DC 37 Approves Tentative Contract Extension to Help Stabilize Financially-Squeezed Drug Benefit

January 27, 2017 // 0 Comments

  By GREGORY N. HEIRES DC 37 and the city agreed to a contract extension that allows the union to pour millions of dollars into its financially pinched prescription drug benefit. The agreement, reached Jan. 12, calls for extending the union’s 2010-17 contract by two months and 23 days. Savings achieved through the extension will significantly help the union address the budget gap at the DC 37 Health & Security Plan, which provides the drug and other benefits. The agreement will help reduce the shortfall by requiring the city to permanently increase its annual welfare fund contribution to the DC 37 Health & Security Plan by $200 for each full-time worker and retiree. That will generate $24 million in new funding for the plan. Under union rules, the agreement must be sent to DC 37’s 100,000 members covered by the current contract for a vote. Mail ballots will be sent out [More...]

DC37 Endorses Mayor Bill de Blasio for Re-Election

January 26, 2017 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE An enthusiastic crowd gathered at union headquarters on Jan. 26 to support New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio for a second term. Lauding the mayor, DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido said, “Mayor de Blasio has achieved major accomplishments benefiting the city’s working men and women.” Garrido praised de Blasio for implementing pre-K, promoting meaningful solutions to the affordable housing crisis and wrapping up virtually all of the outstanding contracts of the unionized municipal workforce. “His commitment to reducing economic inequality in our city deserves our continued support,” Garrido said. “We shall engage and mobilize our sizable membership to see to his re-election this November.” In January, it took only one day for the union and the city to negotiate an extension of the 2010-17 economic agreement, a testament to the de Blasio administration’s [More...]

Activists Send Trump a Message at Women’s March on Washington

January 25, 2017 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Answering a groundswell call to action, DC 37 activists joined hundreds of thousands of pink-hatted protesters at the Women’s March on Washington, D.C. on Jan. 21, the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration. The march was the largest ever in the United States, drawing over 500,000 people in Washington and 3.3 million around the country. Hundreds of thousands gathered in Manhattan and in 500 cities from Boston to Honolulu, and on all seven continents. “This historic Women’s March advances human rights for all and dignity and equality for women, minorities and immigrants,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. “We are vigilant and we are watching Trump and his cabinet to ensure that our freedoms, rights and protections are not eroded or violated.” Women came from across the nation to the capital and sister rallies were held in Paris, France, [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...]

Garrido Speaks at an anti-Trump Rally in Manhattan on the Eve of the Inauguration

January 20, 2017 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE At a nighttime demonstration and rally on Jan. 19, DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido demanded action to protect health care for millions of Americans, against the onslaught promised by President Donald J. Trump, and the expected repeal of the Affordable Care Act, a decision that threatens the health insurance of tens of millions of Americans. Citing the story of his grandmother, who was unable to receive affordable treatment for a rare form of cancer and had to leave her home in Virginia to receive treatment in Europe, Garrido spoke fiercely of the possible dangers ahead if the threatened repeal of Obamacare is carried out. “Are we going to allow this man [Trump] to take away our health care? Are we going to allow him to take away the health care for 30 million people without a replacement plan?” Garrido told the crowd. “Are we going to allow him to dismantle [More...]

Court Workers Rave about Recess Training

January 16, 2017 // 0 Comments

By DIANE WILLIAMS More than 170 Court Reporters, Interpreters and Clericals in Local 1070 rebooted their skills at a two-day court recess training at DC 37 headquarters in lower Manhattan on Dec. 28 and 29. After Local 1070 and the Unified Court System agreed to extend the benefit beyond the expired contract, they agreed to open the training sessions to state employees who were mandated to use comp time or annual leave during the courts’ December recess. “The turnout was great and we heard from legal professionals on a range of topics our members encounter every day on the job,” said President Fausto Sabatino. “We even brought in a presenter our members wanted to hear from again—back by popular demand.” The training highlights included sessions led by Sandra Bryan, retired state coordinator of Court Interpreters. Court Interpreters Lionel Bajana, Ricardo Fernandez, and [More...]

Commemorating Ten Years of Fighting Gun Violence

January 11, 2017 // 0 Comments

By DIANE WILLIAMS Harlem Mothers SAVE, founded by Local 299 President Jackie Rowe-Adams, marked its 10th anniversary in Harlem on Nov. 10. The anti-gun violence support group honored the newly appointed New York Police Dept. Commissioner James P. O’Neill. “The packed room was a sea of blue, we had so much support from the NYPD, who stand with us on getting guns off our streets,” said Rowe-Adams, who founded the nonprofit organization after she lost two young sons in two separate acts of gun violence. Harlem Mothers SAVE provides counseling, education and victim services; their professionally-trained first responders are called upon to help grieving parents of shooting victims in New York City. They support Sandy Hook School shooting victims killed in Connecticut four years ago. Feisty and undaunted, Rowe–Adams challenges the National Rifle Association “to consider how [More...]

A Review of 2016: A Year of Key Victories for DC 37 Members

January 10, 2017 // 0 Comments

District Council 37 had a banner year in 2016. Here are some of the union’s achievements. Insourcing victory: DC 37 is working with the de Blasio to reduce the city’s employment of consultants and bring work in-house. The city has so far hired several hundred information technology workers. The union expects the city to hire up to 1,000 IT workers in the near future. We won our Fight for $15 campaign: Union members have participated in demonstrations to support food service workers in their struggle for a living wage and union representation. At home, the union backed Mayor Bill de Blasio’s adoption of a $15 minimum wage that covers 50,000 low-wage workers in the city, including a few thousand school workers in Local 372. As bargaining for a new contract concluded, the union convinced the City University of New York to match the pay hikes of the state minimum wage law, which [More...]

A Review of 2016 (Part 1): Building a Dynamic Union

January 10, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES In 2016, DC 37 advanced its mission to become a more dynamic and grassroots-oriented union.Despite the anti-union era in the country, DC 37 made significant strides by recruiting new activists while strengthening its workplace presence, deepening ties to the community and developing more political clout. “The transformation of our union will take a long time,” DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido said. “But so far, we have made a lot of progress, and next year we will continue down this path. We are talking about a change in culture at DC 37.” Union activists and elected leaders had a busy year in 2016. Workers at the City University of New York participated in fight-back campaign to win a new contract. Members helped block Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to cut $300 million in state support for the city’s public health-care system and nearly $500 million [More...]

DC 37 Applauds Cuomo’s Plan to Increase the State’s Tax-Credit for Child Care

January 6, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Jan. 5 announced a plan to boost the state’s tax-credit for child care, which will reduce the financial burden faced of an estimated 200,000 middle-class families across the state. The enhanced tax credit will more than double the credit for families with incomes between $50,000 and $150,000. “Far too many parents have to sacrifice working to build their family’s infrastructure because affordable, high quality day care is financially out of reach,” Cuomo said. “This newly enhanced credit will make it easier for more New Yorkers to be able to secure day care for their children and will be able to enter or stay in the workforce with peace of mind.” In fiscal year 2014, nearly 520,000 families received almost $189 million in tax savings through the state’s Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit. Currently, the maximum benefit [More...]