his cabinet to ensure that our freedoms, rights and protections are not eroded or violated.” Women came from across the nation to the capital and sister rallies were held in Paris, France, [More...]