Uncategorized

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...]

“My Union is My Passion. We Stand Tall for All. I Do What I Enjoy Most–Helping Others”

March 11, 2017 // 0 Comments

Shawn Gray, Service Aide, Local 420 I believe in working for change. But in order for people to change, they have to start with self. I was raised by my mom in Queensbridge Houses. In my Park Slope North community, I volunteer to work to empower young men, to give the youth the tools I didn’t necessarily have growing up. I want them to avoid the mistakes I made. I let them know they can be leaders and think for themselves; they can rise above their environment. I am a Service Aide for the Health and Hospitals Cook Chill plant in Brooklyn. We are the main kitchen and have the very important work of preparing and delivering meals to all public hospitals, nursing homes and long-term care facilities. We prepare over 100,000 meals a day for patients. Our food nourishes sick people to recovery. We maintain strict standards of cleanliness and food safety to avoid food-borne illnesses and [More...]

Local 372 Shop Stewards Get Fired Up at Training Conference

March 10, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO “Stay ready,” was the rallying cry at the weekend retreat for Local 372 shop stewards. The local’s president, Shaun D. Francois I, welcomed 154 shop stewards to the training sessions, which began on March 3 with a “State of the Local” address by Francois. Board of Education Employees Local 372 represents more than a dozen titles working in the public schools, including School Crossing Guards, Parent Coordinators, School Aides, Lunch Helpers. “As shop stewards, you play a critical role in our local,” said Francois in his opening remarks. He also expressed his concern with the new Republican administration in Washington and its anti-union views. “More than half of the states now are right-to-work states,” warned the local leader. States with right-to-work-laws pay lower wages, have higher rates of people not covered by health insurance and their [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...]

New clerical unit contract addresses inequality among workers

March 2, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES The new contract for the DC 37 clerical unit addresses inequities within the group by making all titles eligible for recurring increment payments, (RIP) which are pay increases added to members’ base salary. Until now, about two-thirds of the 12,000 covered workers received the increase. “In this round of bargaining, the committee agreed to use the additional compensation fund to deal with inequality within our own group,” said Fausto Sabatino, president of Court, County and Dept. of Probation Employees Local 1070. “We were happy to work out an agreement that reflects one of the most important principals of unionism: fairness,” he said. The RIP schedule is a mini-step-pay plan that rewards workers for their years of dedicated service, and it encourages them to stick with their careers. RIP payments begin after an employee completes six years of service and [More...]

Vote “Yes” to Protect Your Drug Benefit

February 17, 2017 // 0 Comments

  By GREGORY N. HEIRES Mail ballots went out today  to more than 90,000 members for a vote on a contract extension to protect the union’s popular prescription drug plan, which has been rocked in recent years by the pharmaceutical industry’s pursuit of excessive profits. The contract extension, which the union and city agreed to in January, will enable the DC 37 Health & Security Plan to continue to provide stable benefits to members and retirees. During the past eight years, the pharmaceutical industry has raised prescription drug prices by 105 percent. Today, prescription drugs consume 76 percent of the costs of the welfare fund, which also covers the dental benefit and other benefits managed by the plan. The DC 37 Health & Security Plan faces a $55 million deficit. The contract extension is one of a number of critical steps the union is taking to protect the drug [More...]

I Have My Dream Job Training Animals in New York City

February 12, 2017 // 0 Comments

Andrew Egyud, Animal Trainer, Wildlife Conservation Society Local 1501 I’ve been working with animals for about 10 years. I came to the New York Aquarium as an Animal Trainer a year ago. I’ve always liked animals. Growing up I did not know what I wanted to do for a living. As a teen I watched a show on Animal Planet, the Croc Hunter Diaries with the late Steve Irwin. I admired all the work, education and passion he had. He inspired me. I went to college and studied biology. Being a Zoo Keeper is not viewed as a real job by most people. In the summer of my freshman year, I got a job at Busch Gardens in Virginia, where I am from. I fell in love immediately! I was determined to become the best animal care specialist I can be. Over the years, I’ve worked with gray wolves, hawks, and beluga whales at Sea World in San Antonio, Texas. But of all the animals, I really get sea lions: I can [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...]

DC 37 Launches “100 Days of Resistance” Campaign

February 1, 2017 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me. Martin Niemoller (1892-1984) They are coming for us. Today, Republicans introduced national “right-to-work” legislation. Last night, Donald Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch for the U.S. Supreme Court. These are just the latest assaults against labor emanating from the White House during the new president’s first 100 days in office, and we anticipate these attacks to intensify. Trump pledged to roll out his agenda right away, and he is moving at a quick pace, catching the progressive community off-guard. Through executive orders, [More...]

DC 37 and Medgar Evers College Announce Training Program

January 21, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO With 100,000 workers getting ready to retire from the municipal workforce in the coming years, District Council 37 is planning on offering courses to train the next generation of city employees who will take their place. DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido announced that the union will be collaborating with Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn to offer courses to retrain the next generation of city employees. Garrido and Dr. Rudy Crew, the president of Medgar Evers College announced the partnership on Jan. 19 at the City University of New York campus in Crown Heights. “Unions have played such an important part in building communities like Crown Heights,” said Crew. “Together with DC 37, we can continue to build on that tradition.” Garrido wanted to partner with the Brooklyn school because 42 percent of the union’s members live in the borough. “The members [More...]