Union Offers Free Tax Preparation

January 25, 2019 // 0 Comments

In 2018, DC 37 helped thousands members to get over $10 million in refunds and savings on expensive tax preparation. This year, DC 37 is continuing our partnership with Food Bank, which will operate 10 centers in all five boroughs. Centers are located near members’ workplaces, homes or transportation hubs. Professional tax preparers are at each site. Please use the checklist below to be sure you bring all the required documents. What You Need To Bring • Social Security cards (you must bring an original card, a copy of the card or a copy of last year’s tax return) or your Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN); and dates of birth for yourself and all family members you are claiming. • W-2s for all jobs you held in 2018 and any other tax-related documents. • A 1098-T-Tuition Statement. • A form 1099-INT, if you received interest from a bank account in 2018. • [More...]

Head of Legal Services Retires

January 25, 2019 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Family, friends, coworkers and judges on Jan. 18 gathered to bid farewell to Joan Beranbaum, the director and chief counsel of the DC 37 Municipal Employees Legal Services Plan, who is leaving the union after 39 years with the program. Beranbaum was among the first group of employees to join the legal services program when it opened in 1977. Beranbaum learned about the job opening while she was working at the Legal Aid Society, where she was hired right after she graduated from New York University Law. MELS attracted her because it was a pioneering service for union workers. At her retirement party, Beranbaum noted that over the course of her nearly four-decade career at DC 37, MELS handled the cases of half a million DC 37 members and retirees. Speakers praised Beranbaum for devoting her career to working people rather than the rich and powerful. She remained [More...]

PROUD TO SERVE: DC 37 Leadership Team Elected

January 24, 2019 // 0 Comments

  By GREGORY N. HEIRES Executive Director Henry Garrido was overwhelmingly elected to a second, three-year term by DC 37 delegates on Jan. 22. Shaun D. Francois I, president of Dept. of Education Employees Local 372, defeated incumbent DC 37 President Eddie Rodriguez, long-time president of Clerical Administrative Employees Local 1549. Treasurer Maf Misbah Uddin, president of Accountants, Actuaries and Statisticians Local 1407,  was re-elected. Secretary Deborah Pitts, president of Finance Administrative Employees and City Investigators Local 1113, did not face opposition. Local 384 Treasurer Debbie Lane, chair of the DC 37 Election Committee, announced the results at about 11 p.m. and swore in the winners right after her announcement. Below are the winners of the executive board seats. Executive Board members who were either elected for the first time or re-elected. All are [More...]

Remembering Dr. King

January 21, 2019 // 0 Comments

“No work is insignificant. All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.” — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. BY DIANE S. WILLIAMS Dr. Martin Luther King engaged in struggle to move America towards its better self, to will a people to become united, and use its power, spirit and economic ability to realize its potential more fully, to eradicate poverty and to end injustice. Had King lived he would have been 90 years old Jan. 15. As an architect of the civil rights movement, King urged all Americans to work for the greater good for all. He said, “Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.” ASFCME and District Council 37 remember Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who was martyred in Memphis while fighting for Sanitation workers. King aligned himself with labor’s [More...]

Union Mourns Intern Killed in Car Accident

January 16, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE W. WILLIAMS The AFSCME family is stunned and saddened by the tragic death of 21-year-old Nadia Mourtaj, a 2018 summer intern in DC 37’s Organizing Department. Nadia and her sister Zeyneb, 15, were in a car accident on Dec. 31, in Charles County, Md. Zeyneb was killed on impact and Nadia died nine days later. They are survived by their mother, Sara Ghebre, and father, Abdelilah Mourtaj. “Nadia was a bright star whose enthusiasm for life and the labor movement was contagious,” said DC 37 organizer Nichole Laing, who helped train the young activist seen in this union video. After Nadia completed the internship, Organizing Dept. Director Barbara Terrelonge said, “Nadia visited New York City in September, marching with DC 37 in the annual Labor Day Parade.” “There were many reasons why I chose Nadia for AFSCME’s program, but what stood out to me was her extensive [More...]

Activists Gear Up for the Jan. 19 Women’s Unity Rally at Foley Square

January 13, 2019 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES DC 37 members will be among thousands of demonstrators expected to turn out for the Women’s Unity Rally on Saturday, Jan. 19. We will gather at 10 a.m. on Foley Square, at Lafayette and Worth Street, in downtown Manhattan. We encourage participants to come dressed in DC 37’s color–green. To register for the rally, go to http://bit.ly/2019Women. For more information, contact DC 37’s Office of Community Partnerships Director Raul Rodriguez by calling 212-815-1502 or emailing raulrodriguez@dc37.net. The mission is to raise women’s voices through education and activism. Stand with us arm-in-arm in defense of women’s and immigrants rights. The DC 37 Blog is an official online publication of District Council 37, AFSCME, which represents 125,000 public service workers in New York City and surrounding [More...]

Concerned About Your Personal Finances? Attend a Free ‘Financial Empowerment’ Course at DC37

January 12, 2019 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Are your credit card applications being denied? Are you having difficulty being approved for a mortgage? Are you being turned down for affordable housing even though you meet the income requirement? We are here to help. DC 37 is holding a personal finance course to offer members guidance on their finances so they will have excellent credit scores to qualify for lottery housing, credit and home purchases. About 70 people from the union and the community attended the first class, which was held on Jan. 9. Director of Community Outreach Paul Rodriguez encourages anyone interested in attending the remaining classes to register for the course. The second class will be on Wednesday, Jan. 16, in Rooms 2 and 3 at DC 37 headquarters at 125 Barclay St. in Lower Manhattan. The class will help you understand your credit and debt profile, the basics of borrowing, and how to [More...]

AFSCME Members Join Federal Workers in Rally to End Government Shutdown

January 11, 2019 // 0 Comments

AFSCME Pres. Lee Saunders and Janice Fridie (District Council 20). Photo Credit: Lorenzo Soto. AFSCME members today joined furloughed federal workers in Washington, D.C., to call for an end to the government shutdown. Altogether, thousands of people marched from the headquarters of the AFL-CIO in downtown D.C. to the White House, demanding that 800,000 federal workers return to their jobs and receive their paychecks. “This shutdown is hurting our families and our communities,” said AFSCME President Lee Saunders. “Public health is jeopardized. Consumer protection is compromised. Many national parks are overrun with garbage. Food assistance for low-income families is at risk.” Saunders was one of two dozen speakers outside the AFL-CIO who urged President Trump and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) to reopen the government. AFSCME represents about 3,000 federal workers. Janice [More...]

City Launches New Paid Family Leave Benefit

January 7, 2019 // 0 Comments

Today, the new paid family leave benefit is open for application in most agencies. The benefit–which the union won through negotiations for the 2017-21 economic agreement–is now available to nearly 100,000 DC 37 members who are covered by the contract and work at mayoral agencies, NYC Health+Hospitals, the New York City Housing Authority and the Dept. of Education. There are a number of ways to apply for the benefit. But you should start by asking your human relations office which process applies to you. The union worked with worked with human resources, payroll agencies, and the Dept. of Citywide Administrative Services to open up the paid family-leave benefit.  In upcoming weeks, the union will work with management to address any confusion and concerns that arise. During the contract negotiations last year, DC 37 and the city agreed to arrange for coverage through the [More...]

All aboard! Holiday Trains are a favorite at NY Botanical Garden

December 27, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Under a canopy of verdant tropical flora, the annual Holiday Train Show is in full bloom at the New York Botanical Garden. The exhibit features 175 Lilliputian landmarks, ferries and famous bridges, all under the watchful eyes of Local 374 Quasi-Public Employees at the famed Bronx cultural institution. The NYBG staff of maintainers, attendant guards, custodians, and gardeners and others work behind the scenes to help make this traditional holiday display, unveiled in 1992, one of the most successful cultural exhibits in the city. The collection includes 25 G-scale trains and trolleys that travel over a half-mile of tracks through a cityscape built to rival any Pixar animation. This year children thrill to see a train’s caboose whiz past replicas of the Freedom Tower and the Oculus of Lower Manhattan, the latest models in the Botanical Gardens’ growing collection [More...]