contract

98 Percent Vote ‘Yes’ on Contract

August 15, 2018 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES DC 37 members voted overwhelmingly for a contract that provides for a total wage increase of 7.42 percent and preserves their premium-free health-care coverage with no givebacks. Members voted 31,133 in favor and 743 against the contract, an approval rating of 97.6 percent. The mail-ballot vote was tabulated on Aug. 14 at the American Arbitration Association’s office in downtown Manhattan. “Our members have spoken loudly and clearly in favor of a new 44-month economic agreement, which provides for a total pay hike of 7.42 percent, substantial funding for benefits, a new paid family leave plan, and a continuation of premium-free health insurance until at least 2021,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. “The 98 percent yes vote was a powerful display of union solidarity.” The contract includes a new paid family leave benefit, which a growing number [More...]

A No-Giveback Contract UPDATE: Ballots go out on Tuesday, July 24. (see below)

June 29, 2018 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES IMPORTANT: Mail ballots will be sent out to all covered union members on Tuesday, July 25. Ballots must be received by AAA on August 14. If you do not receive a ballot, please call AAA, at 1-800-529-5218. The union and city agreed June 25 on a new no-giveback 44-month economic agreement, which provides for a total pay hike of 7.42 percent and substantial funding for benefits, including a new paid family leave plan. DC 37 delegates approved the tentative agreement on June 26. DC 37 members and retirees will continue to enjoy premium-free health insurance until at least 2021 as a result of parallel negotiations between municipal unions and the city. The economic agreement–which covers 100,000 members and sets the pattern for the separate contracts of the union’s other 25,000 other members–calls for: 2 percent raise on Sept. 26, 2017 (the first day of the [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...]

Town Hall Meetings: Creating a More Dynamic Union

June 8, 2018 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO There was standing room only as more than 300 DC 37 members jammed the conference room at the offices of the Human Resources Administration in Brooklyn. They came to meet with Executive Director Henry Garrido and DC 37 local leaders to talk about workplace issues, the status of contract negotiations, and to learn about vital services and benefits offered by the union. The May 2 event kicked off a month-long series of union town hall meetings at workplaces across the city. Members listened intently as Garrido updated them on contract negotiations. He expressed concern about the increasing cost of health care and emphasized the union’s commitment to preserving member benefits. His observation that “We need a raise and we need it now” drew an eruption of applause. And he made it clear that the union is pursuing paid family leave. “City workers deserve paid [More...]

DC 37 Carries Out Town Hall Meetings on the Value of Unions

May 29, 2018 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO There was standing room only as more than 300 union members jammed the conference room at the offices of the Human Resources Administration in Brooklyn for a town hall style meeting. Members came to hear DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido talk about the fight with the city for a new contract and the upcoming decision in the Janus v. AFSCME case before the U.S. Supreme Court, which is expected to make its ruling by the end of June. If the decision goes against AFSCME, it could cripple DC 37 and public employee unions throughout the country. Janus argues that the mandatory collection of union dues violates the individual’s constitutional right to freedom of speech. “This decision is the start of a bigger attack,” said Garrido. He pointed to Wisconsin and how workers there lost their collective bargaining power once it became a right-to-work state. [More...]

Union Carries Out Town Hall Meetings

May 4, 2018 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO There was standing room only as more than 300 union members jammed the conference room at the offices of the Human Resources Administration in Brooklyn for a town hall style meeting. Members came to hear DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido talk about the fight with the city for a new contract and the court decision in the Janus v. AFSCME case, which is expected by the end of June. If the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court rules against AFSCME, it could financially cripple DC 37 and public employee unions throughout the country. Janus argues that the mandatory collection of union dues violates the individual’s constitutional right to freedom of speech. “This decision is the start of a bigger attack,” said Garrido. He pointed to Wisconsin and how workers lost their collective bargaining power once it became a right to work state. “They’re paying as much as [More...]

Union and City Start Contract Talks

November 27, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES DC 37 started bargaining talks with the city for a new economic agreement on Nov. 14 with both sides expressing hope to wrap up negotiations quickly. “I can’t overemphasize that we need a contract now,” DC 37 Executive Henry Garrido told Labor Commissioner Robert W. Linn at the opening bargaining session. “Our members deserve a raise as soon as possible.” Union wants a three-year contract. The union’s 13 demands include a three-year agreement with a fair wage increase. “We are looking to improve our standard of living,” David Paskin, DC 37’s director of research and negotiations said, commenting on the union’s overarching concern in these negotiations. Paskin noted that members feel under a lot of financial pressure because of high rents, rising food and transportation expenses, and skyrocketing drug prices. Members are also anxious about their [More...]

DC 37 Gets Ready for Contract Bargaining

September 26, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES The union is preparing to start bargaining with the city for a new economic agreement this fall. Union delegates are expected to vote on demands at their monthly meeting on Sept. 26. The demands will be in part guided by an on-line survey in June of members covered by the union’s master contract. The union’s Negotiating Committee was scheduled to vote on the demands in late August. “We are hoping to enter negotiations in earnest as soon as possible,” DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido said. “We would like to see a quick settlement, but we also know the road to a new contract has historically often been a bumpy one filled with obstacles.” The 2010-17 economic agreement was originally set to expire on July 2. But earlier this year, members voted overwhelmingly to extend the economic agreement to Sept. 25 to help the union’s welfare plan shore up its [More...]

DC 37 Annuity Funds Shows Strong Growth

September 5, 2017 // 0 Comments

DC 37 Annuity Fund Growth 1999-2017 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, 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 — which requires the approval of locals — in an economic agreement. Each DC 37 member from locals 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 a healthy 5.99 percent. By comparison, in July, investors in U.S. Treasury notes and bonds could count on 1.99 percent in earnings over 10 [More...]

Members Overwhelmingly Pass Contract Extension

March 13, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Members overwhelmingly approved a contract extension that will allow millions of dollars to be poured into the union welfare plan’s financially-troubled prescription drug plan. An independent monitor, the American Arbitration Association, announced the results of the mail-ballot vote on March 10. Members approved the extension by a vote of 94 percent, with 22,526 in favor and 1,196 opposed. “The passage of the contract extension is a very significant step toward protecting the plan from being devastated by the relentless pressure of rising drug prices,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. This extension will earmark $24 million to the DC 37 Health & Security Plan, which provides the popular drug benefit. Under an agreement between the city and the union, the city will permanently raises its annual contribution to the DC 37 Health & [More...]