BENEFITS

NEWS, UPCOMING EVENTS and SERVICES

April 13, 2021 // 0 Comments

COVID-19 VACCINES LET DC 37 BOOK YOUR COVID-19 VACCINE APPOINTMENTS: DC 37 can help you book your COVID-19 vaccine appointment. Please fill out this form and a DC 37 representative will call you to book your appointment. What you need to know: * To confirm eligibility, you can check nyc.gov/covidvaccinedistribution. * Proof of eligibility required: 1. Members who are eligible by virtue of job function must bring proof of employment. This can include an employee ID card, a letter from an employer or affiliated organization, or a pay stub. 2. Members who are eligible by virtue of underlying conditions or comorbidities will be asked to provide proof of NYC residence and will be asked to attest to their condition during the scheduling process. 3. Members who are eligible by virtue of age will be asked to provide proof of NYC residence and proof of age. * Employees are granted 4 hours [More...]

Cultural Institution Employees $ave with MELS Legal Benefit

April 8, 2021 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Dozens more DC 37 members who work at NYC’s cultural institutions are using MELS since union representatives on the Trust for Cultural Resources negotiated to restore the benefit in 2020.  “Tops on our agenda was to restore the legal benefit to our 3,000 members and retirees. MELS is something you don’t know you need until you need it,” said Raul Domenech, president of Local 1501 Wildlife Conservation Society who is a cultural trustee. The benefit was suspended after the 2008 recession. “When a member is suddenly in a situation where they need a lawyer, whether buying a home or drowning in debt, MELS lawyers can help,” Domenech said. “It’s a union benefit that can save a member thousands of dollars.”  Five trustees representing DC 37 worked to have the Cultural Trust restore the union-negotiated legal benefit to retirees and members of [More...]

DC 37 Workers #GetVaccinated at Citi Field Event

March 29, 2021 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE The early spring weather was sunny, appropriate for the occasion as hundreds of DC 37 members joined other New Yorkers to get the COVID-19 vaccine at a “Vaccination Day” event held at Citi Field, in Flushing Meadows, Queens. The event, heavily promoted by the union in social media and on www.dc37.net drew more than 500 union members to get the life-saving vaccine at the home stadium of the New York Mets on March 27. DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido spoke of the importance of the “Vaccination Day” event, which is part of an ongoing effort to vaccinate tens of thousands of DC 37 members.  “In honor of the more than 200 DC 37 members who died from COVID-19, we pledged we would do everything possible to protect them and their families, get benefits for those who passed away and to protect those living and continue to provide public services,” said Garrido. [More...]

APRIL NEWS and UPCOMING EVENTS

March 29, 2021 // 0 Comments

NEWS, UPCOMING EVENTS and SERVICES COVID-19 VACCINES LET DC 37 BOOK YOUR COVID-19 VACCINE APPOINTMENTS: DC 37 can help you book your COVID-19 vaccine appointment. Please fill out this form and a DC 37 representative will call you to book your appointment. What you need to know: * To confirm eligibility, you can check nyc.gov/covidvaccinedistribution. * Proof of eligibility required: 1. Members who are eligible by virtue of job function must bring proof of employment. This can include an employee ID card, a letter from an employer or affiliated organization, or a pay stub. 2. Members who are eligible by virtue of underlying conditions or comorbidities will be asked to provide proof of NYC residence and will be asked to attest to their condition during the scheduling process. 3. Members who are eligible by virtue of age will be asked to provide proof of NYC residence and proof of [More...]

MELS HOUSING WEBINAR TONIGHT MARCH 16, at 5:30 to 7 PM

March 16, 2021 // 0 Comments

Learn how NYC Rent Freeze Programs will affect you. MELS housing experts and lawyers will explain rent law changes and programs such as Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption, Disability Rent Increase Exemption, the online application process, updates for NYC Tenants COVID-19 Eviction Restrictions, filing a Tenant Declaration, and more. Register at www.dc37mels.com to get a Meeting ID by e-mail. For more information, call the MELS Screening Unit at 212 815-1111 or email: MELSscreeningunit@dc37.net ### SAVE the DATES for these two upcoming MELS events: The MELS Housing Discrimination webinar with the NYC Commission on Human Rights on April 14 @ 5:30 p.m. Register at www.DC37MELS.comMELS webinar on Bankruptcy – An Opportunity For A Fresh Start, on April 28 @ 5:30 p.m.Register at www.DC37MELS.com. For more information, call the MELS Screening Unit at 212 [More...]

NEWS, UPCOMING EVENTS and SERVICES

March 8, 2021 // 0 Comments

POLITICAL ACTION INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY March 8: The Red Carpet for Justice Coalition and DC 37 needs your support for a campaign to get New York State to recognize International Women’s Day March 8 as a state holiday. Please add your name to our effort and sign the petition here: https://bit.ly/300HwVz. #IWD2021 #InternationalWomensDay ###   GET VACCINATED, AFSCME: As AFSCME members, we value our neighbors’ health and safety the same as our own. That means we have to show the way on the COVID-19 vaccine. Because this virus is so dangerous and contagious, we have an obligation to get vaccinated. That’s how we protect one another, and how we get to gather with friends and relatives again without fear. It’s been such a brutal year, but AFSCME and DC 37 have led every step of the way. Together, we will crush this virus and get back to normal. Be a hero – [More...]

Three MELS Webinars on Taxes and Divorce Now Online; Citizenship Webinar Held

March 4, 2021 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS More than 1,200 members watched three virtual MELS webinars in February and March and two  are now available online.  “The pandemic has increased the need for the legal services we provide our members,” said Bill Whalen, chief counsel and director of DC 37 Municipal Employees Legal Services. “We are seeing successful turnouts for the virtual webinars we’ve held to help our members with their 2020 taxes and free tax prep and matrimonial law. DC 37 continues to anticipate members’ needs in order to provide services they can really use.” TAX TIPS The Jan. 27 MELS Tax Tips live event watched by 280 DC 37 members and retirees featured MELS Co-Supervising Attorney Shelly Barasch, who is also an accountant. He explained what’s new for tax year 2020, filing status, standard and itemized deductions, tax credits and more. View the video [More...]

Two MELS Webinars on Taxes, Divorce Now Online

February 23, 2021 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS More than 800 DC 37 members watched two virtual MELS webinars in February that are now available online.  “The pandemic has increased the need for the legal services we provide our members,” said Bill Whalen, chief counsel and director of DC 37 Municipal Employees Legal Services. “We are seeing successful turnouts for the virtual webinars we’ve held to help our members with their 2020 taxes and free tax prep and matrimonial law. DC 37 continues to anticipate members’ needs in order to provide services they can really use.” TAX TIPS The Jan. 27 MELS Tax Tips live event had 280 DC 37 members and retirees watch MELS Co-Supervising Attorney Shelly Barasch, who is also an accountant, explain what’s new for tax year 2020, filing status, standard and itemized deductions, tax credits and more. View the video or view the slide show, here: MELS Tax Tips [More...]

NEWS, UPCOMING EVENTS and SERVICES

February 18, 2021 // 0 Comments

POLITICAL ACTION SPECIAL ELECTION FEB. 23: DC 37 members are making calls together live on Zoom! There’s a lot at stake for us in 2021 and we need to make sure we have representatives on the New York City Council who will have our backs when we need them to. Please join us for a virtual phone bank to urge our DC 37 sisters and brothers to vote for Selvena Brooks-Powers for City Council in the 31st Council District. You can sign up for one of the phone banking shifts taking place today through Thursday, Feb. 18 and on Special Election Day, Tuesday, Feb. 23. Even if you’ve never volunteered with us before, using the virtual phone bank is easy and convenient. The time you spend volunteering can make a big difference in improving the lives of DC 37 members. Please sign up now for a phone banking shift at: https://www.mobilize.us/afscmedc37/event/374983/                 [More...]

MELS UPDATE: STUDENT LOAN FORBEARANCE EXTENSION

February 3, 2021 // 0 Comments

By BILL WHALEN, MELS Director and Chief Counsel Within moments of taking office, President Joe Biden extended the student loan payment forbearance created under the CARES Act to September 30, 2021. The forbearance period started in March 2020, and was set to expire on January 31, 2021.   Borrowers with direct federal student loans in repayment continue to be excused from making their regular monthly payments; During the forbearance no interest and no penalties will accrue; and  Involuntary collection activity (wage garnishment; federal tax seizures, social security reductions) remain suspended. Further:  Borrowers do have the option of making voluntary principal balance payments. Borrowers in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program will continue to receive credit for their monthly payments regardless of whether their payments are made. However, all other PSLF program [More...]