LOCALS

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...]

Court Workers Rave about Recess Training

January 16, 2017 // 0 Comments

By DIANE WILLIAMS More than 170 Court Reporters, Interpreters and Clericals in Local 1070 rebooted their skills at a two-day court recess training at DC 37 headquarters in lower Manhattan on Dec. 28 and 29. After Local 1070 and the Unified Court System agreed to extend the benefit beyond the expired contract, they agreed to open the training sessions to state employees who were mandated to use comp time or annual leave during the courts’ December recess. “The turnout was great and we heard from legal professionals on a range of topics our members encounter every day on the job,” said President Fausto Sabatino. “We even brought in a presenter our members wanted to hear from again—back by popular demand.” The training highlights included sessions led by Sandra Bryan, retired state coordinator of Court Interpreters. Court Interpreters Lionel Bajana, Ricardo Fernandez, and [More...]

Local 1455 Members Prepare the Street Guide for Runners in the New York City Marathon

November 8, 2016 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Days before an international crowd gathers to run the race, Dept. of Transportation night crews hit the road to mark the course that guides runners safely through city streets for the annual New York City Marathon, Sunday, Nov. 6. Crews of Local 1455 Traffic Device Maintainers work with the New York City Road Runners Club and the city Dept. of Parks and Recreation to paint the street line of the world-famous 26.2-mile foot race. The thin blue line points runners to the finish. “We have about a dozen TDMs assigned to paint the New York City Marathon line,” said President Mike DeMarco. “Streets are full of traffic the nights we’re working and the crews are moving along at about 20 miles an hour. We make sure impatient drivers don’t cut us off. This assignment coordinates TDMs in advance trucks and the night-liner spray truck to hit all five boroughs until [More...]

Union Speaks Out Against Scapegoating of Child Protective Workers

November 8, 2016 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE SSEU Local 371 is pushing back on the scapegoating of Child Protective Services workers surrounding the tragic case of a 6-year-old boy whose death at home was ruled a homicide. Union leaders and social services workers spoke out on behalf of the Child Protective Services workers at a City Council hearing at City Hall on Oct. 31. The testimony before the council’s Committee on General Welfare followed an often contentious grilling of city Administration for Children’s Services officials by committee members, including Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, and Public Advocate Letitia James. The hearings focused on accountability and reforms in the aftermath of the death of Zymere Perkins. Perkins, 6 years old, was found dead in his home in September. The New York City Medical Examiner’s office ruled his death resulted from child abuse. Several CPS workers, supervisors [More...]

Local 372 Pays Respect to Hempstead School Crossing Guard Killed by a Speeding Truck

November 7, 2016 // 0 Comments

Local 372 School Crossing Guards attended the memorial service for Hempstead, Long Island, School Crossing Guard Virginia Leviner, who died on the job on Oct. 28 after being hit by a speeding 14-wheeler truck. Known to the community where she worked as “Miss Carol,” she was struck at the intersection of South Franklin and Groove streets in Hempstead while performing her job to protect schoolchildren crossing the street. Leviner, 67, worked at the intersection for 28 years. The service was held Nov. 3 at Antioch Baptist Church in Hempstead. “It was important for us to go to Long Island and pay our respects to Miss Carol and her family,” said Local 372 President Shaun D. Francois I. “This is a reminder of how dangerous this job can [More...]

Chaplains Win a Step-Pay Plan in New Deal

October 11, 2016 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Local 299 successfully negotiated with the city to use the additional compensation fund – established under the 2010-17 contract – to improve the step-pay plan of nearly 100 Chaplains. In parallel discussions, the union won a one-time 8 percent raise above the annual contractual hikes for supervising Chaplains, who will soon have a new civil service title. Until now, Chaplains who took on supervisory duties were promoted to an in-house title that reflected their additional responsibilities but without providing extra pay. “The lack of recognition of our Administrative Chaplains has been a long-standing sore point that the union and management were never able to fix,” Local 299 President Jackie Rowe-Adams said. “The positive tone of negotiations over the additional compensation created a climate that allowed us to finally resolve this [More...]

“We are proud of what we do. We have seen the water get so much cleaner since the ’70s.”

September 1, 2016 // 0 Comments

William Edgar, Captain, Marine Workers Local 2906 Photo: Clarence Elie-Rivera I love the water. I grew up in the Bronx near Throggs Neck. There was a private beach with a lifeguard and teenagers used to all have boats. My father and I fished on the grounds of SUNY Maritime College, where I ended up majoring in meteorology and oceanography. I started working at the Dept. of Environmental Protection on Feb. 29, 1988. Getting a job with the city was one of the best things you could do at the time. I have a very good job working in the harbor. I came in as a Mariner and worked my way up to 3rd Mate and was promoted to Captain. The Captain is responsible for the whole ship. I pilot the ship. I work with some very great people. The crew has a Captain, a Mate, two Mariners, a Chief Engineer and an Assistant Engineer. We all get along well. There are five ships in service. Being able to [More...]