NEWSROOM

Agreement protects cultural workers pensions

September 1, 2016 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES The union reached a tentative agreement that protects the pensions of DC 37 members working at cultural institutions and other workers who are employed at day-care centers. On Aug. 11, DC 37 concluded talks on the five-year agreement with the employers’ representatives, the Cultural Institutions Group and the Day Care Council of New York, after months of tough negotiations to find a way to preserve the Cultural Institutions Retirement System (CIRS). “The members of our bargaining committee made the hard choices and took the responsible actions needed to protect our hard-won benefits for current employees and to preserve our pension benefits into the future,” DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido said. The agreement will maintain the benefits of the 9,000 current employees, including 1,200 DC 37 members enrolled in the pension system. They will still be able [More...]

“We are proud of what we do. We have seen the water get so much cleaner since the ’70s.”

September 1, 2016 // 0 Comments

William Edgar, Captain, Marine Workers Local 2906 Photo: Clarence Elie-Rivera I love the water. I grew up in the Bronx near Throggs Neck. There was a private beach with a lifeguard and teenagers used to all have boats. My father and I fished on the grounds of SUNY Maritime College, where I ended up majoring in meteorology and oceanography. I started working at the Dept. of Environmental Protection on Feb. 29, 1988. Getting a job with the city was one of the best things you could do at the time. I have a very good job working in the harbor. I came in as a Mariner and worked my way up to 3rd Mate and was promoted to Captain. The Captain is responsible for the whole ship. I pilot the ship. I work with some very great people. The crew has a Captain, a Mate, two Mariners, a Chief Engineer and an Assistant Engineer. We all get along well. There are five ships in service. Being able to [More...]

Agreement Protects Pensions of Workers at Cultural Institutions

August 29, 2016 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES The union reached a tentative agreement that protects the pensions of DC 37 members working at cultural institutions and other workers who are employed at day-care centers. On Aug. 11, DC 37 concluded talks on the five-year agreement with the employers’ representatives, the Cultural Institutions Group and the Day Care Council of New York, after months of tough negotiations to find a way to preserve the Cultural Institutions Retirement System (CIRS). “The members of our bargaining committee made the hard choices and took the responsible actions needed to protect our hard-won benefits for current employees and to preserve our pension benefits into the future,” DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido said. The agreement will maintain the benefits of the 9,000 current employees, including 1,200 DC 37 members enrolled in the pension system. They will still be able [More...]

Activists Collect Signatures to Support Safety Net Hospital Bill During Harlem Week

August 22, 2016 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS DC 37 had a great day in Harlem at the annual Harlem Week festivities in August as union activists kicked off the signature campaign urging Governor Andrew Cuomo to enact the new Enhanced Safety Net Hospital bill. The union petitions add community support for new legislation that would protect the safety net of public hospitals in New York State threatened by unprecedented funding shortfalls. Safety net bills (A. 9476-A)/(S.6948-A), which the state Senate and Assembly passed in June, creates a true safety net definition based on the number of Medicaid and uninsured patients served. With the definition, additional funding can be negotiated in the next state budget cycle to safety net providers, including the public hospitals, and would increase the opportunity for federal matching funds. Assembly Health Chair Richard Gottfried, and Assembly members William Colton, [More...]

DC 37 Announces Key Endorsements in the City’s Primary Election for State Legislative Seats

August 10, 2016 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE DC 37 has endorsed candidates for six state legislative races in New York’s Tuesday, Sept. 13 primary. The union backs Sen. Roxanne Persuad, Democrat from Brooklyn’s 19th District. Born in Guyana, Persuad was a higher education administrator. Prior to serving in the state Senate, Sen. Persuad was president of the 69 th Precinct Community Council in Canarsie, a member of Community Board 18 and commissioner on the New York City Districting Commission. DC 37 also supports State Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky of the 16th District in Queens. A fighter for social justice, Stavisky is the assistant Democratic leader and ranking minority member on the Senate’s Committee on Higher Education, working to improve public schools and programs for older adults. State Sen. Gustavo Rivera of the 33rd District in the Bronx also gets the union’s nod. Rivera is a native of Puerto [More...]

A Citizen Soldier and Dedicated Public Employee

August 9, 2016 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS To give back to his Harlem community, Corey J. Garrett Sr. a Local 1505 City Parks Worker and crew chief, mentors neighborhood kids, registers voters and is a citizen soldier with the New York State Guard, where he has served as an army command sergeant major, the highest enlisted rank, for two decades. In June, New York State Assembly member Keith Wright and members of the City Council chose Garrett, a New York County Democratic Committee member, for the 2016 Harlem Men of Distinction award. “I was surprised and speechless,” said the former U.S. Marine. “I reread the letter five times.” Helping others is a way of life for Garrett, who enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps at 18, then joined the U.S. Army. Local politicians recognized Garrett’s volunteerism and outstanding spirit—semper fi—the Marine motto, always faithful. As a mentor with the Harlem [More...]

DC 37 Executive Director and Local 371 President Elected to Serve on National Union’s Board

August 3, 2016 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS The District Council 37 delegate body unanimously elected DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido and Social Service Employees Union Local 371 President Anthony Wells international vice presidents of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees at the 42nd AFSCME Convention last month. AFSCME international vice presidents (IVPs) determine the union’s agenda,  policies and procedures, and they weigh in on major national issues, such as privatization, fair taxes, health care and pensions affecting 1.6 million members and retirees that AFSCME represents in more than 3,400 local unions and 58 councils and affiliates in 46 states, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico. “I am deeply appreciative of the tremendous confidence the DC 37 delegates have placed in me and the unity they have shown. Now let’s go and get work done!” said Garrido. Union [More...]

DC 37’s CUNY Workers Back New Contract

July 20, 2016 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE Closing a chapter in a long, difficult fight for a fair contract, the 12,000 workers represented by DC 37 at the City University of New York (CUNY),  overwhelmingly approved the agreement. The union announced the results on Monday. The members backed the agreement by 98 percent in a mail ballot vote conducted by the American Arbitration Association. Ballots were sent to members on July 1, after the union negotiated a tentative agreement with CUNY on June 10. The contract increases the pay by more than 10 percent for the hardworking CUNY DC 37 members over an 87 month period, covering the time from November 1, 2009 through January 31, 2017. The contract provides 10.41% in compounded wage increases and a $1,000 bonus upon ratification. The contract also includes an annual $200 increase to the welfare fund for all active and retired employees. CUNY also agreed to raise the [More...]

The Myth of Tax Flight

July 16, 2016 // 0 Comments

News that a hedge fund billionaire picked up his business and moved from New Jersey to Florida renewed the debate over whether the rich flee states with higher taxes. David Tepper, one of the richest individuals in the United States, will save millions of dollars by moving his family and his hedge fund, Appaloosa Management, to income tax-free Florida. Small government advocates and budget hawks seized upon Tepper’s move to bolster their argument for tax cuts. Fortune magazine columnist Travis H. Brown said that until New Jersey lowers taxes on the wealthy, “taxpayers will continue looking for the nearest exit out of the Garden State.” But do taxes really determine where millionaires and billionaires choose to live? An article in the April edition of the American Sociological Review, suggests that the impact of higher taxes is insignificant. The authors said the most striking [More...]

No To a Constitutional Convention

July 16, 2016 // 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. The 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. If successful, these special interests would: • do untold damage to our retirement security by changing [More...]