DC 37 Celebrates Latino Heritage at Union Headquarters

October 5, 2016 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO District Council 37’s Latino Heritage Committee celebrated National Hispanic Heritage Month with its 24th annual event. The festivities took place at union headquarters and began on Sept. 20 with the traditional ribbon cutting ceremony. “Latinos contributing to culture in America is our theme this year,” said Carmen Flores, the committee chair, at the opening, where she was joined by Executive Director Henry Garrido. The November presidential election was the hot topic, and Garrido urged everyone to help get out the vote on Election Day and support Hillary Clinton. “The Latino community has to send a message that is loud and clear,” Garrido said. “Not getting to the polls would be a tragic mistake,” He also urged members to join DC 37 volunteers who will be heading to Philadelphia, on Oct. 22 and Nov. 5 to help get the vote out in Pennsylvania. The [More...]

Scholarship Winners are Honored at the Education Committee’s Annual Dinner

October 4, 2016 // 0 Comments

BY ALFREDO ALVARADO Mansi Moodi, Cae Lan Chow, Gabrielle Batista, Samuel Thomas and Steven Calco were recipients of college scholarships awarded by the District Council 37 Education Committee. The committee handed out the partial scholarships to the students at their Scholarship Gala on Sept. 30 at the Astoria World Manor, in Queens. Steven Calco, a student at Baruch College, and the first person in his family to attend college, received the Lillian Roberts Scholarship, named after the former DC 37 executive director and long-time union leader. “My parents are immigrants from Italy, so this really means a lot to me,” said Calco, who is interested in labor history and wants to become an archivist. Calco is a member of Local 2627. Mansi Moodi is a first year student at Rutgers University and came to the dinner with her parents. Her father, Sanjay Modi, is a member of Local 375. Sanjay [More...]

Hillary For President

October 3, 2016 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO Executive Director, District Council 37, AFSCME, AFL-CIO We believe Hillary Clinton — a longtime friend of this union and the labor movement — is the best choice for workers in this year’s presidential election. Arguably the most prepared presidential candidate in modern times, she would bring a long history of supporting working family issues to the White House. She has devoted her career to public service, and we can count on her to stand up to the deep-pocketed interests that want to destroy unions, take away worker rights and privatize government services. As a U.S. senator from our state, Clinton played an important role in securing health-care funding for first responders and survivors of the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. “When I’m president, working people will always have a seat at the table and a champion in the White House,” [More...]

The District Council 37 Story Behind the Blockbuster Movie “Sully”

October 2, 2016 // 0 Comments

  DC 37 members played a vital role as responders to the emergency landing of US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River in 2009. Back then, Public Employee Press ran a story about the role of DC 37 members in the rescue effort that is part of the backdrop to the movie “Sully,” named for the pilot Chesley B. Sullenberger. The article posted here appeared in the March 2009 issue of the union’s newspaper. By ALFREDO ALVARADO “I have a debt of gratitude that I may never be able to pay,” said Chesley B. Sullenberger, the heroic union pilot of US Airways Flight 1549, which he guided safely onto the icy Hudson River Jan. 15 in a daring emergency landing with 155 passengers aboard. The debt, he told Katie Couric on “60 Minutes,” was to the unsung heroes of the day, the first responders. Lt. Jeff Krulfeirer, a member of Uniformed EMS Officers Local 3621, was [More...]

“If you are working for just a paycheck, you are going to get burned out.”

October 1, 2016 // 0 Comments

Jill Campbell, Child Protective Specialist, Social Services Employees Union Local 371 Photo: Mike Lee I work for the Administration for Childrens’ Services. I am a Child Protective Specialist in Brooklyn. I have been with the agency for eight years. My job is to ensure that the children of New York City are safe on a daily basis. I do investigations on child abuse and neglect cases. I wake up in the morning. I say my prayers and I ask God to give me the strength to help me with whatever task is put in my hands that day. This is what drives me to what I do on a daily basis. Currently I am part of the FAR unit, which stands for Family Assessment Response and is a new initiative by the agency. This is a new type of engagement with families. While we still assess safety each day, it is the way we work with the families that is different. Before going out, we call them for an appointment [More...]

Henry Garrido Receives Civic Champion Award From City Limits Magazine

September 28, 2016 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido was awarded the first Civic Champion award by the magazine City Limits during their gala 40th Anniversary event in downtown Manhattan. City Limits Editor Jarrett Murphy presented the award to Garrido for his long-term service to the labor movement and his tenure as leader of the city’s largest municipal employees union. Garrido was introduced by Queens City Council member and Finance Committee chair Julissa Ferreras-Copeland. Veteran journalist Wayne Barrett was recognized for his 40 years of investigative reporting with the City Limits Urban Journalism Award. Since the end of 2014, when he replaced now-retired Executive Director Lillian Roberts, Garrido led DC 37 through a successful contract campaign for DC 37 workers at the City University of New York, and was instrumental in creating an ongoing organizing campaign that increased [More...]

“I hear sad stories. I’m glad to lend a hand.”

September 27, 2016 // 0 Comments

Vivian Rosario, Family Assistant, Board of Education Employees Local 372 Photo: Clarence Elie-Rivera At the shelters, we have people from all over the city and from all over the country and some undocumented people too. I think that’s because the services we provide for homeless people in New York City are very good. People want to blame Mayor de Blasio for the increase in homelessness, but I think the services we provide has something to do with it. People know in New York; they can get help, so they come here. I work for the Dept. of Education and I’m assigned to two shelters, the Concourse Residence and the Fordham Family Residence in the Bronx. As a Family Assistant, I’m responsible for working with the children and assisting with their educational needs. We have kids attending school from pre-K to seniors in high school. I make sure they have transportation to and from [More...]

“Things can get ugly when we have to give the vendors a fine or close them down.”

September 27, 2016 // 0 Comments

Roshini Mahabal, Public Health Sanitarian 2, Health Services Employees Local 768 Photo: Clarence Elie-Rivera  Public Health Sanitarians are in the field five days a week. Every day we work in a different borough. We get assigned our routes for the week on Friday, when we do our paper work. We do inspections of restaurants and food carts. There’s another unit that covers special populations like jails and schools. I used to work in the schools unit and I enjoyed it. The schools are less stressful because the cafeterias are really clean and organized. The schools will get a notice if there’s a violation, but they don’t pay fines like restaurants and street vendors. I inspect the mobile vendors on the street to see if they have their current permit. A permit is good for one year. I check also to see that their cart is the appropriate distance from the curb, and check for the [More...]

“My job boils down to one issue: public safety.”

September 26, 2016 // 0 Comments

Eric Lancelot, Traffic Device Maintainer, Local 1455    Photo: Clarence Elie-Rivera I work with about 11 others on the Department of Transportation’s Night Paint Operation crew. My job boils down to one issue: public safety. We paint the yellow and white traffic lanes, crosswalks, bike lanes, speed bumps and put down lines for all the parades and races and the New York City Marathon. We painted the boxes in Times Square that restrict street peddlers to reduce harassment of tourists. People thanked us because it makes a big difference. Public safety is critical. Without traffic lanes or crosswalks, people would drive crazily. My work protects everyone — drivers, pedestrians, children crossing the street, the elderly, and the disabled. People are always staring at their phones even while crossing the street, so DOT had the Look! safety campaign and Vision Zero worker safety zones. [More...]

“Disasters are avoided because of the job my co-workers and I do”

September 16, 2016 // 0 Comments

Odell Horton, Fire Protection Inspector, Local 2507     Photo: Clarence Elie-Rivera People never really think about the tragedies that don’t happen and the lives that aren’t put at risk. Disasters are avoided because of the job my co-workers and I do as Fire Protection Inspectors. New York City is constructing some of the tallest buildings in the world, and we make sure those buildings are up to all safety standards. This helps incidents from happening, and also means that if there ever is an emergency such as a fire, our uniformed Firefighters in the FDNY can safely do their job and save lives. We are at an all-time low for deaths caused by fires right now. I have always had an interest in public safety. Before joining the FDNY over 22 years ago, I was a journeyman plumber by trade. As a plumber, we protect the health of the nation. Transitioning into a role protecting the [More...]