BENEFITS

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...]

An important announcement for former CNR students

April 24, 2019 // 0 Comments

Attention former college of New Rochelle students: Since the College of New Rochelle (CNR) has announced that it will be permanently closing in the summer of 2019, the DC 37 Education Fund is assisting members with transferring their credits to a different school if they have not yet graduated. If you were enrolled at CNR and have not graduated, please click here to register for assistance, and to attend our upcoming CUNY informational event on May 6, at 6 p.m. at union headquarters in Room 200. Please call 212-815-1700 for additional [More...]

Become a Wellness Champion: Free Classes and Programs for DC 37 Members

April 22, 2019 // 0 Comments

Did you know FREE Exercise Classes and FREE Smoking Cessation Programs are available at your city agency work location? These and many other valuable programs are available through WorkWell NYC to help you get and stay healthy. When DC 37 and other municipal employee unions negotiated improvements to your health insurance benefits, we placed an emphasis on prevention in order to avoid high hospital costs. High insurance costs limit our ability to negotiate for better raises and working conditions. It’s in all of our interests to get healthy so we can get a little bit more wealthy! Workshops include healthy eating, pre-diabetes support, mindfulness and stress reduction, and even financial planning, since money worries lead to health worries. Worksite fitness classes cover all levels of activity from Chair Yoga to Zumba. It’s a fun way to spend your lunch hour and to interact with [More...]

Local 1501 Member Wins $9K & Promotion After Illegal WCS Job Recall

March 23, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS A Wildlife Conservation Society Local 1501 member won an immediate promotion and $9,000 in back pay after an impartial arbitration panel ruled that WCS violated the collective bargaining agreement’s layoff and recall procedures. After working for six years as a WCS Supervising Maintainer, in February 2017 management told Rucauldeau Renondeau they had made a clerical error and demoted him to Maintainer and cut his pay retroactively. They also demanded he repay 28 sick days. “The pay cut was so damaging it jeopardized my finances and my health — everything,” Renondeau said. “It messed up my whole life.” “It was a shocking blow for management to unilaterally decide to reduce this member’s salary and title and recoup back wages,” said then-Vice President Marcy Wartell-Brown. White Collar Council Rep Norlita De Taza filed an out-of-title grievance to [More...]

Meet Your New Safety and Health Director

February 21, 2019 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE Veronica Foley, a skilled leader with years of experience as a principal program coordinator for the union’s Safety and Health Dept. was recently promoted to director of the department, replacing Guille Mejia, who retired at the end of last year. Foley, who is a graduate of SUNY Geneseo, also has a master’s degree in international affairs from The New School. Prior to coming to DC 37, she worked several years as a consultant for several non-governmental organizations. “Protecting the safety and health of our members is paramount,” Foley said. “This responsibility affords us the opportunity to create sustainable models of support for each other and the labor movement as a whole.” Foley plans to integrate communication with other divisions and departments within DC 37 to better assess safety and health conditions for the union’s 125,000 members. “I’m working [More...]

Union Helps Homeless Member Start Over

February 11, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Morris Johnson lived in two rooms in a rambling old house he shared with longtime friends that he considered family. “We lived like close family. I paid my $550 rent every month,” said Johnson, a Local 420 Institutional Aide since 2005. The house where Johnson lived was in an East New York neighborhood bordered by elevated train lines, just down the hill from the Jackie Robinson Parkway and Brooklyn’s Evergreen Cemetery. It was Johnson’s home for more than a decade. Until it wasn’t. “I’m blindsided,” said Johnson, 65, who bikes to work each day at the Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene in Long Island City. “I came home to find the sheriff locked the house. The family– a mother and her three grown children — cut out,” Johnson said. In January the house was foreclosed, and seized by the bank. “They never said a word to me about their [More...]

Take an Opportunity to Return to School

January 29, 2019 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Interested in going back to school? At a series of one-on-one meetings at the union—“CUNY Days at DC 37”—you will have an opportunity to discuss how you can complete your degree and take advantage of other educational options. The District Council 37 Education Fund is working with the Murphy Institute (the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies) in a new collaboration to help members return to school and advance in their career. This program will help you: Learn about the academic requirements for specific jobs; Choose a CUNY campus and major; Apply to and finance college; Become informed about continuing education and certification options; Long term career development; Find out about the fastest-growing industries in New York City; …and more. Over three months, the program is going to hold free 30-minute individual sessions for members to discuss their [More...]

Head of Legal Services Retires

January 25, 2019 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Family, friends, coworkers and judges on Jan. 18 gathered to bid farewell to Joan Beranbaum, the director and chief counsel of the DC 37 Municipal Employees Legal Services Plan, who is leaving the union after 39 years with the program. Beranbaum was among the first group of employees to join the legal services program when it opened in 1977. Beranbaum learned about the job opening while she was working at the Legal Aid Society, where she was hired right after she graduated from New York University Law. MELS attracted her because it was a pioneering service for union workers. At her retirement party, Beranbaum noted that over the course of her nearly four-decade career at DC 37, MELS handled the cases of half a million DC 37 members and retirees. Speakers praised Beranbaum for devoting her career to working people rather than the rich and powerful. She remained [More...]

Concerned About Your Personal Finances? Attend a Free ‘Financial Empowerment’ Course at DC37

January 12, 2019 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Are your credit card applications being denied? Are you having difficulty being approved for a mortgage? Are you being turned down for affordable housing even though you meet the income requirement? We are here to help. DC 37 is holding a personal finance course to offer members guidance on their finances so they will have excellent credit scores to qualify for lottery housing, credit and home purchases. About 70 people from the union and the community attended the first class, which was held on Jan. 9. Director of Community Outreach Paul Rodriguez encourages anyone interested in attending the remaining classes to register for the course. The second class will be on Wednesday, Jan. 16, in Rooms 2 and 3 at DC 37 headquarters at 125 Barclay St. in Lower Manhattan. The class will help you understand your credit and debt profile, the basics of borrowing, and how to [More...]

City Launches New Paid Family Leave Benefit

January 7, 2019 // 0 Comments

Today, the new paid family leave benefit is open for application in most agencies. The benefit–which the union won through negotiations for the 2017-21 economic agreement–is now available to nearly 100,000 DC 37 members who are covered by the contract and work at mayoral agencies, NYC Health+Hospitals, the New York City Housing Authority and the Dept. of Education. There are a number of ways to apply for the benefit. But you should start by asking your human relations office which process applies to you. The union worked with worked with human resources, payroll agencies, and the Dept. of Citywide Administrative Services to open up the paid family-leave benefit.  In upcoming weeks, the union will work with management to address any confusion and concerns that arise. During the contract negotiations last year, DC 37 and the city agreed to arrange for coverage through the [More...]