DC 37 Locals Lead Hurricane Cleanup

August 25, 2020 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Isaias, the storm with near-hurricane force winds, battered New York City Aug. 4, left 2.5 million in the tristate without power and ripped down 21,000 trees across the five boroughs. DC 37 members were on the front lines of the citywide cleanup, answering emergency calls, clearing uprooted trees and felled limbs that crashed onto power lines, houses, sidewalks, cars and streets. “Isaias, I believe, did as much tree damage as Superstorm Sandy in a much shorter period of time,” said Parks Supervisors Local 1508 President Mike Zeno, who is the P.S. 2 of Queens Forestry. In about four hours, Isaias’ strong winds and driving rain raged on the East Coast. At landfall in New York City, storm winds were 45 to 75 miles per hour and that touched off tornados, split trees and ripped them from the ground. The Supervisors local has the hectic job of [More...]

Parks Rangers Axed in Foul Budget Move

August 20, 2020 // 0 Comments

BY DIANE S. WILLIAMS Fifty Urban Park Rangers were chopped June 30 as New York City entered a new fiscal cycle in what union leaders say is a misguided response to the nationwide call to defund police. “Urban Park Rangers are part of the Parks Department. They are Peace Officers who teach people and their children about nature, the ecology, plants and wildlife in city parks for free,” said Local 983 President Joe Puleo. “They add to the safe enjoyment of public parks and urban forests. They are part of Parks community outreach. And as essential workers they distributed masks and information to protect lives even as the COVID-19 pandemic peaked.” “So why, ” he asks, “did these dedicated public servants lose their jobs?” Former NYC Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe, an ex-ranger hired when the program was first created in 1979 and who rose [More...]

City Lifeguards Honored for Orchard Beach Rescue

August 18, 2020 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS, with additional reporting and photo by MIKE LEE City Lifeguards who saved a drowning man at Orchard Beach in July were awarded citations for their heroism from three state and city lawmakers on August 17. “When we think of first responders, we often think of EMS, Fire and Police. Yet, on July 29, these young men and women–lifeguards–were the first responders and saved someone’s life,” said City Council member Mark Gjonaj at the Orchard Beach press conference. Lifeguards Andriy Kapys and Arlene Suvana pulled the victim, Joachin Rosado, 33, who had collapsed Face forward in knee-deep water. Immediately Lifeguards Julio Benjamin and Troy Washington began CPR to resuscitate the unconscious victim. “In emergency events like this our training automatically kicks in,” said Lifeguard Borough Coordinator Neil Veloz, who quarterbacked [More...]

Can You Help Improve Our Census Response For Future Jobs and Services?

August 17, 2020 // 0 Comments

Sisters and Brothers, DC 37 needs your help in fighting for our city’s future. With the Trump administration’s decision to end the 2020 Census count four weeks early, the Census Bureau now has to accurately count the nation’s hardest-to-reach residents — nearly four of every 10 households — in just six weeks, by Sept. 30.   Undercounting New York City could cause us to lose billions in federal dollars, resulting in severe cuts to vital city services, important community programs and even massive layoffs of public workers.   Eliminate the need for person-to-person contact by completing your 2020 Census at online or on your smartphone, or by calling 1-844-330-2020. If you complete your Census now by self-responding online or by phone with your Census ID, Census workers will not come to your door later. To find out how your community is doing so far, visit [More...]

City Lifeguards Save Drowning Man at Orchard Beach

August 14, 2020 // 0 Comments

BY DIANE S. WILLIAMS A crew of five City Lifeguards rescued a Bronx man who collapsed in knee-deep water at Orchard Beach July 29. “We saw him wade out and suddenly he collapse face down into the water,” said Lifeguard Supervisor Neil Veloz. “When we reached him and pulled him out, he had no pulse and wasn’t breathing.” Lifeguards Andriy Kapys and Arlene Suvana pulled the victim, Joachin Rosado, 33, from the water. Immediately Lifeguards Julio Benjamin and Troy Washington began CPR to resuscitate Rosado. But when they used the defibrillator, “he had no shockable heart rhythm,” said Veloz. Lifeguards began a cycle of cardio-pulmonary resuscitation and used a Bag Valve Mask (BVM) to pump air into Rosado’s lungs. Soon they saw signs of life return even as the victim lay on a backboard semi-unconscious. FDNY Paramedics in Local 2507 arrived in [More...]

The DC 37 Health & Security Plan is Here to Help Members Cope With Stress

August 13, 2020 // 0 Comments

Many people feel Stress in the face of Uncertainty. If these feelings are overwhelming you the Personal Service Unit is here to help. Stress is an inevitable part of life. Stress may be due to personal relationships, the workplace, or life changes. Repeated and prolonged exposure to stressful situations may take a toll on our physical and mental health. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, many are experiencing increased emotional stress due to loss, isolation and uncertainty. Understanding our stress responses and how stress affects us is the first step in learning how to cope with stress. Stress is a combination of thoughts and feelings that arise when we are faced with challenges. Signs and symptoms of stress may include: Anxiety, depression, fatigue, sleep disturbance, appetite or weight change, irritability or anger, difficulty concentrating, headaches, backaches or chest pain. The [More...]

Local 983 to Albany Legislators: Approve Short-Term Borrowing to Save 22,000 Jobs

August 13, 2020 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS  More than 100 members of Motor Vehicle Operators Local 983, went to Albany August 13 to urge state lawmakers to block the proposed layoffs of 22,000 NYC public employees. “The proposed layoffs will hit some of the lowest-paid municipal workers in New York City,” said Local 983 President Joe Puleo, “the same workers who are essential and on the frontlines in New York City’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.” Puleo organized the rally for his members to see first-hand the political bureaucracy that goes into saving their jobs. Local 983 represents more than 3,000 NYC Asbestos Handlers, Assistant City Highway Repairers, City Seasonal Aides, Associate Park Service Workers, Motor Vehicle Operators, Traffic Enforcement Agents Levels 3 & 4, Urban Park Rangers, Associate Urban Park Rangers, High Pressure Plant Tenders, Motor Vehicle Operator Supervisors, [More...]

MELS Workshop on End of Life Documents Now on Video

August 12, 2020 // 1 Comment

MELS, DC 37’s Municipal Employees Legal Services, is making available a video recording of the August 5th workshop on Wills and End of Life documents. Almost 600 union members registered for this Zoom workshop but due to power outages caused by Tropical Storm Isaias, some were unable to log on. DC 37 is offering members a chance to see a video if the seminar at their convenience– just click the link below. By viewing this video, members can learn from Stephen Shepard, Supervising Attorney of the Wills Unit at Municipal Employees Legal Services and Peter Kempner, an attorney at Volunteers of Legal Services, about how to prepare documents such as a will, advance medical directive and power of attorney. Sadly, the COVID-19 pandemic reminds us of the importance of end-of-life planning. Over 23,500 NYC residents have died so far, many of whom were elderly or frontline and [More...]

Important Information on Reopening Plans for New York State and City Agencies

August 12, 2020 // 0 Comments

DC 37 is providing its members the following links to New York State and City agency guidelines and policies as New York City begins to reopen and its unionized workforce returns to work. These workplace policies were enacted and negotiated with input from your union in response to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. The information provided herein may be subject to change as more is science and facts are learned about the Covid-19 virus. DC 37 continues to provide services that protect members’ jobs, benefits and livelihoods during this global health crisis. NYPD COVID-19 Return to Operations Guidance Document FDNY COVID-19 Reopening Strategy BCS Brooklyn Community Services Employee Return to Work Safety Guidelines and Employee Code of Conduct Department of Education NYC Department of Education School’s Reopening Plan for 2020-21 Department of Health and Mental Hygiene DOHMN [More...]

Local 2507 Members Reelect Leaders

August 11, 2020 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS In a landside victory in August, DC 37 Local 2507 members reelected President Oren Barzilay, and officers and executive board members to a second term to lead the city’s public first responders workforce of Uniformed EMTs, Paramedics and Fire Inspectors in the Fire Dept. Local 2507 EMS workers are on the front lines of New York City’s COVID-19 pandemic response and the Fire Inspectors ensure that all businesses, residential towers and commercial spaces meet building and fire safety codes as New York City gradually reopens in phases. Pictured with Barzilay, center, are officers and executive board members from left: John Rugen, Edwin Mendez, Darryl Chalmers, Michael Reardon, Michael Greco, Lance Winfield, Carl Gandolfo, Jennifer Aguiluz, Sammy Gounden, Lauren Hartnett (not pictured). Photo courtesy of Local [More...]