PUBLIC EMPLOYEE PRESS

Parks Worker Facing Deportation Released from Detention

August 12, 2017 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Jose Molina is back on the job restoring Bronx ball fields for the New York City Parks and Recreation Dept. after the Local 983 member was detained almost a month after reporting to Immigration Court at 26 Federal Plaza. Four years of liberty ended for no apparent reason, his lawyers said, after Molina dropped off his passport July 13 and told his deportation officer of his next court date in May 2018. He was moved to the Varick Street federal detention center for deportation. DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido , Local 983 President Joe Puleo, City Council members Carlos Manchaca and Fernando Cabrera, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and other elected officials and immigration advocates called for Molina’s immediate release. Molina was freed on Aug. 8. Molina, a dedicated Associate Parks Service Worker, is glad to clear another legal hurdle in his fight [More...]

Hospital Worker Wins $2,550 in Retro Pay

July 27, 2017 // 0 Comments

By DIANE WILLIAMS Serious illness almost cost Harlem Hospital Patient Care Associate Daniel Brewington his job. With help from his union, the Local 420 member is back at work — and receiving approximately $2,550 in retroactive longevity pay that a management snafu had denied him. After 22 years on the job, Brewington left Harlem Hospital on a medical leave that extended beyond one year. In accordance with NYC Health+Hospitals policy, the length of leave triggered termination of his employment. Brewington recovered and the hospital reinstated him in September 2015, after DC 37 attorneys brought his case before the NYC H+H Personnel Review Board (PERB). “The outcome of that hearing was favorable for Mr. Brewington and he got his job back, but NYC H+H managers failed to restore his longevity pay for years of service,” said union Council Rep Joel Viera Vera. So Viera Vera filed a [More...]

Participate in Storm Safety Program

July 26, 2017 // 0 Comments

New York City is at great risk for coastal storms starting Aug. 1 and New York City Emergency Management Dept. is looking for people interested in joining a storm safety program. StormStaff is a vital piece of the city’s Coastal Storm Sheltering operation that keeps New Yorkers safe during and after storms. StormStaff participants come from all backgounds, ranging from management to entry-level workers. They receive training online or in a classroom, and are first to be notified of citywide sheltering activations. As a StormStaff member, you have the opportunity to volunteer to work at the shelter nearest to your home or another location convenient to you. For information on compensation, please see the Shelter Worker Quick Guide issued by the New York City Emergency Management Dept., or check with your agency’s Coastal Storm Plan liaison. Make sure your supervisor approves your [More...]

Book Review: Beyond the $15 an Hour Movement and the Revival of Labor

July 24, 2017 // 0 Comments

By MOLLY CHARBONEAU How to build genuine trust among labor, faith and community partners to create a powerful movement is the universal message of Jonathan Rosenblum’s new book, “Beyond $15: Immigrant Workers, Faith Activists and the Revival of the Labor Movement.” Rosenblum directed a groundbreaking Service Employees International Union campaign for a $15 minimum wage in the Seattle-Tacoma area — the first major initiative in the country to win this demand. Soon after, the Fight for $15 — which began when 100 fast-food workers walked off their jobs in New York City in 2012 — exploded nationwide. “But the campaign was about a lot more than just fair wages,” Rosenblum said. “It was, at its core, a struggle against the maldistribution of power in society.”This vision, echoing the earlier Occupy movement, attracted community and faith partners to the fight. In “Beyond [More...]

“Many are now afraid to sign up for insurance because of President Trump’s agenda against immigrants.”

July 18, 2017 // 0 Comments

Candido “Candy” Ramos, Certified Application Counselor, Local 1549 Photo: Clarence Elie-Rivera One of the worst feelings possible is when you are in need of help and those people who could assist you refuse to do so. I have experienced this in my life and it is the reason why I love the job that I have, a career that revolves around helping people with something that they cannot take for granted — their health. Not only is it my job to help people when they need it, but I want to help people when they need it. I want them to never experience the kind of hopelessness I had to when I was on the other side of the table. As a Certified Application Counselor at New York City’s Department of Human Resources and Administration, I spend my days signing people up for medical coverage through either Medicaid or other affordable coverages. People tend to think that health insurance is too [More...]

Ruling Upholds Members’ Right to Extra Compensation for Handling Medical Waste

July 18, 2017 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Seven hospital workers, members of Local 420, have received a total of $7,000 in back pay to settle a group grievance filed after Bellevue Hospital failed to pay them the contractual differential for handling medical waste. The seven Housekeeping Aides cleaned patients’ rooms and removed and disposed of bagged infectious materials known as red bag waste for more than a year. Management omitted paying them the annual differential for performing the hazardous duties. The members reached out to Grievance Rep Monique Jaysura, who filed a group grievance on their behalf. Management did not respond at Step 1, so the grievance went to Step 2. “Once we filed the grievance, management did not want the case to drag on so they paid the members before the union took the grievance to arbitration,” Jaysura said. Housekeeping Aide Doris Khodra said she is happy to receive [More...]

The Era of Gender Wage Inequality is Ending

July 17, 2017 // 0 Comments

By LETITIA JAMES The era of wage-based inequality is beginning to end. On May 5, after 50 years of fighting, women of New York City took a huge step towards closing the gender wage gap and achieving true economic parity with the signing into law of my bill that bans employers from asking applicants about their salary history. This legislation will provide women of all backgrounds with a chance for economic equality; and mitigate the rising inequality in our city. For too long, the reality for women, and particularly women of color, has been bleak. My office found that for every dollar that a white man working in New York City makes, a white woman earns 84 cents, an Asian woman earns 63 cents, a Black woman earns 55 cents, and a Hispanic woman earns 46 cents. In total, women in New York City are shortchanged by $5.8 billion per year compared to their male counterparts. When previous [More...]

Member at Harlem Hospital Wins Title Upgrade and Back Pay

July 15, 2017 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS A Local 420 member at Harlem Hospital won a $7,400 title upgrade and $3,200 in back pay after the Office of Labor Relations favorably decided a grievance the union filed on her behalf. Shirley Medina worked for Harlem Hospital as a Central Supply Assistant since 2002. By November 2015, she met the state requirements for certification as a Central Service Technician, Level 2, which pays about $7,400 more annually. The following year, in 2016, the union and Health and Hospitals revised the Central Supply Assistant title to Central Service Technician, levels 1 and 2. “I took the exam, met the hour requirements and submitted my paperwork so I thought I’d automatically get the bump up. I was already doing the work,” Medina said. “I talked to a coworker and we compared our paychecks.” That’s when Medina found out she never received the upgrade. Her manager had [More...]

A Tax Break for Union Workers

July 14, 2017 // 0 Comments

For once we have a tax break for the middle class instead of the 1 percent. A new state tax break for union dues will save an estimated 500,000 workers up to $35 million a year, or $70 for individuals.  This tax break pales in comparison to the state and federal tax breaks millionaires and billionaires receive. But the tax break helps put a little in our pockets during this new Gilded Age. Perhaps as important, this calls attention to our country’s vast inequality. From the 1920s to the early 1970s, economic inequality rose most of the time in the United States. Since then, the inequality of income and wealth has worsened so much that it is as bad as it was in the 1920s. So the new tax break is a small, but very welcome, step in the right direction. The New York State AFL-CIO pushed for union members to be able to get a tax break on their dues during deliberations over the new $153 [More...]

State Court Workers Win With New Contract

July 14, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES State court workers represented by Local 1070 overwhelmingly approved a new contract that provides for 2 percent annual pay increases over three years. Members voted 687-54 in favor of the contract in a mail ballot vote tabulated on May 31. “We worked very hard on this contract, and we’re glad members recognized that in approving our new economic agreement,” said Fausto Sabatino, president of Local 1070 Court, County and Dept. of Probation Employees. “We didn’t have any givebacks. At a time when unions are under attack across the country, we were able to improve our contract, protect our benefits and get fair salary increases.” The contract boosts location pay — the extra compensation members receive for the high living expenses of New York City — and the longevity bonus for years of service. The contract, which runs from April 1, 2016, to March 31, [More...]