NEWSROOM

EMS Worker Killed in Ambulance Hijacking

March 17, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO An EMS worker was killed and another was injured on Thursday, March 16, as a 25-year-old man attempted to commandeer their ambulance. Emergency Medical Technicians Yadira Arroyo and Monique Williams were responding to a nighttime emergency call in the Soundview section of the Bronx, when someone on the street noticed a man riding on the back bumper of their ambulance and alerted the workers. When the Local 2507 members pulled over and confronted the man, he shoved them aside and took over their vehicle. The man knocked Williams to the ground, but put the ambulance in reverse and ran over Arroyo. The 14-year veteran and mother of five children was pronounced dead on Thursday evening at Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx. “An Emergency Medical Technician lost in the line of duty bravely doing her job and encountering the kind of danger EMTs should not have to [More...]

Big Pharma Spent Big Bucks on New York Politics in 2016

March 15, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Drug companies have increased their political contributions in New York State as they come under fire for excessive prices and face calls for greater government regulation. In 2016, pharmaceutical companies contributed $799,150 to candidates for state office in New York, according to state Board of Elections records, POLITICO New York reported. That’s up from $588,750 in 2015 and $667,485 in 2014. Big Pharma is campaigning against a plan by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to create a price ceiling on certain high-priced drugs that Medicaid covers. His plan also calls for greater transparency. The debate in New York over the political influence and price gouging of the drug industry mirrors the concerns in Washington, D.C., where progressive politicians are pushing for greater regulation and control over prices. Critics of the industry would like to open up the drug industry [More...]

Celebrating the “Everyday Woman”

March 9, 2017 // 0 Comments

By JOSEPH LOPEZ Women’s History Month is not only an opportunity to honor the many women who have made historic contributions to the world, but it’s also a time to appreciate every woman’s unique input in daily life. Local 1549 recognized the “Everyday Woman” on March 4 at its Women’s History Month luncheon celebration. “We are all special in our own right,” said 1549 Women’s Committee Chairperson Tracye Hawthorne to the large crowd of women who are mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, and proud city workers and union members. “All women are strong and powerful. They make you and they can break you,” said Local 1549 and DC 37 President Eddie Rodriguez. Guests were treated to performances by the Wings of Glory Dance Missionary and the Local 1549 Choral Group, under the direction of 1549’s Executive Vice President Alma Roper. The program also honored women who [More...]

Deceased Member’s Estate Awarded $20,000 in Back Pay

March 8, 2017 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS The DC 37 General Counsel’s Office obtained a consent award that granted $20,000 in back pay to the estate of a Local 1597 Custodial Assistant, who was wrongfully terminated from Brooklyn College. Management alleged that Hope McNeill failed to follow the college’s procedures for approved medical leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and fired her. Ms. McNeil died before her case went to arbitration. McNeil had worked for Brooklyn College for about three years when an illness left her unable to work. But when McNeill was ready to return to her job at the college in April 2015, she learned she was terminated. Management fired McNeill in a letter that accused her of abandoning her job and alleged that her medical leave had not been approved. Blue Collar Council Rep Norlita De Taza filed a grievance to appeal McNeill’s termination. It was denied at [More...]

Training Health-Care Workers in Patient and Worker Safety

March 6, 2017 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE Members of locals 420 and 768 work hard in providing quality care at NYC Health+Hospitals facilities. Some of the tasks involved in making patients’ lives better under their care may seem mundane to outsiders, but their work makes a huge difference in patient care. It can also injure health-care workers providing these services. DC 37 members assist in daily routines to make hospital patients’ lives better, such as moving them from their beds to a chair, or helping patients in physical therapy. While these day-to-day routines for our city hospital workers is a normal practice in health-care settings, workers face risk of bodily injury. Many of these injuries are caused by repeated pressure on the back or knees — both can lead to chronic pain and long-term physical damage. Also, there is a risk of patient injury if staff cannot prevent a fall. Work injuries can end a [More...]

Black History Month: Heartbeat of America

March 1, 2017 // 0 Comments

  Photos: Mike Lee By DIANE  S. WILLIAMS The Motown Show’s two sold-out performances on Finale Night Feb. 27 ended the union’s month-long celebration of Black History. Motown Spectacular is a musical co-written and directed by DC 37 member Yolanda Brooks-Ruiz, a Local 768 Public Health Sanitarian, and retired New York City Firefighter Juan Ruiz, who studied with renowned acting coach Lee Strasberg. Black History Committee Chair and Local 1113 President Deborah Pitts emceed the night with DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido and Local 768 President Fitz Reid. Local 768 and the DC 37 Black History Committee sponsored the event. Brooks-Ruiz’s Motown show highlights the genius of producer, songwriter and music pioneer Berry Gordy, who with writer Smokey Robinson, and later with the team of Holland-Dozier-Holland, crafted tunes and smooth stylings that leaped past longstanding [More...]

Local 983 Wins Higher Pay and Better Benefits for Urban Park Rangers

February 22, 2017 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS From March 1 to March 27, New York City will offer an open competitive exam for Urban Park Rangers. To apply, file an application with the Dept. of Citywide Services (DCAS). Once you apply, you may register for prep classes at www.dc37.net. “We urge all provisional UPRs to take the exam and the test prep courses offered through the DC 37 Education Fund,” said Local 983 President Joseph Puleo. DC 37 and Local 983 have made outstanding strides improving salary and benefits for its members. Puleo said, “Newly hired Urban Park Rangers start with a 15 percent salary increase.” The union negotiated: A $41,200 new annual starting salary for UPRs, up from $32,700. After five years, UPRs get a $1,500 raise to bring them to $42,700, plus future increases negotiated in the citywide agreement. Longevity pay of $800 annually and pensionable Recurring Increment Payments [More...]

Activists Flock to Organizing Summit

February 18, 2017 // 0 Comments

  By ALFREDO ALVARADO The increase in “right to work” legislation being passed around the country, the threats to immigrants and the upcoming constitutional convention vote in November were some of the urgent issues DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido addressed during his welcoming remarks at the union’s first organizing summit. “They say New York is not Wisconsin and it can’t happen here, but I’m not so sure,” said Garrido, referring to the union-busting legislation introduced in Wisconsin by Gov. Scott Walker. Garrido shared his comments at the Feb. 11 summit for union activists sponsored by the DC 37 Organizing Dept. Encouraged by Walker’s success in Wisconsin, anti-union activists around the country are working hard to introduce similar union-busting legislation in other states, Garrido said. “Wages in Wisconsin are down and raises are capped, thanks to [More...]

No To a Constitutional Convention

February 14, 2017 // 0 Comments

On the November 2017 ballot, New York voters will be asked to decide whether to call a convention to rewrite the New York State Constitution. The constitution mandates that this question be put to a vote every 20 years.  If the measure passes, the state must then schedule another vote in 2018 to choose delegates for the convention. This convention would open in Albany on April 2, 2019, and proposed changes to the state Constitution would likely be put before the voters in November 2019. If this sounds like a long and cumbersome process, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. This is also a wasteful process that would give big business interests and anti-worker interests the opportunity to attack public services and the retirement security of the men and women who provide them. A convention would cost taxpayers more than $300 million. That is a ridiculous price to pay to give special [More...]

High Turnout for Library Jobs Fair at Union Headquarters

February 10, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO District Council 37 and the New York Public Library collaborated to sponsor a job fair to fill positions at the NYPL. Union and NYPL staff screened and interviewed 100 individuals at the Feb. 10 job fair held at DC 37 headquarters. After filling out applications, candidates were then interviewed by staff from the library’s Human Resources Dept. Among the positions the NYPL is looking to fill are Building Superintendent, Junior Library Custodian, Library Maintainer and Porter. “Our libraries are a great resource for New Yorkers, but we have to make sure they’re properly maintained. This increase in staff is long overdue,” said Cuthbert Dickenson, president of Quasi-Public Employees Local 374, which represents blue-collar and custodial titles. The NYPL and DC 37 will hold another job fair at the Bronx Library Center at 310 East Kingsbridge Road on March 3. [More...]