Agreement Protects Pensions of Workers at Cultural Institutions

August 29, 2016 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES The union reached a tentative agreement that protects the pensions of DC 37 members working at cultural institutions and other workers who are employed at day-care centers. On Aug. 11, DC 37 concluded talks on the five-year agreement with the employers’ representatives, the Cultural Institutions Group and the Day Care Council of New York, after months of tough negotiations to find a way to preserve the Cultural Institutions Retirement System (CIRS). “The members of our bargaining committee made the hard choices and took the responsible actions needed to protect our hard-won benefits for current employees and to preserve our pension benefits into the future,” DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido said. The agreement will maintain the benefits of the 9,000 current employees, including 1,200 DC 37 members enrolled in the pension system. They will still be able [More...]

Activists Collect Signatures to Support Safety Net Hospital Bill During Harlem Week

August 22, 2016 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS DC 37 had a great day in Harlem at the annual Harlem Week festivities in August as union activists kicked off the signature campaign urging Governor Andrew Cuomo to enact the new Enhanced Safety Net Hospital bill. The union petitions add community support for new legislation that would protect the safety net of public hospitals in New York State threatened by unprecedented funding shortfalls. Safety net bills (A. 9476-A)/(S.6948-A), which the state Senate and Assembly passed in June, creates a true safety net definition based on the number of Medicaid and uninsured patients served. With the definition, additional funding can be negotiated in the next state budget cycle to safety net providers, including the public hospitals, and would increase the opportunity for federal matching funds. Assembly Health Chair Richard Gottfried, and Assembly members William Colton, [More...]

DC 37 Establishes a Workforce Development Program with Medgar Evers College

August 15, 2016 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO District Council 37 and Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn have agreed to collaborate and develop courses to help union members become better prepared to compete for job promotions and advance in their careers. With one-third of the municipal workforce expected to retire in a few years, DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido wants to make sure that union members are ready to compete for the best jobs that city government has to offer. The new Leadership Preparedness Program, an initiative by the union and Medgar Evers College, aims to address the wave of retirements and the challenges it poses to the city, Garrido said. “Together we expect to create courses that will help develop a well-educated and capable municipal workforce,” Garrido. Garrido wanted to make the courses available to the thousands of union members who live and work and Brooklyn. The main campus of [More...]

Union Trains School Shop Stewards

August 13, 2016 // 0 Comments

A review of the local’s collective bargaining agreement and the importance of knowing your Weingarten rights–which entitle workers union representative at meetings that could lead to disciplinary action–were some of the topics covered at a recent Board of Education Employees Local 372 shop steward training session at union headquarters. Council Grievance Rep Brenda Jimenez explained the importance of always referring to the contract when there’s an issue with management. “Our shop stewards need to be our most informed members,” said Shaun D. Francois I, the local’s president, during his welcoming remarks to the 190 members who attended the Saturday morning session. Barbara Terrelonge, DC 37 Director of Organizing, stressed to the shop stewards the importance of them constantly encouraging members to become more active in the [More...]

DC 37 Announces Key Endorsements in the City’s Primary Election for State Legislative Seats

August 10, 2016 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE DC 37 has endorsed candidates for six state legislative races in New York’s Tuesday, Sept. 13 primary. The union backs Sen. Roxanne Persuad, Democrat from Brooklyn’s 19th District. Born in Guyana, Persuad was a higher education administrator. Prior to serving in the state Senate, Sen. Persuad was president of the 69 th Precinct Community Council in Canarsie, a member of Community Board 18 and commissioner on the New York City Districting Commission. DC 37 also supports State Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky of the 16th District in Queens. A fighter for social justice, Stavisky is the assistant Democratic leader and ranking minority member on the Senate’s Committee on Higher Education, working to improve public schools and programs for older adults. State Sen. Gustavo Rivera of the 33rd District in the Bronx also gets the union’s nod. Rivera is a native of Puerto [More...]

A Citizen Soldier and Dedicated Public Employee

August 9, 2016 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS To give back to his Harlem community, Corey J. Garrett Sr. a Local 1505 City Parks Worker and crew chief, mentors neighborhood kids, registers voters and is a citizen soldier with the New York State Guard, where he has served as an army command sergeant major, the highest enlisted rank, for two decades. In June, New York State Assembly member Keith Wright and members of the City Council chose Garrett, a New York County Democratic Committee member, for the 2016 Harlem Men of Distinction award. “I was surprised and speechless,” said the former U.S. Marine. “I reread the letter five times.” Helping others is a way of life for Garrett, who enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps at 18, then joined the U.S. Army. Local politicians recognized Garrett’s volunteerism and outstanding spirit—semper fi—the Marine motto, always faithful. As a mentor with the Harlem [More...]

DC 37 Executive Director and Local 371 President Elected to Serve on National Union’s Board

August 3, 2016 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS The District Council 37 delegate body unanimously elected DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido and Social Service Employees Union Local 371 President Anthony Wells international vice presidents of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees at the 42nd AFSCME Convention last month. AFSCME international vice presidents (IVPs) determine the union’s agenda,  policies and procedures, and they weigh in on major national issues, such as privatization, fair taxes, health care and pensions affecting 1.6 million members and retirees that AFSCME represents in more than 3,400 local unions and 58 councils and affiliates in 46 states, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico. “I am deeply appreciative of the tremendous confidence the DC 37 delegates have placed in me and the unity they have shown. Now let’s go and get work done!” said Garrido. Union [More...]

Queens Public Library: 100% Union

August 3, 2016 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES The Queens Public Library is now wall-to-wall union. On June 6, Queens Library Guild Local 1321 President John Hyslop presented DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido with the last two membership cards the local needed to represent 100 percent of the workers eligible for membership. For months, Hyslop, Local 1321 Executive Vice President Margaret Gibson and other executive board members worked with union reps Cynthia Keyes-Padilla and Leo Morris to enroll members at the library’s 62 sites. “This was a great way to meet and talk with members, who we found were generally very supportive of the union’s mission,” Hyslop said. “What we learned will help us be more responsive to members’ needs.” Chris Wilgenkamp, director of technology and membership services, said the Local 1321 drive reflects precisely what the union hopes to accomplish with its DC [More...]

School Crossing Guard Hiring Hall at Union Headquarters

July 29, 2016 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Six hundred hopeful job applicants responded to a citywide call for School Crossing Guards as DC 37 opened its doors July 25 for their first-ever hiring hall at Lower Manhattan headquarters, with another scheduled for Aug. 8. “The New York Post wrote an article saying Police were crossing school children. We felt they had scapegoated Crossing Guards and the union,” said Donald Nesbit, Local 372 executive vice president. “So we met with NYPD and formed a committee in May, and with the union’s Schools Division we put together a hiring hall to expedite the application process.” Union leaders met with the Police Department, who hire and supervise Crossing Guards, to address the dwindling numbers of School Crossing Guards working throughout the five boroughs. DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido and Board of Education Employees Local 372 President Shaun [More...]

Housing Program Makes DC 37 “The Best Union Ever!”

July 21, 2016 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS “I was tired of renting an apartment that only made the rich richer, while I kept getting poorer,” said School Coordinator Robert Cameron. The Local 372 member didn’t think he could ever afford to buy, though he read in the Public Employee Press stories about union members who did. “I would daydream that one day I’d own,” said the 30-year Dept. of Education veteran. “But I don’t make a $90,000 or $100,000 a year salary.” “At an MEHP seminar, I heard the director Ruth Pena say, ‘Ownership is possible. I am here to help,’ I knew she was talking to me,” Cameron said. “Ms. Pena walked me through the process step by step. The union’s broad range of services helped me in so many ways. They calculated what I could afford and helped me stick to a budget.” Cameron attended a union housing fair and met MEHP representatives, along with dozens of [More...]