BENEFITS

Top National Honors for NYC Public Hospitals and Their Hardworking Employees

August 13, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS In August, the American Heart Association gave high achievement awards to all 11 NYC Health + Hospitals facilities for implementing AHA’s national standards to achieve healthier outcomes for heart failure and stroke patients. Some 18,000 DC 37 members work at NYC H+H, the nation’s largest public hospital system. They are committed to giving quality care to the one million patients treated each year. Also this summer, U.S. News & World Report named seven New York City public hospitals as high performing in their 2019-2020 Best Hospital issue, which compares outcomes at 4,500 medical facilities nationwide in 16 specialty areas. The study helps patients and their doctors make better informed medical care choices. The high performing H+H hospitals for heart failure are: Bellevue, Coney Island, Harlem, Jacobi, Kings County, Lincoln and Elmhurst, which is also [More...]

Contract Fight of Westchester County Day-Care Workers Heats Up

August 12, 2019 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES About 40 day-care center workers in Westchester County staged a one-day strike on Thursday, protesting years of frozen pay and their employer’s most recent outrage, a failure to repair a summertime breakdown of the air conditioning system. “Enough is enough,” said Kim Medina, deputy administrator of District Council 1707, which represents day-care workers Local 205 and will unify with District Council 37 in September. “Because of management’s failure to negotiate seriously, our members are struggling to meet their daily expenses,” Medina, who will become the special assistant to the executive director for the new Non-Profit and Private Sector Division of District Council when the unification of the two councils occurs. “The agency’s failure to address the scorching working conditions is only the latest abuse.” The parents of infants and toddlers [More...]

Education is Power

August 10, 2019 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES For three decades, Sherif Fawzy devoted himself to his job at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, but didn’t take any particular interest in the union. He was okay with paying his dues, recognizing that the union fulfilled its responsibility to negotiate periodic wage increases and protect his rich packet of benefits. But he felt no need to get involved. His outlook changed a few years ago after DC 37 successfully defend him against unfounded disciplinary charges by managers. That’s also when he decided to educate himself about labor law and his contract. One day, while checking out the union’s website, he learned he was entitled to take courses for free at the City University of New York. And so he enrolled. Fawzy, an engineer who works in the Dept. of Subway Car Equipment at the MTA, is one of the nearly 30 DC 37 members in the first graduating class [More...]

Members Get Citizenship Info at Union-Sponsored Workshop

August 7, 2019 // 0 Comments

Union members received professional help towards obtaining U.S. citizenship earlier this summer in a workshop sponsored by the DC 37 Citizenship Committee and partner CUNY Citizenship Now! The workshop was promoted on the union’s social media outlets. Experienced immigration lawyers and professionals offered members and their families free confidential legal services, including naturalization application assistance, DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) renewal, and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) extensions. They reviewed documents and helped participants understand what they need to complete an application for U.S. citizenship. Juan Fernandez, president of Local 154 and committee chair said, “This is one of the many services the union provides to our members and the community in an ongoing effort to welcome immigrants and help them navigate the path to US [More...]

Moving UP Thanks to the Union’s Ed Fund: From Dietary Aide to Registered Nurse

July 15, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS A unique Education Fund program opened a door to life-altering opportunities for Dietary Aide Yolanda Jeter and other hospital workers to earn college degrees and acquire skills leading to jobs, promotions and better salaries. “I went to a Local 420 membership meeting and that’s where I learned about this incredible program,” said Jeter, a per diem worker at Susan McKinney nursing home since 2013. “Attending that union meeting changed my life.” What Jeter learned about is the Food and Nutrition Worker Education Fund program for dietary aides and other employees with union titles at NYC Health + Hospitals facilities who are supervised by Sodexo management. The program helps NYC H+H employees advance through higher education and certifications, providing up to $2,000 in annual tuition assistance and reimbursement for education, professional development and [More...]

The Education Fund is Moving!

July 3, 2019 // 0 Comments

Throughout the month of July, DC 37 staff will be moving to 55 Water St. in lower Manhattan as DC 37 headquarters at 125 Barclay Street undergoes extensive construction and repairs. DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido and the Executive Board, delegates, local presidents and union officers have agreed on the necessity to do the work which will close most of the building for approximately three years. We are building a new state-of-the-art facility that will allow us to improve member services while bringing the building up to code. The project will include interior renovations, new electrical, air conditioning and water sprinkler systems and, once complete, will leave us with essentially a new union headquarters. Until then, the union must move to space at 55 Water Street in Lower Manhattan for the duration of the project. However, some activity will continue in the building at 125 [More...]

Paid Family Leave Benefit is a Hit

July 3, 2019 // 0 Comments

3 By GREGORY N. HEIRES In the first six months since its inception, more than 1,000 union members took advantage of the new paid family leave benefit. “We are glad so many members are participating,” DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido said. “The union and New York City are setting an example for the rest of the country.” As of early June, 1,032 DC 37 members had applied for paid family leave, which went into effect in January. The union won the benefit as part of the 2017-21 economic agreement. Most participants–64 percent–took the benefit to bond with their newborn child. Other reasons cited were 35 percent responded they took paid family leave to care for a family members. In 2019, the paid family leave benefit allows members to take up to 10 weeks to care for family members. The benefit covers 55 percent of the statewide average weekly wage, with a maximum [More...]

CUNY Labor School Advances Worker Careers and Solidarity

June 25, 2019 // 2 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES  Where else but in New York City could you expect a college graduation ceremony to open with the singing of the historic labor song “Solidarity Forever,” along with the country’s national anthem? That occurred at the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies, which recently celebrated the graduation of the new public university’s first graduating class. Nearly 30 DC 37 members were among the proud graduates. “Our mission is directed toward the public good and social justice,” Gregory Mantsios, the founding dean, said at the opening of the ceremony. The university aims to serve as an incubator of labor ideals, a vehicle for career advancement and advocate for the labor movement and greater community.” Nicholas Pineda, a Data Processing Employees Local 2627 member, was the undergraduate student speaker at the June 14 ceremony. “Fellow graduates, we are [More...]

State Lawmakers Pass Patient Protection Legislation

June 22, 2019 // 0 Comments

DC 37 members scored a major victory earlier this week when the State legislature passed legislation that protects patients from excessive hospital emergency room charges. Passage comes after intense lobbying by a coalition of patient advocates, consumer health and business organizations, and unions, including DC 37. The legislation would strengthen our state’s current Surprise Hospital Bills Law and shield patients from price gouging by hospitals, an issue that threatens to bankrupt working families. When emergencies have caused city employees – and DC 37 members – to go to hospitals out of their network, insurance companies eventually pass on the cost of care to patients – either in higher rates or reduced benefits. This legislation helps establish a process to negotiate fair payments for excessive emergency care charges. In a letter to lawmakers signed by leaders of the [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...]