DC 37 Hosts 9/11 Exhibit in September

September 10, 2016 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE The union will hold a special opening at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 12 in the First Floor Gallery for the stone lithographic work of pioneer firefighter and retired FDNY officer Brenda Berkman, to honor the memory of the thousands of heroes who gave their lives and survivors who now cope with debilitating illnesses in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, on Sept. 11, 2001. Berkman, who broke barriers by becoming the first woman firefighter in FDNY history, was a FDNY fire officer who was a first responder on 9/11 and was survivor and witness of that terrible day, when hundreds of her colleagues lost their lives. Since 2008, Berkman began working with stone lithographs as an artistic medium. Two years later, she started working on 9/11 lithographs and the World Trade Center. She also organized a collaborative art project with 13 other artists based on a self-portrait she [More...]

DC 37 Endorsements for Primary Day on September 13

September 9, 2016 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO The Green Machine, the union’s team of activists, has been busy making telephone calls on behalf of candidates endorsed by District Council 37 for the upcoming primary election on Tuesday, Sept. 13. “DC 37 volunteers will be on the phone and on the streets from now until primary day to ensure victory for these candidates,” said Executive Director Henry Garrido. “The candidates we have endorsed have solid records and demonstrate their dedication to their communities.” There are five state legislative races that are a priority for the union. In Brooklyn’s race to represent the 19th District, the union is supporting state Sen. Roxanne Persaud. She served as president of the 69th Precinct Community Council in Canarsie and is a member of Community Board 18. Persaud is an advocate for seniors and has introduced legislation to protect the elderly against [More...]

Trump: No Friend of Workers

September 8, 2016 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO Executive Director, District Council 37, AFSCME, AFL-CIO Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump portrays himself as a champion of the financially suffering middle class and disaffected blue-collar workers. He can say what he wants. But I agree with Vice President Joe Biden, who says Trump’s claim to be the “people’s candidate” is “a bunch of malarkey.” When you examine Trump’s qualifications for the job of president and his policies, it becomes quite clear that he is unfit to be president and that his interests don’t coincide with ours. A business background does not mean you’re necessarily prepared to run a government. Business is about profits. Government is about providing services. Many foreign policy experts believe Trump doesn’t have the background or temperament to represent the United States on the global stage. They are also wary [More...]

Union Backs Legislation for Halal and Kosher Meals for City Schoolchildren

September 7, 2016 // 0 Comments

BY MIKE LEE Local 372 is working with a coalition to secure healthy school lunches that meet the religious requirements of observant Jews and the city’s growing Muslim student population. On Sept. 6, along with other DC 37 leaders and activists, Local 372 Executive Vice President Donald Nesbit spoke out at a press conference on the City Hall steps in support of the effort. “We need to provide halal and kosher food in our schools,” Nesbit said. “I was a cook in the schools for 17 years,” Nesbit said. “I know first-hand what it is like to see children hungry and to leave the lunch room without eating. You can see it in their expressions and they can’t function and learn during the day.” Several Muslim students joined the press conference. They spoke of going hungry because their schools are unable to provide halal school lunches. Tasheef Chowdhury, a student at Stuyvesant [More...]

DC 37 Organizing sets lunchtime meetings and activist training

September 6, 2016 // 0 Comments

During the fall, the DC 37 Organizing Department will hold a series of lunch time meetings and activist training to strengthen the power of our collective voice and equip members with the tools necessary to move forward together. Lunch Time meetings will be held throughout October at various New York Health and Hospitals locations citywide. For a leaflet with details, click here. In addition, the next general activist training will be held in November at DC 37 union headquarters, with a second session to be scheduled about two weeks after the first session. To register for the training, call DC 37 Organizing at (212) 815-1095. “These meetings and training are part of an effort to strengthen the union from the grassroots,” said Barbara Terrelonge, director of the DC 37 Organizing Dept. “With more active members, our union will be stronger, whether that involves our [More...]

Lifeguards Save an Elderly Man at Manhattan Beach

September 2, 2016 // 0 Comments

By JOSEPH LOPEZ The scorching sun that has been a staple over New York City skies during this year’s heatwave-heavy summer has had many residents flocking to local beaches for a little fun and relief. The uptick of people cooling off in the water has also meant more potential drownings, keeping the lifeguards and supervisors of Local 461 and Local 508 on high alert. On the morning of July 18, Lifeguards Sharon Greaves and Andrey Povroznik sprang into action at Manhattan Beach in Brooklyn when a 76-year-old man’s dip in the ocean turned into a matter of life-or-death.  The two lifeguards pulled the elderly individual out of the waters that had overtaken him, and they brought him to land, where they began CPR procedures. “He had no pulse,” said Greaves, a 28 year veteran.  Using lifesaving techniques, Greaves and Povroznik were able to revive his heartbeat before EMTs arrived. [More...]

Agreement protects cultural workers pensions

September 1, 2016 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES The union reached a tentative agreement that protects the pensions of DC 37 members working at cultural institutions and other workers who are employed at day-care centers. On Aug. 11, DC 37 concluded talks on the five-year agreement with the employers’ representatives, the Cultural Institutions Group and the Day Care Council of New York, after months of tough negotiations to find a way to preserve the Cultural Institutions Retirement System (CIRS). “The members of our bargaining committee made the hard choices and took the responsible actions needed to protect our hard-won benefits for current employees and to preserve our pension benefits into the future,” DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido said. The agreement will maintain the benefits of the 9,000 current employees, including 1,200 DC 37 members enrolled in the pension system. They will still be able [More...]

“We are proud of what we do. We have seen the water get so much cleaner since the ’70s.”

September 1, 2016 // 0 Comments

William Edgar, Captain, Marine Workers Local 2906 Photo: Clarence Elie-Rivera I love the water. I grew up in the Bronx near Throggs Neck. There was a private beach with a lifeguard and teenagers used to all have boats. My father and I fished on the grounds of SUNY Maritime College, where I ended up majoring in meteorology and oceanography. I started working at the Dept. of Environmental Protection on Feb. 29, 1988. Getting a job with the city was one of the best things you could do at the time. I have a very good job working in the harbor. I came in as a Mariner and worked my way up to 3rd Mate and was promoted to Captain. The Captain is responsible for the whole ship. I pilot the ship. I work with some very great people. The crew has a Captain, a Mate, two Mariners, a Chief Engineer and an Assistant Engineer. We all get along well. There are five ships in service. Being able to [More...]

Annual Housing Fair–Own or Rent?

August 30, 2016 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Over 1,000 union members found the key to homeownership at DC 37’s annual housing fair July 30, where a dozen housing experts were on hand to share advice on the ABCs of affordable housing. “The turnout and success of this fair and of the Municipal Employees Housing Program is impressive,” said Robert Ajaye, DC 37 Housing Committee chair and president of Local 2627. “To date we have helped members obtain over $100 million in mortgages. Not one person has been foreclosed on, which speaks to the program’s success.” The program offers financial counseling to help members qualify for loans and grants to buy one-to four-family homes and apartments in New York City and surrounding counties. The daylong affordable housing fair is a one-stop shopping opportunity for union members looking to buy into the American Dream of homeownership. Members met realtors, [More...]

Agreement Protects Pensions of Workers at Cultural Institutions

August 29, 2016 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES The union reached a tentative agreement that protects the pensions of DC 37 members working at cultural institutions and other workers who are employed at day-care centers. On Aug. 11, DC 37 concluded talks on the five-year agreement with the employers’ representatives, the Cultural Institutions Group and the Day Care Council of New York, after months of tough negotiations to find a way to preserve the Cultural Institutions Retirement System (CIRS). “The members of our bargaining committee made the hard choices and took the responsible actions needed to protect our hard-won benefits for current employees and to preserve our pension benefits into the future,” DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido said. The agreement will maintain the benefits of the 9,000 current employees, including 1,200 DC 37 members enrolled in the pension system. They will still be able [More...]