CONTRACTS

Agreement protects cultural workers pensions

September 1, 2016 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES The union reached a tentative agreement that protects the pensions of DC 37 members working at cultural institutions and other workers who are employed at day-care centers. On Aug. 11, DC 37 concluded talks on the five-year agreement with the employers’ representatives, the Cultural Institutions Group and the Day Care Council of New York, after months of tough negotiations to find a way to preserve the Cultural Institutions Retirement System (CIRS). “The members of our bargaining committee made the hard choices and took the responsible actions needed to protect our hard-won benefits for current employees and to preserve our pension benefits into the future,” DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido said. The agreement will maintain the benefits of the 9,000 current employees, including 1,200 DC 37 members enrolled in the pension system. They will still be able [More...]

DC 37’s CUNY Workers Back New Contract

July 20, 2016 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE Closing a chapter in a long, difficult fight for a fair contract, the 12,000 workers represented by DC 37 at the City University of New York (CUNY),  overwhelmingly approved the agreement. The union announced the results on Monday. The members backed the agreement by 98 percent in a mail ballot vote conducted by the American Arbitration Association. Ballots were sent to members on July 1, after the union negotiated a tentative agreement with CUNY on June 10. The contract increases the pay by more than 10 percent for the hardworking CUNY DC 37 members over an 87 month period, covering the time from November 1, 2009 through January 31, 2017. The contract provides 10.41% in compounded wage increases and a $1,000 bonus upon ratification. The contract also includes an annual $200 increase to the welfare fund for all active and retired employees. CUNY also agreed to raise the [More...]

Union Pensions Are Key to the Security of Working People

July 14, 2016 // 0 Comments

By RAYMOND SANTANDER There is perhaps no greater benefit provided to union members than retirement security, which comes in the form of a defined benefit pension. Members receive the defined benefit, a traditional pension based on their years of service that provides a guaranteed monthy payment, when they retire after many years of dedicated public service — often a hazardous and physically (and emotionally) taxing service. The pension ensures our members a dignified retirement, where the pensioner need not be a burden to the public or a family member. Our retirees pension benefits are modest: about $21,000 to $22,000 per year on average (higher for more recent retirees). With Social Security, many of our retirees have retirement income of about $33,000 per year. This is hardly lavish, given that many of our retirees live in New York City. Our members both contribute their hard-earned [More...]

Breakthrough on CUNY and EMS Contracts

July 8, 2016 // 0 Comments

This summer, thousands of DC 37 members will vote on two contracts that call for a pay increase of more than 10 percent. The union concluded negotiations for the tentative agreements —which cover more than 3,000 Emergency Medical Service workers and 12,000 DC 37 members at the City University of New York — in early June. Contract talks had stalled during the administration of former Mayor Michael Bloomberg and continued to run into roadblock after roadblock before we were finally able to return to the bargaining table earlier this year to negotiate in earnest. I want to extend my thanks to CUNY and EMS workers for their patience as we negotiated these wage pacts. Member involvement and activism were key to the agreement we reached with CUNY. Members rallied, signed petitions and organized in the workplace. That level of engagement kept the pressure on. The contracts are modeled [More...]

The CUNY Contract and the Fight for 15

July 7, 2016 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES During the recent negotiations for the new contract with the City University of New York, DC 37 convinced the administration to extend the state’s new $15 an hour minimum wage to CUNY workers. The side agreement will benefit thousands of DC 37 members who currently earn less than $15 an hour. This tentative contract provides for retroactive pay increases worth more than 10 percent over its 87-month term. But with the combination of the contractual rate hikes and the minimum wage increases, many members will see their current pay increase by as much as 25 percent by the end of 2018. “This action will substantially boost the wages of thousands of CUNY workers and other DC 37 members, and reaffirms New York’s commitment to reducing inequality in the state and city,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido, who led negotiations with David Paskin, director [More...]

Mail Ballots for Contract Vote Sent to 12,000 Members Who Work at CUNY

July 5, 2016 // 1 Comment

By GREGORY N. HEIRES An independent monitor sent out mail ballots on July 1 for the CUNY contract vote. The American Arbitration Association will tabulate the votes of DC 37 members who work at the City University of New York on July 18. The tentative contract affects 12,000 workers who are represented by DC 37 union locals 375, 384, 983, 1407, 1597, 1797, 2054, and 2627. The DC 37 Constitution requires that an outside monitor oversee the vote on contracts that impact the members of more than one union local. The tentative contract comes after members worked under an expired contract since 2009. For almost seven years, the workers continued to be covered by the terms of the expired contract, but they went without a raise for that period. Anyone who does not receive a ballot within a week after the ballots were sent out should contact at AAA at 1-800-529-5218. The union reached an [More...]

Evelyn Seinfeld, Long-Time DC 37 Negotiator, Passes

June 24, 2016 // 1 Comment

BY GREGORY N. HEIRES DC 37 mourns the loss of Evelyn Seinfeld, for years the union’s chief negotiator, who died on June 20 after a long battle with cancer. She was 68 years old. Evelyn, who worked at DC 37 from 1975 until her retirement earlier this year, was admired by her colleagues for her passion for mentoring and her encyclopedic knowledge of the civil service system, its rules and regulations, and DC 37’s many contracts. Together with then-DC 37 Executive Director Lillian Roberts, she led the negotiations with the city for the union’s current 2010-17 economic agreement, which preserves the premium-free medical coverage of more than 100,000 members and provides for a total wage increase of 10.41 percent. “Evelyn was a keen technician and an expert in labor relations,” DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido said. “She worked in a very specialized business that many of [More...]

Contract Talks Lead to $15 Minimum Wage Coverage for CUNY Workers

June 21, 2016 // 2 Comments

Thousands of DC 37 members who work at the City University of New York and earn less than $15 an hour will see their salaries increase to conform with the state’s new minimum wage law. CUNY made the commitment to extend the state’s new $15 an hour minimum wage to its workers during recently concluded contract talks with the union. “This action will substantially boost the wages of thousands of CUNY workers and reaffirms New York’s commitment to reducing inequality in the state and city,” DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido said. In April, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a law to increase the minimum wage in New York from its current rate of $9 an hour to $15 an hour by 2021. Many businesses will adopt the $15 rate in 2018 in New York City, where the minimum wage will be implemented more quickly than in the rest of the state. Back in January, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio [More...]

DC 37, CUNY Reach a Tentative Contract Agreement (Updated)

June 10, 2016 // 4 Comments

City University of New York Chancellor James B. Milliken and Henry Garrido, the Executive Director of District Council 37, AFSCME, AFL-CIO, and its affiliated locals, today announced that a tentative contract settlement has been reached on a collective bargaining agreement covering more than seven years. The proposed contract covers the period from November 1, 2009 through January 31, 2017 and provides 10.41% in compounded wage increases.  A $1,000 bonus upon ratification of the contract is also part of the terms of the agreement.  The agreement also includes an annual $200 increase to the welfare fund for all active and retired employees. The deal covers 12,000 members of Locals 2054, 384, 2627, 983, 1597, 1407, 375 and 1797 who work at the university’s 24 campuses citywide. The agreement, which is subject to approval by the CUNY Board of Trustees and ratification by the CUNY [More...]

Union Pushes For New Plan on Provisional Workforce

May 11, 2016 // 0 Comments

BY GREGORY N. HEIRES The union is pushing for a new plan to reduce the ranks of provisional employees by moving thousands of them into permanent positions. A high-level union negotiating team is working with the Dept. of Citywide Administrative Services and the Office of Labor Relations to gain job security and civil service status for the workers. DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido said he hopes the plan will be a breakthrough chapter in the city’s long saga of trying to pare down the number of provisional employees on its payroll. The city began this effort after a court ruling known as Long Beach which upheld the civil service rule that restricts municipalities from employing provisional workers for more than nine months. When provisional workers reach that time on the job, local governments are supposed to let them go or move them into permanent positions. “We want to work [More...]