A Review of 2016 (Part 1): Building a Dynamic Union

January 10, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES In 2016, DC 37 advanced its mission to become a more dynamic and grassroots-oriented union.Despite the anti-union era in the country, DC 37 made significant strides by recruiting new activists while strengthening its workplace presence, deepening ties to the community and developing more political clout. “The transformation of our union will take a long time,” DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido said. “But so far, we have made a lot of progress, and next year we will continue down this path. We are talking about a change in culture at DC 37.” Union activists and elected leaders had a busy year in 2016. Workers at the City University of New York participated in fight-back campaign to win a new contract. Members helped block Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to cut $300 million in state support for the city’s public health-care system and nearly $500 million [More...]

A New Approach to Labor-Community Alliances

January 5, 2017 // 0 Comments

By RAUL RODRIGUEZ A great labor union stands up for its members, for all workers, and for the communities in which working families live. That’s the clear, simple, driving principle behind Executive Director Henry Garrido’s push earlier this year to create a DC 37 Office of Community Partnership. DC 37 has a rich history with, and within, New York City communities. We have long championed programs meant to lift all New Yorkers out of poverty, bring equality to education, and keep our neighborhoods safe. But at a time in our city and country when the gap between the haves and the have-nots has exploded into a Grand Canyon of economic inequality, it is more important than ever for DC 37 to help build a progressive agenda for New York by uniting with (among others) civic organizations, ministers, students, health-care advocates, seniors and the hardworking men and women who struggle to [More...]

Unions and Community Activists Pressure Cuomo to Sign Safety-Net Legislation

December 20, 2016 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS As the December 31 deadline fast approaches, a coalition of health-care activists, elected leaders and working men and women call for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to sign a bill that would give safety-net hospitals a fairer share of funds to care for the neediest New Yorkers. “Local 1549 and DC 37 have been on the frontlines fighting for decades to preserve and protect public hospitals in New York,” said Eddie Rodriguez, president of Local 1549 and District Council 37. “We urge all union members, members of the community and patients to tell the governor to sign this critical safety-net legislation that would increase funds for public hospitals and insure that our communities continue to receive vital health-care services,” Rodriquez said. The grassroots coalition held a press conference at Harlem Hospital Nov. 15, urging the governor to enact the enhanced safety-net [More...]

DC 37 Works with a Coalition to Push for Universal Free Lunch in Public Schools

November 17, 2016 // 0 Comments

Sign the petition! Call on Mayor de Blaiso to ensure a free healthy lunch for all NYC schoolchildren! By ALFREDO ALVARADO What do schools in Pittsburgh, Chicago, Detroit and Dallas offer their students that New York City does not? The answer: a free hot lunch. In those cities, students and their parents are not required to fill out forms to verify their incomes and eligibility to receive a free lunch. All students are eligible and, more importantly, are free from being singled out by other students for eating a free lunch. To address the issue and make sure every student receives a hot lunch, a coalition of food activists in New York City is advocating for universal free school lunch. “In our school lunchrooms, many students don’t get on line because they are afraid to get caught eating ‘free-free’ as it’s known in our world,” explained Aminata Abdouramane, a Lunch 4 [More...]

Local 372 Pays Respect to Hempstead School Crossing Guard Killed by a Speeding Truck

November 7, 2016 // 0 Comments

Local 372 School Crossing Guards attended the memorial service for Hempstead, Long Island, School Crossing Guard Virginia Leviner, who died on the job on Oct. 28 after being hit by a speeding 14-wheeler truck. Known to the community where she worked as “Miss Carol,” she was struck at the intersection of South Franklin and Groove streets in Hempstead while performing her job to protect schoolchildren crossing the street. Leviner, 67, worked at the intersection for 28 years. The service was held Nov. 3 at Antioch Baptist Church in Hempstead. “It was important for us to go to Long Island and pay our respects to Miss Carol and her family,” said Local 372 President Shaun D. Francois I. “This is a reminder of how dangerous this job can [More...]

Gold Medal Parents: Union Family Values Spur Olympic Glory

October 12, 2016 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE During the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Dalilah Muhammad, a long-time resident of Rochdale, Queens, became the first American woman to win the 400-meter hurdles in a dramatic race, held during a driving rainstorm at Olympic Stadium. Muhammad led from the first hurdle and finished for the gold medal at 53.1 seconds. Her victory came on the heels of a series of championship victories, several after coming back from an injury last year. Her determination to achieve this track and field accomplishment acts as an inspiration for anyone with a wish and a goal in mind. Upon her return home, Dalilah was honored in a parade in Southeast Queens. On Sept. 12, at Queens Borough Hall in Kew Gardens, Dalilah was recognized along with three other Olympians from the borough. In her speech thanking Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and other dignitaries for the award, Dalilah [More...]

Bronx Book Lovers Organize

May 8, 2016 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO Dr. Ilana Breslau, a Senior Psychologist at North Central Bronx Hospital, works with patients dealing with mental health issues. She also leads groups that meet weekly to discuss women’s and substance abuse issues. During her eight years on the job, the Psychologists Local 1189 member has always tried to look for new ways to connect with her patients, sometimes even trying things not suggested in the textbooks she studied while earning her Ph.D. at Fairleigh Dickinson University. An avid reader since she was a child and a member of several book clubs, Breslau decided to start a book club for the patients at the Bronx hospital and last year launched the Outpatient Book Club. Through discussion of the characters and themes in the books, Breslau hoped the participants would relate to shared experiences and feel less isolated. “Reading about universal themes such as [More...]