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...]

DC 37, CUNY Reach a Tentative Contract Agreement (Updated)

June 10, 2016 // 4 Comments

City University of New York Chancellor James B. Milliken and Henry Garrido, the Executive Director of District Council 37, AFSCME, AFL-CIO, and its affiliated locals, today announced that a tentative contract settlement has been reached on a collective bargaining agreement covering more than seven years. The proposed contract covers the period from November 1, 2009 through January 31, 2017 and provides 10.41% in compounded wage increases.  A $1,000 bonus upon ratification of the contract is also part of the terms of the agreement.  The agreement also includes an annual $200 increase to the welfare fund for all active and retired employees. The deal covers 12,000 members of Locals 2054, 384, 2627, 983, 1597, 1407, 375 and 1797 who work at the university’s 24 campuses citywide. The agreement, which is subject to approval by the CUNY Board of Trustees and ratification by the CUNY [More...]

DC 37 sets Lunch Time/Union Day meetings in July

June 6, 2016 // 1 Comment

The DC 37 Organizing Dept. will hold a Lunch Time Meeting and a Union Day in July to spread the word about union benefits and encourage members to become more involved in the union. “These events 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 involvement in a contract fight, political activities or protecting coworkers in the workplace.” Come join us at at a lunch time meeting, get to know your union. Below is the meeting schedule. Lunch Time Meeting: 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm; 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm July 7 @ Medgar Evers College (Edison O. Jackson Auditorium) Union Day: 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm July 14 @ Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene, 42-09 28th St., Long Island City, NY 11101 (3rd Floor, Room 322, please bring [More...]

Union, Library Advocates Rally At City Hall

May 25, 2016 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES DC 37 is working with a coalition to secure an additional $65 million in operating funds for the city’s three public library systems in next year’s budget. The $65 million includes a $43 million allocation that the coalition won last year and an additional $22 million it seeks this year. The coalition is also calling for local legislators to add $100 million to next year’s budget to cover capital spending for renovations and new buildings. The coalition’s campaign, “Keep Investing in Libraries,” has included budget testimony, a celebrity advocacy letter by poet and musician Patti Smith, online letters, rallies in the five boroughs and a “bike to the branches” in Brooklyn. On May 25, DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido led a group of activists for a rally and press conference on the steps of City Hall to appeal for greater support for the [More...]

Climbers and Pruners Win Jobs

May 24, 2016 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Four provisional Climbers and Pruners who were denied appointment to permanent status by the Dept. of Citywide Administrative Services are now civil servants in the Parks Dept. thanks to DC 37’s successful appeal on their behalf. “They had been doing the job for about two years so there was no reason their bump up to permanent status should not have gone through,” said DC 37 Blue Collar Division Council Rep Bob Gervasi. “So I did some digging.” Gervasi contacted DCAS, which referred him to the Dept. of Parks and Recreation. He said, “It was a tangle of bureaucracy trying to find the person who would have the answers.” Gervasi found out that DCAS rejected the Local 1506 members’ job applications, but that decision gave them the opportunity to appeal. Local 1506 worked with DC 37 Legal Dept. lawyer Ana Papadhimitri, who appealed the cases before the [More...]

DC 37 Celebrates Asian Heritage, With a Nod Toward Politics

May 23, 2016 // 0 Comments

BY MIKE LEE With colorful dance, music and fanfare, the union’s Asian Heritage Committee kicked off its annual celebration at union headquarters before a packed house on May 20. The theme of the event was “Culture Moving Across the Boundaries,” a subject stressed by committee chair, Maf Misbah Uddin, DC 37 treasurer and president of Local 1407, in his welcoming address to the gathering. Highlighting the growth of the Asian American community in the last few decades and their vital contributions to U.S. society and the business community, Uddin said, “We have some of the most sophisticated physicians, engineers, mathematicians and computer scientists in the entire world. We own businesses, educate our children and provide the United States with an outstanding number of talented individuals in all professions.” Later, Uddin referred to the presumptive Republican presidential [More...]

Creating a Movement to Help Puerto Rican Workers Fight Debt Vultures and Austerity

May 16, 2016 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO As Puerto Rico struggles with a staggering $70 billion debt owed to private investors and banks, union and community activists in New York City gathered at a teach-in to learn more about the island’s struggling economy and discuss ways to build a movement to support workers on the island. The teach-in was held at Local 32 BJ headquarters on May 14 and was organized by Vamos4PR, a coalition of labor unions, among them DC 37, and community activists that have been meeting since February. “The way forward cannot come at the expense of working people,” said Hector Figueroa, president of Local 32BJ, in his opening remarks. Cesar Ayala, a professor at the University of California at Los Angeles, spoke about the island’s faltering economy. “What makes Puerto Rico unique is that their economy is totally controlled by foreign corporations,” he said. The Puerto [More...]

DC 37 Launches Office of Community Partnership

May 16, 2016 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO Immigration reform, affordable housing and the city hospitals budget crisis are among the issues the union’s new Office of Community Partnership plans to address. DC 37 launched the OCP at union headquarters during a breakfast meeting with union leaders and community activists on May 16. “This is just the beginning of a conversation we need to have as we begin to develop a plan of action,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido at the meeting. Since becoming executive director, Garrido has emphasized the need for labor unions to reach out beyond their own membership and work on issues that concern the broader community. “A good labor union fights for all workers,” Garrido said Sondra Youdelman, executive director of Community Voices Heard, was one of the many activists who attended the meeting and was encouraged by the union’s new initiative. [More...]

Unmasking the Gig Economy

May 16, 2016 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES What does the growth of the gig economy mean for American workers? Years from now, how many of us will earn our livelihood as online contingent workers without stable jobs? Those questions were addressed on May 6 by a panel called “Unmasking the Gig Economy: Harmful or Helpful?” at the 41st annual convention of the Metro New York Labor Communications Council, an organization that represents labor and community communications professionals in the New York City area. Once upon a time, most American workers could count on finding a steady full-time job, even a unionized one. But the age of manufacturing is no longer as the United States transitions to service economy. In the Information Age, workers are increasing employed on their own, in part-time gigs that lack regular schedules and don’t include benefits or a union. This presents a challenge to unions, [More...]