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Union’s Caribbean Heritage Starts Its Fifteenth Year

June 7, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS The union celebrated the history and heritage of people of the Caribbean diaspora June 3 at the annual Caribbean Heritage ribbon-cutting ceremony. “I am excited to mark the Committee’s 15th year at DC 37,” said Committee Chair and founder Carmen Charles, president of New York City Hospitals Employees Local 420. With lilting calypso and reggae played on steel drums in the background, the audience enjoyed traditional patties and sorrel, a beverage brewed from hibiscus flowers and herbs. They purveyed art and artifacts that traced the history of peoples stolen from Africa, enslaved as free labor on Caribbean sugar cane, banana, spice and cotton plantations from Antigua to Trinidad. Their story includes mass freedom revolts in Haiti, Jamaica and the Americas and includes the historic presidency of Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. Committee co-chair and [More...]

The Battle of the Badges Has Begun

June 5, 2019 // 0 Comments

It’s on! A 12-week weight loss competition among four city agencies, dubbed The NYC Battle of the Badges, began June 3. Team up with your coworkers now to compete against other agencies and WW (Weight Watchers® reimagined) will donate up to $20,000 to a charity chosen by the winning agency. The four uniformed agencies participating in NYC Battle of the Badges are the Dept. of Corrections (DOC), Sanitation (DSNY), Fire (FDNY), and Police (NYPD). Participation is free and voluntary. Teams should consist of 8 to 10 people. The more people who sign up, the bigger the jackpot. To build the jackpot, WW (Weight Watchers® reimagined) will contribute $5 for every participant and $15 more for each new or current WW member who participates. The agency with the greatest percentage of teams achieving the six (6) percent average weight-loss goal wins. NYC Battle of the Badges is administered [More...]

Organizing Leadership Summit

June 5, 2019 // 0 Comments

More than 100 DC 37 activists gathered early on Saturday morning, June 1 to harness the power of organizing during a day-long event held at union headquarters. Guest speakers, including political activist Kevin Powell and New York State Assemblywoman Diana Richardson, wowed the activists with their calls to “communicate, collaborate and commit.” Attendees explored best practices on such topics as enhancing one-on-one contact with digital organizing; learned about what’s at stake for New York in the upcoming 2020 census; and focused on developing future leaders in the labor movement. “At a time of so much national polarization and division, our goal was to put together a powerful day of engagement, education and empowerment,” said DC 37 Field Director Barbara Terrelonge. “In order to enhance members’ rights in the workplace, influence public policy on behalf of our [More...]

Union, Advocates Fight Against Cuts to Library Budgets

May 21, 2019 // 0 Comments

Facing possible cuts in the city budget, DC 37 leaders of locals representing public library employees took to the steps of City Hall May 21 with the heads of the city’s three library systems, elected officials and advocates to warn of a dramatic impact should funding to the library systems be reduced– including loss of weekend service, reduced programming and delayed revitalization projects. “Our public libraries are lifelines for NYC neighborhoods – and cutting their budgets would jeopardize hours and days of service. We urge City Hall to find a way to keep what amounts to less than half of 1 percent of the city’s overall budget,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. “Libraries are the great equalizers in our society, and the most-equipped vehicle to a fairer and stronger City,” said Queens Public Library President Dennis M. Walcott, “We need increased [More...]

Generating Revenue, Protecting Services: DC 37 Leads the Way in NYC Budget Fight

May 14, 2019 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE As the Mayor and the City Council negotiate next year’s budget, DC 37 leaders say New York City is losing millions of dollars in revenue by failing to invest fully in enforcement measures to safeguard its coffers. DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido and Local 1757 President Maria Policarpo have called on the city to reverse the decades-long reduction of staff responsible for tax assessments and property inspections. At a City Council budget hearing in March, Garrido noted the hazards of the current economic climate – issues with state aid, threats of reduced funding from the Trump administration – and urged lawmakers to take the steps required to generate more revenue. “We believe the root cause of this (lost revenue) problem is an undermanned workforce,” Garrido told the Council’s Finance Committee. “Millions of property tax dollars are left on the table by [More...]

Union Wins on New Full-Time Positions at H+H Facility

May 14, 2019 // 0 Comments

BY DIANE S. WILLIAMS In an ongoing fight to protect jobs and benefits, the union settled a group grievance to convert nine per diem, hourly and part-time workers at the Susan B. McKinney long-term care facility in Brooklyn to permanent, full-time positions. “These members were hired as part timers but management assigned extra hours and full time work schedules from day one without full time benefits or the opportunity to become full time NYC Health+Hospital employees,” said Local 420 President Carmen Charles, who represents the eight Patient Care Technicians and one Housekeeper the union filed the group claim for. “To add insult to injury,” Charles said, “McKinney management would hire new people off the street as full-time employees, without considering these workers who were already on staff.” “Many of the workers felt they were overlooked because the nursing director [More...]

Union to CUNY: Do the Right Thing, Pay Workers Now!

May 8, 2019 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE Workers at City University of New York are outraged that, despite having reached a quick economic agreement with the city in November 2018 and voting overwhelmingly to ratify that contract the following month, they have yet to receive their pay increase and retroactive pay. Citing unforeseen technical problems in their accounting systems, the university system has failed to issue checks that reflect the new terms of the contract. The union is pushing the university hard to resolve this issue, and union activists joined local presidents to speak out before CUNY’s Board of Trustees at LaGuardia Community College on April 30. “Our members our loyal employees who work hard. Way back in December we ratified a contract with you,” Local 2627 President Laura Morand told the trustees. “You have failed to keep up your end of the contract. Why must we wait so long to get what [More...]

NYC Labor History on Display

May 7, 2019 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE The story of New York’s labor movement is told by each new generation of workers and activists, adding voice to the chorus of a social and political movement that helped transform a city—and a nation. On May 1, International Workers Day, the Museum of the City of New York opened a new exhibit that focuses on this important, fascinating and on-going story. The exhibit: “City of Workers, City of Struggle: How Labor Movements Changed New York,” traces the history of organized labor in the city; from its beginnings with organizing in the early 1800s by local artisans, through the intense worker struggles of the 20th century to the inclusive, diverse movement that it has become. The exhibit includes a variety of artifacts and interactive displays to enhance the narrative. DC 37 is featured prominently in “City of Workers.” In particular, it highlights the role the [More...]

DC 37, 32BJ Endorse Monique Chandler-Waterman for City Council

May 6, 2019 // 0 Comments

  District Council 37 and 32BJ, two of New York City’s most politically active unions, recently announced their joint support of Monique Chandler-Waterman for City Council in the upcoming special election in Brooklyn’s 45th District on May 14. DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido and 32BJ President Hector Figueroa, issued the following statement last week: “Monique Chandler-Waterman is the clear choice to continue the work of (former City Council member) Jumaane Williams, who was elected NYC’s Public Advocate in February. “As a teacher, community advocate and organizer, Monique has long been at the forefront of working to overcome the challenges facing her community. The non-profit she started, East Flatbush Village, provides youth and community development services and is an impressive example of her longstanding commitment to justice and equity in Brooklyn. With [More...]

Union wins promotion, $12,000 pay hike and $8,000 in back pay for OCME scientist

May 1, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS The union helped a forensic scientist at the Office of the City Medical Examiner win over $8,000 in owed back pay, and a promotion with a $12,000 annual pay bump after settling an out-of-title grievance at Step 2. OCME managers assigned the Local 3005 Criminalist Level 3 supervisory duties of signing timesheets, preparing work orders, scheduling assignments and reviewing other Criminalists’ work. The member asked that PEP not print her name. OCME forensic scientists staff the country’s most advanced toxicology and biology laboratories and the nation’s only molecular genetics laboratory housed in a medical examiner’s office. The scientists upload DNA samples into CODIS, the combined index system of DNA samples that span local, state and federal databases. As experts in mass fatality management, they are called on to share their expertise in responding to [More...]