POLITICS

2020: The Year Ahead

December 23, 2019 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO A union’s power depends on the ability to grow and the flexibility to change. 2019 was a year of tremendous growth and change within District Council 37. With the addition of nearly 25,000 non-profit, care workers from the former DC 1707, our union now has a broader scope and the potential to organize more New Yorkers in both the public and private sectors. The benefits of unification quickly became apparent when we negotiated historic pay increases for members who are early childhood educators at community-based programs in an agreement that put them on the path to parity with their counterparts at the Department of Education. But numbers alone do not reveal a union’s strength, and strength alone does not reveal a union’s character. In 2019, we aimed to stay true to our mission of defending members and making our city more livable for all New Yorkers by: helping [More...]

DC 37 and SEIU 32BJ Join Forces to Demand Accountability from Private Hospitals

December 13, 2019 // 0 Comments

Scores of members from DC 37 AFSCME and SEIU 32BJ, two of the city’s largest unions, attended a packed City Council hearing Dec 12 where leaders and representatives testified about runaway charges in NYC’s largest private hospitals. The unions presented testimony on the effects of skyrocketing costs for health care and asked the City Council to take action to curb practices by hospitals and health care providers that unreasonably ratchet up costs for needed care. “The single factor that’s had the most profound, negative impact on healthcare coverage in NYC is the cost of in- and out-patient care provided by the City’s non-profit, private hospitals,” said District Council 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. “DC 37 and our brother and sister unions that make up the Municipal Labor Committee are doing our part to reduce hospital bills with changes in the design of our health [More...]

The DC 37 Political Endorsement Process: How It Works

December 13, 2019 // 0 Comments

District Council 37 is proud to support labor-friendly candidates committed to protecting workers rights and advancing the social and economic rights of all New Yorkers. A District Council 37 (DC 37) endorsement is more than a stamp of approval; it is a commitment of time, resources, and mutual support. To receive an endorsement, our members must be confident that you share our values of economic and social justice for all, as well as a commitment to continue the work of making our government the force necessary to improve the lives of all New Yorkers. DC 37 will not endorse in every race, but we invite all candidates seeking elected office to contact our Political Action Department. DC 37’s leadership and Delegates have outlined a process that all candidates must adhere to in order to be considered for endorsement. Contact Us – Contact the Political Action Department at [More...]

Labor Counts! The 2020 Census Begins Soon

November 21, 2019 // 1 Comment

By MIKE LEE Make sure you’re counted. Millions of dollars and adequate political representation are at stake for New York City in the upcoming 2020 Census. “It is not an overstatement to say that the single most important issue that will effect the city’s future for the next 10 years is the Census,” says Julie Menin, the director of NYC Census 2020, a newly-created office to encourage participation by city residents. She notes that in the 2010 Census, New York’s response rate was only 62 percent and more than a million children weren’t counted. That cost the state two congressional seats and much-needed funding for public services. DC 37 is working with labor unions and community groups to ensure that all New Yorkers are counted in the upcoming Census, which will begin next March. As part of that effort, we will be getting the word out to members at upcoming general [More...]

Head Start Workers Ratify Agreement that Provides for Pay Equity with Public-School Teachers

November 4, 2019 // 1 Comment

Story and Photos by G.L. TYLER DC 37 members employed by Head Start recently ratified a three-year contractual agreement that will allow certified teachers in the federally-funded program to earn $68,652 by 2021. The Head Start educators, members of Local 95, join unionized day-care teachers represented by Local 205 – who ratified their contract agreement this past summer — in becoming the highest paid early childhood educators in the country.  The Head Start workers approved their contract Oct. 23, by a 162-26 vote. The contract will bring the salaries of Head Start teachers into line with their counterparts in the city’s public schools. The contract calls for a retroactive 1.77 percent wage hike dating from Feb 1. It also provides a ratification bonus of $1,000 for non-certified Head Start employees. Under Head Start practices, the program’s centers must have a lead [More...]

NYC Charter Revision Proposals: Vote No on #4!

October 28, 2019 // 0 Comments

The New York City Charter is the city’s constitution. It controls how the city spends our tax dollars, how decisions are made about changes to our neighborhoods and the power of our elected officials. We now have an important opportunity to help amend the charter by voting on ballot proposals covering a wide variety of issues. This election, there are five Charter Revision proposals on the ballot. Most are sensible plans to curb undue influence in elections, enhance police accountability and increase government transparency. But then there’s Proposal #4. Proposal #4 calls for the creation of a mysterious “rainy day fund” without any clarity about where the money comes from – or where it will go.   And at a time when many city agencies are understaffed and as the union pushes to resolve issues that have left too many “hard-to-recruit” titles unfilled, we are troubled by [More...]

DC 37 Recommendations on the New York City Charter Amendment Proposals

October 26, 2019 // 0 Comments

The New York City Charter is the City’s constitution. It controls how the city spends our tax dollars, how decisions are made about changes to our neighborhoods and the power of our elected officials. This fall, New Yorkers have an important opportunity to amend the charter by voting on ballot proposals covering a wide variety of issues, from elections to police accountability. Election Day is November 5. Early ballot voting begins October 26. This year there are five proposals on the ballot to amend the Charter: Proposal # 1: Elections Establish a “rank choice” voting system for all municipal primary and special elections (Mayor, Comptroller, Public Advocate, Borough President, City Council). Extend the required time period to hold special elections if an office becomes vacant during a term. The time period would change from 45 to 80 days. Amend the timeline for redistricting to [More...]

Into the Fray: Union Begins Training for Future Leaders

October 16, 2019 // 1 Comment

By MIKE LEE Dozens of DC 37 members with aspirations to become part of a new generation of progressive, elected officials recently attended the first Emerging Leaders Candidate Academy. The introductory session, held at union headquarters on Oct. 8, was the first of three meetings with members who stepped forward to run in future local, state, and federal elections. The Academy concluded on Nov. 2. With DC 37’s guidance, their dreams may very well come true. The participants came from a variety of backgrounds but with a single goal in mind: to make a difference by entering the political arena. Angela Guyton-Cyril, a member of Social Service Employees Union Local 371, spoke about her motives for attending: “I was asked to sit on a council in the Department of Education. Also, my office is very politically inclined and I want to know more about the policy side of government,” she [More...]

U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Union Busters — For Now

October 15, 2019 // 0 Comments

The nation’s public employee unions received a bit of good news on Monday, Oct. 7, when the U.S. Supreme Court turned down a joint request by two national union-busting organizations to hear a case that would decide whether states can continue to designate unions as the exclusive representatives of groups of public employees. “Exclusive representation” means a duly chosen union is the sole voice for all workers and source of worker power. It is the basis on which our union is organized and the way we bargain for meaningful change. Through the process of collective bargaining and exclusive representation, DC 37 members — and AFSCME members across the country — earn fair wages, safe and reasonable working conditions, job security, health benefits that cover us when we are sick, and retirement benefits that provide us with dignity as we age. Attacks on public employee unions have [More...]

Agreement Provides Pay Equity for Head Start Educators with Public-School Teachers

October 4, 2019 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES The pay of more than 2,650 Head Start teachers will be boosted to match the salary of public-school teachers under a tentative agreement by the city, union and the Head Start Sponsoring Board Council. The agreement, announced Thursday, affects workers at more than 200 centers throughout New York City. It follows a similar deal reached in July for 4,000 early childhood educators represented by Local 205. “Head Start is critical to educating our youngest New Yorkers and uplifting entire families,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “With this agreement, we’re ensuring our kids have the very best teachers during their most critical stages of development.” The tentative agreement runs through Jan. 31, 2022. The agreement requires the approval of Head Start workers in Local 95. “This agreement once again demonstrates that by working together, great things can [More...]