June 15, 2021 // 0 Comments

Eddie Rodriguez, President, Local 1549  A friend of mine was very concerned about my health, so she made an appointment for me to get the COVID-19 vaccine. On Feb. 28, I got my first shot of the Pfizer vaccine and I took my second dose in March. I have hypertension and I am pre-diabetic. Due to these health concerns, I decided to get the vaccine. I did it because of my age and because I love my family. Now that I have my COVID-19 vaccine card, I carry it as proudly as I do my union card.  I had no reaction to the vaccine. I know people are afraid. We cannot control how our bodies will react to the vaccine, but the fact is that the coronavirus kills. Whatever reaction we have is certainly not as serious as the potential of being infected and becoming very sick and dying. If you love yourself and you love your family, you have to get the COVID vaccine. Don’t think because you’re [More...]


May 17, 2021 // 0 Comments

Section 8 Rent Subsidy Waitlist Now Open Thru May 28, 2021 The Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program, commonly known as Section 8, is a federal program designed to provide rental assistance to low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled to afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private market. Through the HCV Program, an administering agency pays a portion of eligible families’ rent each month directly to the Landlord. The three largest government providers of Section 8 vouchers in New York City are the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (DHPD) and the New York State Division of Homes and Community Renewal (DHCR). The waiting lists for NYCHA and DHPD have been closed for more than ten years. However, DHCR is opening its Section 8 waiting list on May 17. Specifically, the application period will [More...]

FEMA COVID-19 Burial Aid Program Begins April 12

April 12, 2021 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has released its policy for the program and the application program for relief is expected to start on April 12.  The maximum amount of financial aid available is $9,000 per funeral. Those applicants with multiple deceased individuals can receive up to a maximum of $35,500 per application.  FEMA warns the bereaved to beware of scammers. FEMA has received reports of scammers reaching out individuals claiming to offer help applying for this funeral assistance. If anyone contacts you about this program before you have personally registered for aid, it is a scam. FEMA will not contact you prior to registration. Please protect yourself and do not share funeral-related documentation. FEMA federal funeral assistance can be used to help with expenses for funeral services and interment or cremation. Beginning April 12, [More...]

Stronger Together: A Labor Day Message from Henry Garrido

September 7, 2020 // 0 Comments

Today we gather to celebrate a bittersweet holiday in honoring our House of Labor. During this pandemic, many of our sisters and brothers have sacrificed and given so much as frontline workers while others were cast adrift in the chaos from the economic shutdowns. Yet our union stood together as one, growing stronger, our hearts filled with pride at the work we continue to accomplish. Remember that we march forward—always forward—with determination and righteousness. We are united against those who want to destroy us and strip away the rights generations fought so hard to get. This November is that time when this House of Labor, our Union, speaks with one voice. We will be heard. We will not be forgotten. In Solidarity, Henry A. Garrido Executive [More...]

Schools Shut Down, But Construction Work Continues

April 24, 2020 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Building Code Inspector Lorraine Barcant’s job is to keep school buildings safe for the city’s 1.1 million school children and the teachers and support staff that feed, educate and protect them. She visits dozens of school construction sites a month to make sure workers are safe and projects are up to code. But the coronavirus pandemic upended New York City and led officials in mid-March to shutter schools and later all construction sites citywide to stop the spread of the deadly virus. Rather than opening new school buildings and visiting sites where workers busily complete renovations and upgrades, Barcant said, “I’m shutting down projects and patrolling empty sites. COVID-19 has turned my job on its head.” Barcant, the vice president of Local 1740, said social distancing and budget concerns mean a lot of the work can’t go [More...]

2019: Growing Union Power

December 26, 2019 // 0 Comments

Membership Reaches 150,000 By GREGORY N. HEIRES From the halls of the U.S. Congress to the streets of New York City and workplaces in the five boroughs, DC 37 kept busy in 2019 looking out for the interests of members and retirees. The union’s success in carrying out its mission is becoming ever more important as working families struggle to survive in a political world that is all too often hostile to their well-being. Making History: Unification of DC 37 & DC 1707 DC 37 made history in 2019, which will be remembered as a year our membership skyrocketed. Nearly 25,000 members from the private sector joined the union in September under a unification agreement between District Councils 37 and 1707, both affiliates of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. As a result, DC 37 membership now tops 150,000 — the highest it’s ever been. The benefits of [More...]

Retired DC 37 Leader Helps Rescue Couple from Burning Car on Staten Island

November 25, 2019 // 0 Comments

Retirement has not slowed down former Local 1320 President and 9/11 Ground Zero volunteer James Tucciarelli, who put his own life at risk to help others Saturday, Nov. 23. That night, the long-time DC 37 leader, along with two police officers and a neighbor, helped save two people trapped in a burning car. Tucciarelli was driving home on Mill Road in the Oakland section of Staten Island when he saw a crashed vehicle in flames near his house. After pulling over and getting out his car, he heard cries from the woman in the front passenger seat of the burning vehicle and immediately went to help. The vehicle was starting to fill up with smoke as he pulled her out to safety. “She said he couldn’t move her leg,” Tucciarelli told WABC-TV Eyewitness News. ”I said, ‘It may hurt, but I’ll move it for you’—and I got her leg around.” As he was carrying her out, a [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...]

De Blasio Seeks Local Legislation to Provide Health Insurance to Spouses and Partners of all City Workers Who Die from 9/11 Ilnesses

September 11, 2019 // 0 Comments

Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced his support for local legislation to provide health insurance for the survivors of all city employees fatally stricken by 9/11 illnesses. Currently, coverage is limited to the surviving spouses and domestic partners of police officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians and higher-ranking employees in those titles who died during their active service or in retirement. This legislation would close a gap in current law so that all city employees who die of a 9/11 illness are treated the same. “On our city’s darkest day, thousands of city employees answered the call,” de Basio said. “They didn’t hesitate. We need to be there for their families, now and always.” About 5,000 employees across several city agencies and in various titles could be covered by this legislation over time.  This population represents city [More...]

Public Support for Unions Continues to Surge

August 30, 2019 // 0 Comments

Labor unions are continuing to gain momentum, with the latest proof coming from a new Gallup poll, which shows that 64 percent of Americans approve of unions, a near 50-year high. More and more people, regardless of political party, view unions as essential to levelling the playing field, providing economic security and unrigging a system that’s for too long favored the wealthy and powerful. Recent union momentum isn’t just a passing fad. It’s the result of workers facing the facts about how much more powerful a union can make them, and of a broader desire for the voice on the job that only comes with being a union member. “Despite relentless anti-union attacks from wealthy corporations, more and more people recognize that unions are a force for progress and national strength, improving the lives of all working families and their communities,” said President Lee Saunders, [More...]