Three Free College Degree Programs for Local 372 Members

June 23, 2020 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS  DC 37’s helping Local 372 members with three unique degree programs the union has negotiated with Monroe College and LaGuardia College’s Food Service Management Program. “We have an incredible education benefit that allows members to earn degrees that when paired with their work experience, prepares them to move up the career ladder in the Dept. of Education and earn better salaries,” said Local 372 and DC 37 President Shaun D. Francois, I. Francois and Henry Garrido, DC 37’s executive director, along with the union’s Education Fund and Research and Negotiations Dept. are working to retain and improve this benefit that provides three different choices for members in qualifying Local 372 titles to earn a free college education. “Currently 20 Local 372 members are enrolled in the LaGuardia program and working towards their [More...]

Thinking of Becoming a U.S. Citizen? Your Union Can Help

June 19, 2020 // 0 Comments

The DC 37 Municipal Employees Legal Services (MELS), the Building Service 32BJ Legal Services Fund (Legal Fund) and CUNY Citizenship NOW are jointly presenting a seminar July 1 on free services the union offers to help members on the path to becoming a U.S. citizen and its many benefits. This seminar will cover how and when to file, what the requirements are, the many benefits of citizenship, and more. Our experts and legal professionals will also discuss the citizenship test and how to prepare for it, petitioning for relatives, DACA, TPS, green card renewals and more.  Learn how the Legal Fund, MELS, CUNY and the DC 37 Citizenship Committee can help. Join us on Zoom for the Benefits of Becoming a U.S. Citizen Seminar for information and answers to your questions. Date: Wednesday, July 1 Time: 6 p.m. Via: Zoom  REGISTER HERE. [More...]

Local 389: Home Care Aides on the Frontlines

June 2, 2020 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE Margaret Glover prays.  The president of Local 389, which represents 7,000 private sector home health care aides, worries about the clients she cares for, and her co-workers. “Oh my God, I don’t know how I feel. Some days are good for me and then some are bad,” Glover said. Home health care workers are among the many thousands of DC 37 members who work on the frontlines during the crisis. Because of their work providing in-home care services for people physically unable to care for themselves, they take on added risks during the pandemic. Many of the clients live alone, are elderly, or have medical conditions that make it impossible to live a normal life outside the confines of their homes. “We are often their family because we are there,” Glover said. “We do everything for them. We cook, clean, go with them to doctor appointments and all.” As always, her [More...]

MELS UPDATE: Replacing Lost Income, Short Term Disability, Public Assistance, Food Stamps, Workers’ Comp and Unemployment Insurance  

May 29, 2020 // 0 Comments

DC 37 Municipal Employees Legal Services, MELS, provides information on benefits members can access to replace lost income due to the coronavirus pandemic. DC 37 HEALTH AND SECURITY PLAN SHORT TERM DISABILITY Members who are unable to continue working because of illness or disability may be eligible for short term disability, public assistance and food stamps. The weekly disability benefit available through H&S for Full Time workers is 66.2/3 of their salary, up to a maximum of $200 per week for a maximum period of 26 weeks, but no longer than a member remains totally disabled. The weekly disability benefit available through H&S for Part Time workers is 66 2/3 of their salary, up to a maximum of $98 per week for a maximum period of 13 weeks, but no longer than a member remains totally disabled. Members may apply for short term disability benefits by completing the online [More...]

PSU Offers Grief and Bereavement Counseling

May 20, 2020 // 0 Comments

During COVID-19, people are experiencing many losses, including the death of loved ones, the loss of health, freedoms, and routines. Many are experiencing cumulative grief due to so many losses occurring consecutively. Any of these losses can trigger a range of emotions that individuals may experience. These emotions are also referred to as The Stages of Grief.  Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance are commonly seen within The Stages of Grief. Everyone has their own emotional timeline and experiences grief differently due to personal experiences. COVID-19 deaths are particularly challenging, as these deaths are more sudden and unexpected. During this time, those grieving do not have traditional grief rituals and goodbye ceremonies. Reaching out to others, writing a goodbye letter and speaking to a professional counselor are helpful coping mechanisms. During COVID-19 the [More...]

Debts and the Deceased

May 18, 2020 // 0 Comments

The DC 37 Muncipal Employees Legal Services (MELS) answers your questions about the debts of deceased loved ones, especially during this coronavirus pandemic.  Am I responsible for paying off the debts of a deceased relative?  Generally, the answer is, no. Responsibility for a deceased relative’s outstanding obligation is not automatically transferred to a surviving relative.  Are debts extinguished when the debtor dies?  No. Outstanding debts remain active. Payment of the debts becomes the responsibility of the decedent’s estate. If there are no assets in the estate, meaning the decedent left behind nothing of value with which to pay outstanding obligations, the obligations often go unpaid.  Can I, as a surviving relative, ever be held responsible for the deceased’s outstanding debts?  Yes. There are circumstances under which a surviving relative can be held responsible for [More...]

MELS UPDATE: COVID-19 Eviction Protection and Rent Hardship

May 12, 2020 // 0 Comments

DC 37’s Municipal Employees Legal Services (MELS) is here to help members with housing and rent hardship needs. Although New York City remains on pause through at least May 15, 2020 and Courthouses remain closed, the Office of Court Administration is accepting emergency applications where there has been an eviction, illegal lockout, interruption in essential services or emergency conditions that need repair. Contact MELS at (212) 815-1111 or email if you need emergency relief from the Housing Court or would like to speak with an attorney about a housing or rent hardship matter. ● Executive Order No. 202.8, signed on March 20, 2020, bars all evictions and foreclosures in New York State through June 18, 2020. ● Executive Order No. 202.28, signed on May 7, 2020, allows tenants impacted by COVID-19 to temporarily use their security deposit toward their rent [More...]

Is NOW the Right Time to Refinance? MEHP Can Help

May 11, 2020 // 0 Comments

The DC 37 Municipal Employees Housing Program staff and its mortgage consultants can help you make an informed decision. Mortgage interest rates can change almost daily, and significant swings can occur from one day to the next. And particularly in our geographic area, where homes are heavily financed, even small changes in interest rates can have a significant impact on a homeowner’s budget. Although many analysts have been predicting dramatic lows in interest rates in the months to come, others are cautioning against anticipated peaks and rate increases as government relief begins to flow through our economy. And given the recent economic slowdown and record unemployment figures, some economists are predicting a significant decline in property values in the coming months. With so much uncertainty from one day to the next, knowing if and when to make a move on refinancing your home [More...]

Spring 2020 DC 37 Education Fund Free Training and Benefits

May 6, 2020 // 0 Comments

Tuition Reimbursement: As DC 37 resumes its Tuition Reimbursement program, we thank you for bearing with us as we streamline the application process. There may be longer than usual processing time required. Thank you for your patience. Members should continue to mail in their completed reimbursement applications and supporting documents to: DC 37 Education Fund Attn: Tuition Refund 75 Broad Street, Suite 2204 New York, NY 10004 ### CUNY Counseling is here for you! While much has changed, Worker Education at the CUNY School of Labor & Urban Studies (SLU) helps you reach your career and academic goals. CUNY-SLU’s experienced advisors are available for one-on-one phone sessions on: Academic requirements for specific jobs; Choosing a CUNY campus and major; Applying to and financing a CUNY degree; Certificate and non-credit options at CUNY, and Transferring previous credits, and [More...]

PSU Help for Victims of Domestic Violence

April 28, 2020 // 0 Comments

Domestic Violence. As you have seen on the news, as a result of COVID-19 and being advised to stay in our homes, there is a genuine public concern about a rise in domestic violence.  The Personal Service Unit (PSU) of DC37’s Health and Security Plan would like to provide the following information and resources to you if you are victim of domestic violence or know someone who is in this situation. You do not have to tolerate emotional or physical abuse. If you are in a situation where your partner becomes agitated, do not engage. Give the person space and walk away in order to keep yourself safe. Keep a list of trusted persons to contact if you feel unsafe and need to leave right away.  Have an emergency bag ready with essential belongings and important documents. Keep it in an easily accessible place. Keep important contacts and hotlines numbers saved in your cellphone. Pack a [More...]