BENEFITS

New Contracts at Queens Library and Brooklyn Academy of Music

July 9, 2018 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Two DC 37 locals recently concluded negotiations, resulting in significant improvements in their contracts. These include gains in compensation and workplace protections. Brooklyn Academy of Music Local 1502 members approved a seven-year contract that provides security guards with a $2,000 yearly salary increase. The contract boosts the differential — extra pay — of guards who get their fire safety director certification from $3,000 to $4,000. Workers certified after the contract ratification will receive a one-time cash bonus of $2,000. The term of the contract is from July 1, 2003, to June 30, 2020 and includes a new $500 longevity payment when workers reach their fifth anniversary date. At 10 years, workers will receive a one-time $1,000 payment. Upon retirement, members will receive the cash value of one-third of their accumulated sick time, in addition to [More...]

Statement by DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido on the Janus v. AFSCME Decision

June 27, 2018 // 1 Comment

Today’s 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court decision smashes precedent and overturns the Court’s unanimous 1977 decision in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, which upheld the maintaining of a union shop in a public workplace. Make no mistake: Janus v. AFSCME was always a politically-motivated case designed to rig the rules of the economy even more in favor of the privileged and powerful by weakening unions. What our country’s highest court did today was to, in effect, make so-called “right-to-work” the law of the land for public employees. Let’s remember what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said nearly 60 years ago about so-called “right-to-work” laws: “We must guard against being fooled by false slogans, such as ‘right to work.’ It is a law to rob us of our civil rights and job rights. Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining by [More...]

Statin coverage now compliant with Obamacare

June 22, 2018 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Low-dose generic statins will be provided for free by members’ health-care plans instead of the DC 37 prescription drug benefit. This change meets a requirement of the Affordable Health Care Act and goes into effect July 1. To fill statin prescriptions, members ages 40 to 75 need to present their health insurance card when filling statin prescriptions at their pharmacy. Under the ACA, low-dose statins are free. Members outside of the 40-75 years age group will continue to be covered by the DC 37 prescription drug benefit. The low-cost statins include atorvastatin (10 mg tablet), fluvastatin ER (20 mg); fluvastatin sodium (20 mg) and fluvastatin sodium (40 mg); lovastatin (20 mg), lovastatin (40 mg) and lovastatin (80 mg); pravastatin sodium (10 mg), pravastatin sodium (20 mg), pravastatin sodium (40 mg) and pravastatin sodium (80 mg); rosuvastatin calcium (5 mg) [More...]

It’s Time for a Contract Now

June 12, 2018 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO We are pressing the city to work with us to wrap up negotiations for a new economic agreement that will affect 90,000 DC 37 members. There is no reason to prolong negotiations, which has occurred too often in previous talks. The local economy is strong and the city is in good shape financially. A decent contract certainly won’t break the bank. Too many of us are financially squeezed as we contend with the rising cost of rent, transportation, utilities, clothes and groceries. We want relief — and fair compensation for our work. As public employees, we often feel like an invisible workforce. Though our work usually goes unrecognized, we are proud to be the workers who deserve the most credit for making the city run. Our expansive and efficient government services are one of the reasons New York City is able to attract tourists, businesses and families happy to call [More...]

Update Your Beneficiary Record

May 23, 2018 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Every so often, a widow stops by the DC 37 Health & Security Plan to obtain a inquiry about a benefit of a deceased member. The benefit could be thousands of dollars from her husband’s DC 37 Annuity Fund. Or a $10,000 death benefit. But when the widow asks about the benefit, she finds out she isn’t eligible. Why? Her husband failed to update his beneficiaries after his divorce, meaning the benefit will go to his previous wife. So, it’s a good idea to check to see if you need to update your DC 37 Health & Security Plan beneficiary form. When should you consider changing your beneficiary? Be certain to do it if there’s a significant change in your life, such as ● your beneficiary dies ● you get divorced and your former spouse changes her last name when she remarries ● your beneficiary moves from the address listed on the form ● you get divorced [More...]

DC 37 Members: Enjoy a Free Day at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan

April 4, 2018 // 0 Comments

DC 37, members, bring your Member ID Card for a free admission between 9 and 10 a.m. only, on Sat., April 14 for you and your family. This early opening is only for members of DC 37 and their families. All are welcome to stay all day. Please RSVP to RSVP@cmom.org or call 212-721-1223 for more information. This event is best for children under age 10. Also, members of DC 37 will be able to purchase a CMOM Family Passes Package for only $50 (4 family passes) valued at $224. This is also only available during 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. The Children’s Museum of Manhattan is located on 212 West 83rd Street. For more information about exhibits and programs, please visit their [More...]

Union Benefit Fund Takes on Big Pharma

March 19, 2018 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES As pharmaceutical companies continue their rampant hikes of drug prices and ignore the dangers of their products, DC 37 and other unions’ benefit funds, states, counties and cities are turning to the courts to level the field for our members and the public at large. In recent months, DC 37’s Health & Security Plan has filed 18 lawsuits against the generic drug industry for illegal practices and price gouging. The skyrocketing cost of these drugs flies in the face of the supposed purpose of generic companies, which is to offer less expensive alternatives to brand-name drugs. These lawsuits contend that generic manufacturers conspired to artificially inflate prices in violation of federal and state law. Taking Big Pharma to court over opioids The union is also part of a separate lawsuit filed in December that seeks damages from opioid manufacturers and [More...]

Need Help? Contact the Union’s Personal Service Unit

March 11, 2018 // 0 Comments

DC 37’s Personal Service Unit is a professionally trained social work staff can help with emotional and family concerns, alcoholism, drug abuse, health prob­­lems and adjustment to retirement. Short-term individual and group counseling and referrals are available. Call 212-815-1260 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for a screening evaluation. Below are programs and support groups offered by PSU: Are you coping with a chronic illlness? Join a two-session workshop in April Do you have high blood pressure? Asthma? Diabetes? The Personal Service Unit of DC 37’s Health and Security Plan is running a two-session workshop on April 11 and April 18. This workshop will focus on a productive discussion on accepting and coping with chronic illnesses. You will learn about lifestyle tools to encourage healthy management of your chronic illness. Expect useful exercises such as mindful breathing, guided [More...]

DC 37 Annuity Fund Shows Strong Growth

August 25, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Since its inception, the District Council 37 AFSCME Annuity Fund has grown annually by nearly 6 percent. “The annuity is a painless and cost-effective way to save for retirement,” said Audrey Browne, the associate administrator and counsel at the DC 37 Health & Security Plan, which oversees the annuity. The annuity was established in 1999 after DC 37 won the optional benefit in an economic agreement. Each DC 37 member from a local that opted to participate received a $522 one-time contribution from the city for the annuity. The $522 in seed money for individual accounts has grown to $1,467 since 1999. The annual interest rate of the fund is at a healthy 5.99 percent. In July, investors in U.S. Treasury notes and bonds could count on a 1.99 percent in earnings over 10 years, according to the website of the financial services company Edward P. Jones & Co., [More...]

Union Adopts Changes at Health Care Centers

June 27, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Beginning in July, the DC 37 health centers in Manhattan and Brooklyn will no longer provide podiatry services. In addition, the vision services in the Manhattan center will no longer be provided. Members and retirees must now get their optical care through the Health & Security Plan’s optical provider network or their own physician. For podiatry care, members and retirees should visit physicians who are on their insurance company’s network of podiatrists. The closings of the podiatry and vision offices at the health centers are part of H & S’s long-term plan to control costs in the face of the skyrocketing pharmaceutical prices. To secure the financial health of the drug and other benefits, the plan raised co-pays at the beginning of the year, and the union later negotiated with the city to provide an additional $200 in permanent funding for each [More...]