POLITICAL ACTION

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...]

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...]

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 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...]

DC 37, 32BJ Endorse Monique Chandler-Waterman for City Council

May 6, 2019 // 0 Comments

  District Council 37 and 32BJ, two of New York City’s most politically active unions, recently announced their joint support of Monique Chandler-Waterman for City Council in the upcoming special election in Brooklyn’s 45th District on May 14. DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido and 32BJ President Hector Figueroa, issued the following statement last week: “Monique Chandler-Waterman is the clear choice to continue the work of (former City Council member) Jumaane Williams, who was elected NYC’s Public Advocate in February. “As a teacher, community advocate and organizer, Monique has long been at the forefront of working to overcome the challenges facing her community. The non-profit she started, East Flatbush Village, provides youth and community development services and is an impressive example of her longstanding commitment to justice and equity in Brooklyn. With [More...]

Union Hosts Earth Day Expo

April 16, 2019 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE A cleaner, safer New York City was on the agenda at the District Council 37 Earth Day Expo, held April 13 at union headquarters. The event, co-sponsored by Queens City Council member Costa Constantinides, chair of the Council’s Environmental Protection Committee, was part of a big push for the Climate Mobilization Act, a sweeping legislative package that is up for a vote later this week. The initiative includes Intro 1253, the most ambitious carbon reduction bill ever passed by a city, which is expected to create thousands of new jobs over the next few years. DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido welcomed the gathering and spoke of the “moral responsibility” to address climate change. He compared the environmental movement to other social justice struggles of the past and present. “This is the moral imperative of our generation,” said Garrido, in support of the [More...]

Union Rallies for Climate Justice

April 9, 2019 // 2 Comments

By MIKE LEE The union came out in force at City Hall Park to demand action on climate change and to support proposed legislation before the City Council. The legislation, Intro 1253, calls for direct proactive measures to address this vital issue and urges the creation of thousands of green jobs throughout the city. At the rally, DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido addressed the city pension issue. As a trustee overseeing the pension, Garrido has led efforts to divest from fossil fuel investments and shift money to green energy. Garrido told the crowd that city pension fund trustees are working to double the fund’s investments in climate change solutions to $4 billion. He said, “We are fighting for this because it is right thing to do. We cannot expect anybody else to do this for us. New York City should be the leader in taking a stand for climate justice.” The action was part [More...]

Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

March 24, 2019 // 1 Comment

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. went to Memphis, Tennessee, in the spring of 1968 to make good on a promise to workers. Earlier that year, two Memphis sanitation workers, Echol Cole and Robert Walker, had sought shelter from a torrential rain in the back of a garbage truck. When the vehicle’s compressor malfunctioned, they were crushed to death. Memphis Mayor Henry Loeb and the city offered cold comfort — no compensation or death benefit for the families. At the time, Memphis’ 1,300 black sanitation workers earned 65 cents an hour with no benefits, overtime, or rights. The indignities heaped on them led to their membership in AFSCME Local 1733 and a strike for wages, human dignity, and union recognition. The workers carried signs that read, “I AM A MAN.” Their cause was a microcosm of the struggles Dr. King’s upcoming Poor People’s Campaign embraced. “If [More...]

Shocked but not surprised: Trump budget is more pain for working families

March 22, 2019 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO I have said it before in this space: Budgets are not just numbers, dollars & cents. When presidents/governors/mayors present a budget, they are telling you what they value, who they value. What their priorities are – and what they are not. Donald Trump the candidate thundered on during the campaign about how he was going to make life better for millions of American families left behind by economic inequality and stagnant wages. To date, Donald Trump’s signature accomplishment is his so-called tax “reform.” As a candidate, Trump claimed his tax plan was going to help working families and target the rich. But the tax bill that President Trump signed into law “spread tax gains unevenly across income brackets, with high earners enjoying the biggest windfalls,” according to National Public Radio. Under his tax plan, rich real estate investors — including [More...]

Unions to City Hall: Save Jobs, Fund Parks!

March 1, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS DC 37 joined 40 parks advocacy groups and lawmakers for a noon City Hall rally Feb. 28 to demand $100 million in funding for public parks maintenance and safety in the FY 2020 city budget. “This is a no brainer — better parks makes for a better city. Our members keep city parks clean and safe for 130 million people who use them each year,” said DC 37 and Local 372 President Shaun D. Francois I. “Our city should lead the country, setting the standard for well-maintained, beautified public parks.” DC 37 is part of the Play Fair campaign that calls for the mayor to add $100 million to the city budget for year-round Parks Dept. maintenance, cleaning and gardening jobs. Francois and City Council’s Parks Committee Chair Barry Grodenchik, led chants and cheers with DC 37 presidents Dilcy Benn of Local 1505, Harrison Campbell of Local 957, Joe Puleo of Local [More...]