CONTRACTS

Meet DC 37’s New Chief Negotiator

October 2, 2019 // 1 Comment

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Rose Lovaglio-Miller, the union’s new director of research and negotiations, is a union baby. And having grown up in a union family, she brings a deep passion to her job as the chief enforcer of DC 37’s many contracts. “I feel a great responsibility to the membership of the union and want to do the best job I can to help all members,” Lovaglio-Miller said. “Whether we are looking to increase our wages or improve our benefits, the bottom line is, that this is all about fighting for dignity and respect.” DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido appointed Lovaglio-Miller to her new position after her predecessor, David Paskin, retired this summer. “We are confident that Rose will be a key force in strengthening our voice at the bargaining table and strengthening the contractual protections members have,” Garrido said. Lovaglio-Miller joined the DC 37 [More...]

Local 420’s $500,000 Win

September 20, 2019 // 1 Comment

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS In June, DC 37 stopped management from assigning 29 Local 420 members out-of-title duties and resolved a group grievance against North Central Bronx Hospital for nearly $500,000. “These members were clearly performing duties of the higher paid Behavioral Health Associate title. We are glad NYC H+H recognized the need to resolve this grievance after the first day of hearings,” said union lawyer Terri Nilliasca. One of the 29, Patient Care Technician Tyrone Wayne, said he was performing out-of-title duties from the time he was hired in 2001. Wayne said he restrained and medicated patients and de-escalated fights between patients. One day a patient attacked him. Wayne sustained injuries to his neck and shoulder that may require surgery. With limited crisis intervention training, Wayne and Patient Care Associates were assigned to control patients — the duties of [More...]

Long-time Urban Park Rangers Win Big Raises in New Contract

September 13, 2019 // 1 Comment

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Urban Park Rangers and Associate Urban Park Rangers overwhelmingly approved a new contract that will boost their salaries by nearly 7.5 percent over 49 months. For veteran workers with at least 20 years of experience in the covered titles represented by Local 983, the increase will ultimately bring home more than $9,000 over the duration of the contract. Significantly, the contract also adds three new recurring increment payments (RIPs) to the local’s contract. The old contract included such hikes at the fifth, tenth and fifteenth year of employment. The new agreement calls for additional hikes at three years ($241), seven years ($603) and 20 years ($5,529). “With these RIPs, we are essentially creating a step-pay plan that guarantees our members receive pay increases outside of our regular salary hikes,” Local 983 President Joe Puleo said. “The RIPs are a [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...]

HVAC Workers at Met Win Huge Pay Hike

August 29, 2019 // 2 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS After more than a year of negotiations, Local 1503 resolved long-standing wage and retention issues, resulting in an unprecedented 63 percent pay hike for licensed heating and ventilation workers at three New York City museums, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Met Breuer and the Met Cloisters. “We were very straight forward with management,” Local 1503 President Rawle Campbell said. “The solution is simple: Pay workers their worth and retention and other problems will go away,” Union negotiators convinced Met managers to raise the starting pay for licensed HVAC assistant maintainers to $35 from $22 an hour. The annual salary for new hires is now $72,800, up from $45,760. Seven senior HVAC engineers will earn about $81,000.  A 22 percent wage hike increases HVAC Supervisors’ earnings to $86,000 a year. News of the wage boosts drew cheers at a [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...]

Brooklyn Botanic Garden Worker Wins Wage Hike and Back Pay

August 14, 2019 // 1 Comment

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS After eight months of labor-management meetings, DC 37 Local 374 has won a wage hike and retroactive pay that adds about $1,400 to the annual salary of a Brooklyn Botanic Garden employee. “I love this job and everyone who knows me knows that I love what I do,” said Claudia Navas, a Clerical 4 project coordinator who spreads the message that composting is good for the environment, leads workshops and offers technical advice. A team player, Navas shoulders extra responsibilities to help out when Brooklyn Botanic Garden is short-staffed. But when she asked to be compensated for her hard work, she unearthed a problem only her union could resolve. “I was surprised to learn that although I am the most senior employee, as a Clerical 4, I earned $1,285 less than my colleagues, who are all senior museum instructors. So I called my union,” Navas said. White Collar [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...]

Day-Care Educators Win Pay Equity with City Teachers

August 6, 2019 // 0 Comments

  By GREGORY N. HEIRES By more than a 3-to-1 margin, members of Local 205 — early childhood educators who work for non-profit organizations — voted for a contract extension that puts them on a path to wage parity with their counterparts at the New York City Dept. of Education. The contract extension covers more than 4,000 members of the local and is the first demonstration of how the recently-announced unification of District Council 1707 and District Council 37 can increase the bargaining and political power of New York City public and private sector workers. “This is an historic achievement — after decades of hard work, early childhood educators are being recognized as true professionals,” noted Kim Medina, the executive director of DC 1707 who now becomes special assistant to the executive director for the new Non-Profit and Private Sector Division of District Council [More...]

Moving UP Thanks to the Union’s Ed Fund: From Dietary Aide to Registered Nurse

July 15, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS A unique Education Fund program opened a door to life-altering opportunities for Dietary Aide Yolanda Jeter and other hospital workers to earn college degrees and acquire skills leading to jobs, promotions and better salaries. “I went to a Local 420 membership meeting and that’s where I learned about this incredible program,” said Jeter, a per diem worker at Susan McKinney nursing home since 2013. “Attending that union meeting changed my life.” What Jeter learned about is the Food and Nutrition Worker Education Fund program for dietary aides and other employees with union titles at NYC Health + Hospitals facilities who are supervised by Sodexo management. The program helps NYC H+H employees advance through higher education and certifications, providing up to $2,000 in annual tuition assistance and reimbursement for education, professional development and [More...]