PUBLIC EMPLOYEE PRESS

The Latina Wage Gap

October 19, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Nov. 1 is Latina Equal Pay Day– the day Latinas’ wages catch up to what white men earned in 2017. And for the AFL-CIO constituency group Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCCLA), Nov. 1 is a day of action to call for pay equity and economic justice for Latinas. Across America, Latina mothers on average are paid just 46 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic fathers. In New York, Latinas earn on average less than $34,000 annually while white non-Hispanic men earn around $74,000. Latinas represent about 16 percent of the U.S. workforce. The astounding wage gap is a grim reminder of longstanding gender- and race-based income disparities. But data show Latinas, like other women who belong to unions, are paid better than nonunion workers. Income disparity and poverty A growing number of women are sole providers of food, clothing, shelter [More...]

Union Speaks Out for Sick Time for WTC Heroes

October 18, 2018 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE In a recent hearing before the New York State Senate Civil Service and Pensions Committee, several DC 37 local leaders and members called upon legislators to give city workers the sick time they need as a result of the work they performed at the World Trade Center in the aftermath of 9/11. Earlier this year, the state Senate passed a bill to extend unlimited sick leave, now received by state and local first responders suffering from 9/11-related illnesses, to city workers. The bill has languished in the state Assembly. At the hearing, Local 2507 President Oren Barzilay, who leads more than 4,000 uniformed Emergency Medical Technicians, Paramedics and Fire Inspectors, testified that city agencies have made it difficult for sick members — who only earn one day of sick leave a month — to take time off. “Twelve days a year are not enough for our members who are sick from [More...]

Members Make Strides at Annual Breast Cancer Walk

October 17, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Taking steps and making strides is a large contingent of DC 37 members in Locals 372, 420, and 924 who support the annual “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” walk, a 3.5 mile trek through Manhattan’s Central Park on Oct. 14. “We come together to make a difference and show our support for the women and men battling breast cancer,” said Local 372 President Shaun D. Francois I (in photo at right, with Executive Vice President Donald Nesbit), who chairs the union’s Health and Disability Advisory Committee. The union walked with tens of thousands of volunteers in New York City to raise awareness and donations for the American Cancer Society, to honor the memory of dead mothers, sisters, aunts, nieces, coworkers and friends who succumbed to breast cancer, and to support women and men who are cancer survivors. The pink-clad participants help proclaim October [More...]

City Unveils Improvements to the HIP HMO Health-Care Plan

October 16, 2018 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES DC 37 has worked closely with the city and EmblemHealth to create a new model for employee-based health and wellness coverage. EmblemHealth’s new reimagined City of New York HMO Plan aims to offer a health care experience with affordable pricing and ease of use for city workers and their families. One of the enhancements is the new Centers of Excellence program with ties to Hospital for Special Surgery, the top-ranked orthopedic hospital in the nation, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, one of the country’s leading cancer centers. This program will begin on Jan. 1, 2019 for HIP HMO members. Health Coaching Participants in the HMO plan will continue to have access to all of their preventive and specialist benefits. They will be able to coordinate their care and appointments, receive personalized health coaching and care management, and access to the [More...]

Union, City Set Pension Investment Goals

October 15, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS At a press conference on Sept. 13, Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Comptroller Scott Stringer announced the New York City pension fund goal to invest $4 billion in clean energy and other climate change solutions by 2021. “New York City leads from the front when it comes to the fight against climate change,” said de Blasio. “We’re taking a stand for generations to come with our goal to double our pension investments in job-creating climate solutions. I know that other cities will look to our example, and I implore them to join us.” The mayor said NYCERS new goal doubles investments in climate change solutions to $4 billion, or 2 percent of the city’s $195 billion pension portfolio over the next three years. “This is an important step in finding clean energy solutions,” said Henry Garrido, executive director of DC 37. “I applaud the Mayor and [More...]

The Referendum on Trump

October 13, 2018 // 0 Comments

The mid-term elections on Nov. 6 are a referendum on President Trump. We say: “Vote no!” No to Trump’s policies that favor the wealthy and throw crumbs to the working class and poor. No to his lack of empathy, whether it’s for hurricane victims, sexually abused women or powerless immigrant children. No to the political lackeys who encourage his worst instincts and his bigoted attitudes. If extremists maintain control of the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate, Trump will ram through an anti-worker agenda that will cause pain and suffering for years to come. We cannot allow that. During the 2016 campaign, Trump promised to protect Medicare and Social Security. But Republicans are already saying that the skyrocketing debt caused by the lowering of taxes — most notably in favor of the rich — will force the government to reduce spending on both. Consider the [More...]

“The union is there when you need help. It provides job security.”

October 12, 2018 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Local 1549 member Geraldine Morina signed her union card in 1992, and since then she has remained a passionate activist. Morina, 63, is the local’s chapter chair at the Dept. of Transportation, where she enjoys being an advocate for her coworkers and a source of information about their workplace rights and union benefits. With a keen interest in politics, she keeps members updated on DC 37’s legislative and electoral priorities. “A lot of members are unaware of what the union provides,” said Morina, a clerical associate level 3. “I tell them they should view their membership as an investment. The union is there when you need help. It provides job security.” Through her own experience, Morina learned how joining the union makes a good investment. She once avoided being evicted from her apartment by going to the union’s Municipal Employees Legal Services [More...]

Local 1549 Shop Stewards Help Energize the Union

October 11, 2018 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES More than 200 shop stewards in Local 1549 are fired up about carrying the union message to the workplace after they spent the Columbus Day weekend at a training conference. The stewards had a full agenda at the gathering, whose theme was “Rise Up & Stay Strong Shop Steward.” They learned about communicating effectively with their coworkers, organizing members to strengthen the union, dealing with workplace conflict, and getting involved in politics. “The conference provided members with a wonderful opportunity to strengthen their skills in communicating with their coworkers and defending them in the workplace,” Local 1549 President Eddie Rodriguez said. “By gathering everyone in one place, the conference encouraged our stewards to interact and trade stories about what they do at work to be the voice of the union.” “We have this [More...]

Our Pensions and Renewable Energy

October 9, 2018 // 1 Comment

By HENRY GARRIDO Executive Director, District Council 37, AFSCME, AFL-CIO NEW York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Comptroller Scott M. Stringer and other trustees of the city’s pension funds recently announced a new goal to double the funds’ investments in climate change solutions to $4 billion, or 2 percent of the city’s $195 billion pension portfolio, over the next three years. This plan builds upon an earlier announcement to divest city pension funds from fossil fuels within five years. Opponents have engaged in scare tactics. In recent months, the Daily News has published two hyperbolic op-ed pieces criticizing these moves and falsely assailing the motives behind them. On the internet, opponents exploit the anxieties of pensioners and urge them to sign a petition, essentially just saying no to the future. Safeguarding our retirement As a trustee of the New York City Employees [More...]

Pay Dates Set for 2017-18 Raises

October 5, 2018 // 0 Comments

Full-Time and Local 372 Hourly Salary calculators below: Full-Time Salary Calculator Local 372 Hourly Calculator   By GREGORY N. HEIRES The city has set the dates for the 2017 and 2018 pay increases of most of the DC 37 members covered by the new economic agreement. The contract calls for raises of 2 percent on Sept. 26, 2017, and 2.25 percent on Sept. 26 of this year. Mayoral agencies The rate increase and retroactive for 2017 was included in the Oct. 5 pay checks of workers at mayoral agencies. The 2.25 percent raise for 2018 is scheduled for Oct. 19. Dept. of Education At the Dept. of Education, administrative, full-time and hourly employees received the 2017 rate increase and retroactive pay on Oct. 5. They will receive the 2018 increase on Nov. 2. Family workers will receive their rate increases and retroactive pay on Dec. 4. School Crossing Guards receive their 2017 rate and [More...]