POLITICAL ACTION

DC 37 Members and Community Activists Demand More Support for Public Hospitals

June 14, 2017 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS At a series of NYC Health+Hospitals annual meetings in May and June, hundreds of union members and residents sent a powerful message: Do more to save public hospitals! Activists reminded NYC H+H of its mission: to provide quality health care regardless of a patient’s ability to pay. As NYC H+H struggles to retain safe staffing levels, Leapfroggroup.com surveys show New York City’s public hospitals consistently provide better care than private hospitals. Employees said they work harder and longer with much less support, fewer supplies and dwindling staff due to attrition. “Working in constant crisis mode only leads to burnout,” said Nate Franco, a Local 768 member who spoke at Harlem Hospital’s packed forum on June 7. Dedicated NYC Health + Hospitals employees have staved off life-threatening outbreaks of Zika, Ebola, West Nile and Legionnaires disease, and [More...]

Advocates Call for More Library Funding

May 19, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Before today’s City Council budget hearing, library advocates gathered on the steps of City Hall this morning to demand more funding for the city’s three public library systems. Union and city leaders, along with the heads of the library systems, joined community activists and library workers to call on the City Council to provide an extra $24 million to fund seven-day library service. Only 15 of the city’s 216 libraries are open seven days a week. They also asked the council to approve an additional $150 million to help the library systems continue to carry out their long-term $1.1 billion capital plan. The funding would be used to address chronic flooding, faulty air conditioners and heating systems, overcrowding, outdated electrical systems, broken elevators and insufficient space. “Our communities need funds for seven day service in this [More...]

Community Activists and DC 37 Push for Universal School Lunch

May 17, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO “I think we’re missing an opportunity to use available federal funding to make school lunches free,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said when he was on the campaign trail in 2013. As mayor, he’s made universal pre-kindergarten available and is pushing for free day care for 3-year-olds. But he has not yet delivered on a campaign pledge to provide universal free lunch. To remind him of his campaign promise, members of DC 37, the United Federation of Teachers, the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators, as well as public school parents, students and other community residents took to the steps of City Hall on Monday. They urged him to include $20 million in the city’s budget for free school lunches for all New York City public school students. Board of Education Employees Local 372 president Shaun D. Francois I recalled helping needy kids when he worked in [More...]

Library Advocates Gear Up for Friday Rally

May 16, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Library supporters are gearing up for a rally on Friday to press the City Council to fund seven-day service and capital projects. The rally on the steps of City Hall–supported by DC 37 and the advocacy group Invest in Libraries–is scheduled for 10 a.m. The theme of the coalition’s campaign is, “Invest in libraries, Invest in All New Yorkers!” The group has two demands: an $24 million increase for daily operating to ensure that every City Council district has a library open seven days a week, and an additional $150 million to continue addressing $1.1 billion in capital needs. Last year, the city’s three public library system received support from the City Council to guarantee a permanent funding floor for six-day service. Now, the library systems seek additional funding to meet the public’s demand for seven-day service. The coalition is carrying [More...]

Unions Mobilize on May Day Against Crackdown on Immigrant and Worker Rights

May 2, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Calling for the protection of immigrant and worker rights, DC 37 activists joined protesters in a march on May Day Demonstrators gathered for an evening rally on May 1 at Foley Square in lower Manhattan, before marching to Union Square to join another rally. During the protests, police arrested dozens of demonstrators. President Donald J. Trump was the subject of ire at the Foley Square rally, where speakers condemned his crackdown on immigrants, attacks on worker protections, and supporting policies that harm working families. “We will not allow him to stomp on the rights of immigrants, workers, Muslims, women and Jews,” Local 375 member Liz Eastman said. Demonstrators held placards with such messages as “New Yorkers for Immigrant Justice,” “No Ban, No Wall, No Raids,” “Resist Trump,” and “Defund ICE,” referring to the federal agency charged [More...]

Union Outlines Priorities at Annual Meeting with City Council Members

May 2, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO Dozens of City Council members were at DC 37 headquarters last week to meet with leaders and activists about the union’s budget and legislative priorities. DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido put the future of public hospitals atop that list. “Our public hospitals are a critical safety net not just for uninsured New Yorkers, but for everyone,” Garrido said at the union’s annual City Council breakfast. Garrido also reiterated union support for universal free lunch for public school students, capital improvements for public libraries, the Department of Parks and Recreation, public housing and other priorities. City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito paid homage to the hard work of DC 37 members and pledged to stand with us during the upcoming budget negotiations with Mayor de Blasio. “We take your concerns and priorities to heart,” she [More...]

Coalition Demands New York’s Wealthiest Pay Their Fair Share

March 29, 2017 // 0 Comments

At a time when the state faces potential deep cuts in federal funding to vital services by the Trump administration and the Republican-controlled U.S. Congress, DC 37 joined a coalition of progressive groups in support of extending and expanding the millionaires tax on New York’s richest 1 percent. Seventeen groups issued the statement on March 29, calling on New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to push the state legislature to approve the measure during the last-minute negotiations on the state budget, which by law is due by April 1: “Governor Cuomo is right that the Trump budget and a renewed effort to repeal the ACA would be a disaster for New York’s families, our communities and our state budget. But the Governor is wrong to suggest that our state can’t respond — and he’s wrong to suggest that working and middle class families should cover the cost of huge [More...]

DC 37 Joins Campaign to Extend and Expand the State Millionaire’s Tax

March 7, 2017 // 0 Comments

DC 37 joined a broad coalition at the state capitol on Tuesday, March 7,  to rally in support of expanding the millionaire’s tax and closing a loophole that benefits the financial sector. These are two key measures that would raise billions of dollars in new revenue from the wealthiest New Yorkers. Hundreds of community, labor, and faith leaders, joined by policy experts, influential advocates, and dozens of state legislators, called for these measures to be added to the state budget. A new report from the hedge fund watchdog group Hedge Clippers revealed that closing the carried interest loophole would raise at least $3.5 billion in revenue annually. This loophole allows hedge fund and private equity firms to report fees as capital gains rather than ordinary income that is taxed at a higher rate. A bill to recapture this revenue as ordinary income has strong support in both [More...]

Resistance

March 6, 2017 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO We cannot sit on the sidelines. The stakes are too high. The attack against working people— bankrolled by people like the billionaire Koch brothers—is relentless. And they are closing in on us. Last year, we won a temporary reprieve when the U.S. Supreme Court deadlocked on the Friedrichs case, which aimed to defund public employee unions by allowing workers to withhold dues payments despite receiving union services. The anti-union National Right Work Legal Defense Foundation is now behind several similar lawsuits making their way up the judicial pipeline to the Supreme Court. With the financial support of the foundation, government employees in three states — school workers in New York, teachers in Pennsylvania and medical center workers in California — simultaneously filed lawsuits in January that challenge the constitutionality of the right of unions to [More...]

Local 372 Backs Mayor’s Plan to Hire 300 New School Crossing Guards and Supervisors

February 6, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO For three straight years New York City has seen a reduction in traffic fatalities, with 2016 being the safest-ever. Aiming to make sure accidents continue to drop, Mayor Bill de Blasio has included $400 million in the proposed 2018 budget for the Vision Zero traffic enforcement program. The funds will used to improve street designs, lighting and add 300 School Crossing Guards. De Blasio’s new budget will allow for the hiring of 100 School Crossing Guard supervisors and 200 additional part-time School Crossing Guards. With these additional positions, all schools will now have a School Crossing Guard. A mobile replacement squad will also be created to make sure schools are covered in the event a SCG is absent on a particular day. “Every school now will have a School Crossing Guard assigned to them, this is what we have been fighting for the last couple of [More...]