Health Dept. Restores Leave for Social Workers

June 6, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS The union settled a group grievance for nine Local 768 members that restores their annual leave after the city forced them to use accrued time for continuing education courses required to maintain their licensure as professional Social Workers. “It took quite some time to resolve, but through the persistence of dedicated staff in the Professional Division, including the director, Stephanie Miller, Reps Dana Tilghman and Shayvonne Jones,” said Local 768 President Fitz Reid, “and other concerned members at the worksite, who weren’t even affected but agreed to be a liaison for information, the union prevailed.” Union protects its members New York State mandates Social Workers to take 36 hours of courses every three years to maintain their professional licenses. These courses ensure they are current with the best practices and issues regarding mental health, [More...]

EMS Wins Important Decision

June 1, 2018 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO DC 37 and Uniformed EMS Officers Local 3621 won an improper practice decision they filed with the Office of Collective Bargaining. The union, represented by Associate General Counsel Steven Sykes, charged that members of the local who work in the Paramedic Response Units have had their workload expand increasing overtime yet the FDNY has refused to bargain over work conditions. Not only has the workload increased, but those assigned to the PRU work in a more dangerous environment. The members, who perform paramedic and supervisory duties, are assigned to work in vehicles that, unlike ambulances, cannot transport a patient. There’s only space in the back for special equipment and there are times we arrive at the scene earlier than the ambulance and there may be safety issues, but we have no safe place to retreat to,” said Local 3621 President Vincent Variale. The [More...]

DC 37 Endorses Letitia James and Tom DiNapoli for the 2018 Statewide Elections

May 31, 2018 // 0 Comments

District Council 37, the city’s largest municipal employee union, has endorsed New York City Public Advocate Letitia James for State Attorney General and New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli for re-election, the union announced today. The candidates were overwhelmingly endorsed by DC 37 delegates, who comprise the union’s highest governing body, at their most recent monthly meeting. “We enthusiastically support Tom DiNapoli and Letitia James because they have consistently addressed the issues that are of utmost importance to our members and the working men and women of our state,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. “Time and again, Comptroller DiNapoli and Public Advocate James have demonstrated their commitment to public service, workers’ rights and improving the quality of life for all New Yorkers. With these endorsements, we stand ready to engage and [More...]

DC 37 Carries Out Town Hall Meetings on the Value of Unions

May 29, 2018 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO There was standing room only as more than 300 union members jammed the conference room at the offices of the Human Resources Administration in Brooklyn for a town hall style meeting. Members came to hear DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido talk about the fight with the city for a new contract and the upcoming decision in the Janus v. AFSCME case before the U.S. Supreme Court, which is expected to make its ruling by the end of June. If the decision goes against AFSCME, it could cripple DC 37 and public employee unions throughout the country. Janus argues that the mandatory collection of union dues violates the individual’s constitutional right to freedom of speech. “This decision is the start of a bigger attack,” said Garrido. He pointed to Wisconsin and how workers there lost their collective bargaining power once it became a right-to-work state. [More...]

A $1.50 Pay Raise

May 28, 2018 // 0 Comments

So far, what critics said about the Trump tax plan is proving to be true: It’s a scam. After its unveiling last year, opponents last described the proposal as a giveaway to corporations and the wealthy with crumbs for the rest of us. Earlier this year, House Speaker Paul Ryan urged his colleagues to talk up the tax law by pointing out that a high school secretary in Pennsylvania was happy with her $1.50 weekly pay raise resulting the legislation. He abandoned that sales job when he realized how silly his spin was. As attention shifts to this November elections, Republican legislators in tough races are backing away from touting the plan, according to a Reuters study. It seems that they don’t want to be identified with their own achievement. As it turns out, the typical CEO is receiving an annual tax cut of more than $51,000. The bottom three-fifths of the population? They are [More...]

Stand with Spectrum Workers

May 26, 2018 // 0 Comments

This has gone on too long. This disgrace should be confronted and settled. What are we talking about? We are talking about the hardworking women and men at the cable provider Spectrum, who are on strike in a fight to protect benefits they’ve had for decades. A year ago, 1,800 New York City-area technicians walked off the job after Spectrum’s parent company, Charter Communications, demanded the workers give up their union benefits for company-controlled health and retirement plans—policies that would leave Spectrum workers far worse off. These demands by Charter were a consequence of its purchase of Time Warner Cable in 2016. As part of its anti-worker plans, Charter came into New York to gut contracts like they did with cable technicians nationwide, including unionized workers. The intent was to break contracts and bust up the union, in this case, Local 3 of the International [More...]

Members Demand Greater Financial Help for NYC H+H

May 25, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS At five annual meetings NYC Health+Hospitals held this spring, DC 37 leaders, members and public health advocates voiced concerns about the future of the largest public health care system in America. “We celebrate our success in convincing Governor Cuomo to protect and fund safety net hospitals, save MetroPlus from a $200 million cut, and let Medicaid money follow Medicaid patients, but our work doesn’t stop there,” said Renee Gainer, DC 37 Clerical Division director who spoke at Sea View Hospital and Rehabilitation Center on May 2. Dedicated DC 37 members work to make NYC H+H successful despite its financial woes: Sea View Hospital Rehabilitation Center is reknown for its program for patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia and has received top rankings from the state Dept. of Health and U.S. News & World Report. In April, Leapfrog rated NYC H+H [More...]

Don’t Forget: We Vote

May 24, 2018 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Members and guests gathered at DC 37 May 18 for the annual Asian Heritage celebration, themed “We Vote, We Make a Difference,” was appropriate in the run-up for this year’s mid-term elections. Besides hearing a call to arms, the crowd enjoyed a fun evening of Asian food and cultural presentations. “Our time has come,” said DC 37 Asian Heritage Committee Chair Maf Misbah Uddin, who the union’s treasurer and president of Accountants, Statisticians and Actuaries Local 1407. “We will be recognized if we are in the mainstream” But Uddin acknowledged the community needs to engage more in the country’s electoral system. Asian Americans — the fastest growing demographic group in the United States — make up 7 percent of the U.S. population, yet only 1 percent of voters. Keynote speaker U.S. Congress member Grace Meng, who is from Queens, described the [More...]

Update Your Beneficiary Record

May 23, 2018 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Every so often, a widow stops by the DC 37 Health & Security Plan to obtain a inquiry about a benefit of a deceased member. The benefit could be thousands of dollars from her husband’s DC 37 Annuity Fund. Or a $10,000 death benefit. But when the widow asks about the benefit, she finds out she isn’t eligible. Why? Her husband failed to update his beneficiaries after his divorce, meaning the benefit will go to his previous wife. So, it’s a good idea to check to see if you need to update your DC 37 Health & Security Plan beneficiary form. When should you consider changing your beneficiary? Be certain to do it if there’s a significant change in your life, such as ● your beneficiary dies ● you get divorced and your former spouse changes her last name when she remarries ● your beneficiary moves from the address listed on the form ● you get divorced [More...]

Union Honors EMS Week

May 22, 2018 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO Thousands of emergency medical technicians around the country will be honored during National EMS Week for the critical work they do saving lives. The week of activities for the annual event begins May 20 -26. In New York City EMT Yadira Arroyo was one of those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arroyo, a member of Uniformed EMTs and Paramedics of the FDNY Local 2507, was run over last year with her own ambulance by a deranged man. EMT Kellan Squire works at Station 17 in the Bronx and occasionally shared a tour with Arroyo. “We were in shock when we heard the news,” said Squire. “She was well respected by her colleagues and the people in her community.” EMT Squire began his career in Miami before moving to New York City. “You can’t compare the number of calls you get in Miami to New York,” said the Florida native. Squire is part of the Counter Terrorism [More...]