BENEFITS

Meet Your New Safety and Health Director

February 21, 2019 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE Veronica Foley, a skilled leader with years of experience as a principal program coordinator for the union’s Safety and Health Dept. was recently promoted to director of the department, replacing Guille Mejia, who retired at the end of last year. Foley, who is a graduate of SUNY Geneseo, also has a master’s degree in international affairs from The New School. Prior to coming to DC 37, she worked several years as a consultant for several non-governmental organizations. “Protecting the safety and health of our members is paramount,” Foley said. “This responsibility affords us the opportunity to create sustainable models of support for each other and the labor movement as a whole.” Foley plans to integrate communication with other divisions and departments within DC 37 to better assess safety and health conditions for the union’s 125,000 members. “I’m working [More...]

Take an Opportunity to Return to School

January 29, 2019 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Interested in going back to school? At a series of one-on-one meetings at the union—“CUNY Days at DC 37”—you will have an opportunity to discuss how you can complete your degree and take advantage of other educational options. The District Council 37 Education Fund is working with the Murphy Institute (the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies) in a new collaboration to help members return to school and advance in their career. This program will help you: Learn about the academic requirements for specific jobs; Choose a CUNY campus and major; Apply to and finance college; Become informed about continuing education and certification options; Long term career development; Find out about the fastest-growing industries in New York City; …and more. Over three months, the program is going to hold free 30-minute individual sessions for members to discuss their [More...]

Head of Legal Services Retires

January 25, 2019 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Family, friends, coworkers and judges on Jan. 18 gathered to bid farewell to Joan Beranbaum, the director and chief counsel of the DC 37 Municipal Employees Legal Services Plan, who is leaving the union after 39 years with the program. Beranbaum was among the first group of employees to join the legal services program when it opened in 1977. Beranbaum learned about the job opening while she was working at the Legal Aid Society, where she was hired right after she graduated from New York University Law. MELS attracted her because it was a pioneering service for union workers. At her retirement party, Beranbaum noted that over the course of her nearly four-decade career at DC 37, MELS handled the cases of half a million DC 37 members and retirees. Speakers praised Beranbaum for devoting her career to working people rather than the rich and powerful. She remained [More...]

The CUNY Contract Blitz

December 11, 2018 // 0 Comments

DC 37 Council Rep Leo Morris informs CUNY workers at John Jay College about their proposed contract, which calls for a 8.24 percent wage increase over 52 months. The union many meetings around the city to explain the terms of the contract to members. Photo: Clarence Elie-Rivera. By GREGORY N. HEIRES DC 37’s citywide CUNY campaign is providing the union’s 10,000 members working in the city’s public university system the chance to learn about their proposed contract and to ask questions about bread-and-butter issues affecting them. A 45-member union team is carrying out the information blitz to ensure members are able to make an informed vote on the tentative economic agreement. Union representatives have addressed members at campus, local executive board and general membership meetings, and a conference of an Asian labor coalition. Besides informing members about the provisions of [More...]

New Paid Family Leave Benefit Available in January

November 21, 2018 // 0 Comments

  Are you an expectant parent? Do you have elderly parents who need your time and attention due to serious medical conditions? Is a family member deploying for military service? Like many working families, you face difficult choices and have to consider how you will balance time when accepting a job, a promotion or a new work assignment. Our families benefit when the breadwinners can take time off from their jobs to assist family members who need care, whether in the short term or on a regular basis. With the recently ratified new DC 37 economic agreement, employees at mayoral agencies, the Dept. of Education, NYC Health & Hospitals, and the New York City Housing Authority will soon have the option to take time off with pay to for care for their families. They join our sisters and brothers working in cultural institutions and libraries, who have been covered by this program [More...]

City Unveils Improvements to the HIP HMO Health-Care Plan

October 16, 2018 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES DC 37 has worked closely with the city and EmblemHealth to create a new model for employee-based health and wellness coverage. EmblemHealth’s new reimagined City of New York HMO Plan aims to offer a health care experience with affordable pricing and ease of use for city workers and their families. One of the enhancements is the new Centers of Excellence program with ties to Hospital for Special Surgery, the top-ranked orthopedic hospital in the nation, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, one of the country’s leading cancer centers. This program will begin on Jan. 1, 2019 for HIP HMO members. Health Coaching Participants in the HMO plan will continue to have access to all of their preventive and specialist benefits. They will be able to coordinate their care and appointments, receive personalized health coaching and care management, and access to the [More...]

Disability Committee Pays Tribute to 9/11

September 14, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS The union’s Disability Advisory Committee paid special tribute to World Trade Center victims and survivors on the 17th anniversary of the terrorist attacks. “Our lives changed forever,” said Shaun D. Francois I, Board of Education Employees Local 372 president and chair of the union’s Disability Advisory Committee. “9/11 took out thousands of lives in one day. First responders came to save others and lost their lives. Today we remember and pay respect to their sacrifice and memory.” Earlier in the day, DC 37 leaders and staff gathered in front of union headquarters to place a traditional wreath for the four members who made the ultimate sacrifice: Rev. Mychal F. Judge, FDNY Chaplain, Local 299; Carlos Lillo, Paramedic, Local 2507; OTB Betting Clerk Chet Louie, Local 2021, and Lt. Ricardo Quinn, Paramedic, Local 3621. September 11 is very personal for DC [More...]

Ed Fund Launches Digital Credential Program

September 7, 2018 // 0 Comments

The union has launched a new initiative to make it easier for members to manage and share information about their professional credentials and skills development with their employers and other interested parties. Through a partnership with a New York City-based digital credential platform, called Credly, DC 37 will use “digital badges” to recognize members’ knowledge and competencies. This technology will also help provide members with a clear sense of the skills they need to advance in their chosen fields. How does a digital badge work? “A digital badge is similar to a paper certificate you receive for a training course you have completed,” explained Diallo Shabazz, chief administrator of the DC 37 Education Fund, which manages member training and workforce development programs on behalf of the union. “However, because digital badges are issued and verified online, unlike [More...]

Housing Program Marks 13th Year

August 7, 2018 // 0 Comments

BY DIANE S. WILLIAMS Flooding downpours did not stop members from attending the annual August housing fair at the union hall, where many met real estate professionals who offer mortgages, inspections, credit counseling, and other housing-related services. “I came because I’m looking to purchase my first home,” said SSEU Local 371 member Shermaine Taylor. “I got lots of great information on grants and mortgages and even student loan forgiveness. Everything I learned at the union I’m sharing with my coworkers.” “Thirteen years ago, under the leadership of Lillian Roberts, I was tasked to put together a housing program for members,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. At the time more than 300 DC 37 families were living in homeless shelters. The city’s affordable housing stock dwindled as the Bloomberg administration ushered in a luxury housing construction boom. [More...]

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...]