NEWSROOM

The Right-wing Bradley Foundation Plots to Destroy Unions

October 13, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES A right-wing network of foundations and front groups has spent decades trying to wipe out unions. One of those anti-union foundations is the Milwaukee-based Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation. A few years ago, the foundation helped Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker successfully attack public employees and withstand a union-led recall effort. Walker’s chief targets were the teachers union and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, DC 37’s national union. Today, the “Wisconsin Model” — whose core goals are weakening collective bargaining, defunding unions, restricting workplace rights, promoting school vouchers, and backing right-to-work legislation — provides the blueprint for anti-labor and anti-government initiatives around the country. “We are up against a conservative network that is sinking millions and millions of dollars into [More...]

Union Organizes Against Constitutional Convention

October 10, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES As the Nov. 7 elections  approach, DC 37 is stepping up its work with a coalition fighting against a ballot question on whether the state should hold a constitutional convention. Established earlier this year, New Yorkers Against Corruption is spreading the word about the danger of holding a convention, which would open the door for special interests to chip away at crucial protections and rights enshrined in the state constitution. The group’s campaign includes a media outreach and door-to-door canvassing. “A lot is at risk,” said Jordan Marks, the group’s campaign manager. “Voting rights. Criminal justice. Environmental protections. Women’s health and a lot more.” Besides working with the coalition, the union is also focusing on informing members about the constitutional convention. Polls show that the convention is not on the radar screen of most [More...]

Six DC 37 Members are in Puerto Rico to Help with Relief Efforts

October 6, 2017 // 0 Comments

By KEVIN ZAPF HANES Six members from New York City-based AFSCME District Council 37 (DC 37) are in Puerto Rico to help residents rebuild their lives after Hurricane Maria devastated the commonwealth. The Caribbean island, home to 3.5 million U.S. citizens, is in desperate need of highly skilled workers. The DC 37 members are lending their expertise to the larger relief effort under way as our union works to help all residents, including thousands of working and retired AFSCME sisters and brothers represented by Servidores Publicos Unidos de Puerto Rico (SPUPR)/AFSCME Council 95, get back on their feet. Partnering with the AFL-CIO and some of its member unions, AFSCME sent five construction workers and a nurse to the island. AFSCME Pres. Lee Saunders said the DC 37 members’ efforts are characteristic of how the women and men of AFSCME show their commitment to service even beyond their [More...]

Justice for Dreamers

October 4, 2017 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO Many of us were morally outraged by President Donald J. Trump’s decision to phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. DACA protects undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children from deportation and allows them to work and study here. The day after Trump’s Sept. 5 announcement, I joined New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, the attorneys general of Massachusetts and Washington, young immigrants, nonprofit groups and private companies at a press conference to denounce the repeal. At the press conference, Schneiderman announced that he and eleven other state attorneys general would contest the Trump administration in court, charging that the DACA shutdown violated federal executive policy-making rules. Many immigrants understandably felt Trump’s decision to phase out DACA disrespected their community as well as [More...]

Don’t Like Your Health Plan? October is the Time to Switch

October 2, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES If you wish to change your health-care plan, now is the time to act. The city’s annual health-care “reopener” runs from Oct. 2 to Oct. 31. For city employees who change plans, coverage is effective on the date of their first paycheck in 2018. Retirees can only change their plan in even-numbered years. But they are allowed to change plans in an odd-numbered year if they exercise a one-time exception to that rule. Retiree alert! Beware of aggressive marketing During the annual open enrollment period, retirees are inundated with material from insurance companies and other groups that administer Medicare Part D, Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplemental plans. Edward W. Hysyk, executive vice president of the DC 37 Retirees Association, urged retirees to sit tight and be very cautious about changing their plan. “The health-care coverage we receive from DC 37 [More...]

Hiring Hall for School Lunch Helpers on Oct. 17 and Oct. 19

October 2, 2017 // 0 Comments

Due to popular demand, registration for the Oct. 17 and Oct. 19 hiring hall is now closed. Future hiring halls are planned for the near future. By ALFREDO ALVARADO District Council 37 and the Dept. of Education will be holding a hiring hall to fill part-time positions throughout the city’s school districts. The department is looking to hire Sr. School Lunch Helpers. Their responsibilities include accepting food deliveries and cleaning the school kitchen. Applicants should be able to lift a minimum of 30 pounds. The hiring hall takes place on Tuesday, Oct. 17 and Thursday, Oct. 19 from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at DC 37 headquarters at 125 Barclay St. in Manhattan. “This is a great opportunity to begin a career at the Dept. of Education,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. “This is our way of reaching out to the community and sharing these opportunities. We look forward to [More...]

Fight Cuts to Workers’ Compensation! Take Action Now!

September 28, 2017 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE The union is taking part in an all-out effort to fight proposed changes to workers’ compensation system in New York State, changes that affect all workers injured on the job. The NYS Workers’ Compensation Board has proposed medical treatment guidelines and regulations that would eliminate monetary awards for dozens of arm and leg injuries, while also denying workers the right to have an independent medical examination. The change would also deny benefits and care to workers injured on the job who fail to answer all the questions posed by an employer’s medical examiner. Workers’ compensation, which has been on the books in New York for a century, is being threatened by right-wing business interests, such as the Business Council, which was able to pressure the state Workers’ Compensation Board to issue proposed changes to longstanding regulations earlier this [More...]

Workers on Janus: A Political Effort to Further Rig the Rules Against Working People

September 28, 2017 // 0 Comments

On Sept. 28, the U.S. Supreme Court decided to hear Janus v. AFSCME Council 31. This court case is the latest attempt by anti-union forces to take away public workers’ hard-won freedoms to organize, negotiate for fair pay and working conditions, as well as to strip them of their benefits. The following statement was issued by members and leaders of AFSCME, AFT, NEA, and SEIU – the nation’s four largest public sector unions – in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to grant Certiorari in Janus v. AFSCME Council 31: The Janus case is a blatantly political and well-funded plot to use the highest court in the land to further rig the economic rules against everyday working people. The billionaire CEOs and corporate interests behind this case, and the politicians who do their bidding, have teamed up to deliver yet another attack on working people by striking at the [More...]

Delegates Elect Deborah A. Pitts as DC 37’s Secretary

September 27, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO Deborah A. Pitts, president of Finance Administrative Employees and City Investigators Local 1113, was elected on Sept. 26 to serve as secretary of the District Council 37 Executive Board. Union delegates elected Pitts at their monthly meeting. Pitts defeated Local 375 member, former 1st Vice President, and DC 37 delegate Michelle Keller-Ng. The election was held to fill the secretary’s seat on the union’s executive board, made vacant by the retirement earlier this year of Local 957 President Walthene Primus. “It is an honor to serve DC 37 and our members–that’s the most important thing for me, helping our members,” said Pitts. Pitts also serves as the chair of the DC 37 Black History Committee, which every February coordinates a month of activities for members. Pitts has spent more than 30 years as a union activist, and she has been active with the [More...]

New York Attorney General Leads Opposition to Trump’s Overtime Pay Rollback

September 26, 2017 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman led a coalition of Attorneys General in opposing the Trump administration’s efforts to roll back overtime pay protections for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers and millions of Americans. The US Department of Labor threatens to roll back the Obama administration’s rule set to go into effect last year that would have expanded overtime pay protections for workers by setting a salary floor below which the exemption from overtime laws cannot apply. The proposed changes jeopardize protections involving overtime pay for millions of low-wage workers in the service and medical sectors, as well as office clericals, among others. In New York, this would have a devastating impact for hundreds of thousands of working families trying to get by in an unbalanced economy. “The Labor Department should be protecting workers’ rights, not [More...]