LOCALS

Long-time Urban Park Rangers Win Big Raises in New Contract

September 13, 2019 // 1 Comment

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Urban Park Rangers and Associate Urban Park Rangers overwhelmingly approved a new contract that will boost their salaries by nearly 7.5 percent over 49 months. For veteran workers with at least 20 years of experience in the covered titles represented by Local 983, the increase will ultimately bring home more than $9,000 over the duration of the contract. Significantly, the contract also adds three new recurring increment payments (RIPs) to the local’s contract. The old contract included such hikes at the fifth, tenth and fifteenth year of employment. The new agreement calls for additional hikes at three years ($241), seven years ($603) and 20 years ($5,529). “With these RIPs, we are essentially creating a step-pay plan that guarantees our members receive pay increases outside of our regular salary hikes,” Local 983 President Joe Puleo said. “The RIPs are a [More...]

De Blasio Seeks Local Legislation to Provide Health Insurance to Spouses and Partners of all City Workers Who Die from 9/11 Ilnesses

September 11, 2019 // 0 Comments

Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced his support for local legislation to provide health insurance for the survivors of all city employees fatally stricken by 9/11 illnesses. Currently, coverage is limited to the surviving spouses and domestic partners of police officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians and higher-ranking employees in those titles who died during their active service or in retirement. This legislation would close a gap in current law so that all city employees who die of a 9/11 illness are treated the same. “On our city’s darkest day, thousands of city employees answered the call,” de Basio said. “They didn’t hesitate. We need to be there for their families, now and always.” About 5,000 employees across several city agencies and in various titles could be covered by this legislation over time.  This population represents city [More...]

UNION STRONG, UNION PROUD: Labor Day Parade 2019

September 9, 2019 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE Thousands of union members and supporters marched up Fifth Avenue Sept. 7 to show the world that they are working together to build worker power in New York York City. Throughout the day, midtown Manhattan thundered with the sounds of labor unity and activism. DC 37 members filled 48th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues. for more than two hours before marching behind a banner that declared, “Never Quit!” Bolstered by the recent, historic unification of DC 1707’s private sector workers and DC 37’s public employees, members chanted, danced and celebrated worker pride. Led by Executive Director Henry Garrido, DC 37 marched as a single mass, a defiant force showing its enhanced power. In what has become a tradition in recent years, members took the opportunity to boo loudly as they passed Trump Tower. More than a dozen elected officials stopped by in solidarity to pay [More...]

Union-backed Bill Aims to Speed Up Approval of 9/11 Pension Disability Claims

June 21, 2019 // 1 Comment

By RUDY OROZCO The state Legislature on Tuesday approved union-backed legislation that seeks to speed up the approval of disability pension applications of 9/11 rescue and recovery workers. The bill, sponsored by Assembly member Stacey Pheffer Amato and state Sen. Andrew Gounardes, would increase the number of physicians who review the applications for the York City Employees’ Retirement System (NYCERS). “Today our heroic 9/11 rescue and recovery workers breathe a sigh of relief because of this important step taken by the state Legislature,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido, shortly after legislators voted on the bill. “The increase in the number of physicians will help end the long waiting periods that these workers had to endure while their cases were under review.” Oren Barzilay, president of Uniformed EMT’s, Paramedics and Fire Inspectors Local 2507, [More...]

EMS Locals Demand Action on Assaults on First Responders

March 22, 2019 // 0 Comments

As DC 37’s Emergency Medical Services unions continue to push City Hall to remedy the pay gap between their members and other first responders, union leaders are raising concerns about the growing number of assaults on the rank-and-file. According to NYC Fire Department statistics, the number of physical assaults on EMS workers increased by nearly 50 percent between 2015 and 2018. Testifying before a City Council hearing in February, Uniformed EMTs and Paramedics Local 2507 President Oren Barzilay warned that official data could understate the scope of the problem. “Many of our members don’t report assaults because of a lack of action by the Fire Department, the Police Department, and the District Attorneys,” he said. “It builds on a tradition of inaction.” New Yorkers were shocked and saddened in March 2017 when EMT Yadira Arroyo was killed by an assailant in the Bronx. [More...]

A Generation Rises at Women’s Leadership Graduation

February 28, 2019 // 1 Comment

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS With a packed audience of family and mentors to cheer them on, the Woman’s Leadership Academy graduated a diverse group of 17 working women from a dozen locals, DC 37’s first class of future labor leaders, at a Feb. 23 ceremony celebrating the milestone event. “One hundred women in Congress, the Women’s marches, and now you graduates are poised for leadership– these are exciting times for women!” said Executive Director Henry Garrido. “Leadership means fighting for what you believe to be right. This union is leading the way fighting for better pay, for funding for libraries, for public hospitals and vital public services.” Garrido along with Education Fund Administrator Diallo Shabazz brought the AFSCME women’s leadership training to DC 37 in 2018. Chosen from dozens of applicants, the 17 WLA participants enrolled in an intensive six-month [More...]

Locals Lead Parks Urban Forestry Summit

February 27, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Two local presidents were among an international group of arborists and urban forestry experts at the Dept. of Parks and Recreation Forestry Summit, held in Queens in February. Mike Zeno, president of Local 1508 Uniformed Park Officers, and Ibn Mann, president of Local 1506 NYC Climbers and Pruners, coordinated the seminar that focused on tree care and maintenance. “There is more to forestry than cutting down trees,” said Zeno. “Our work includes planting, retaining natural resources, preventing soil erosion, caring for trees planted along city sidewalks, pruning and tree removal and more.” Most New Yorkers live within a 10-minute walk of a public park or urban forest. New York City Parks oversee MillionTreesNYC, a 10-year long-term sustainability plan to plant 1 million trees by 2017. The project was completed in 2015, two years ahead of schedule. The [More...]

Rise Up and Become a Union Activist

February 27, 2019 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE Stand up, get involved and organize! Starting on March 12, the DC 37 Organizing Dept. begins a series of activist trainings at DC 37 Union Headquarters, in Room 2. These intensive two-part sessions will be held from March to June. These sessions will offer valuable tools and advice for participants to work in strengthening DC 37’s collective voice and to equip members with the necessary knowledge to move our union forward together. In the year ahead, the union faces many challenges, and it is critical for DC 37 members and retirees to become leaders at the workplace and in their communities. “These activist trainings are part of an effort to strengthen the union from the grassroots,” said Barbara Terrelonge, director of the DC 37 Organizing Dept. “With more active members, our union will be stronger, whether that involves our involvement in a contract fight, [More...]

Union Celebrates African American Heritage

February 13, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS This month’s ongoing celebration honoring African American pride and purpose continues to attract hundreds of DC 37 members and retirees to its 38th annual Black History Month events. In addition to local events at union headquarters tonight, next week  there will be events on Feb. 21 and 22. Black History Committee Chair Deborah Pitts, who is also DC 37’s Secretary, and Local 1113 will host Finale Night on Feb. 28. “This is the time of year we come together to celebrate African Americans as a people and share our heritage and culture,” said Pitts, the union’s Secretary and president of Local 1113. To kick off the union’s Black heritage month there was a ribbon-cutting opening ceremony Feb. 1 led by Pitts, Associate Director Oliver Gray and Treasurer Mah Misbah Uddin, who is also president of Local 1407. Afterwards, hundreds of SSEU Local 371 [More...]

Union Helps Homeless Member Start Over

February 11, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Morris Johnson lived in two rooms in a rambling old house he shared with longtime friends that he considered family. “We lived like close family. I paid my $550 rent every month,” said Johnson, a Local 420 Institutional Aide since 2005. The house where Johnson lived was in an East New York neighborhood bordered by elevated train lines, just down the hill from the Jackie Robinson Parkway and Brooklyn’s Evergreen Cemetery. It was Johnson’s home for more than a decade. Until it wasn’t. “I’m blindsided,” said Johnson, 65, who bikes to work each day at the Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene in Long Island City. “I came home to find the sheriff locked the house. The family– a mother and her three grown children — cut out,” Johnson said. In January the house was foreclosed, and seized by the bank. “They never said a word to me about their [More...]