DC 37

Local 1501 Member Wins $9K & Promotion After Illegal WCS Job Recall

March 23, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS A Wildlife Conservation Society Local 1501 member won an immediate promotion and $9,000 in back pay after an impartial arbitration panel ruled that WCS violated the collective bargaining agreement’s layoff and recall procedures. After working for six years as a WCS Supervising Maintainer, in February 2017 management told Rucauldeau Renondeau they had made a clerical error and demoted him to Maintainer and cut his pay retroactively. They also demanded he repay 28 sick days. “The pay cut was so damaging it jeopardized my finances and my health — everything,” Renondeau said. “It messed up my whole life.” “It was a shocking blow for management to unilaterally decide to reduce this member’s salary and title and recoup back wages,” said then-Vice President Marcy Wartell-Brown. White Collar Council Rep Norlita De Taza filed an out-of-title grievance to [More...]

EMS Locals Demand Action on Assaults on First Responders

March 22, 2019 // 0 Comments

As DC 37’s Emergency Medical Services unions continue to push City Hall to remedy the pay gap between their members and other first responders, union leaders are raising concerns about the growing number of assaults on the rank-and-file. According to NYC Fire Department statistics, the number of physical assaults on EMS workers increased by nearly 50 percent between 2015 and 2018. Testifying before a City Council hearing in February, Uniformed EMTs and Paramedics Local 2507 President Oren Barzilay warned that official data could understate the scope of the problem. “Many of our members don’t report assaults because of a lack of action by the Fire Department, the Police Department, and the District Attorneys,” he said. “It builds on a tradition of inaction.” New Yorkers were shocked and saddened in March 2017 when EMT Yadira Arroyo was killed by an assailant in the Bronx. [More...]

Shocked but not surprised: Trump budget is more pain for working families

March 22, 2019 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO I have said it before in this space: Budgets are not just numbers, dollars & cents. When presidents/governors/mayors present a budget, they are telling you what they value, who they value. What their priorities are – and what they are not. Donald Trump the candidate thundered on during the campaign about how he was going to make life better for millions of American families left behind by economic inequality and stagnant wages. To date, Donald Trump’s signature accomplishment is his so-called tax “reform.” As a candidate, Trump claimed his tax plan was going to help working families and target the rich. But the tax bill that President Trump signed into law “spread tax gains unevenly across income brackets, with high earners enjoying the biggest windfalls,” according to National Public Radio. Under his tax plan, rich real estate investors — including [More...]

Join Us to Commemorate the Triangle Factory Fire

March 13, 2019 // 0 Comments

Join Workers United/SEIU (ILGWU) for the commemoration of the 108th anniversary of the 1911 Triangle Factory Fire, one of the pivotal events in U.S. history and a turning point in labor’s struggle to achieve fair wages, dignity at work and safe working conditions. Outrage at the deaths of 146 mostly young, female immigrants inspired the union movement and helped to institute worker protections and fire safety laws. The event will be held at the site of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, on Monday, March 25, at noon at Washington Place and Greene Street, in Manhattan. During the commemoration, family members and others will read the names of workers who perished during the blaze, and flowers will be laid at the site of the fire while a bell tolls. A fire truck ladder will be raised to the 6th floor of the building, the highest point it could reach in 1911, although the fire engulfed the [More...]

Women’s History Event at the Union, March 15

March 7, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Sisters and brothers in today’s labor movement are invited to lean in at a special International Women’s Month event presented by the DC 37 Women’s Committee as Local 420 President Carmen Charles hosts an evening of conversation with Hazel Dukes, president of the NAACP NY Conference, on Friday March 15 at union headquarters from 6 to 8 p.m. Ms. Dukes blazed trails in New York suburbs fighting poverty, housing discrimination and racial bias. She cracked the glass ceiling as the first woman president of a statewide chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and was the first black woman to head NYC OTB. Ms. Dukes is a longtime ally and advocate on issues important to DC 37 and labor unions. Unabashed and unapologetic, Hazel Dukes is a vibrant octogenarian who continues to fight for access to better education, quality [More...]

Unions to City Hall: Save Jobs, Fund Parks!

March 1, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS DC 37 joined 40 parks advocacy groups and lawmakers for a noon City Hall rally Feb. 28 to demand $100 million in funding for public parks maintenance and safety in the FY 2020 city budget. “This is a no brainer — better parks makes for a better city. Our members keep city parks clean and safe for 130 million people who use them each year,” said DC 37 and Local 372 President Shaun D. Francois I. “Our city should lead the country, setting the standard for well-maintained, beautified public parks.” DC 37 is part of the Play Fair campaign that calls for the mayor to add $100 million to the city budget for year-round Parks Dept. maintenance, cleaning and gardening jobs. Francois and City Council’s Parks Committee Chair Barry Grodenchik, led chants and cheers with DC 37 presidents Dilcy Benn of Local 1505, Harrison Campbell of Local 957, Joe Puleo of Local [More...]

The Future of Housing in Your Community

February 28, 2019 // 0 Comments

As DC 37 activists, you can play a part in helping to shape the direction and development of your neighborhood. Part of the union’s Leading the Way campaign includes a series of Community Association meetings in March that the DC 37 Political Action Dept. will host on the topic: The Future of Housing in Your Community. These midweek evening meetings are scheduled for members’ convenience in every borough. Please mark your calendars and plan to attend one near you. Invite your coworkers and neighbors, the union’s got your back and theirs too. Political Action Dept. staff will be at each venue to provide up-to-date information and answers to your questions about housing, union benefits and services, and more. Be sure to support your union at this upcoming community event. All DC 37 members and retirees are welcome. Invite and bring your concerned coworkers, friends and neighbors. [More...]

A Generation Rises at Women’s Leadership Graduation

February 28, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS With a packed audience of family and mentors to cheer them on, the Woman’s Leadership Academy graduated a diverse group of 17 working women from a dozen locals, DC 37’s first class of future labor leaders, at a Feb. 23 ceremony celebrating the milestone event. “One hundred women in Congress, the Women’s marches, and now you graduates are poised for leadership– these are exciting times for women!” said Executive Director Henry Garrido. “Leadership means fighting for what you believe to be right. This union is leading the way fighting for better pay, for funding for libraries, for public hospitals and vital public services.” Garrido along with Education Fund Administrator Diallo Shabazz brought the AFSCME women’s leadership training to DC 37 in 2018. Chosen from dozens of applicants, the 17 WLA participants enrolled in an intensive six-month [More...]

Locals Lead Parks Urban Forestry Summit

February 27, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Two local presidents were among an international group of arborists and urban forestry experts at the Dept. of Parks and Recreation Forestry Summit, held in Queens in February. Mike Zeno, president of Local 1508 Uniformed Park Officers, and Ibn Mann, president of Local 1506 NYC Climbers and Pruners, coordinated the seminar that focused on tree care and maintenance. “There is more to forestry than cutting down trees,” said Zeno. “Our work includes planting, retaining natural resources, preventing soil erosion, caring for trees planted along city sidewalks, pruning and tree removal and more.” Most New Yorkers live within a 10-minute walk of a public park or urban forest. New York City Parks oversee MillionTreesNYC, a 10-year long-term sustainability plan to plant 1 million trees by 2017. The project was completed in 2015, two years ahead of schedule. The [More...]

Rise Up and Become a Union Activist

February 27, 2019 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE Stand up, get involved and organize! Starting on March 12, the DC 37 Organizing Dept. begins a series of activist trainings at DC 37 Union Headquarters, in Room 2. These intensive two-part sessions will be held from March to June. These sessions will offer valuable tools and advice for participants to work in strengthening DC 37’s collective voice and to equip members with the necessary knowledge to move our union forward together. In the year ahead, the union faces many challenges, and it is critical for DC 37 members and retirees to become leaders at the workplace and in their communities. “These activist trainings are part of an effort to strengthen the union from the grassroots,” said Barbara Terrelonge, director of the DC 37 Organizing Dept. “With more active members, our union will be stronger, whether that involves our involvement in a contract fight, [More...]