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...]

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...]