POLITICS

Day-Care Educators Win Pay Equity with City Teachers

August 6, 2019 // 0 Comments

  By GREGORY N. HEIRES By more than a 3-to-1 margin, members of Local 205 — early childhood educators who work for non-profit organizations — voted for a contract extension that puts them on a path to wage parity with their counterparts at the New York City Dept. of Education. The contract extension covers more than 4,000 members of the local and is the first demonstration of how the recently-announced unification of District Council 1707 and District Council 37 can increase the bargaining and political power of New York City public and private sector workers. “This is an historic achievement — after decades of hard work, early childhood educators are being recognized as true professionals,” noted Kim Medina, the executive director of DC 1707 who now becomes special assistant to the executive director for the new Non-Profit and Private Sector Division of District Council [More...]

Union, City Settles Preschool Teachers Pay Gap

July 12, 2019 // 0 Comments

After long marches, huge demonstrations and weeks of intense negotiations, the City of New York and the NYC Day Care Council have reached a tentative contract agreement that will benefit more than 4,000 members of Day Care Employees Local 205. At issue is the wide pay gap between teachers who work in community-run preschools — which enroll the bulk of students in the city’s free, universal pre-K program — and those who teach in public school classrooms overseen by the education department. The new agreement would steadily boost salaries for pre-K teachers over three years, eventually matching what starting teachers in public schools make. Mayor de Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson called the agreement historic, and noted the past difficulties of recruiting and retaining educators at community-based centers. DC 1707 Executive Director Kim Medina praised the Mayor [More...]

CUNY Sets Contract Pay Dates

June 26, 2019 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES The City University of New York has set pay dates for its new contract with the union, for 2 percent increases effective Feb. 1, 2017, Feb. 1, 2018 and Feb. 1, 2019. The tentative pay date for full-time and part-time employees at CUNY’s senior colleges is Aug. 1. Full- and part-time employees working in CUNY’s community colleges will receive their pay rate increases and retroactive pay on Aug. 23. College Assistants represented by Local 2054 in Community Colleges will be paid on Aug. 23. The pay dates for College Assistants in senior colleges had not been finalized as PEPtalk went to press. CUNY’s recent announcement of the pay dates for the 2017-21 economic agreement came after the union pressed the city’s university system to implement the increases. DC 37 and CUNY settled the new contract in November 2018. Members overwhelmingly approved the agreement the [More...]

Union-backed Bill Aims to Speed Up Approval of 9/11 Pension Disability Claims

June 21, 2019 // 0 Comments

By RUDY OROZCO The state Legislature on Tuesday approved union-backed legislation that seeks to speed up the approval of disability pension applications of 9/11 rescue and recovery workers. The bill, sponsored by Assembly member Stacey Pheffer Amato and state Sen. Andrew Gounardes, would increase the number of physicians who review the applications for the York City Employees’ Retirement System (NYCERS). “Today our heroic 9/11 rescue and recovery workers breathe a sigh of relief because of this important step taken by the state Legislature,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido, shortly after legislators voted on the bill. “The increase in the number of physicians will help end the long waiting periods that these workers had to endure while their cases were under review.” Oren Barzilay, president of Uniformed EMT’s, Paramedics and Fire Inspectors Local 2507, [More...]

DC 37 Efforts Pivotal in Green New Deal Passage

June 19, 2019 // 1 Comment

  BY MIKE LEE Overcoming staunch political opposition from the real estate industry, New York City has embarked on an unprecedented effort to reduce greenhouse emissions citywide. DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido joined New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, City Council Environmental Protection Committee Chair Costa Constantinides and other Council members and community leaders in announcing OneNYC2050, an ambitious green initiative that comes on the heels of the passage of the Climate Mobilization Act. The Climate Mobilization Act, spearheaded by Constantinides and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, provides $14 billion in investments to cut carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2030. DC 37’s involvement was key in lobbying the City Council, working with community and environmental groups to rally support for the legislation. “Climate justice is the moral imperative of our [More...]

Budget Win! Union Gains in Parks, Libraries

June 19, 2019 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE Standing with City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and other council members and union leaders including DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido in the rotunda of City Hall, the mayor announced an agreement for a budget for fiscal year 2020. “We have a budget. The budget is balanced. It is progressive — and it’s early,” Mayor de Blasio said. Over months, DC 37 waged fierce campaigns with community-based coalitions to press the City Council for hiring and improvements. At rallies at City Hall and in testimony before the City Council, union members urged lawmakers to increase support for public services. . In the end, the union’s message was heard loud and clear. For Parks and Recreation, the city answered with $31 million in additional funds. This includes baseline (permanent) funding of $9.5 million to create positions for 100 seasonal park workers, 50 [More...]

Organizing Leadership Summit

June 5, 2019 // 0 Comments

More than 100 DC 37 activists gathered early on Saturday morning, June 1 to harness the power of organizing during a day-long event held at union headquarters. Guest speakers, including political activist Kevin Powell and New York State Assemblywoman Diana Richardson, wowed the activists with their calls to “communicate, collaborate and commit.” Attendees explored best practices on such topics as enhancing one-on-one contact with digital organizing; learned about what’s at stake for New York in the upcoming 2020 census; and focused on developing future leaders in the labor movement. “At a time of so much national polarization and division, our goal was to put together a powerful day of engagement, education and empowerment,” said DC 37 Field Director Barbara Terrelonge. “In order to enhance members’ rights in the workplace, influence public policy on behalf of our [More...]

Union, Advocates Fight Against Cuts to Library Budgets

May 21, 2019 // 0 Comments

Facing possible cuts in the city budget, DC 37 leaders of locals representing public library employees took to the steps of City Hall May 21 with the heads of the city’s three library systems, elected officials and advocates to warn of a dramatic impact should funding to the library systems be reduced– including loss of weekend service, reduced programming and delayed revitalization projects. “Our public libraries are lifelines for NYC neighborhoods – and cutting their budgets would jeopardize hours and days of service. We urge City Hall to find a way to keep what amounts to less than half of 1 percent of the city’s overall budget,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. “Libraries are the great equalizers in our society, and the most-equipped vehicle to a fairer and stronger City,” said Queens Public Library President Dennis M. Walcott, “We need increased [More...]

Union Fights to Fund and Save Parks Jobs

May 16, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS The Play Fair coalition – consisting of DC 37 locals, parks advocates, elected officials and even the Girl Scouts of New York – returned to City Hall May 14 to keep the pressure on lawmakers to increase funding for Parks maintenance by $100 million in FY 2020 budget. As budget negotiations continue between the two sides of City Hall, Play Fair activists continue to call for sustained, baselined funding for 100 City Parks Workers and 50 Gardeners, tree stump removal, and extending the beach and pool season. “One-shot deals do NOT go far enough!” warned DC 37 and Local 372 President Shaun D. Francois I. “The city has spent millions designing and building new parks and needs to invest in maintaining them.” “It’s insane that for six years we keep asking to baseline 150 Parks workers’ jobs,” said Local 1505 President Dilcy Benn. “Baselining these [More...]

Generating Revenue, Protecting Services: DC 37 Leads the Way in NYC Budget Fight

May 14, 2019 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE As the Mayor and the City Council negotiate next year’s budget, DC 37 leaders say New York City is losing millions of dollars in revenue by failing to invest fully in enforcement measures to safeguard its coffers. DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido and Local 1757 President Maria Policarpo have called on the city to reverse the decades-long reduction of staff responsible for tax assessments and property inspections. At a City Council budget hearing in March, Garrido noted the hazards of the current economic climate – issues with state aid, threats of reduced funding from the Trump administration – and urged lawmakers to take the steps required to generate more revenue. “We believe the root cause of this (lost revenue) problem is an undermanned workforce,” Garrido told the Council’s Finance Committee. “Millions of property tax dollars are left on the table by [More...]