Workers on Janus: A Political Effort to Further Rig the Rules Against Working People

September 28, 2017 // 0 Comments

On Sept. 28, the U.S. Supreme Court decided to hear Janus v. AFSCME Council 31. This court case is the latest attempt by anti-union forces to take away public workers’ hard-won freedoms to organize, negotiate for fair pay and working conditions, as well as to strip them of their benefits. The following statement was issued by members and leaders of AFSCME, AFT, NEA, and SEIU – the nation’s four largest public sector unions – in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to grant Certiorari in Janus v. AFSCME Council 31: The Janus case is a blatantly political and well-funded plot to use the highest court in the land to further rig the economic rules against everyday working people. The billionaire CEOs and corporate interests behind this case, and the politicians who do their bidding, have teamed up to deliver yet another attack on working people by striking at the [More...]

Delegates Elect Deborah A. Pitts as DC 37’s Secretary

September 27, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO Deborah A. Pitts, president of Finance Administrative Employees and City Investigators Local 1113, was elected on Sept. 26 to serve as secretary of the District Council 37 Executive Board. Union delegates elected Pitts at their monthly meeting. Pitts defeated Local 375 member, former 1st Vice President, and DC 37 delegate Michelle Keller-Ng. The election was held to fill the secretary’s seat on the union’s executive board, made vacant by the retirement earlier this year of Local 957 President Walthene Primus. “It is an honor to serve DC 37 and our members–that’s the most important thing for me, helping our members,” said Pitts. Pitts also serves as the chair of the DC 37 Black History Committee, which every February coordinates a month of activities for members. Pitts has spent more than 30 years as a union activist, and she has been active with the [More...]

New York Attorney General Leads Opposition to Trump’s Overtime Pay Rollback

September 26, 2017 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman led a coalition of Attorneys General in opposing the Trump administration’s efforts to roll back overtime pay protections for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers and millions of Americans. The US Department of Labor threatens to roll back the Obama administration’s rule set to go into effect last year that would have expanded overtime pay protections for workers by setting a salary floor below which the exemption from overtime laws cannot apply. The proposed changes jeopardize protections involving overtime pay for millions of low-wage workers in the service and medical sectors, as well as office clericals, among others. In New York, this would have a devastating impact for hundreds of thousands of working families trying to get by in an unbalanced economy. “The Labor Department should be protecting workers’ rights, not [More...]

DC 37 Gets Ready for Contract Bargaining

September 26, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES The union is preparing to start bargaining with the city for a new economic agreement this fall. Union delegates are expected to vote on demands at their monthly meeting on Sept. 26. The demands will be in part guided by an on-line survey in June of members covered by the union’s master contract. The union’s Negotiating Committee was scheduled to vote on the demands in late August. “We are hoping to enter negotiations in earnest as soon as possible,” DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido said. “We would like to see a quick settlement, but we also know the road to a new contract has historically often been a bumpy one filled with obstacles.” The 2010-17 economic agreement was originally set to expire on July 2. But earlier this year, members voted overwhelmingly to extend the economic agreement to Sept. 25 to help the union’s welfare plan shore up its [More...]

The Equifax Data Breach: What Consumers Should Do

September 22, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ROBERT MARTIN and RENEE CONDE The dust is still settling on the Equifax data breach in which hackers accessed personal records of the majority of American adults. This breach was so huge that you should presume your information has been compromised. Equifax (a big three credit reporting agency or “CRA”) has only come forward now to reveal that between May and July, records of 143 million persons were hacked. What makes it more serious than prior breaches (Equifax itself has had four breaches in the last two years) is that the stolen records include not just credit card numbers, but also Social Security numbers and birth dates. These are the first building blocks for identity thieves. With this information, thieves can potentially open fraudulent new credit accounts – in our names. How should people protect themselves? This is a slightly complicated topic, and the answer depends [More...]

DC 37 Prepares for U.S. Supreme Court Ruling Against Public Employee Unions UPDATE: Court Will Hear Case

September 20, 2017 // 1 Comment

By MIKE LEE On Sept. 28, the U.S. Supreme Court has decided to move forward on perhaps the most important case facing the labor movement in our lifetime. This case, Janus v. AFSCME, is expected to be heard during the court’s upcoming October term with a decision no later than next June. Janus is the latest attempt by anti-union forces to take away public workers’ hard-won freedoms to organize, negotiate for fair pay and working conditions, as well as to strip them of their benefits. Janus seeks to overturn the ability of unions to collect fees from agency fee payers, who enjoy the benefits of union representation without membership. A ruling may force public service workers’ unions into such a right-to-work environment. For the rich and powerful 1 percenters and corporate CEOs, a legal victory in Janus will hurt a union’s ability to fight on behalf of workers by allowing agency [More...]

Union sets fall 2017 lunch time info sessions and activist training

September 14, 2017 // 0 Comments

The DC 37 Organizing Department has scheduled lunch time information events this fall to strengthen the power of our collective voice and equip members with the tools necessary to move forward together. At the top of the agenda: voting “NO” on the New York State Constitutional Convention to protect worker rights and safeguard the pensions of members and retirees, and engaging the union’s membership on this and other issues. In addition, the next general activist training is scheduled for Nov. 2 at DC 37 union headquarters. A second session will be scheduled about two weeks after the first session. To register for the training or for more information, call DC 37 Organizing at (212) 815-1095.  “Workplace info sessions and activist training are part of an effort to strengthen the union from the grassroots,” said Barbara Terrelonge, director of the DC 37 [More...]

A Fair Tax on the Wealthy

September 14, 2017 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO Our city is engaged in a vibrant public discussion about the crisis at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. For the general public, the injury of dozens of people in the derailment of a subway in Manhattan in July underscored that the crisis is a matter of public safety. Riders are also fed up with high fares and delays. The MTA’s track signals date from a century ago, when the subway system was established, and the constant malfunctioning from this aging equipment causes delays. Straphangers are angry about the uncomfortable commutes in overcrowded subway trains and the crumbling infrastructure, including deteriorating stations. Elected officials and public transportation advocates are looking for solutions. We fully support a progressive plan that Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled in August. The de Blasio plan offers a sensible way to deal with short- and [More...]

DC 37-backed Candidates Win in Four Key City Council Races

September 13, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO DC 37’s activism helped determine the winners in the Democratic Primary elections earlier this week. “We focused our efforts in districts with high density DC 37 membership, communities where literally thousands of DC 37 members live,” said DC 37 Political Action director Jeremy John. Those areas include southeast Queens, central Brooklyn and northern Manhattan/the Bronx. An army of more than 200 DC 37 activists, volunteers and leaders began making phone calls and knocking on doors in July and helped provide the margin of victory for Mayor Bill deBlasio, Public Advocate Letitia James and numerous City Council candidates, in particular: Francisco Moya, District 21 (Queens) Adrienne Adams, District 28 (Queens) Alicka Samuel, District 41 (Brooklyn) Diana Ayala, District 8 (upper Manhattan/Bronx) Ayala took to Twitter on the day after the primary to express her [More...]

Don’t Let the Flu Catch You—Get Your Flu Shot Today

September 13, 2017 // 0 Comments

Don’t let the flu catch you—get your flu shot today. Flu season is coming! A flu shot is the best way to protect yourself, your community and your loved ones. Everyone aged 6 months and older should get vaccinated every year. The flu shot takes just seconds, but can prevent days or weeks of serious illness. Free flu shots are available to City employees, dependents, and retirees four convenient ways: At the worksite At the pharmacy At an in-network doctor’s office At an AdvantageCare Physicians (ACPNY) medical office Don’t let the flu catch you—get your flu shot today! Visit nyc.gov/workwellnyc for more [More...]