Turn Up the HEAT to Save Public Health Care

April 11, 2017 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS The DC 37 Healthcare Education Activist Team (HEAT) urges NYC Health+ Hospitals workers, public health advocates and community residents to attend and speak out at the H+H annual meetings this spring. The meetings will be held on Wednesdays at 6 p.m. at H+H sites in each borough. (See list below.) Voice your concerns about the impact the New York State budget will have on the day-to-day operations of public hospitals and clinics in your community.  At these meetings, activists can express themselves regarding the Trump administration’s threats to cut federal aid, Medicaid and change Affordable Health Care law. Find out how state and federal budgets will affect patients, services and your community. Make your voice heard. To register in advance please contact: Ms. Patricia Lochart, Secretary to the Corporation, Health and Hospitals, 125 Worth Street, Room 519, NY, [More...]

Contribute to the New York Daily News Fund for the Family of Yadira Arroyo

April 10, 2017 // 0 Comments

Dear Sisters and Brothers, As many of you know by now, a fund has been established by the Daily News in conjunction with the FDNY Foundation in order to aid the family of Sister Yadira Arroyo, the EMT who was recently killed in the line of duty. The fund will send the donations directly to the Arroyo family via the FDNY Foundation. AFSCME, the national union of DC 378, has contributed $10,000 to this fund and our Council will be asking to match this amount. We ask that you consider making a donation to the Arroyo family to help them through this challenging time. The following is information on how you can make your donation: Donors can send payments electronically to Daily News Charities, account number 9387-575-837, routing number 021-000-322. The charity also has a PayPal account at nydn.us/ArroyoFund. Checks can be made payable to Daily News Charities Inc. and mailed to: New York [More...]

A Health Plan Implodes

April 7, 2017 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO It was nice to see the Republican health-care plan implode in late March. Here are just some of the ways the GOP plan would have affected New York and the country: ●New York state would have been hit with a $3.7 billion hole in its health-care budget. ● Deep Medicaid cuts to New York City would have devastated NYC Health+Hospitals. Some 200,000 residents who rely on the public health care system would have lost their health care. The loss of federal funds would have stuck NYC H+H with millions of dollars in annual deficits. ● Some 10 million people nationwide benefited from the Medicare expansion under the ACA. They would have lost their coverage. The Medicare expansion was funded by taxes on the wealthy. The elimination of those taxes would have given the power elite a windfall of $350 billion over 10 years. All told, under the GOP plan the wealthy would have [More...]

Member Confronts Racism in Online Media

April 6, 2017 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Veteran news reporter Anita M. Samuels’ new book, “Rants & Retorts,” examines often anonymous— and always vitriolic— racist online comments posted on internet news stories. “I became a journalist because I wanted to write positive stories about African Americans,” said Samuels, a member of Civil Technical Guild Local 375 who works as an administrative coordinator at Borough of Manhattan Community College. After the historic election of Barack Obama in 2008, many were quick to say America transitioned to a post-racial society. But in “Rants & Retorts: How Bigots Got A Monopoly on Commenting About News Online,” Samuels exposes an ugly truth: Racism is festering on social media. Reading disturbing online comments on several news stories the New York Daily News had published in 2008, an upset Samuels complained to her editor. The comments [More...]

Union Advocates Better Transportation Services for People with Disabilities

April 5, 2017 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido joined advocates for the disabled, union activists, city officials and MTA representatives to discuss the need to improve the Access-A-Ride service at a forum held in union headquarters on April 3. After initial remarks by DC 37 Disability Advisory/Health Committee Chair Eileen Muller, who is also president of Local 1482 Brooklyn Library Guild, Garrido spoke of the importance of the Access-A-Ride service, which handles as many as 23,000 trips daily. The Access-A-Ride paratransit service provides shared-ride transportation service for people with disabilities unable to use public transportation for their trips.y. Garrido warned the audience of the attack on safety net services in the proposed Trump/Republican congress budget, including potential cuts in federal grants for services such as Access-A-Ride. “Everything we hold dear is at [More...]

Union Week and Lunch Time Meetings set for April 2017

April 3, 2017 // 0 Comments

The DC 37 Organizing Department has scheduled lunchtime meetings and a special Union Week to strengthen the power of our collective voice and equip members with the tools necessary to move forward together. Union Week will be held on April 3-7, 2017, at 250 Broadway for DC 37 members who work at the New York City Housing Authority. There will also be a Lunch Time Meetings on April 17 at NYCHA’s 90 Church Street location and on April 15 at NYCERS at 300 Jay Street. In addition, the next general activist training is scheduled for June 7 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.  “Union week, lunch time meetings and activist trainings are part of an effort to strengthen the union from the grassroots,” said [More...]

Congress Prepares to Attack Unions

April 1, 2017 // 0 Comments

Amidst the never-ending hot winds of Trump-era controversies and scandals, U.S. Reps. Steve King and Joe Wilson in February introduced the National Right to Work Act before the U.S. House of Representatives. This bill, H.R. 785, promises, “To preserve and protect the free choice of individual employees to form, join, or assist labor organizations, or to refrain from such activities.” Nothing could be further from the truth. If enacted, this law will destroy the rights of workers to organize throughout the nation, turning the United States into Wisconsin, which under the leadership of Koch Brothers puppet Gov. Scott Walker, destroyed the collective bargaining rights of tens of thousands of workers in the state. This bill is a dagger to the heart of labor. The law introduces poison into the New Deal-era National Labor Relations Act and Railway Labor Act — laws that were passed to [More...]

Union Member Is Vindicated in Court

March 31, 2017 // 0 Comments

After more than two painful years of facing criminal charges for doing his job, Juvenile Counselor Rafael Pasols, an SSEU Local 371 member,  was found not guilty on all charges of improperly restraining a 17-year-old resident at the Horizon Juvenile Center in the Bronx. Pasols, a Juvenile Counselor with a clean 15-year disciplinary record, was prosecuted over an incident on Nov. 8, 2014, when he restrained an out-of-control seventeen-year-old Horizon Juvenile Center resident. Just before, the resident had hit Pasols on the face with a telephone and said he was about to “snuff” [beat] him. Pasols was never disciplined by the Administration for Children’s Services. He continued to serve as a Juvenile Counselor as the case proceeded. But, on orders from the Justice Center in Albany, the Bronx prosecutor attempted to portray the restraint as an illegal chokehold. The [More...]

Trump’s Nationalistic Policies Worry Immigrant Members

March 31, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO President Donald J. Trump’s executive order issued on Jan. 27 sought to ban people from seven Muslim majority countries from entering the United States. The order was swiftly struck down by the federal court with orders not to deport or detain travelers. Chaos prevailed at airports around the country on the weekend the day after Trump issued the ban. At Kennedy Airport in New York City, hundreds of demonstrators joined cab drivers and protested against the ban. Panic also spread among the thousands of immigrant New Yorkers. Fear spread to immigrants not covered by the ban and even immigrants who have green cards and visas. Ferdous Ahmed, a member of Electronic Data Processing Personnel Local 2627, was one of those New Yorkers. Shocked by what he was seeing on the evening news that weekend, Ahmed called the union’s Municipal Employees Legal Services (MELS) the [More...]

An Era of Scorn for Our Government Workforce

March 30, 2017 // 0 Comments

By LEE SAUNDERS Back in 1932, a group of Wisconsin state employees banded together to defend their rights as civil servants, pushing back against a corrupt spoils system that would reward friends of politicians with important public-service jobs that demanded nonpartisan professionalism. That was the beginning of the formation of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. I am proud to serve as president of AFSCME, where we represent 1.6 million men and women — everyone from bus drivers to sanitation workers to emergency medical technicians — who never quit working to serve and strengthen their communities. Over the decades, even as our union has grown, we have had to contend with adversaries trying not just to hold down our members’ pay and benefits but who fundamentally denigrate and disrespect their work. That reflexive scapegoating of public [More...]