AFSCME

City Rolls Out COVID Vaccine and AFSCME Town Hall Jan. 12 at 6 p.m.

January 11, 2021 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS The City of New York and other employers where DC 37 members work are rolling out plans to distribute COVID-19 vaccines for their employees. New York City is currently vaccinating certain groups of people in phases determined by New York State starting with 1a classified frontline essential workers at hospitals and other health care facilities.  Additionally, Mayor de Blasio said New York City will open five vaccination sites on Monday, Jan. 11 for 1b classified workers, which includes some 1.3 million frontline essential workers who are police, firefighters, teachers, homeless shelter workers, correction officers, and persons age 75 and older. Inoculation is voluntary and free at worksites. The two FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines, manufactured by Pfizer-BioN Tech and Moderna, require two doses that are administered several weeks apart.  Your agency will notify you [More...]

AFSCME Sues to Protect Health Workers From COVID-19, Flu, Ebola

November 5, 2020 // 0 Comments

By AFSCME STAFF SAN FRANCISCO – AFSCME and three other unions are taking the Trump administration to court to protect health care workers from getting infected on the job by COVID-19 and other dangerous diseases like the flu and Ebola. AFSCME, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the Washington State Nurses Association (WSNA), and the United Nurses Association of California/Union of Health Care Professionals (UNAC/UHCP) filed a petition on Oct. 29 with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco against Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The petition says the Trump administration unlawfully delayed rulemaking on an occupational standard to protect health care workers from infectious diseases transmitted by contact, droplets or air. In 2017, the Trump administration tabled work on an infectious diseases standard [More...]

With Coney Barrett confirmation, Senate majority continues its ‘power games’

October 28, 2020 // 0 Comments

By AFSCME Staff AFSCME President Lee Saunders is blasting the Senate majority’s rushed confirmation Justice Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court as yet another example of “corrupt political power games.” While COVID-19 cases skyrocket and Americans continue to lose their lives and livelihoods, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his caucus “willfully turned their backs on relief for our communities, allowing more than 1 million front-line heroes to be laid off and millions of working people to needlessly struggle without a critical economic lifeline,” Saunders said in a statement released late Monday, after the confirmation vote. Meanwhile, as funding for front-line heroes has languished, Saunders noted that the Senate majority “managed to work all weekend, even through the night, to push through the confirmation of a Supreme Court nominee who will gut the [More...]

A Humble Engineer Keeps NYC’s Ferries Afloat

March 16, 2020 // 0 Comments

By PETE LEVINE With degrees in marine engineering, mechanical engineering and management, Local 375 of District Council 37 member Earl Baim might appear overqualified, at least on paper. However, Baim is a vital member of a very small team of Department of Transportation engineers responsible for the constant maintenance and construction of New York City’s ferry system. The crown jewel in the system is the iconic Staten Island Ferry, which transports some 70,000 New Yorkers every day. According to Baim’s boss, A’gota Fejes, without the 32-year veteran on the team, they’d all be sunk. “His hand is everywhere,” says Fejes, a civil and structural engineer, who is based out of the St. George Terminal in Staten Island, where the Staten Island Ferry originates. “He’s a very sharp person. He’s diligent, he’s efficient, wise … he’s a great support not just to me but to [More...]

Remembering Dr. King

January 15, 2020 // 0 Comments

BY DIANE S. WILLIAMS On the 91st anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birth January 15, we reflect on his life’s pursuit of liberty, justice, equality for all and service to others. Dr. King’s life was cut short in 1968 at the age of 39 in Memphis, Tennessee. At the invitation of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME, DC 37’s national union), Dr. King traveled to support Black sanitation workers who were striking for fair wages, safe working conditions and the right to belong to a union. AFSCME pressed Dr. King to speak to Local 1733 members who daily bore humiliations and earned poverty wages. The last speech he ever gave, in which he famously declared that he had “been to the mountaintop,” was to the striking workers at the Mason Temple in Memphis. He embraced labor’s cause as a microcosm of the struggles his upcoming Poor [More...]

Jim Tucciarelli, Union Leader and Activist, Retires

September 25, 2019 // 1 Comment

Jim Tucciarelli, a DC 37 leader for more than three decades and a staunch advocate for fellow responders who worked at Ground Zero in the aftermath of 9/11, has retired. Tucciarelli, longtime president of Sewage Treatment and Senior Sewage Treatment Workers Local 1320, was a member of the DC 37 Executive Board and sat on the Judicial Panel of DC 37’s national union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). He fought tirelessly to protect jobs, and improve the lives of, sewage treatment workers whose dedicated service keeps New York’s communities safe, clean, and healthy. Local 1320’s members operate the Department of Environmental Protection’s 14 wastewater treatment plants and collection facilities. Throughout the years, Tucciarelli played a key role in organizing political and legislative campaigns in New York and around the country. In a 2016 [More...]

Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

March 24, 2019 // 1 Comment

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. went to Memphis, Tennessee, in the spring of 1968 to make good on a promise to workers. Earlier that year, two Memphis sanitation workers, Echol Cole and Robert Walker, had sought shelter from a torrential rain in the back of a garbage truck. When the vehicle’s compressor malfunctioned, they were crushed to death. Memphis Mayor Henry Loeb and the city offered cold comfort — no compensation or death benefit for the families. At the time, Memphis’ 1,300 black sanitation workers earned 65 cents an hour with no benefits, overtime, or rights. The indignities heaped on them led to their membership in AFSCME Local 1733 and a strike for wages, human dignity, and union recognition. The workers carried signs that read, “I AM A MAN.” Their cause was a microcosm of the struggles Dr. King’s upcoming Poor People’s Campaign embraced. “If [More...]

AFSCME Members Join Federal Workers in Rally to End Government Shutdown

January 11, 2019 // 0 Comments

AFSCME Pres. Lee Saunders and Janice Fridie (District Council 20). Photo Credit: Lorenzo Soto. AFSCME members today joined furloughed federal workers in Washington, D.C., to call for an end to the government shutdown. Altogether, thousands of people marched from the headquarters of the AFL-CIO in downtown D.C. to the White House, demanding that 800,000 federal workers return to their jobs and receive their paychecks. “This shutdown is hurting our families and our communities,” said AFSCME President Lee Saunders. “Public health is jeopardized. Consumer protection is compromised. Many national parks are overrun with garbage. Food assistance for low-income families is at risk.” Saunders was one of two dozen speakers outside the AFL-CIO who urged President Trump and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) to reopen the government. AFSCME represents about 3,000 federal workers. Janice [More...]

Rising Up: First-Time Convention Delegates Speak Out

July 22, 2018 // 0 Comments

More than 1,000 of the delegates to the 43rd AFSCME Convention in Boston last week were attending for the very first time. DC 37’s delegation included four new local unions and dozens of first-time delegates, including a new local president. This new generation of union activists is among the thousands of AFSCME members who have pledged to #RiseUp for working families and public services. Andrew Barfield—Local 1321 What I like about the convention is that you get to meet people from different parts of the country who share the same goals of trying to bring equality to the workplace. I think this is positive and inspiring. It’s really opened up my eyes to what the national level is doing, because I never knew anything about it. I didn’t know that everybody comes together in this capacity and all the issues they’re addressing. It’s not just what’s going on [More...]

DC 37 Members #RiseUp at 43rd AFSCME Convention

July 18, 2018 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE AFSCME members are heeding the call to #RiseUp following the 43rd International Convention of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees in Boston. AFSCME, DC 37’s national union, now stands at the forefront of labor’s resistance as public workers nationwide are standing together, pushing back against anti-union forces after the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Janus v. AFSCME in June. In his keynote address to the convention, AFSCME President Lee Saunders told the delegates and guests that while the legal setback in Janus presents serious challenges, the union is well prepared to overcome the onslaught. “If they think we’re going to roll over, if they think this is going to slow us down or shut us up, if they think we’re going to let five unelected men in robes steal our freedom, they’ve got a big surprise coming,” Saunders said. “Because [More...]