PUBLIC EMPLOYEE PRESS

Union Mourns Intern Killed in Car Accident

January 16, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE W. WILLIAMS The AFSCME family is stunned and saddened by the tragic death of 21-year-old Nadia Mourtaj, a 2018 summer intern in DC 37’s Organizing Department. Nadia and her sister Zeyneb, 15, were in a car accident on Dec. 31, in Charles County, Md. Zeyneb was killed on impact and Nadia died nine days later. They are survived by their mother, Sara Ghebre, and father, Abdelilah Mourtaj. “Nadia was a bright star whose enthusiasm for life and the labor movement was contagious,” said DC 37 organizer Nichole Laing, who helped train the young activist seen in this union video. After Nadia completed the internship, Organizing Dept. Director Barbara Terrelonge said, “Nadia visited New York City in September, marching with DC 37 in the annual Labor Day Parade.” “There were many reasons why I chose Nadia for AFSCME’s program, but what stood out to me was her extensive [More...]

Welcome to DC 37

November 26, 2018 // 0 Comments

At Meetings Around the City, Public Service Workers Are Signing Up With the Union By GREGORY N, HEIRES DC 37 continues to sign up new members under our Leading the Way campaign to promote the benefits of union membership and encourage rank-and-file participation. Last month, DC 37 held five meetings with mid-level city employees whose misclassified job titles had kept them out of the union during the Bloomberg administration but are now eligible to join or re-join. A sixth meeting was also held in November for City University of New York employees, who recently won a new contract. Union Offers Job Security Many workers who signed union membership cards at the meetings indicated that job security was their top reason for joining. Monifa Thomas, a 20-year city employee who is now a senior project manager at the Administration for Children’s Services, described job security as “an [More...]

We Will Never Forget

November 23, 2018 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Today, we continue to do whatever we can to help our 9/11 heroes who are struggling with illnesses and fighting to stay alive. Ever since the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, the city had failed to grant thousands of EMS workers and other municipal workers sufficient sick time to deal with afflictions caused by their exposure to toxins at Ground Zero. Thankfully, this injustice is finally over. After a series of negotiations with us last month, Mayor Bill de Blasio agreed to provide unlimited sick leave to these workers so they don’t have to choose between lifesaving medical treatment and losing their job. After exhausting their sick leave, some EMS workers have had to go to work after receiving chemotherapy the same day. Ensuring this coverage was a matter of fairness, equity — and simply doing what’s right. Firefighters, police [More...]

Union Wins New Crossing Guard Level 2 Jobs

November 22, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS A new agreement between the union, the city and the Police Department created a first-ever opportunity for promotion for Local 372 Schools Crossing Guards to advance to Level 2 supervisors positions. NYPD promoted about 100 Crossing Guards Level 2s, the new position created to replace precinct Coordinators. They oversee day-to-day operations and assignments for the city’s corps of 2,276 School Crossing Guards. “Never before in the history of this local has there been an annualized, promotional opportunity created for our members who are School Crossing Guards,” said Board of Education Employees Local 372 President Shaun D. Francois I. “Those who NYPD hired for Level 2 jobs are experienced Crossing Guards who know the job well and safeguard the lives of New York City’s 1.1 million school children and pedestrians every day.” Creating the Level 2 position [More...]

SSEU Local 371 Activists Train to be Workplace Leaders

November 22, 2018 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE Hundreds of enthusiastic and committed SSEU Local 371 delegates packed DC 37 union headquarters for two consecutive Saturday training sessions as part of the local’s effort to better serve its members. Braving heavy rains, hundreds showed up at the events as local delegates gathered for a series of workshops and training sessions to help bolster the union’s campaign. The poor weather of the first session and the early morning hours of the second did not dampen the participation, said Armenta Weekes, the local’s vice president for organization, who along with others planned the successful trainings on Oct. 27 and Nov. 3. “Our attendance is always good. Despite the inclement weather — two weeks in a row — delegates are coming out,” she said. “The purpose of this training is to give our delegates the means to educate, energize and inform,” said SSEU Local 371 [More...]

New Paid Family Leave Benefit Available in January

November 21, 2018 // 0 Comments

  Are you an expectant parent? Do you have elderly parents who need your time and attention due to serious medical conditions? Is a family member deploying for military service? Like many working families, you face difficult choices and have to consider how you will balance time when accepting a job, a promotion or a new work assignment. Our families benefit when the breadwinners can take time off from their jobs to assist family members who need care, whether in the short term or on a regular basis. With the recently ratified new DC 37 economic agreement, employees at mayoral agencies, the Dept. of Education, NYC Health & Hospitals, and the New York City Housing Authority will soon have the option to take time off with pay to for care for their families. They join our sisters and brothers working in cultural institutions and libraries, who have been covered by this program [More...]

The Midterm Elections and Us

November 20, 2018 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO The midterm elections have shown that unions are a vital electoral force in our country and the United States is undergoing a political realignment that we hope will significantly improve the lives of working people. The recapturing of the U.S. House of Representatives by Democrats creates an important check on the excesses of the Trump administration. This allows us to push back against GOP lawmakers’ plan to gut Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security; adopt trade agreements harmful to workers; dismantle Obamacare; repeal regulations, including worker protections, and pass more tax cuts to benefit corporations and the 1 percent. As we look ahead to President Trump’s campaign for a second term in 2020, we can expect a rocky road ahead. Many feel we face political warfare rather than compromise and constructive dialog over public policy. While it appears the [More...]

Mail Ballots on CUNY Contract Due Dec. 18 (Salary/Wage Calculators Uploaded)

November 16, 2018 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Salary and wage increase and retro pay calculators for the new tentative CUNY contract are now available. Information sessions are being held through Dec. 14. Members are voting on the 52-month deal, which provides for a raise of over 8 percent, through a mail ballot included in the mailing. Besides the mail ballot, the packet includes a summary of the contract proposal and a letter from DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. The mail ballot vote on the agreement will be tabulated on Dec. 18 by the independent American Arbitration Association, which is handling the voting process. Return your mail ballot in time for the vote count on Dec. 18. If you have not received your ballot to vote on the contract, call the Independent American Arbitration Association at 800-529-5218. If you are not a member, ask a union representative for a membership card or visit the DC 37 [More...]

DC 37 Played Key Role in Statewide Elections

November 9, 2018 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE In an election that featured one of the highest voter midterm turnouts in recent history, the efforts of DC 37’s vaunted Green Machine were pivotal in finally breaking the Albany legislative gridlock by helping several local state senate candidates to victory. The state’s top elected officials were all re-elected with union help. Gov. Andrew Cuomo defeated Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, while New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand scored easy victories. Letitia James, the city’s Public Advocate and a stalwart DC 37 ally, was elected New York State’s first African American Attorney General, winning by a landslide. “Tonight the working men and women of New York spoke loudly and clearly about our values, our priorities, and how we want to run our state,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. “In record numbers, [More...]

Latino Heritage: Focus on Activism

October 20, 2018 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE The midterm elections and Hurricane Maria were the focus of the union’s annual celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month. DC 37 kicked off its 26th annual celebration of Latino heritage and history with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at union headquarters on Sept. 12. After opening remarks by Isabel Figueroa, former vice president of Local 420 and a DC 37 retiree, DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido spoke of the Sept. 20 first anniversary of Hurricane Maria that devastated Puerto Rico. He called for economic and environmental justice for the island. “We renew our commitment to push elected officials to be true to their word,” Garrido said. “But being good to Puerto Rico is not just showing up to a parade or a hashtag in your Twitter. It’s voting and pushing for what the island needs now. The people deserve it and have earned it.” On Sept. 14, Local 420 held [More...]