Gender roles are changing, and it’s time for people to understand that’s a good thing.

April 29, 2017 // 0 Comments

Yasmine, Garcia, Traffic Device Maintainer, Local 1455 A lot of women should know they can move into nontraditional jobs. I came into the Dept. of Transportation 12 years ago as an Auto Service Worker where I assisted mechanics with inspections, brake jobs and servicing city-owned vehicles. But I needed to earn more money. A coworker told me about the Traffic Device Maintainers’ exam. I took the test and passed it, was interviewed and got the job. I really enjoy working a nontraditional job outside an office. In the Sign Shop I cut metal to make street signs. In the field I paint traffic lines, crosswalks and bike lanes, and hang signs around Manhattan. I always wanted to work with the men — to prove that being a women does not prevent me from doing the same quality job. Women can do this! Too often as women we have to prove ourselves and we don’t get the credit. I use a rock [More...]

Public Housing Advocates to Protest Trump Budget Cuts on April 20

April 18, 2017 // 0 Comments

Council member Ritchie Torres denounced Donald J. Trump’s budget cuts to the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, which would devastate the New York City Housing Authority. Torres was joined by U.S. Congress member Jerrold Nadler (left). By ALFREDO ALVARADO DC 37 is part of a coalition that is mobilizing against President Donald J. Trump’s plan to cut $6 billion from the federal Dept. of Housing and Urban Development’s budget. The #NoCut  coalition will hold a rally at noon on Thursday, April 20, in Foley Square in Lower Manhattan. Under the Trump cuts, HUD’s budget would shrink by 14 percent to $40.5 billion in fiscal year 2018, down from $46.9 billion in fiscal year 2017. Fifty-six percent of the New York City Housing Authority’s revenue comes from HUD. If the cuts go through, residents of NYCHA’s 238 developments could see their rents increased, and they will likely [More...]

New York is the Most Unionized State, By Far

April 17, 2017 // 0 Comments

By JOSEPH SPECTOR New York’s union ranks dropped by nearly 5 percent between 2015 and 2016, but the state remained the nation’s leader in unionized workers. The drop of about 96,000 union workers in New York erased a 58,000 increase in union employees made between 2014 and 2015, according to recently released records by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. Still, New York’s unionized workforce has remained fairly steady over the past decade — giving the state by far the largest percentage of union members of any state and bucking national declines in union membership. Union members accounted for over 23 percent of wage and salaried workers in New York in 2016. Nationwide, the average was almost 11 percent. So overall, New York had 1.9 million union members last year, second only to California with 2.6 million. “We take great pride in continuing to lead the country in union [More...]

NYC Health + Hospitals Honors 36 Social Workers

April 14, 2017 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS NYC Health + Hospitals honored 36 dedicated Social Workers at its first Social Worker Recognition ceremony held at Gouvernuer’s Hospital in March, Social Workers Month. “You help Health and Hospitals remain committed to its mission to serve regardless of the patient’s ability to pay, and we value the great work you do,” said Dr. Rosa Colon Kalacko, who coordinated the event. For decades licensed Social Workers have worked alongside doctors, nurses and other health-care professionals with compassion, strength and dignity helping families through health crises. On March 31, management recognized Social Workers as “equal partners with other licensed professional clinicians, not just support staff.” H+H culled a list of the “best of the best” employed in their expansive system of hospitals, long-term care facilities, nursing homes and clinics to [More...]

Join the Climate Change March in Washington on April 29

April 13, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO President Donald Trump wasted no time trying to dismantle the Affordable Care Act and prevent Muslims from entering the country. Those plans stalled when they came up against massive opposition. The Trump administration has been equally aggressive attacking regulations and laws that protect the environment. Trump’s new head of the federal Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, doesn’t even believe human-caused climate change is a fact. He has said there’s “tremendous disagreement” about the impact people have on the environment. According to The Atlantic magazine: “This is wrong… Pruitt’s claim runs so counter to the findings of the international scientific community, to the conclusions of the U.S. government, and even to the marketing materials of the oil-and-gas industry that it is difficult to label it anything but a falsehood.” So it’s [More...]

Turn Up the HEAT to Save Public Health Care

April 11, 2017 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS The DC 37 Healthcare Education Activist Team (HEAT) urges NYC Health+ Hospitals workers, public health advocates and community residents to attend and speak out at the H+H annual meetings this spring. The meetings will be held on Wednesdays at 6 p.m. at H+H sites in each borough. (See list below.) Voice your concerns about the impact the New York State budget will have on the day-to-day operations of public hospitals and clinics in your community.  At these meetings, activists can express themselves regarding the Trump administration’s threats to cut federal aid, Medicaid and change Affordable Health Care law. Find out how state and federal budgets will affect patients, services and your community. Make your voice heard. To register in advance please contact: Ms. Patricia Lochart, Secretary to the Corporation, Health and Hospitals, 125 Worth Street, Room 519, NY, [More...]

An Era of Scorn for Our Government Workforce

March 30, 2017 // 0 Comments

By LEE SAUNDERS Back in 1932, a group of Wisconsin state employees banded together to defend their rights as civil servants, pushing back against a corrupt spoils system that would reward friends of politicians with important public-service jobs that demanded nonpartisan professionalism. That was the beginning of the formation of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. I am proud to serve as president of AFSCME, where we represent 1.6 million men and women — everyone from bus drivers to sanitation workers to emergency medical technicians — who never quit working to serve and strengthen their communities. Over the decades, even as our union has grown, we have had to contend with adversaries trying not just to hold down our members’ pay and benefits but who fundamentally denigrate and disrespect their work. That reflexive scapegoating of public [More...]

A Survey Finds Unions are Popular

March 28, 2017 // 0 Comments

By CONNOR D. WOLF Americans generally hold a favorable view of labor unions, despite declining membership rates, according to a new poll. Labor unions are designed to help workers negotiate with employers through collective action. Their membership rates, however, have been in decline over the decades as the national workforce has changed. The Pew Research Center found union favorability has been on the rise and now sits at 60 percent. “About six-in-ten adults today have a favorable view of labor unions,” the analysis stated. “The public’s opinions of corporations and unions were largely positive throughout the early 2000s, but turned more negative during the Great Recession. Today, favorable opinions of each are at their highest levels in nearly a decade.” The poll also found that corporations are generally viewed favorably, as well, but at only 56 percent. Public opinion [More...]

DC 37 Members Play a Critical Role in New Subway Line

March 26, 2017 // 0 Comments

  By JOSEPH LOPEZ After nearly a century of delays and dead ends, New York City’s long- proposed Second Avenue Subway line finally opened to the public on Jan. 1. The completion of this first phase of the project — with stations along the East Side of Manhattan at 72nd, 86th and 96th streets — could not have been achieved without the diligence and determination of the handful of members from Civil Service Technical Guild Local 375, who have worked on the development since the Metropolitan Transportation Authority made it a priority roughly a decade ago. “There’s a real feeling of accomplishment seeing the Second Avenue Line running at last,” said Senior Code Enforcement Official Lambert Egbuchulam. For eight years, Egbuchulam has been involved in the venture, reviewing designs of tunnels and stations to make sure that all engineering and safety practices were being met [More...]

Members Overwhelmingly Pass Contract Extension

March 13, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Members overwhelmingly approved a contract extension that will allow millions of dollars to be poured into the union welfare plan’s financially-troubled prescription drug plan. An independent monitor, the American Arbitration Association, announced the results of the mail-ballot vote on March 10. Members approved the extension by a vote of 94 percent, with 22,526 in favor and 1,196 opposed. “The passage of the contract extension is a very significant step toward protecting the plan from being devastated by the relentless pressure of rising drug prices,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. This extension will earmark $24 million to the DC 37 Health & Security Plan, which provides the popular drug benefit. Under an agreement between the city and the union, the city will permanently raises its annual contribution to the DC 37 Health & [More...]