Uncategorized

Commemorating Ten Years of Fighting Gun Violence

January 11, 2017 // 0 Comments

By DIANE WILLIAMS Harlem Mothers SAVE, founded by Local 299 President Jackie Rowe-Adams, marked its 10th anniversary in Harlem on Nov. 10. The anti-gun violence support group honored the newly appointed New York Police Dept. Commissioner James P. O’Neill. “The packed room was a sea of blue, we had so much support from the NYPD, who stand with us on getting guns off our streets,” said Rowe-Adams, who founded the nonprofit organization after she lost two young sons in two separate acts of gun violence. Harlem Mothers SAVE provides counseling, education and victim services; their professionally-trained first responders are called upon to help grieving parents of shooting victims in New York City. They support Sandy Hook School shooting victims killed in Connecticut four years ago. Feisty and undaunted, Rowe–Adams challenges the National Rifle Association “to consider how [More...]

A Review of 2016 (Part 2): A Year of Key Victories for DC 37 Members

January 10, 2017 // 0 Comments

Insourcing victory: DC 37 is working with the de Blasio to reduce the city’s employment of consultants and bring work in-house. The city has so far hired several hundred information technology workers. The union expects the city to hire up to 1,000 IT workers in the near future. We won our Fight for $15 campaign: Union members have participated in demonstrations to support food service workers in their struggle for a living wage and union representation. At home, the union backed Mayor Bill de Blasio’s adoption of a $15 minimum wage that covers 50,000 low-wage workers in the city, including a few thousand school workers in Local 372. As bargaining for a new contract concluded, the union convinced the City University of New York to match the pay hikes of the state minimum wage law, which will means its low-wage workers — including thousands of DC 37 members — will be paid $15 an [More...]

DC 37 Applauds Cuomo’s Plan to Increase the State’s Tax-Credit for Child Care

January 6, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Jan. 5 announced a plan to boost the state’s tax-credit for child care, which will reduce the financial burden faced of an estimated 200,000 middle-class families across the state. The enhanced tax credit will more than double the credit for families with incomes between $50,000 and $150,000. “Far too many parents have to sacrifice working to build their family’s infrastructure because affordable, high quality day care is financially out of reach,” Cuomo said. “This newly enhanced credit will make it easier for more New Yorkers to be able to secure day care for their children and will be able to enter or stay in the workforce with peace of mind.” In fiscal year 2014, nearly 520,000 families received almost $189 million in tax savings through the state’s Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit. Currently, the maximum benefit [More...]

Fight Big Pharma’s Price Gouging

January 6, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES The January copay increases of the DC 37 Health & Security Plan’s prescription drug benefit show how we all are victims of the voracious pharmaceutical industry. For years, the plan struggled to maintain the old copays. But with the skyrocketing cost of drugs, the plan’s trustees finally felt they had no choice but to approve the copay hikes. As DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido has pointed out, drug costs will likely continue to rise until the government steps in to control the prices of the unregulated pharmaceutical industry. “The pharmaceutical industry’s track record of corporate greed is reprehensible,” said Willie Chang, administrator of the plan. “We need to do whatever we can as consumers and individual activists to slow down price increases.” Although consumers have little or no control over prices in the absence of a nationwide [More...]

A New Approach to Labor-Community Alliances

January 5, 2017 // 0 Comments

By RAUL RODRIGUEZ A great labor union stands up for its members, for all workers, and for the communities in which working families live. That’s the clear, simple, driving principle behind Executive Director Henry Garrido’s push earlier this year to create a DC 37 Office of Community Partnership. DC 37 has a rich history with, and within, New York City communities. We have long championed programs meant to lift all New Yorkers out of poverty, bring equality to education, and keep our neighborhoods safe. But at a time in our city and country when the gap between the haves and the have-nots has exploded into a Grand Canyon of economic inequality, it is more important than ever for DC 37 to help build a progressive agenda for New York by uniting with (among others) civic organizations, ministers, students, health-care advocates, seniors and the hardworking men and women who struggle to [More...]

How to Cope with the Post-Election Blues

January 4, 2017 // 0 Comments

By JULIE BECK Collective trauma is “a shared experience of threat and anxiety in response to sudden or ongoing events that lead to some threat to a basic sense of belonging in society,” says Jack Saul, the director of the International Trauma Studies Program. “It usually is a disruption to the social and moral order.” One could argue that those who opposed Donald Trump’s election have been through a collective trauma that has left them feeling rattled and afraid. Women and people of color have good reason to be anxious, given the sexist and racist things Trump said during the campaign, given his threats against the women who accused him of sexual assault, given how he has painted Mexicans as criminals, given that he was endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan, given so, so many things. People have very real fears rooted in policies Trump has promised to enact in office — including a [More...]

Cuomo Unveils a Program for Tuition-free Study at State and Local Public Colleges

January 3, 2017 // 0 Comments

DC 37 members turned out in force at LaGuardia Community College on Jan. 3 to hear Gov. Andrew Cuomo announce a plan to offer free tuition to hundreds of thousands working class students. Under the plan, called the Excelsior Scholarships Program, New Yorkers whose families earn $125,000 a year or less would be able to attend City and State University tuition free. Eighty percent of New York households earn $125,000 or less each year, according to the governor’s office. Enrollment projections indicate that 940,000 households with college-age children would be eligible for the tuition-free program, including DC 37 families. “Our members know the burden of student debt and the Catch-22 of trying to get ahead with a college education while falling behind in paying the rent and living expenses,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. “The governor’s proposal is a major [More...]

The Trump/GOP Plan to Attack Public Workers

January 3, 2017 // 0 Comments

By LISA REIN President-elect Donald Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress are drawing up plans to take on the government bureaucracy they have long railed against, by eroding job protections and grinding down benefits that federal workers have received for a generation. Hiring freezes, an end to automatic raises, a green light to fire poor performers, a ban on union business on the government’s dime and less generous pensions — these are the contours of the blueprint emerging under Republican control of Washington in January. These changes were once unthinkable to federal employees, their unions and their supporters in Congress. But Trump’s election as an outsider promising to shake up a system he told voters is awash in “waste, fraud and abuse” has conservatives optimistic that they could do now what Republicans have been unable to do in the 133 years since the civil [More...]

The Fight Ahead in the Era of Trump

December 29, 2016 // 0 Comments

When we stand up, we fight, and when we fight, we win. District Council 37 has survived many crises that have threatened our existence. Our struggles define us as a union, and in the end we more than just survive, we stand victorious. We are a proud people, and a caring people; we stand not just for ourselves, but for the communities we serve. This union is strong because of its members. From that strength we accomplish many goals and have turned back many assaults against us, the quality of our services we provide the citizens of New York City, and have blunted attempts to diminish our power, and the rights for all working families to claim justice and equal access to basic services. Never forget who we are.Never forget that DC 37 saved New York City from bankruptcy decades ago. We made sacrifices to ensure the well-being of our city. These measure came not from weakness, but a full [More...]

Our Fight Ahead in an Anti-Labor Era

December 28, 2016 // 0 Comments

When we stand up, we fight, and when we fight, we win. District Council 37 has survived many crises that have threatened our existence. Our struggles define us as a union, and in the end we more than just survive, we stand victorious. We are a proud people, and a caring people; we stand not just for ourselves, but for the communities we serve. This union is strong because of its members. From that strength we accomplish many goals and have turned back many assaults against us, the quality of our services we provide the citizens of New York City, and have blunted attempts to diminish our power, and the rights for all working families to claim justice and equal access to basic services. Never forget who we are. Never forget that DC 37 saved New York City from bankruptcy decades ago. We made sacrifices to ensure the well-being of our city. These measure came not from weakness, but a full [More...]