CONTRACTS

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...]

The Mission of Public Service: People Over Profits

May 15, 2018 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Many DC 37 members joined the city’s workforce after spending years in the private sector. Those interviewed by the Public Employee Press say they are now happier with their work, because it comes with union representation, good benefits, and job security. Helping city residents instills a motivation absent in the private sector, where work was about helping their bosses make a profit. The members say their enthusiasm for the private sector wasn’t as great because they received fewer benefits and they could be fired at the whim of a boss. “It’s really nice to help the public — and the community as a whole,” said Dental Assistant Lisa Blackett. A dental hygienist and Local 768 shop steward, Blackett has worked at Harlem Hospital for nearly 10 years. “A lot of the people without insurance come here and are happy to find they can get affordable dental [More...]

Union Carries Out Town Hall Meetings

May 4, 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 court decision in the Janus v. AFSCME case, which is expected by the end of June. If the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court rules against AFSCME, it could financially 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 lost their collective bargaining power once it became a right to work state. “They’re paying as much as [More...]

Local 1070 Nursery Workers Win Pay Hikes and Upgrades

April 2, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS In Family Court, a parent’s battle for justice requires relief by child support, custody, protection from domestic abuse, separation or even divorce. When children are at the center of these bitter family breakdowns, New York State provides child care in the courthouse. “Nursery Attendants have the unique responsibility as caregivers to show kindness and stability to kids whose families are in crisis and falling apart,” said Local 1070 President Fausto Sabatino. “This service is vital so that children are not traumatized further by the hostility that sometimes occurs in a courtroom.” In December, as part of the union’s ongoing fight for better pay, a dozen Local 1070 Nursery Attendants received title upgrades to level 10 from level 8 that come with salary increases, based on years of service. “Every day is different here. We see new children every day [More...]

Brooklyn Museum Agrees to Drop Its Plan to Seek Concessions from Workers

March 22, 2018 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES After intense pressure from the union, the Brooklyn Museum agreed to end a two-year effort to win concessions from its unionized staff. The agreement includes a one-time bonus for workers at 25 years of service and a no-layoff clause. The museum pledged not to carry out job cuts until the end of the year or when concluding talks on a new collective bargaining pact — whichever is earlier. “I am happy we managed to stop the talk of layoffs and the museum’s use of part-timers,” said Wilson Souffrant, president of Brooklyn Museum Local 1502. “But this is only the beginning as we move ahead to bargaining on our contract.” In 2016, during tense discussions with the museum about what it described as a budget crisis, Local 1502 agreed to a one-week unpaid furlough for its members, as well as two buyouts. Then in May 2017 the museum asked for more. But members [More...]

New Agreement on Career Advancement

December 19, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES The union reached an agreement with the city to improve training and the career advancement prospects of DC 37 members, particularly women and minorities. The agreement, was finalized on Aug. 2, after a joint labor-management committee spent two years studying how to expand promotional opportunities for union members. The agreement is the result of the work of the Joint Recruitment and Promotion Study Committee, which was established under DC 37’s 2010-17 contract. The agreement includes seed money of $150,000 for the DC 37 Education Dept. to dedicate to training. The funding will be used for a bachelor’s of nursing program for registered nurses, continuing education for social workers, and helping information technology workers upgrade their skills. “In the next few years, the city expects that many of its employees will retire,” said DC 37 Executive [More...]

Union Helps 40 Urban Park Rangers Prepare for Promotional Exam

December 8, 2017 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Forty Urban Park Rangers enrolled in a course offered through the union’s Education Fund to prepare for a promotional exam to become Associate Urban Park Rangers. The six-session course began in late November; the test is Dec. 12. “If UPRs pass with a score of 70 or higher, they can be promoted to Associate Urban Park Ranger and earn as much as $64,000 to start,” said Local 983 President Joe Puleo. AUPRs and UPRs are Peace Officers who educate park patrons and keep city parklands and beaches safe. The starting salaries for AUPRs pay almost $17,000 more than the $47,125 base salary UPRs earn annually, Puleo said. The rate of pay typically increase when the union finalizes its negotiations with the city for a new contract. Salaries also increase when recurring pay increases and other enhancements negotiated by the local union are adopted. Retired Local 983 [More...]

Union and City Start Contract Talks

November 27, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES DC 37 started bargaining talks with the city for a new economic agreement on Nov. 14 with both sides expressing hope to wrap up negotiations quickly. “I can’t overemphasize that we need a contract now,” DC 37 Executive Henry Garrido told Labor Commissioner Robert W. Linn at the opening bargaining session. “Our members deserve a raise as soon as possible.” Union wants a three-year contract. The union’s 13 demands include a three-year agreement with a fair wage increase. “We are looking to improve our standard of living,” David Paskin, DC 37’s director of research and negotiations said, commenting on the union’s overarching concern in these negotiations. Paskin noted that members feel under a lot of financial pressure because of high rents, rising food and transportation expenses, and skyrocketing drug prices. Members are also anxious about their [More...]