BENEFITS

New Hep C Treatment Program Available at NYC Health + Hospitals

December 4, 2019 // 1 Comment

By GREGORY N. HEIRES DC 37 members suffering with Hepatitis C are now eligible to participate in a pilot program designed to effectively treat the disease and reduce the exorbitant cost of current prescription medications. The new treatment regimen, devised by NYC Health+Hospitals in collaboration with the DC 37 Health & Security Plan, is available to members and dependents under 65 who are covered by the union’s prescription drug benefit, which is administered by OptumRx. The NYC Health+Hospitals program, which typically lasts between 8-to-24 weeks, is designed to encourage patients to stick with its regimen of medication and other parts of the treatment. Participants are assigned Patient Navigators to guide them through the process. To date, 15 members have signed up for the program. The latest Hepatitis C drugs have a 90% percent cure rate of the illness, but are outrageously [More...]

New Safety and Health Director a Fearless Advocate for Members

November 26, 2019 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE Deborah Williams, the new director of the DC 37 Safety & Health Dept., learned early in her career that stepping up and taking risks can be essential to effective advocacy. She has dedicated herself to ensuring the health and workplace safety of public sector workers – as an employee, activist and advocate – for more than 30 years. Before joining the staff of DC 37, Williams was the Health and Safety Coordinator/Director for SSEU Local 371. While there, she was also a force behind creating the Charles H. Ensley Scholarship Fund, in honor of the late labor activist and former Local president. It all began when Williams chose to speak out. While a HRA Caseworker at the Waverly Center in Manhattan in the 1990s, Williams decided to stand up for her clients when the city was threatening to privatize an HRA homecare services program. Certain that the proposed privatization [More...]

Update Your Beneficiary Form

November 20, 2019 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES  Protect your loved ones. Keep your DC 37 Health & Security Plan and DC 37 Annuity Fund Plan beneficiary form up-to-date. Outdated information on the form can delay and even deprive your designee(s), spouse or children of much-needed benefits. A recurring example: A DC 37 member fails to update their beneficiary information after a divorce. The member then remarries and passes years later. The first spouse, whose name is still on the outdated form, receives the member’s death and annuity benefits. The death benefit for active employees is $10,000 and for retirees it is $2,000. Children also lose out on benefits if parents neglect to identify them as beneficiaries. So, it’s clearly a good idea to check to see if you need to update your DC 37 Health & Security Plan and DC 37 Annuity Plan beneficiary form. When should you consider changing your [More...]

Discounts for DC 37 Members

October 22, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS New 25 Percent Parking Discount at DC37Rewards.com! It’s not cheap to park in New York City but DC 37 members can now enjoy a 25 percent discount with Icon Parking, the largest garage chain in New York. Access your savings through DC37 Rewards. DC 37 Rewards is free to all DC 37 members in good standing. Save 25 percent off the next time you park by clicking on the Icon Parking banner on DC 37 Rewards and follow the simple instructions. Icon has over 300 parking garages throughout the city. DC 37 Rewards and Icon Parking are proud to serve DC 37 members and provide savings on parking and more at DC 37 Rewards! Mandela Returns “Mandela” the play is back by popular demand – and DC 37 members can purchase tickets at a discount. “Mandela,” which recounts Nelson Mandela’s lifetime struggle against apartheid in South Africa, was co-written and [More...]

Top Cancer Treatment Center Is Available To Help You

October 16, 2019 // 1 Comment

By GREGORY N. HEIRES One of the world’s premier cancer treatment centers has made it easier for DC 37 members and their families to access its services. Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Cancer Center’s MSK Direct program offers DC 37 members and their families who are covered by the EmblemHealth HMO and PPO plans guided access to MSK’s expert cancer treatment. Contact MSK Direct if you or a family member: ▪ are diagnosed with cancer and want to explore options for treatment at MSK; ▪ receive results from a medical test or exam that signal you may have cancer; ▪ are told by a doctor to schedule an appointment with an oncologist, or ▪ would like an in-person second opinion on a cancer diagnosis. The MSK Direct Team will arrange for a patient’s first appointment within two business days typically. The MSK Direct Team will: ▪ help gather necessary medical records for the [More...]

Union Explains Statewide Tenant Reforms at Workshop

September 30, 2019 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE The hard-won, historic changes to New York’s rent regulation laws have raised many questions about the new rights and benefits tenants now have under the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 passed by the state Legislature. DC 37’s Municipal Employees Legal Services (MELS) stepped up to help answer these questions at a recent workshop attended by more than 100 members. “There are more than a 100 pages of changes in the new law,” explained supervising attorney John Bart. “These are changes that benefit our members.” Tenant rights activists and organizers Michael McKee and Anita Long briefed the audience on the efforts to push Albany to pass these reforms. This effort reversed a decades-long trend of legislation wedded to big-money real estate interests. Among the legislation’s many reforms: Ending “vacancy increases,” which landlords used to [More...]

Long-time Urban Park Rangers Win Big Raises in New Contract

September 13, 2019 // 1 Comment

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Urban Park Rangers and Associate Urban Park Rangers overwhelmingly approved a new contract that will boost their salaries by nearly 7.5 percent over 49 months. For veteran workers with at least 20 years of experience in the covered titles represented by Local 983, the increase will ultimately bring home more than $9,000 over the duration of the contract. Significantly, the contract also adds three new recurring increment payments (RIPs) to the local’s contract. The old contract included such hikes at the fifth, tenth and fifteenth year of employment. The new agreement calls for additional hikes at three years ($241), seven years ($603) and 20 years ($5,529). “With these RIPs, we are essentially creating a step-pay plan that guarantees our members receive pay increases outside of our regular salary hikes,” Local 983 President Joe Puleo said. “The RIPs are a [More...]

Big Turnout at Housing Fair

August 27, 2019 // 0 Comments

BY DIANE S. WILLIAMS Hundreds of DC 37 members and retirees took their first steps towards buying a home at the union’s 14th annual housing fair on Aug. 24 at 125 Barclay Street. “Home ownership is possible for our members,” said Ruth Pena, director of the Municipal Employees Housing Program. “We start with budgeting and saving for the purchase to closing on a house, condo or coop apartment. We offer a range of service providers — real estate agents, home inspectors, mortgage lenders, and more. We work within members’ budgets and even repair their credit report.” Members participated in workshops and classes Saturday afternoon that helped them prepare for home ownership. Those searching for apartments can access a special 5 percent set aside of affordable rentals. Members who may be homeless or victims of domestic violence can also find safe housing through the program. [More...]

Education is Power

August 10, 2019 // 1 Comment

By GREGORY N. HEIRES For three decades, Sherif Fawzy devoted himself to his job at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, but didn’t take any particular interest in the union. He was okay with paying his dues, recognizing that the union fulfilled its responsibility to negotiate periodic wage increases and protect his rich packet of benefits. But he felt no need to get involved. His outlook changed a few years ago after DC 37 successfully defend him against unfounded disciplinary charges by managers. That’s also when he decided to educate himself about labor law and his contract. One day, while checking out the union’s website, he learned he was entitled to take courses for free at the City University of New York. And so he enrolled. Fawzy, an engineer who works in the Dept. of Subway Car Equipment at the MTA, is one of the nearly 30 DC 37 members in the first graduating class [More...]

Members Get Citizenship Info at Union-Sponsored Workshop

August 7, 2019 // 0 Comments

Union members received professional help towards obtaining U.S. citizenship earlier this summer in a workshop sponsored by the DC 37 Citizenship Committee and partner CUNY Citizenship Now! The workshop was promoted on the union’s social media outlets. Experienced immigration lawyers and professionals offered members and their families free confidential legal services, including naturalization application assistance, DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) renewal, and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) extensions. They reviewed documents and helped participants understand what they need to complete an application for U.S. citizenship. Juan Fernandez, president of Local 154 and committee chair said, “This is one of the many services the union provides to our members and the community in an ongoing effort to welcome immigrants and help them navigate the path to US [More...]