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Unions Gather to Pay Tribute to Workers Killed on the Job

April 28, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES City unions and workplace safety advocates paid tribute to workers who died on the job during a ceremony outside DC 37 headquarters on April 28. The Workers’ Memorial Day ceremony was dedicated to Emergency Medical Technician Yadira Arroyo, a Local 2507 member who was killed in the line of duty on March 16, when a man ran her over her as he tried to hijack her ambulance. “Today and every day, let us recommit to doing all we can to honor those we have lost at work and to advocate for policies designed to protect the health and well-being of all workers,” said Vincent Alvarez, president of the New York City Central Labor Council, a sponsor of the event. “Every person who is killed on the job or dies due to workplace illness leaves family and an entire community in mourning,” said Charlene Obernauer, executive director of New York City Occupational Safety and [More...]

Taxes and Inequality

April 24, 2017 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO Thousands of demonstrators across the United States on April 15 — Tax Day — called for President Donald Trump to release his taxes. The protest was a reminder of the country’s unfair tax system and glaring inequality. And it was the opening act of resistance to what stands to become the next big political battle: tax reform. Having failed to replace and repeal the Affordable Care Act with the Republicans’ health-care plan — which in itself would have deepened inequality — Trump aims to implement the greatest tax overhaul since President Ronald Reagan’s changes to the tax code in 1986. This is very troublesome, because the policies coming out of the White House and the Republican-controlled Congress have favored the rich and powerful — and the Trump administration’s tax “reform” plan continues in that vein. Trump’s federal budget proposal [More...]

Member Gets Promotion and Pay Increase in Out-of-Title Grievance

April 22, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES A Local 1407 member won a promotion and an 8 percent raise after the settlement of an out-of-title grievance. Ahsan Masood joined the city workforce in 2014, when he was hired as an Associate Analyst. A provisional worker, he took a civil service exam within a year and became a permanent city employee with the title of Management Auditor. He took that step because he wanted the security of a permanent job. “There was a change in my salary, which I was okay with,” Masood said. “But as time went on, they kept adding tasks.” This extra work involved coming up with the budget that the Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene needs to obtain grants from the Dept. of Homeland Security. Masood did the work for about a year even though it was not included in his responsibilities as a Management Auditor. But he grew tired of putting in the extra effort without the extra [More...]

Join the Climate Change March in Washington on April 29

April 13, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO President Donald Trump wasted no time trying to dismantle the Affordable Care Act and prevent Muslims from entering the country. Those plans stalled when they came up against massive opposition. The Trump administration has been equally aggressive attacking regulations and laws that protect the environment. Trump’s new head of the federal Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, doesn’t even believe human-caused climate change is a fact. He has said there’s “tremendous disagreement” about the impact people have on the environment. According to The Atlantic magazine: “This is wrong… Pruitt’s claim runs so counter to the findings of the international scientific community, to the conclusions of the U.S. government, and even to the marketing materials of the oil-and-gas industry that it is difficult to label it anything but a falsehood.” So it’s [More...]

Union and City Raise Public Awareness about Safety in Highway Work Zones

April 12, 2017 // 0 Comments

By DIANE WILLIAMS The union is working with the Dept. of Transportation to encourage motorists to be more cautious as they drive in highway work zones, where four workers have died in recent years. On a raining April 4 under the Seeley Avenue bridge in leafy Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn, New York City Dept. of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg and Local 1455 President Mike DeMarco were joined by Council member Ydanis Rodriguez and dozens of workers in neon safety vests to highlight National Work Zone Awareness Week, April 3 through 7. “This is one of the more important concerns that both labor and management collaborate on and strongly support,” DeMarco said. “We work very hard to keep all DOT workers and motorists safe in work zones as we improve and repair streets and roadways.” DC 37 Locals 376, 983, 1157, 1455 and 1506 represent hundreds of DOT workers who maintain [More...]

Contribute to the New York Daily News Fund for the Family of Yadira Arroyo

April 10, 2017 // 0 Comments

Dear Sisters and Brothers, As many of you know by now, a fund has been established by the Daily News in conjunction with the FDNY Foundation in order to aid the family of Sister Yadira Arroyo, the EMT who was recently killed in the line of duty. The fund will send the donations directly to the Arroyo family via the FDNY Foundation. AFSCME, the national union of DC 378, has contributed $10,000 to this fund and our Council will be asking to match this amount. We ask that you consider making a donation to the Arroyo family to help them through this challenging time. The following is information on how you can make your donation: Donors can send payments electronically to Daily News Charities, account number 9387-575-837, routing number 021-000-322. The charity also has a PayPal account at nydn.us/ArroyoFund. Checks can be made payable to Daily News Charities Inc. and mailed to: New York [More...]

A Health Plan Implodes

April 7, 2017 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO It was nice to see the Republican health-care plan implode in late March. Here are just some of the ways the GOP plan would have affected New York and the country: ●New York state would have been hit with a $3.7 billion hole in its health-care budget. ● Deep Medicaid cuts to New York City would have devastated NYC Health+Hospitals. Some 200,000 residents who rely on the public health care system would have lost their health care. The loss of federal funds would have stuck NYC H+H with millions of dollars in annual deficits. ● Some 10 million people nationwide benefited from the Medicare expansion under the ACA. They would have lost their coverage. The Medicare expansion was funded by taxes on the wealthy. The elimination of those taxes would have given the power elite a windfall of $350 billion over 10 years. All told, under the GOP plan the wealthy would have [More...]

Member Confronts Racism in Online Media

April 6, 2017 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Veteran news reporter Anita M. Samuels’ new book, “Rants & Retorts,” examines often anonymous— and always vitriolic— racist online comments posted on internet news stories. “I became a journalist because I wanted to write positive stories about African Americans,” said Samuels, a member of Civil Technical Guild Local 375 who works as an administrative coordinator at Borough of Manhattan Community College. After the historic election of Barack Obama in 2008, many were quick to say America transitioned to a post-racial society. But in “Rants & Retorts: How Bigots Got A Monopoly on Commenting About News Online,” Samuels exposes an ugly truth: Racism is festering on social media. Reading disturbing online comments on several news stories the New York Daily News had published in 2008, an upset Samuels complained to her editor. The comments [More...]

Union Member Is Vindicated in Court

March 31, 2017 // 0 Comments

After more than two painful years of facing criminal charges for doing his job, Juvenile Counselor Rafael Pasols, an SSEU Local 371 member,  was found not guilty on all charges of improperly restraining a 17-year-old resident at the Horizon Juvenile Center in the Bronx. Pasols, a Juvenile Counselor with a clean 15-year disciplinary record, was prosecuted over an incident on Nov. 8, 2014, when he restrained an out-of-control seventeen-year-old Horizon Juvenile Center resident. Just before, the resident had hit Pasols on the face with a telephone and said he was about to “snuff” [beat] him. Pasols was never disciplined by the Administration for Children’s Services. He continued to serve as a Juvenile Counselor as the case proceeded. But, on orders from the Justice Center in Albany, the Bronx prosecutor attempted to portray the restraint as an illegal chokehold. The [More...]

An Era of Scorn for Our Government Workforce

March 30, 2017 // 0 Comments

By LEE SAUNDERS Back in 1932, a group of Wisconsin state employees banded together to defend their rights as civil servants, pushing back against a corrupt spoils system that would reward friends of politicians with important public-service jobs that demanded nonpartisan professionalism. That was the beginning of the formation of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. I am proud to serve as president of AFSCME, where we represent 1.6 million men and women — everyone from bus drivers to sanitation workers to emergency medical technicians — who never quit working to serve and strengthen their communities. Over the decades, even as our union has grown, we have had to contend with adversaries trying not just to hold down our members’ pay and benefits but who fundamentally denigrate and disrespect their work. That reflexive scapegoating of public [More...]