Local 372 Members Vote to Restore and Protect Benefits

July 1, 2016 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO After months of discussions between Local 372, District Council 37 and the city, an agreement was reached on a plan to supplement funding to the local’s depleted Severance Related Fund, restoring prescription drug, optical and dental coverage to the spouses and domestic partners of retired School Crossing Guards, Hourly School Lunch Workers, School Aides & Health Aides. No other part-time employees receive these benefits for their spouses and domestic partners. “We’ve been working since last year to create a way to restore and protect these significant benefits for the families of both current and future retirees,” said Local 372 President Shaun Francois I. The solution agreed upon and presented to the members for their approval was to shift 1.5 percent of their upcoming September wage hike to the fund. Local 372 announced on July 1 that the membership [More...]

DC 37 Endorses Jamaal Bailey for State Senate in Primary Election

July 1, 2016 // 0 Comments

District Council 37 has endorsed  Jamaal Bailey for the 36th New York Senate District in the state’s Democratic primary election on Tuesday, Sept. 13. “Jamaal Bailey is a smart, energetic young leader who has played a vital role in his community and would bring fresh perspectives to Albany and the Senate at a profoundly challenging time in the life of our state government,” DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido said on June 30. “He shares our union’s values of social and economic justice for all and the belief that government can and should be a force that transforms lives and communities for the better. DC 37 volunteers will be on the phones and on the streets to ensure that Jamaal represents the northwest Bronx in Albany in 2017.” “To receive the endorsement of District Council 37 is such a great honor,” Bailey said. “The members are dedicated [More...]

Evelyn Seinfeld, Long-Time DC 37 Negotiator, Passes

June 24, 2016 // 1 Comment

BY GREGORY N. HEIRES DC 37 mourns the loss of Evelyn Seinfeld, for years the union’s chief negotiator, who died on June 20 after a long battle with cancer. She was 68 years old. Evelyn, who worked at DC 37 from 1975 until her retirement earlier this year, was admired by her colleagues for her passion for mentoring and her encyclopedic knowledge of the civil service system, its rules and regulations, and DC 37’s many contracts. Together with then-DC 37 Executive Director Lillian Roberts, she led the negotiations with the city for the union’s current 2010-17 economic agreement, which preserves the premium-free medical coverage of more than 100,000 members and provides for a total wage increase of 10.41 percent. “Evelyn was a keen technician and an expert in labor relations,” DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido said. “She worked in a very specialized business that many of [More...]

Contract Talks Lead to $15 Minimum Wage Coverage for CUNY Workers

June 21, 2016 // 2 Comments

Thousands of DC 37 members who work at the City University of New York and earn less than $15 an hour will see their salaries increase to conform with the state’s new minimum wage law. CUNY made the commitment to extend the state’s new $15 an hour minimum wage to its workers during recently concluded contract talks with the union. “This action will substantially boost the wages of thousands of CUNY workers and reaffirms New York’s commitment to reducing inequality in the state and city,” DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido said. In April, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a law to increase the minimum wage in New York from its current rate of $9 an hour to $15 an hour by 2021. Many businesses will adopt the $15 rate in 2018 in New York City, where the minimum wage will be implemented more quickly than in the rest of the state. Back in January, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio [More...]

“An Elderly Guy Called and Said His Wife Just Shot Herself in the Mouth”

June 20, 2016 // 4 Comments

Monique Brown, Police Communication Technician, Local 1549 I have worked as a Police Communications Technician since I was 23. My mom filled out the application. She said, “You have to take the test on Saturday!” I passed. It was right on time because I had just had a baby. It was a city job, and I needed the benefits. But I didn’t know what I was getting into. We have a very stressful job. Two weeks ago, an elderly guy called and said his wife just shot herself in herself in the mouth. I said, “Let me get you an ambulance.” But I think she died. When I hung up, I couldn’t stop hearing him crying. I said to my coworkers, “Wow. Twenty-six years later and this still affects me.” All the dispatchers, we experienced 9/11 and Hurricane Sandy. People screamed to us for help on September 11th: “I’m trapped on the 87th floor!” My sister is a cop. I called the 28th Precinct [More...]

“Having clean, safe parks is important to the community and the quality of life for us all”

June 19, 2016 // 0 Comments

Carole Lee Singleton, Parks Supervisor, Local 1508 Neighborhood parks are backyards for most New Yorkers. Most of us live in buildings and don’t have backyards in the conventional sense. Having clean, safe parks is important to the community and the quality of life for us all. A lot of residents don’t have many options to go away on vacation or travel to rural places. This is it. Parks are where people come to exercise, to meditate, to relax. They bring their children — and their four-legged friends — here to run and play. We make sure the park is nice and clean so they have a memorable experience each time they come. I believe Parks staff works hard to make an enjoyable experience for everyone. As a Parks Supervisor, I can’t take vacations during summer months because that’s our busiest time. It’s a sacrifice I make to get the job done. I take pride in what I do, and I [More...]

“Parents Felt Their Kids were Safe with Me on the Job”

June 18, 2016 // 0 Comments

Sallie Robertson, School Crossing Guard Retiree, Local 372 For 35 years I worked as a School Crossing Guard. My second assignment was in Brooklyn, at St. Francis of Assisi Elementary School on the corner of Nostrand Aveue and Maple Street in Crown Heights. The Fire Department uses Maple Street as their designated street to cut across Nostrand. It’s a dangerous intersection. I worked there for 30 years. I always told the other School Crossing Guards you have to be a people person to do this job, and I always encouraged them to come to union meetings. You have to have your own style and keep your eyes on the kids. Even in the cold weather, I loved my job and even having to travel all the way from Hollis, Queens. I knew most of the kids and their parents. They felt their kids were safe with me on the job. When I retired in 2008, the Midwood Block Association held a retirement party for [More...]

EMS Locals Reach a Tentative Pact With the City

June 17, 2016 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO EMS workers will receive a 10.41 percent compounded wage increase over the term of a tentative new contract negotiated by the union and the city. The new contract, which covers members in Uniformed EMTs and Paramedics Local 2507 and Uniformed EMS Officers Local 3621, runs from March 3, 2010, to April 5, 2018. Local 2507 and Local 3621 members, who have worked without a raise since 2009, will see their base salaries increase by 1.5 percent wage increase on March 6, 2015; 2.5 percent on March 6, 2016; 3 percent on March 2017 and 3.03 percent on Sept. 5, 2017. With compounding, the increases boost workers’ base salary by 10.41 percent. Upon ratification of the new contract agreement, members will receive a pensionable $1,000 bonus. An independent monitor will oversee the mail-ballot vote. “We’re happy with this contract,” said Local 3621 President Vincent [More...]

In Defense of Public Health Care

June 16, 2016 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO Executive Director, District Council 37, AFSCME, AFL-CIO Mayor Bill de Blasio has proposed a sensible rescue plan for our city’s public hospital system. His plan addresses the system’s financial crisis without hospital closings and layoffs. The $2 billion plan charts a course for NYC Health + Hospitals to meet the challenges posed by major changes to the health-care sector throughout the country. But critics are calling for cuts that would hinder services and slash jobs. Charles Brecher, the research director for the Citizens Budget Commission said, “Transforming this system can’t be done without making painful choices.” Daily News columnist Errol Louis wrote: “De Blasio has promised that no hospitals will be closed and no personnel will be laid off…. One wonders when and how any real savings will ever happen if the administration refuses to bite the [More...]

AFL-CIO Votes to Endorse Hillary Clinton for President

June 16, 2016 // 0 Comments

June 16, 2016 The General Board of the 12.5 million member AFL-CIO voted today to endorse Hillary Clinton for President of the United States. The endorsement reflects a comprehensive, democratic process initiated a year ago to capture the interests of the working people the federation represents. “Hillary Clinton is a proven leader who shares our values,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “Throughout the campaign, she has demonstrated a strong commitment to the issues that matter to working people, and our members have taken notice. The activism of working people has already been a major force in this election and is now poised to elect Hillary Clinton and move America forward.” Lee Saunders, AFSCME President and Chair of the AFL-CIO Political Committee said, “This election offers a stark choice between an unstoppable champion for working families and an unstable [More...]