May 25, 2021 // 0 Comments

APPLY FOR SECTION 8 RENT SUBSIDY NOW Waitlist Now Open Thru May 28, 2021 The Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program, commonly known as Section 8, is a federal program designed to provide rental assistance to low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled to afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private market. The New York State Division of Homes and Community Renewal (DHCR) opened the Section 8 waiting list on May 17 thru May 28, 11:59 PM. Applications will not be accepted outside of this period.  For information visit: There is no cost to submit an application. DHCR will select 15,000 households for the waitlist through a lottery. Applying does not guarantee a voucher. Applicants must be 18 or older. The income limits are set annually by HUD: Only on-line [More...]


May 24, 2021 // 0 Comments

By STEPHEN JOHNSON, DC 37 Education Fund Administrator DC 37 and the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies (SLU) will fully fund a series of four Labor Leadership programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels for DC 37 members. These free college courses will provide a comprehensive overview of union-side labor relations in the public sector. Students will gain the practical skills and knowledge necessary for effective leadership in collective bargaining, union administration, research, organizing, and labor law. SLU and DC 37 will cover full tuition costs for up to 100 members a year, an estimated $300,000 annually. This new Labor Leadership program is a stepping-stone for completing a bachelor’s and/or a graduate degree. A certificate or degree in Labor Studies is an important credential for career advancement in a range of civil service and non-profit institutions. [More...]


May 17, 2021 // 0 Comments

Section 8 Rent Subsidy Waitlist Now Open Thru May 28, 2021 The Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program, commonly known as Section 8, is a federal program designed to provide rental assistance to low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled to afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private market. Through the HCV Program, an administering agency pays a portion of eligible families’ rent each month directly to the Landlord. The three largest government providers of Section 8 vouchers in New York City are the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (DHPD) and the New York State Division of Homes and Community Renewal (DHCR). The waiting lists for NYCHA and DHPD have been closed for more than ten years. However, DHCR is opening its Section 8 waiting list on May 17. Specifically, the application period will [More...]

MELS Bankruptcy Webinar Now Online 

April 29, 2021 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS About 75 DC 37 members joined the Municipal Employees Legal Services (MELS) webinar “Bankruptcy: An Opportunity for a Fresh Start” on April 28.  At the Zoom webinar, the MELS team of consumer lawyers shared their expertise on the difference between Chapter 7 and 13, garnishments and judgments, how to protect one’s privacy, rebuilding one’s credit and more.  A recording and slideshow are now available online.  MELS Bankruptcy webinar video replay:   MELS Bankruptcy webinar slides: “Members can sometimes become overwhelmed by expenses or experience a major and unexpected debt or hardship that can cause them to fall behind on their bills. As time goes on they can’t seem to catch up,” said Bill Whalen, chief counsel and director of DC 37 Municipal Employees Legal Services. “We can help them to [More...]

MELS Housing Discrimination Webinar Now Online

April 15, 2021 // 0 Comments

 By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Hundreds of DC 37 members joined the MELS Housing Discrimination webinar April 14.  DC 37 housing experts, along with Human Rights Specialist Gui Yang from the NYC Human Rights Commission and Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, shared advice on how to fight housing discrimination. A recording of the event is now available online: “New York is a city of renters,” said Bill Whalen, chief counsel and director of DC 37 Municipal Employees Legal Services. “We are seeing successful turnouts for our virtual webinars. MELS continues to present information our members and retirees can use. The housing discrimination webinar helps members learn their rights as tenants, the various forms of discrimination, and their legal options should they experience housing discrimination.” Whalen added, “If a DC 37 member believes they are being [More...]

Cultural Institution Employees $ave with MELS Legal Benefit

April 8, 2021 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Dozens more DC 37 members who work at NYC’s cultural institutions are using MELS since union representatives on the Trust for Cultural Resources negotiated to restore the benefit in 2020.  “Tops on our agenda was to restore the legal benefit to our 3,000 members and retirees. MELS is something you don’t know you need until you need it,” said Raul Domenech, president of Local 1501 Wildlife Conservation Society who is a cultural trustee. The benefit was suspended after the 2008 recession. “When a member is suddenly in a situation where they need a lawyer, whether buying a home or drowning in debt, MELS lawyers can help,” Domenech said. “It’s a union benefit that can save a member thousands of dollars.”  Five trustees representing DC 37 worked to have the Cultural Trust restore the union-negotiated legal benefit to retirees and members of [More...]


March 29, 2021 // 0 Comments

NEWS, UPCOMING EVENTS and SERVICES COVID-19 VACCINES LET DC 37 BOOK YOUR COVID-19 VACCINE APPOINTMENTS: DC 37 can help you book your COVID-19 vaccine appointment. Please fill out this form and a DC 37 representative will call you to book your appointment. What you need to know: * To confirm eligibility, you can check * Proof of eligibility required: 1. Members who are eligible by virtue of job function must bring proof of employment. This can include an employee ID card, a letter from an employer or affiliated organization, or a pay stub. 2. Members who are eligible by virtue of underlying conditions or comorbidities will be asked to provide proof of NYC residence and will be asked to attest to their condition during the scheduling process. 3. Members who are eligible by virtue of age will be asked to provide proof of NYC residence and proof of [More...]


March 8, 2021 // 0 Comments

POLITICAL ACTION INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY March 8: The Red Carpet for Justice Coalition and DC 37 needs your support for a campaign to get New York State to recognize International Women’s Day March 8 as a state holiday. Please add your name to our effort and sign the petition here: #IWD2021 #InternationalWomensDay ###   GET VACCINATED, AFSCME: As AFSCME members, we value our neighbors’ health and safety the same as our own. That means we have to show the way on the COVID-19 vaccine. Because this virus is so dangerous and contagious, we have an obligation to get vaccinated. That’s how we protect one another, and how we get to gather with friends and relatives again without fear. It’s been such a brutal year, but AFSCME and DC 37 have led every step of the way. Together, we will crush this virus and get back to normal. Be a hero – [More...]

NYS Paid Family Leave Benefit Expands

December 11, 2020 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS  DC 37 negotiated to have the New York State Paid Family Leave law (PFL) include nearly all members covered by the 2017-2021 collective bargaining agreement. The provisions of the law also cover members in the non-profit and private sector locals. In 2021, the PFL benefit increased to 12 weeks, from 10 weeks in 2020. While on Paid Family Leave, the member receives a partial salary, based on a statewide formula, continued health insurance, and is guaranteed the same or a comparable job after PFL ends.  “In a time of unprecedented challenges, this is great news about an insurance program for our members,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. “The PFL benefit provides a way for union members to care for their families without jeopardizing their job security or health insurance. That the benefit is increased and expanded in 2021 is definitely good [More...]

DC 37 Services, GOTV and Holiday Events

December 8, 2020 // 0 Comments

MELS STUDENT LOAN DEBT WEBINAR DEC. 8 NOW ONLINE The MELS student loan debt webinar held on Tuesday Dec. 8, is now available online.Hundreds of DC37 members viewed the Zoom presentation that featured MELS attorneys and legal experts who shared information on: COVID protections for student borrowers; Income Driven Repayment Plans; Loan Consolidation; Rehabilitation after Default; the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, and more.Here are the links to the video replay and slides:MELS Student Loan WebinarVideo Replay: ###   COVID EVICTIONS MORATORIUM  MELS attorneys can help members facing eviction. The CDC COVID extension ends Dec. 31. To speak with a MELS lawyer, call the MELS Screening Unit at 212 815-1111 or email: ###   THE PERSONAL SERVICE UNIT (PSU),DC 37 HEALTH and SECURITY PLAN  FEELING [More...]