NEWSROOM

DC 37 Efforts Pivotal in Green New Deal Passage

June 19, 2019 // 0 Comments

  BY MIKE LEE Overcoming staunch political opposition from the real estate industry, New York City has embarked on an unprecedented effort to reduce greenhouse emissions citywide. DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido joined New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, City Council Environmental Protection Committee Chair Costa Constantinides and other Council members and community leaders in announcing OneNYC2050, an ambitious green initiative that comes on the heels of the passage of the Climate Mobilization Act. The Climate Mobilization Act, spearheaded by Constantinides and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, provides $14 billion in investments to cut carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2030. DC 37’s involvement was key in lobbying the City Council, working with community and environmental groups to rally support for the legislation. “Climate justice is the moral imperative of our [More...]

Budget Win! Union Gains in Parks, Libraries

June 19, 2019 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE Standing with City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and other council members and union leaders including DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido in the rotunda of City Hall, the mayor announced an agreement for a budget for fiscal year 2020. “We have a budget. The budget is balanced. It is progressive — and it’s early,” Mayor de Blasio said. Over months, DC 37 waged fierce campaigns with community-based coalitions to press the City Council for hiring and improvements. At rallies at City Hall and in testimony before the City Council, union members urged lawmakers to increase support for public services. . In the end, the union’s message was heard loud and clear. For Parks and Recreation, the city answered with $31 million in additional funds. This includes baseline (permanent) funding of $9.5 million to create positions for 100 seasonal park workers, 50 [More...]

Equal Pay For Equal Work! Local 372 Goes to Court for School Crossing Guards

June 18, 2019 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE The union is backing a legal effort to equalize pay for the more than 2,500 school crossing guards with the city’s Traffic Enforcement Agents, both of whom perform the same work. Board of Education Employees Local 372 held a rally and press conference in front of the federal Court House in Foley Square in lower Manhattan on May 16, shortly before an important hearing in a lawsuit against New York City stating it is in violation of the Equal Pay Act. The case, Miller v. New York, was filed on behalf of the union’s school crossing guards, workers who are predominantly female and paid substantially less than the city’s Traffic Enforcement Agents who perform similar job functions—and are mainly male. The goal of the lawsuit is to equalize pay between the SCAs and TEAs, given that the latter is often called upon to work as crossing guards, but at the same rate as their [More...]

Union’s Caribbean Heritage Starts Its Fifteenth Year

June 7, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS The union celebrated the history and heritage of people of the Caribbean diaspora June 3 at the annual Caribbean Heritage ribbon-cutting ceremony. “I am excited to mark the Committee’s 15th year at DC 37,” said Committee Chair and founder Carmen Charles, president of New York City Hospitals Employees Local 420. With lilting calypso and reggae played on steel drums in the background, the audience enjoyed traditional patties and sorrel, a beverage brewed from hibiscus flowers and herbs. They purveyed art and artifacts that traced the history of peoples stolen from Africa, enslaved as free labor on Caribbean sugar cane, banana, spice and cotton plantations from Antigua to Trinidad. Their story includes mass freedom revolts in Haiti, Jamaica and the Americas and includes the historic presidency of Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. Committee co-chair and [More...]

Unions Support Legislation to Curb Excessive ER Charges

June 7, 2019 // 0 Comments

By RUDY OROZCO DC 37 has joined the four of the state’s largest unions to call for legislation that seeks to protect patients from excessive hospital emergency room charges. DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido, 32BJ SEIU President Héctor Figueroa, United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew and Civil Service Employees Association President Danny Donohue backed the legislation in a joint letter they sent to state Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and other legislators on June 3. The union leaders are pushing for the passage of NY S3171 (19R) / NY A264 (19R), which would protect patients from exorbitant costs for out-of-network emergency care, an issue they said “threatens to bankrupt working families.” They said the bills — which have yet to make it to the floor in either chamber — could also help members fight for [More...]

The Battle of the Badges Has Begun

June 5, 2019 // 0 Comments

It’s on! A 12-week weight loss competition among four city agencies, dubbed The NYC Battle of the Badges, began June 3. Team up with your coworkers now to compete against other agencies and WW (Weight Watchers® reimagined) will donate up to $20,000 to a charity chosen by the winning agency. The four uniformed agencies participating in NYC Battle of the Badges are the Dept. of Corrections (DOC), Sanitation (DSNY), Fire (FDNY), and Police (NYPD). Participation is free and voluntary. Teams should consist of 8 to 10 people. The more people who sign up, the bigger the jackpot. To build the jackpot, WW (Weight Watchers® reimagined) will contribute $5 for every participant and $15 more for each new or current WW member who participates. The agency with the greatest percentage of teams achieving the six (6) percent average weight-loss goal wins. NYC Battle of the Badges is administered [More...]

Organizing Leadership Summit

June 5, 2019 // 0 Comments

More than 100 DC 37 activists gathered early on Saturday morning, June 1 to harness the power of organizing during a day-long event held at union headquarters. Guest speakers, including political activist Kevin Powell and New York State Assemblywoman Diana Richardson, wowed the activists with their calls to “communicate, collaborate and commit.” Attendees explored best practices on such topics as enhancing one-on-one contact with digital organizing; learned about what’s at stake for New York in the upcoming 2020 census; and focused on developing future leaders in the labor movement. “At a time of so much national polarization and division, our goal was to put together a powerful day of engagement, education and empowerment,” said DC 37 Field Director Barbara Terrelonge. “In order to enhance members’ rights in the workplace, influence public policy on behalf of our [More...]

Union, Advocates Fight Against Cuts to Library Budgets

May 21, 2019 // 0 Comments

Facing possible cuts in the city budget, DC 37 leaders of locals representing public library employees took to the steps of City Hall May 21 with the heads of the city’s three library systems, elected officials and advocates to warn of a dramatic impact should funding to the library systems be reduced– including loss of weekend service, reduced programming and delayed revitalization projects. “Our public libraries are lifelines for NYC neighborhoods – and cutting their budgets would jeopardize hours and days of service. We urge City Hall to find a way to keep what amounts to less than half of 1 percent of the city’s overall budget,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. “Libraries are the great equalizers in our society, and the most-equipped vehicle to a fairer and stronger City,” said Queens Public Library President Dennis M. Walcott, “We need increased [More...]

Union Fights to Fund and Save Parks Jobs

May 16, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS The Play Fair coalition – consisting of DC 37 locals, parks advocates, elected officials and even the Girl Scouts of New York – returned to City Hall May 14 to keep the pressure on lawmakers to increase funding for Parks maintenance by $100 million in FY 2020 budget. As budget negotiations continue between the two sides of City Hall, Play Fair activists continue to call for sustained, baselined funding for 100 City Parks Workers and 50 Gardeners, tree stump removal, and extending the beach and pool season. “One-shot deals do NOT go far enough!” warned DC 37 and Local 372 President Shaun D. Francois I. “The city has spent millions designing and building new parks and needs to invest in maintaining them.” “It’s insane that for six years we keep asking to baseline 150 Parks workers’ jobs,” said Local 1505 President Dilcy Benn. “Baselining these [More...]

Generating Revenue, Protecting Services: DC 37 Leads the Way in NYC Budget Fight

May 14, 2019 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE As the Mayor and the City Council negotiate next year’s budget, DC 37 leaders say New York City is losing millions of dollars in revenue by failing to invest fully in enforcement measures to safeguard its coffers. DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido and Local 1757 President Maria Policarpo have called on the city to reverse the decades-long reduction of staff responsible for tax assessments and property inspections. At a City Council budget hearing in March, Garrido noted the hazards of the current economic climate – issues with state aid, threats of reduced funding from the Trump administration – and urged lawmakers to take the steps required to generate more revenue. “We believe the root cause of this (lost revenue) problem is an undermanned workforce,” Garrido told the Council’s Finance Committee. “Millions of property tax dollars are left on the table by [More...]