Covid-19 response


October 6, 2021 // 0 Comments

BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, an ideal time to take action on your health. Here’s how Ariel took charge of hers: Ariel was a healthy, 38-year-old mother of two when she was diagnosed with stage II breast cancer. “We were all so surprised because I have no family history of breast cancer or cancer. It really rocked our world.” At Ariel’s yearly OB/GYN appointment, her doctor did a breast exam. He felt a little lump underneath her armpit and under her breast. The doctor sent her for a mammogram, which showed that her lymph nodes were enlarged. As a precaution, the doctor recommended a follow-up sonogram. “I went back, and thank goodness I did, because they found tiny signs of breast cancer. I jumped into treatment [at Memorial Sloan Kettering] relatively quickly.” Cancer screenings and preventive care visits are essential to good [More...]

Union, DOE, NYC Health+Hospitals Reach Agreement on COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate for Employees

October 4, 2021 // 0 Comments

District Council 37 and the New York City Department of Education announced an agreement for nearly 20,000 DOE employees regarding the COVID-19 mandate, which initially had a deadline of 5 p.m., Friday, Oct.1. Under the new agreement, DC 37 members who have not provided proof of at least one dose of the vaccine will have the option to resign or take a leave of absence. Employees may also apply for religious or medical exemptions. Exemption applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. on Tues., Oct. 5. DOE employees can submit for an application here. This deal follows weeks of hard-fought negotiations, including a lawsuit on behalf of the rights of union members in the New York State Supreme Court. “This fight has always been about the right of individuals to make their own medical decisions without fear of retribution in the workplace,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. [More...]

Delayed Implementation of COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate

September 28, 2021 // 0 Comments

Dear DOE Employees, I am writing with another update on the COVID-19 vaccine mandate in your workplace. Last night the mayor announced that the deadline to get at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine has been extended to Friday, October 1, at 5 pm. As a reminder, to file for a medical or religious exemption, click here and select the option to “Request Accommodation.” If you have any questions, please contact your union representative or call (212) 815-1050. In Solidarity, Henry GarridoExecutive DirectorDistrict Council [More...]

Get Vaccinated

September 22, 2021 // 0 Comments

Earlier this year, on Feb. 26, I received my first dose of the Moderna vaccine. This was one of the most difficult choices I’ve had to make recently as a father, a husband, and ultimately, for myself. It was a long struggle to come to this decision. I discussed the issue with my family, going over concerns about the possible risks of side effects. Because of my role as Executive Director of DC 37, there is the constant risk of exposure to COVID-19 as I meet with members at all different agencies. The idea that I could bring this virus home to my family was my biggest concern. Ultimately, I know I made the right choice. With Kyle Bragg, 32BJ SEIU President, we took the step to get vaccinated publically at an event in Harlem. This was an important moment in the pandemic that began in March 2020, and continues as we move forward with reopening the city while dealing with public health [More...]


September 21, 2021 // 0 Comments

DC 37 EVENTS: U.S. CITIZENSHIP WEBINAR SEPT. 22, 6PM The DC 37 Municipal Employees Legal Services (MELS), the Building Service 32BJ Legal Services Fund, CUNY’s Citizenship Now! Program and the Emerald Isle Immigration Center (EIIC) are jointly presenting a citizenship seminar on Wednesday Sept. 22 at 6 pm on Zoom. Learn how to become a U.S. citizen and the benefits of citizenship. Join the Citizenship webinar here: # CLIMATE JUSTICE COMMITTEE MEETING SEPT. 28, 6PM The DC 37 Climate Justice Committee meets the first and third Tuesday of every month. To join, please email Committee Chair Jon Forster at # BREAST CANCER WORKSHOP OCT. 12, 6PM The DC 37 Disability Advisory Committee will host a virtual Breast Cancer workshop on Tuesday Oct. 12, 6 to 8PM. For information, email Committee Chair Laura [More...]

Sen. Schumer, Charles: FEMA to Reimburse NYC H+H $880 Million for COVID

September 20, 2021 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS In a victory for public hospitals, New York City Hospitals Employees Local 420 President Carmen Charles, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and U.S. Representative Ritchie Torres secured an additional $620 million from FEMA to reimburse NYC Health + Hospitals (H+H) for COVID-19 care during the pandemic. “New York City’s public hospitals made up the foundation of the City’s response to COVID-19. The doctors, nurses, hospital staff, and everyone involved in the H+H system fought day and night to save the lives of New Yorkers,” said Schumer on Sept. 15 at Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx. “Hospitals expanded to full capacity, taking on a surge in patients, and billions in expenses were incurred for their response to the pandemic. I delivered historic levels of funding for FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund and I’m happy to announce that FEMA heeded our call to [More...]


September 7, 2021 // 0 Comments

IMPACT of 9/11 TOXINS 20 YEARS LATER and the FEDERAL RESPONSE THURSDAY, SEPT. 9, 9:30 am to 12 pm and 2 to 3:30 pm FRIDAY, SEPT. 10, 9:30 am to 1 pm Join this live-stream, two-day event from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. This program will bring together health professionals, legal experts, elected officials, as well as responders and 9/11 survivors. Thursday’s presentation will highlight the health effects of the toxins at the WTC, the Pentagon, and the Shanksville crash site and the lifesaving medical monitoring and treatment that responders and survivors receive through the WTC Health Program Clinical Centers of Excellence and National Provider Services that help more than 110,000 responders and survivors in every state across the country. Friday’s program will discuss efforts to pass the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act and reauthorize the WTC [More...]


August 27, 2021 // 0 Comments

By WILLIAM WHALEN, Esq., MELS Director New York State lawmakers agreed on September 1 to extend sweeping protections against evictions. The state’s amended eviction moratorium, extended through January 15, 2022, is one of the most extensive protections put into place in the nation. Under the amended law, landlords can challenge a tenant’s declaration of hardship.  However, tenants are still encouraged to file New York State hardship declaration forms. MELS can help with issues related to the N.Y.S. hardship declaration form and the other protections available to tenants. Call our Screening Unit at 212.815.1111 for advice and legal representation. The U.S. Supreme Court has recently invalidated the CDC Federal Eviction Moratorium. This means that tenants who filed a hardship declaration form under the federal CDC provision are no longer protected under that provision. Tenants who [More...]


August 24, 2021 // 0 Comments

MELS NEW YORK EVICTION MORATORIUM The US Supreme Court issued an injunction suspending New York’s Eviction Moratorium. This means that tenants who filed a hardship declaration are no longer protected and landlords can now ask the court for the necessary permission needed to evict. This does not mean that tenants who owe rent or are facing an eviction case should give up and move out. There are still many steps landlords must take to proceed with an eviction, and there are still many ways tenants can defend their homes. MELS can help. Call our Screening Unit at (212) 815-1111 for advice and legal representation. ### EMERGENCY RENTAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (ERAP) New York State’s Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance is accepting applications to help tenants pay rent arrears. The Emergency Rental Assistance Program can provide up to 15 months of rent and up to 12 months of gas [More...]

Local 1482 Member Awarded for Library Cleanup

August 16, 2021 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS For singlehandedly cleaning up debris left from a huge July 4th celebration near Bay Ridge Library, a Local 1482 Library Custodian received an Outstanding Citizenship award from City Council Member Justin Brannan. An early morning July 5 Twitter post alerted Brannan to the mounds of trash littering the intersection of 73rd and Ridge Boulevard in Brooklyn, where the library is located. “This was probably the worst I’ve seen,” said Eddie Rodriguez, the sole Assistant Custodian at the Bay Ridge branch. Rodriguez arrived at work early on July 5. “I was a bit overwhelmed by the amount of garbage in the street,” he said. “I knew people from the neighborhood would be coming to the library so I took the initiative and began cleaning up.” With a broom and leaf blower, Rodriguez corralled the confetti, shredded wrappers and garbage strewn about. The smell of [More...]