PUBLIC EMPLOYEE PRESS

“If you are working for just a paycheck, you are going to get burned out.”

October 1, 2016 // 0 Comments

Jill Campbell, Child Protective Specialist, Social Services Employees Union Local 371 Photo: Mike Lee I work for the Administration for Childrens’ Services. I am a Child Protective Specialist in Brooklyn. I have been with the agency for eight years. My job is to ensure that the children of New York City are safe on a daily basis. I do investigations on child abuse and neglect cases. I wake up in the morning. I say my prayers and I ask God to give me the strength to help me with whatever task is put in my hands that day. This is what drives me to what I do on a daily basis. Currently I am part of the FAR unit, which stands for Family Assessment Response and is a new initiative by the agency. This is a new type of engagement with families. While we still assess safety each day, it is the way we work with the families that is different. Before going out, we call them for an appointment [More...]

“I hear sad stories. I’m glad to lend a hand.”

September 27, 2016 // 0 Comments

Vivian Rosario, Family Assistant, Board of Education Employees Local 372 Photo: Clarence Elie-Rivera At the shelters, we have people from all over the city and from all over the country and some undocumented people too. I think that’s because the services we provide for homeless people in New York City are very good. People want to blame Mayor de Blasio for the increase in homelessness, but I think the services we provide has something to do with it. People know in New York; they can get help, so they come here. I work for the Dept. of Education and I’m assigned to two shelters, the Concourse Residence and the Fordham Family Residence in the Bronx. As a Family Assistant, I’m responsible for working with the children and assisting with their educational needs. We have kids attending school from pre-K to seniors in high school. I make sure they have transportation to and from [More...]

“Things can get ugly when we have to give the vendors a fine or close them down.”

September 27, 2016 // 0 Comments

Roshini Mahabal, Public Health Sanitarian 2, Health Services Employees Local 768 Photo: Clarence Elie-Rivera  Public Health Sanitarians are in the field five days a week. Every day we work in a different borough. We get assigned our routes for the week on Friday, when we do our paper work. We do inspections of restaurants and food carts. There’s another unit that covers special populations like jails and schools. I used to work in the schools unit and I enjoyed it. The schools are less stressful because the cafeterias are really clean and organized. The schools will get a notice if there’s a violation, but they don’t pay fines like restaurants and street vendors. I inspect the mobile vendors on the street to see if they have their current permit. A permit is good for one year. I check also to see that their cart is the appropriate distance from the curb, and check for the [More...]

“My job boils down to one issue: public safety.”

September 26, 2016 // 0 Comments

Eric Lancelot, Traffic Device Maintainer, Local 1455    Photo: Clarence Elie-Rivera I work with about 11 others on the Department of Transportation’s Night Paint Operation crew. My job boils down to one issue: public safety. We paint the yellow and white traffic lanes, crosswalks, bike lanes, speed bumps and put down lines for all the parades and races and the New York City Marathon. We painted the boxes in Times Square that restrict street peddlers to reduce harassment of tourists. People thanked us because it makes a big difference. Public safety is critical. Without traffic lanes or crosswalks, people would drive crazily. My work protects everyone — drivers, pedestrians, children crossing the street, the elderly, and the disabled. People are always staring at their phones even while crossing the street, so DOT had the Look! safety campaign and Vision Zero worker safety zones. [More...]

Trump: No Friend of Workers

September 8, 2016 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO Executive Director, District Council 37, AFSCME, AFL-CIO Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump portrays himself as a champion of the financially suffering middle class and disaffected blue-collar workers. He can say what he wants. But I agree with Vice President Joe Biden, who says Trump’s claim to be the “people’s candidate” is “a bunch of malarkey.” When you examine Trump’s qualifications for the job of president and his policies, it becomes quite clear that he is unfit to be president and that his interests don’t coincide with ours. A business background does not mean you’re necessarily prepared to run a government. Business is about profits. Government is about providing services. Many foreign policy experts believe Trump doesn’t have the background or temperament to represent the United States on the global stage. They are also wary [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...]

Unmasking the Gig Economy

May 16, 2016 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES What does the growth of the gig economy mean for American workers? Years from now, how many of us will earn our livelihood as online contingent workers without stable jobs? Those questions were addressed on May 6 by a panel called “Unmasking the Gig Economy: Harmful or Helpful?” at the 41st annual convention of the Metro New York Labor Communications Council, an organization that represents labor and community communications professionals in the New York City area. Once upon a time, most American workers could count on finding a steady full-time job, even a unionized one. But the age of manufacturing is no longer as the United States transitions to service economy. In the Information Age, workers are increasing employed on their own, in part-time gigs that lack regular schedules and don’t include benefits or a union. This presents a challenge to unions, [More...]

Fighting For Fair Budgets

May 6, 2016 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO Executive Director, District Council 37, AFSCME, AFL-CIO As part of a coalition we played an important role in stopping nearly $1 billion in combined cuts in the state budget to the City University of New York and the city’s public hospitals. The fight-back is an example of how we participate in the political process to protect our jobs and the services we provide. The campaign involved demonstrations, lobbying, and social media, including collecting thousands of signatures for an on-line petition. Now that the Albany fight is over, we focus our attention on the city’s budget. We expect a busy couple of months ahead as the City Council and Mayor Bill de Blasio work out an agreement on the budget, which should be signed by the end of June. We have a number of priorities for the city’s fiscal 2017 budget that I want to share with you. ● We seek $65 million more [More...]

New York City Scraps Veolia Contract

May 5, 2016 // 1 Comment

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS In a victory for providers and consumers of public services, city officials say a multi-million dollar contract with a private French conglomerate to manage the city’s 14 waste­water treatment plants will not be renewed. The contract with Veolia, a $27 billion company based in Paris, is set to expire in June. The contract came with a couple of one-year extension options that will not be exercised, city officials told DC 37. Union leaders and privatization oppo­nents hailed the decision. “We are pleased that the city has decided to bring this contract to an end,” said Jim Tucciarelli, president of Sewage Treatment and Senior Sewage Treatment Workers Local 1320, whose members operate the Dept. of Environmental Protection’s wastewater treatment plants and collections facilities. DC 37 locals worked with their national union, AFSCME, and advocacy groups, such [More...]