ABOUT DC 37

Agreement protects cultural workers pensions

September 1, 2016 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES The union reached a tentative agreement that protects the pensions of DC 37 members working at cultural institutions and other workers who are employed at day-care centers. On Aug. 11, DC 37 concluded talks on the five-year agreement with the employers’ representatives, the Cultural Institutions Group and the Day Care Council of New York, after months of tough negotiations to find a way to preserve the Cultural Institutions Retirement System (CIRS). “The members of our bargaining committee made the hard choices and took the responsible actions needed to protect our hard-won benefits for current employees and to preserve our pension benefits into the future,” DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido said. The agreement will maintain the benefits of the 9,000 current employees, including 1,200 DC 37 members enrolled in the pension system. They will still be able [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...]

Annual Housing Fair–Own or Rent?

August 30, 2016 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Over 1,000 union members found the key to homeownership at DC 37’s annual housing fair July 30, where a dozen housing experts were on hand to share advice on the ABCs of affordable housing. “The turnout and success of this fair and of the Municipal Employees Housing Program is impressive,” said Robert Ajaye, DC 37 Housing Committee chair and president of Local 2627. “To date we have helped members obtain over $100 million in mortgages. Not one person has been foreclosed on, which speaks to the program’s success.” The program offers financial counseling to help members qualify for loans and grants to buy one-to four-family homes and apartments in New York City and surrounding counties. The daylong affordable housing fair is a one-stop shopping opportunity for union members looking to buy into the American Dream of homeownership. Members met realtors, [More...]

Agreement Protects Pensions of Workers at Cultural Institutions

August 29, 2016 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES The union reached a tentative agreement that protects the pensions of DC 37 members working at cultural institutions and other workers who are employed at day-care centers. On Aug. 11, DC 37 concluded talks on the five-year agreement with the employers’ representatives, the Cultural Institutions Group and the Day Care Council of New York, after months of tough negotiations to find a way to preserve the Cultural Institutions Retirement System (CIRS). “The members of our bargaining committee made the hard choices and took the responsible actions needed to protect our hard-won benefits for current employees and to preserve our pension benefits into the future,” DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido said. The agreement will maintain the benefits of the 9,000 current employees, including 1,200 DC 37 members enrolled in the pension system. They will still be able [More...]

A Citizen Soldier and Dedicated Public Employee

August 9, 2016 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS To give back to his Harlem community, Corey J. Garrett Sr. a Local 1505 City Parks Worker and crew chief, mentors neighborhood kids, registers voters and is a citizen soldier with the New York State Guard, where he has served as an army command sergeant major, the highest enlisted rank, for two decades. In June, New York State Assembly member Keith Wright and members of the City Council chose Garrett, a New York County Democratic Committee member, for the 2016 Harlem Men of Distinction award. “I was surprised and speechless,” said the former U.S. Marine. “I reread the letter five times.” Helping others is a way of life for Garrett, who enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps at 18, then joined the U.S. Army. Local politicians recognized Garrett’s volunteerism and outstanding spirit—semper fi—the Marine motto, always faithful. As a mentor with the Harlem [More...]

DC 37 Executive Director and Local 371 President Elected to Serve on National Union’s Board

August 3, 2016 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS The District Council 37 delegate body unanimously elected DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido and Social Service Employees Union Local 371 President Anthony Wells international vice presidents of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees at the 42nd AFSCME Convention last month. AFSCME international vice presidents (IVPs) determine the union’s agenda,  policies and procedures, and they weigh in on major national issues, such as privatization, fair taxes, health care and pensions affecting 1.6 million members and retirees that AFSCME represents in more than 3,400 local unions and 58 councils and affiliates in 46 states, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico. “I am deeply appreciative of the tremendous confidence the DC 37 delegates have placed in me and the unity they have shown. Now let’s go and get work done!” said Garrido. Union [More...]

Housing Program Makes DC 37 “The Best Union Ever!”

July 21, 2016 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS “I was tired of renting an apartment that only made the rich richer, while I kept getting poorer,” said School Coordinator Robert Cameron. The Local 372 member didn’t think he could ever afford to buy, though he read in the Public Employee Press stories about union members who did. “I would daydream that one day I’d own,” said the 30-year Dept. of Education veteran. “But I don’t make a $90,000 or $100,000 a year salary.” “At an MEHP seminar, I heard the director Ruth Pena say, ‘Ownership is possible. I am here to help,’ I knew she was talking to me,” Cameron said. “Ms. Pena walked me through the process step by step. The union’s broad range of services helped me in so many ways. They calculated what I could afford and helped me stick to a budget.” Cameron attended a union housing fair and met MEHP representatives, along with dozens of [More...]

The Night Shift

July 12, 2016 // 0 Comments

Lt. Frank Borello, EMS Lieutenant Local 3621 Photo: Clarence Elie-Rivera I would tell any person considering a career with Emergency Medical Services that it’s a great job because you have an opportunity to impact someone’s life in a positive way. I’ve helped deliver 13 babies, intervened with people having cardiac arrest and diabetic emergencies. It’s such a rewarding experience. One time a man was having a massive stroke. He couldn’t move the right side of his body and was having trouble speaking. He was combative and in denial. But that happens often. People have the right to make that decision and refuse to be taken to the hospital. It’s unpredictable what might happen when you show up. But his wife was with him, so she convinced him to let us take him to the hospital. He’s a business owner and one of his employees noticed he was acting strange and called 911. I spent [More...]

The Night Shift

July 11, 2016 // 0 Comments

Leslie Hurd, Computer Associate Level 3 Local 2627 Photo: Clarence Elie-Rivera I started working for the hospital system in 1978 at the central office in Manhattan. It was a good time to get the job. My kids were young, and working at night made it easier for me to help my wife. I still work for the central office, but I am now at its corporate data center at Jacobi Hospital in the Bronx. They were setting up the computer system at the time I came to work here. We had to teach the staff how to use the computer to input patient information and discharge them. Everything prior to that was done manually. We take care of the payroll system and we also do W-2 cards. We process and print the paychecks, which are sent downtown to be sorted out. You are talking about close to 30,000 checks! We have used the same IBM 4000 mainframe for 30 years. It’s obsolete. We are always the last to [More...]

The Night Shift

July 9, 2016 // 0 Comments

Denise Figueroa, Interpreter Local 1070 Photo: Clarence Elie-Rivera As a Night Court Interpreter in Bronx County Criminal Court Arraignments. I translate for persons of interest who have a language barrier so they understand the system. For nearly 28 years, I’ve been the link between the justice system and non-English speaking litigants. Since 2012, I’ve worked in Night Court — each borough has one. As a Spanish Interpreter, I assist by translating for people arrested for domestic violence, jumping the subway turnstile, traffic infractions, homicide, and other crimes. They must be arraigned within 24 hours. I don’t just assist arrested people; I translate for their family members, the police, Corrections Officers, the district attorney, lawyers, court officers, court reporters, clerks and the judge. My work helps them understand court proceedings, search warrants, orders of [More...]