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Remembering Dr. King

January 15, 2020 // 0 Comments

BY DIANE S. WILLIAMS On the 91st anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birth January 15, we reflect on his life’s pursuit of liberty, justice, equality for all and service to others. Dr. King’s life was cut short in 1968 at the age of 39 in Memphis, Tennessee. At the invitation of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME, DC 37’s national union), Dr. King traveled to support Black sanitation workers who were striking for fair wages, safe working conditions and the right to belong to a union. AFSCME pressed Dr. King to speak to Local 1733 members who daily bore humiliations and earned poverty wages. The last speech he ever gave, in which he famously declared that he had “been to the mountaintop,” was to the striking workers at the Mason Temple in Memphis. He embraced labor’s cause as a microcosm of the struggles his upcoming Poor [More...]

2020: The Year Ahead

December 23, 2019 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO A union’s power depends on the ability to grow and the flexibility to change. 2019 was a year of tremendous growth and change within District Council 37. With the addition of nearly 25,000 non-profit, care workers from the former DC 1707, our union now has a broader scope and the potential to organize more New Yorkers in both the public and private sectors. The benefits of unification quickly became apparent when we negotiated historic pay increases for members who are early childhood educators at community-based programs in an agreement that put them on the path to parity with their counterparts at the Department of Education. But numbers alone do not reveal a union’s strength, and strength alone does not reveal a union’s character. In 2019, we aimed to stay true to our mission of defending members and making our city more livable for all New Yorkers by: helping [More...]

A Winter Wonderland in a Corner of Queens

December 14, 2019 // 0 Comments

Every winter, Mike Giglio, a retired Local 376 Construction Laborer, decorates his home for the holidays to create a winter wonderland at 102-24 Rau Court in Hamilton Beach near 102 Street, near Howard Beach in Queens. “I’ve been doing this for about 37 years,” said Giglio. Since retiring in July, he relies on friends to help starting Nov. 1 to build the holiday display. “As a kid I begged my dad to put lights on our house in Richmond Hill so Santa would find us,” he said. Now in his 60s, Giglio looks back at the attraction he’s built that has drawn celebrities like piano man Billy Joel and his daughter, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and local families. At one point, just like the Rockettes at Radio City Musical Hall, the exhibit featured high kicking dancers from a local studio. He said, “It was magnificent.” Giglio said in 2012 Superstorm Sandy destroyed [More...]

DC 37 and SEIU 32BJ Join Forces to Demand Accountability from Private Hospitals

December 13, 2019 // 0 Comments

Scores of members from DC 37 AFSCME and SEIU 32BJ, two of the city’s largest unions, attended a packed City Council hearing Dec 12 where leaders and representatives testified about runaway charges in NYC’s largest private hospitals. The unions presented testimony on the effects of skyrocketing costs for health care and asked the City Council to take action to curb practices by hospitals and health care providers that unreasonably ratchet up costs for needed care. “The single factor that’s had the most profound, negative impact on healthcare coverage in NYC is the cost of in- and out-patient care provided by the City’s non-profit, private hospitals,” said District Council 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. “DC 37 and our brother and sister unions that make up the Municipal Labor Committee are doing our part to reduce hospital bills with changes in the design of our health [More...]

The DC 37 Political Endorsement Process: How It Works

December 13, 2019 // 0 Comments

District Council 37 is proud to support labor-friendly candidates committed to protecting workers rights and advancing the social and economic rights of all New Yorkers. A District Council 37 (DC 37) endorsement is more than a stamp of approval; it is a commitment of time, resources, and mutual support. To receive an endorsement, our members must be confident that you share our values of economic and social justice for all, as well as a commitment to continue the work of making our government the force necessary to improve the lives of all New Yorkers. DC 37 will not endorse in every race, but we invite all candidates seeking elected office to contact our Political Action Department. DC 37’s leadership and Delegates have outlined a process that all candidates must adhere to in order to be considered for endorsement. Contact Us – Contact the Political Action Department at [More...]

Local 1559 Members Win Promotions and Pay Hike at American Museum of Natural History

December 6, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS DC 37 resolved pay disputes and retention issues for three members of Local 1559 after the management of the American Museum of Natural History agreed to promote the Preparators and pay them $27,000 collectively. As a result of a series of labor management meetings, the museum promoted one Preparator to Sr. Principal Preparator and raised his salary by $6,000, while two other Preparators were promoted to Principal Preparators and received salary increases of $12,000 and $9,000. “These members love their jobs but with starting salaries of just $34,800 a year for Preparators, the museum pays far less than the industry standard,” said DC 37 White Collar Division Council Rep Amena Black. Senior Preparator Jason Brougham helped organize the group and even penned a letter to a sympathetic museum board member outlining the workers’ concerns. “The letter persuaded [More...]

Union Secretary, New Executive Board Members Elected

December 2, 2019 // 1 Comment

By GREGORY N. HEIRES On Nov. 26 DC 37 delegates elected John Hyslop, the president of Queens Library Guild Local 1321, as the new secretary of the union. At their monthly meeting, the delegates also voted to fill two vacancies on the DC 37 Executive Board. The delegates chose Franklyn “Bubba” Page, the longtime president of Lifeguards Local 461, and Rawle Campbell, president of Metropolitan Museum of Art Local 1503, to serve in those posts, which are reserved for representatives from local unions whose members constitute less than 5 percent of the of the union’s total membership. Hyslop replaces Deborah Pitts, president of Finance Administrative Employees and City Investigators Local 1113, who stepped down earlier this year. Until his election on Tuesday, Hyslop was serving as the union’s secretary on an interim basis. At the delegates meeting, Hyslop – whose professional [More...]

Historic disability rights victory creates hundreds of DOT jobs

November 27, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS In recognition of his fight for the rights of disabled New Yorkers that has led to the installation and maintenance of thousands of curb ramps throughout the city, DC 37 Local 983 recently honored Joseph V. Stulberg, a resident of Henry J. Carter long-term care facility in Harlem. Stulberg inspired the 1994 class action lawsuit against New York City to enforce compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, which was settled in federal court on July 23, 2019. “We moved to Brooklyn but whenever my son Joe left the house in his wheelchair he was landlocked. He could not leave our block. It was impossible to get his wheelchair off and on the curb,” said Michelle Green, an associate director in the union’s Research and Negotiations Dept. Her husband, attorney Robert Stulberg, led the case for his son and Eastern Paralyzed Veterans Association (now the United [More...]

New Safety and Health Director a Fearless Advocate for Members

November 26, 2019 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE Deborah Williams, the new director of the DC 37 Safety & Health Dept., learned early in her career that stepping up and taking risks can be essential to effective advocacy. She has dedicated herself to ensuring the health and workplace safety of public sector workers – as an employee, activist and advocate – for more than 30 years. Before joining the staff of DC 37, Williams was the Health and Safety Coordinator/Director for SSEU Local 371. While there, she was also a force behind creating the Charles H. Ensley Scholarship Fund, in honor of the late labor activist and former Local president. It all began when Williams chose to speak out. While a HRA Caseworker at the Waverly Center in Manhattan in the 1990s, Williams decided to stand up for her clients when the city was threatening to privatize an HRA homecare services program. Certain that the proposed privatization [More...]

Labor Counts! The 2020 Census Begins Soon

November 21, 2019 // 1 Comment

By MIKE LEE Make sure you’re counted. Millions of dollars and adequate political representation are at stake for New York City in the upcoming 2020 Census. “It is not an overstatement to say that the single most important issue that will effect the city’s future for the next 10 years is the Census,” says Julie Menin, the director of NYC Census 2020, a newly-created office to encourage participation by city residents. She notes that in the 2010 Census, New York’s response rate was only 62 percent and more than a million children weren’t counted. That cost the state two congressional seats and much-needed funding for public services. DC 37 is working with labor unions and community groups to ensure that all New Yorkers are counted in the upcoming Census, which will begin next March. As part of that effort, we will be getting the word out to members at upcoming general [More...]