Workers Vote 100% to Join DC 37

July 13, 2016 // 0 Comments

By MOLLY CHARBONEAU Youth Care Workers at the Children’s Village on Staten Island voted overwhelmingly in May—despite management intimidation—to be represented by District Council 37. The resounding vote came after six months of workplace organizing. “Management didn’t respect or support the workforce,” said Donald Holton, the worker who contacted DC 37 to inquire about joining the union. “We wanted a fair shot with management and a a union to represent us,” Holton said. “So we let our fingers do the talking, and they got the point.” “Everyone knew we needed a union,” said Kiena Hicklen, another worker organizer, “but we didn’t know if we would be retaliated against by management, so it took some time.” The Children’s Village is a large nonprofit under contract with the Administration for Children’s Services and New York State’s Office of Children and [More...]

Union Family Buys New Home Through DC 37’s Municipal Employees Housing Program

July 13, 2016 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Ray Cabezas, owns a detached two-story house in a quiet Staten Island neighborhood thanks to his union.  He learned that DC 37 offered a chance at home ownership through its Municipal Employees Housing Program while at a Local 376 general membership meeting. “I was looking for a house when I heard about the union’s affordable housing program,” Cabezas said. A new Assistant Highway Repairer, Cabezas tapped his pension to make his dream of home ownership a reality. With help from MEHP, Cabezas invested in his family’s future and purchased their first home. “I was paying over $1,200 a month for an apartment I had lived in for 25 years. Back then my rent was just $575 a month. Rents will always rise, so I felt it was time to buy,” said Cabezas. “We had a bidding war with eight other interested buyers, but because MEHP had our mortgage pre-approved, the [More...]

The Night Shift

July 12, 2016 // 0 Comments

Lt. Frank Borello, EMS Lieutenant Local 3621 Photo: Clarence Elie-Rivera I would tell any person considering a career with Emergency Medical Services that it’s a great job because you have an opportunity to impact someone’s life in a positive way. I’ve helped deliver 13 babies, intervened with people having cardiac arrest and diabetic emergencies. It’s such a rewarding experience. One time a man was having a massive stroke. He couldn’t move the right side of his body and was having trouble speaking. He was combative and in denial. But that happens often. People have the right to make that decision and refuse to be taken to the hospital. It’s unpredictable what might happen when you show up. But his wife was with him, so she convinced him to let us take him to the hospital. He’s a business owner and one of his employees noticed he was acting strange and called 911. I spent [More...]

The Night Shift

July 11, 2016 // 0 Comments

Leslie Hurd, Computer Associate Level 3 Local 2627 Photo: Clarence Elie-Rivera I started working for the hospital system in 1978 at the central office in Manhattan. It was a good time to get the job. My kids were young, and working at night made it easier for me to help my wife. I still work for the central office, but I am now at its corporate data center at Jacobi Hospital in the Bronx. They were setting up the computer system at the time I came to work here. We had to teach the staff how to use the computer to input patient information and discharge them. Everything prior to that was done manually. We take care of the payroll system and we also do W-2 cards. We process and print the paychecks, which are sent downtown to be sorted out. You are talking about close to 30,000 checks! We have used the same IBM 4000 mainframe for 30 years. It’s obsolete. We are always the last to [More...]

The Night Shift

July 9, 2016 // 0 Comments

Denise Figueroa, Interpreter Local 1070 Photo: Clarence Elie-Rivera As a Night Court Interpreter in Bronx County Criminal Court Arraignments. I translate for persons of interest who have a language barrier so they understand the system. For nearly 28 years, I’ve been the link between the justice system and non-English speaking litigants. Since 2012, I’ve worked in Night Court — each borough has one. As a Spanish Interpreter, I assist by translating for people arrested for domestic violence, jumping the subway turnstile, traffic infractions, homicide, and other crimes. They must be arraigned within 24 hours. I don’t just assist arrested people; I translate for their family members, the police, Corrections Officers, the district attorney, lawyers, court officers, court reporters, clerks and the judge. My work helps them understand court proceedings, search warrants, orders of [More...]

Breakthrough on CUNY and EMS Contracts

July 8, 2016 // 0 Comments

This summer, thousands of DC 37 members will vote on two contracts that call for a pay increase of more than 10 percent. The union concluded negotiations for the tentative agreements —which cover more than 3,000 Emergency Medical Service workers and 12,000 DC 37 members at the City University of New York — in early June. Contract talks had stalled during the administration of former Mayor Michael Bloomberg and continued to run into roadblock after roadblock before we were finally able to return to the bargaining table earlier this year to negotiate in earnest. I want to extend my thanks to CUNY and EMS workers for their patience as we negotiated these wage pacts. Member involvement and activism were key to the agreement we reached with CUNY. Members rallied, signed petitions and organized in the workplace. That level of engagement kept the pressure on. The contracts are modeled [More...]

CUNY Contract: Frequently Asked Questions

July 8, 2016 // 0 Comments

Below, we provide information about the union’s  proposed contract with City University of New York. DC 37’s website has a special section on the economic agreement with additional background. Who is covered by this contract? Members in Locals 375, 384, 983, 1407, 1597, 1797, 2054 and 2627 are affected by this contract. How long is the contract? The contract is for 87 months and covers the period November 1, 2009 thru January 31, 2017. What is the value of the contract? The contract has a value of 10.41 percent in compounded wage increases effective on the following dates: 1% -May 1, 2011 1% -May 1, 2012 2.5% -May 1, 2013 2% -May 1, 2014 2% -May 1, 2015 1.5%-May 1, 2016  Are there any retro monies? Yes. All the increases are retroactive, including on overtime worked. When will I get paid the retro money? Now that CUNY trustees have approved the contract, DC 37 members will [More...]

The CUNY Contract and the Fight for 15

July 7, 2016 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES During the recent negotiations for the new contract with the City University of New York, DC 37 convinced the administration to extend the state’s new $15 an hour minimum wage to CUNY workers. The side agreement will benefit thousands of DC 37 members who currently earn less than $15 an hour. This tentative contract provides for retroactive pay increases worth more than 10 percent over its 87-month term. But with the combination of the contractual rate hikes and the minimum wage increases, many members will see their current pay increase by as much as 25 percent by the end of 2018. “This action will substantially boost the wages of thousands of CUNY workers and other DC 37 members, and reaffirms New York’s commitment to reducing inequality in the state and city,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido, who led negotiations with David Paskin, director [More...]

Union Wins Fight for Funds to Extend Pool Season

July 6, 2016 // 0 Comments

By DIANE WILLIAMS After a year-long lobbying effort by DC 37 leaders, the City Council agreed to add a cool $1.7 million to the 2017 budget to extend the season at public outdoor pools a week past Labor Day — the same as public beaches. “We welcome the additional funds that finally bring parity for our dedicated Lifeguards and Supervisors who protect lives at Parks Department outdoor pools and beaches,” said Peter Stein, president of Lifeguard Supervisors Local 508. “All New Yorkers deserve equal access to the city’s beaches and pools.” As climate change makes for sweltering Septembers, the City Council introduced a bill in 2015 that kept public beaches and pools open a week past Labor Day, the Parks Dept.’s official closing date. But in the end, the city omitted outdoor pools. Stein said the failure to fund the extended season for the city’s 39 outdoor Olympic thousands [More...]

Mail Ballots for Contract Vote Sent to 12,000 Members Who Work at CUNY

July 5, 2016 // 1 Comment

By GREGORY N. HEIRES An independent monitor sent out mail ballots on July 1 for the CUNY contract vote. The American Arbitration Association will tabulate the votes of DC 37 members who work at the City University of New York on July 18. The tentative contract affects 12,000 workers who are represented by DC 37 union locals 375, 384, 983, 1407, 1597, 1797, 2054, and 2627. The DC 37 Constitution requires that an outside monitor oversee the vote on contracts that impact the members of more than one union local. The tentative contract comes after members worked under an expired contract since 2009. For almost seven years, the workers continued to be covered by the terms of the expired contract, but they went without a raise for that period. Anyone who does not receive a ballot within a week after the ballots were sent out should contact at AAA at 1-800-529-5218. The union reached an [More...]