BENEFITS

De Blasio Seeks Local Legislation to Provide Health Insurance to Spouses and Partners of all City Workers Who Die from 9/11 Ilnesses

September 11, 2019 // 0 Comments

Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced his support for local legislation to provide health insurance for the survivors of all city employees fatally stricken by 9/11 illnesses. Currently, coverage is limited to the surviving spouses and domestic partners of police officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians and higher-ranking employees in those titles who died during their active service or in retirement. This legislation would close a gap in current law so that all city employees who die of a 9/11 illness are treated the same. “On our city’s darkest day, thousands of city employees answered the call,” de Basio said. “They didn’t hesitate. We need to be there for their families, now and always.” About 5,000 employees across several city agencies and in various titles could be covered by this legislation over time.  This population represents city [More...]

UNION STRONG, UNION PROUD: Labor Day Parade 2019

September 9, 2019 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE Thousands of union members and supporters marched up Fifth Avenue Sept. 7 to show the world that they are working together to build worker power in New York York City. Throughout the day, midtown Manhattan thundered with the sounds of labor unity and activism. DC 37 members filled 48th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues. for more than two hours before marching behind a banner that declared, “Never Quit!” Bolstered by the recent, historic unification of DC 1707’s private sector workers and DC 37’s public employees, members chanted, danced and celebrated worker pride. Led by Executive Director Henry Garrido, DC 37 marched as a single mass, a defiant force showing its enhanced power. In what has become a tradition in recent years, members took the opportunity to boo loudly as they passed Trump Tower. More than a dozen elected officials stopped by in solidarity to pay [More...]

Stronger Together: DC 37, 1707 Unite

September 9, 2019 // 2 Comments

Private Sector Members Add to Union Power By GREGORY N. HEIRES and SARA HAAS New York labor history is being made this fall as District Council 1707, which represents 20,000 private-sector members, joins forces with District Council 37, the city’s largest public employees union. As a result, the six unions that made up DC 1707 — Locals 95, 107, 205, 215, 253, and 389 — will comprise a new, private-sector division  within DC 37, bringing DC 37’s total membership to 150,000. Each local union’s structure and leadership remain unchanged. “We are delighted to welcome these hardworking members, who provide vital services in the private sector to the city’s largest union of public employees,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. “This unification signals a new era in the fight for workers’ rights in New York.” “In unifying with our brothers and sisters at DC [More...]

DC 37 Offers Help to Workers Running for Political Office

September 5, 2019 // 0 Comments

  Do you have what it takes to run for political office? Will you be part of the change we need to fix the outdated and rigged system so working families can finally win? Our city needs more elected officials who understand the challenges working people face. DC 37 is leading the way, providing the tools, training and support for union members to run for political office. Join DC 37’s Emerging Leaders Candidate Training to learn effective campaign strategies and explore a wide range of topics that will prepare you to run and win! The first training session is scheduled for 9 a.m. on Oct. 5 at 125 Barclay St. in Room 1. Participating members must commit to all three Saturday classes of the training. The other sessions will be held  Oct. 19 and Nov. 2. Space is limited. You must register by Monday, Sept. 30, 5 p.m. to attend. Please contact Omi Harris by email  [More...]

Summer School and Sisterhood

September 4, 2019 // 2 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Women comprise more than half of DC 37’s membership. And one of our union’s highest priorities is to support the ascent of women within the ranks of leadership and activism. Toward that end, a contingent of DC 37 women attended a week-long boot camp,  hosted and coordinated by the City University of New York School of Labor and Urban Studies, at Hofstra University,  , where they honed their union-building skills. “It really motivated me to continue encouraging as many people as possible to get involved in the labor movement,” said Dept. of Education Employees Local 372 member Trina Prior. The DC 37 activists who attended are all graduates of the Women’s Leadership Academy, a program initiated by our national union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).  At DC 37, the program is named in honor of former Executive [More...]

Big Turnout at Housing Fair

August 27, 2019 // 0 Comments

BY DIANE S. WILLIAMS Hundreds of DC 37 members and retirees took their first steps towards buying a home at the union’s 14th annual housing fair on Aug. 24 at 125 Barclay Street. “Home ownership is possible for our members,” said Ruth Pena, director of the Municipal Employees Housing Program. “We start with budgeting and saving for the purchase to closing on a house, condo or coop apartment. We offer a range of service providers — real estate agents, home inspectors, mortgage lenders, and more. We work within members’ budgets and even repair their credit report.” Members participated in workshops and classes Saturday afternoon that helped them prepare for home ownership. Those searching for apartments can access a special 5 percent set aside of affordable rentals. Members who may be homeless or victims of domestic violence can also find safe housing through the program. [More...]

Paid Family Leave: A Dad’s Joyful Bonding

August 26, 2019 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Research Scientist Michael D. Zboray is among the more than 1,000 union members who are taking advantage of the new paid family leave benefit that went into effect at the beginning of the year. Zboray combined his vacation and sick days with his family leave time after the birth of his daughter, Polina, in January. “My wife Anna and I decided it was very important for me to take advantage of the benefit,” said Zboray, a member of New York City Police Department Civilian Unit Local 3778. “Having a baby, of course, changes your life. If someone were to ask me about the benefit, I would absolutely recommend it.” He has now returned to work and is taking days off periodically for the rest of the year. Zboray said he enjoys the flexibility of the plan, which allows you use the leave in one bloc or spread it out over the course of a year. The union won paid family [More...]

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 // 1 Comment

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...]