CONTRACTS

The Contract Vote’s Message

September 6, 2018 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO Executive Director, District Council 37, AFSCME, AFL-CIO I was happy, to say the least, that our new economic agreement was overwhelmingly approved. A lot of work went into this contract. Many union locals encouraged members to share their ideas about negotiations. We reported on our progress in the union newspaper and blog. DC 37 carried out an on-line survey. Our bargaining team stuck together. And our staffers provided important background to back up our case. The contract provides for a decent wage increase; protects our prescription drug and other benefits; maintains our premium-free health-care plan; significantly boosts funding for our education program — which helps members advance their skills and enrich their lives — and includes our new employer-provided paid family leave benefit — something only about 15 percent of the U.S. workers enjoy. [More...]

Grievance Victories for Local 768 Members at NYC H+H

September 5, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS The union settled three separate grievances in favor of Local 768 members employed at New York City Health +Hospitals facilities, in an ongoing fight to protect unionized hospital workers from managers who would violate the contract. Kings County Hospital failed to pay Social Worker Level 2 Adam Turkel for the overtime hours he was assigned to work so Hospitals and Healthcare Professionals Division Council Rep Joel Viera-Vera filed a grievance for the Local 768 member. The case went to Step 2 when H+H finally agreed to compensate Mr. Turkel for two hours of overtime. “These members are relied on to make up for staff shortages,” said Local 768 President Fitz Reid. “So while it may seem small, on principle we stood up for Mr. Turkel and in doing so protected the right of every member to be fairly compensation for any overtime hours worked.” Woodhull Hospital [More...]

98 Percent Vote ‘Yes’ on Contract

August 15, 2018 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES DC 37 members voted overwhelmingly for a contract that provides for a total wage increase of 7.42 percent and preserves their premium-free health-care coverage with no givebacks. Members voted 31,133 in favor and 743 against the contract, an approval rating of 97.6 percent. The mail-ballot vote was tabulated on Aug. 14 at the American Arbitration Association’s office in downtown Manhattan. “Our members have spoken loudly and clearly in favor of a new 44-month economic agreement, which provides for a total pay hike of 7.42 percent, substantial funding for benefits, a new paid family leave plan, and a continuation of premium-free health insurance until at least 2021,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. “The 98 percent yes vote was a powerful display of union solidarity.” The contract includes a new paid family leave benefit, which a growing number [More...]

Vote “Yes” on the Contract

July 10, 2018 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO Executive Director, District Council 37, AFSCME, AFL-CIO After a marathon negotiating session in late June, we concluded talks with the city on a new economic agreement, which provides for fair wage increases worth more than 7 percent and a new paid parental leave benefit. The contract provides for a retroactive 2 percent raise on Sept. 26, 2017, a 2.25 percent increase on Sept. 26, 2018, and an additional 3 percent on Oct. 26, 2019. The contract’s term is from Sept. 26, 2017, to May 26, 2021. I want to let you know how we approached this round of negotiations differently from previous contract talks. We managed to negotiate the contract in less than a year, faster than in earlier negotiations. We won decent and fair salary increases, and yes, we believe the increases will keep up with the cost of living. But the key accomplishments are not merely these raises. We [More...]

New Contracts at Queens Library and Brooklyn Academy of Music

July 9, 2018 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Two DC 37 locals recently concluded negotiations, resulting in significant improvements in their contracts. These include gains in compensation and workplace protections. Brooklyn Academy of Music Local 1502 members approved a seven-year contract that provides security guards with a $2,000 yearly salary increase. The contract boosts the differential — extra pay — of guards who get their fire safety director certification from $3,000 to $4,000. Workers certified after the contract ratification will receive a one-time cash bonus of $2,000. The term of the contract is from July 1, 2003, to June 30, 2020 and includes a new $500 longevity payment when workers reach their fifth anniversary date. At 10 years, workers will receive a one-time $1,000 payment. Upon retirement, members will receive the cash value of one-third of their accumulated sick time, in addition to [More...]

A No-Giveback Contract UPDATE: Ballots go out on Tuesday, July 24. (see below)

June 29, 2018 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES IMPORTANT: Mail ballots will be sent out to all covered union members on Tuesday, July 25. Ballots must be received by AAA on August 14. If you do not receive a ballot, please call AAA, at 1-800-529-5218. The union and city agreed June 25 on a new no-giveback 44-month economic agreement, which provides for a total pay hike of 7.42 percent and substantial funding for benefits, including a new paid family leave plan. DC 37 delegates approved the tentative agreement on June 26. DC 37 members and retirees will continue to enjoy premium-free health insurance until at least 2021 as a result of parallel negotiations between municipal unions and the city. The economic agreement–which covers 100,000 members and sets the pattern for the separate contracts of the union’s other 25,000 other members–calls for: 2 percent raise on Sept. 26, 2017 (the first day of the [More...]

DC 37 and city reach tentative contract agreement

June 28, 2018 // 0 Comments

The union reached a tentative agreement with the City of New York on a new, 44-month wage pact that provides a total of 7.42 percent in pay hikes; back pay; plus additional resources to boost employee education and training and to address issues of worker recruitment and retention. Approximately 100,000 city employees are covered by the agreement. “This agreement is a clear example of the importance of collective bargaining and what can be achieved when the employer and employees negotiate in good faith,” said District Council 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. “This administration has shown that, at a time when forces across the country are trying to degrade the value of the collective bargaining process, you can tackle big problems when you approach workers with respect.” “I’m thankful to DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido for his continued partnership and to my [More...]

It’s Time for a Contract Now

June 12, 2018 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO We are pressing the city to work with us to wrap up negotiations for a new economic agreement that will affect 90,000 DC 37 members. There is no reason to prolong negotiations, which has occurred too often in previous talks. The local economy is strong and the city is in good shape financially. A decent contract certainly won’t break the bank. Too many of us are financially squeezed as we contend with the rising cost of rent, transportation, utilities, clothes and groceries. We want relief — and fair compensation for our work. As public employees, we often feel like an invisible workforce. Though our work usually goes unrecognized, we are proud to be the workers who deserve the most credit for making the city run. Our expansive and efficient government services are one of the reasons New York City is able to attract tourists, businesses and families happy to call [More...]

EMS Wins Important Decision

June 1, 2018 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO DC 37 and Uniformed EMS Officers Local 3621 won an improper practice decision they filed with the Office of Collective Bargaining. The union, represented by Associate General Counsel Steven Sykes, charged that members of the local who work in the Paramedic Response Units have had their workload expand increasing overtime yet the FDNY has refused to bargain over work conditions. Not only has the workload increased, but those assigned to the PRU work in a more dangerous environment. The members, who perform paramedic and supervisory duties, are assigned to work in vehicles that, unlike ambulances, cannot transport a patient. There’s only space in the back for special equipment and there are times we arrive at the scene earlier than the ambulance and there may be safety issues, but we have no safe place to retreat to,” said Local 3621 President Vincent Variale. The [More...]

DC 37 Carries Out Town Hall Meetings on the Value of Unions

May 29, 2018 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO There was standing room only as more than 300 union members jammed the conference room at the offices of the Human Resources Administration in Brooklyn for a town hall style meeting. Members came to hear DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido talk about the fight with the city for a new contract and the upcoming decision in the Janus v. AFSCME case before the U.S. Supreme Court, which is expected to make its ruling by the end of June. If the decision goes against AFSCME, it could cripple DC 37 and public employee unions throughout the country. Janus argues that the mandatory collection of union dues violates the individual’s constitutional right to freedom of speech. “This decision is the start of a bigger attack,” said Garrido. He pointed to Wisconsin and how workers there lost their collective bargaining power once it became a right-to-work state. [More...]