DC 37

Brooklyn Botanic Garden Worker Wins Wage Hike and Back Pay

August 14, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS After eight months of labor-management meetings, DC 37 Local 374 has won a wage hike that adds about $1,400 to the annual salary of a Brooklyn Botanic Garden employee. “I love this job and everyone who knows me knows that I love what I do,” said Claudia Navas, a Clerical 4 project coordinator who spreads the message that composting is good for the environment, leads workshops and offers technical advice. A team player, Navas shoulders extra responsibilities to help out when Brooklyn Botanic Garden is short-staffed. But when she asked to be compensated for her hard work, she unearthed a problem only her union could resolve. “I was surprised to learn that although I am the most senior employee, as a Clerical 4, I earned $1,285 less than my colleagues, who are all senior museum instructors. So I called my union,” Navas said. White Collar Division Council Rep [More...]

Contract Fight of Westchester County Day-Care Workers Heats Up

August 12, 2019 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES About 40 day-care center workers in Westchester County staged a one-day strike on Thursday, protesting years of frozen pay and their employer’s most recent outrage, a failure to repair a summertime breakdown of the air conditioning system. “Enough is enough,” said Kim Medina, deputy administrator of District Council 1707, which represents day-care workers Local 205 and will unify with District Council 37 in September. “Because of management’s failure to negotiate seriously, our members are struggling to meet their daily expenses,” Medina, who will become the special assistant to the executive director for the new Non-Profit and Private Sector Division of District Council when the unification of the two councils occurs. “The agency’s failure to address the scorching working conditions is only the latest abuse.” The parents of infants and toddlers [More...]

Education is Power

August 10, 2019 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES For three decades, Sherif Fawzy devoted himself to his job at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, but didn’t take any particular interest in the union. He was okay with paying his dues, recognizing that the union fulfilled its responsibility to negotiate periodic wage increases and protect his rich packet of benefits. But he felt no need to get involved. His outlook changed a few years ago after DC 37 successfully defend him against unfounded disciplinary charges by managers. That’s also when he decided to educate himself about labor law and his contract. One day, while checking out the union’s website, he learned he was entitled to take courses for free at the City University of New York. And so he enrolled. Fawzy, an engineer who works in the Dept. of Subway Car Equipment at the MTA, is one of the nearly 30 DC 37 members in the first graduating class [More...]

Members Get Citizenship Info at Union-Sponsored Workshop

August 7, 2019 // 0 Comments

Union members received professional help towards obtaining U.S. citizenship earlier this summer in a workshop sponsored by the DC 37 Citizenship Committee and partner CUNY Citizenship Now! The workshop was promoted on the union’s social media outlets. Experienced immigration lawyers and professionals offered members and their families free confidential legal services, including naturalization application assistance, DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) renewal, and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) extensions. They reviewed documents and helped participants understand what they need to complete an application for U.S. citizenship. Juan Fernandez, president of Local 154 and committee chair said, “This is one of the many services the union provides to our members and the community in an ongoing effort to welcome immigrants and help them navigate the path to US [More...]

Sign Up for DC37Rewards Aug. 30 to be Eligible to Win a Caribbean Cruise

August 5, 2019 // 0 Comments

Have you been dreaming about a Caribbean getaway? The DC 37 Rewards program, www.DC37Rewards.com, is giving away one $2,500.00 cruise voucher good on Disney, Royal Caribbean, or Celebrity cruise lines. The winner applies the $2,500.00 credit voucher to pay for a Caribbean cruise vacation on the cruise of their choice. To enter to win, you must be a DC 37 member or retiree in good standing registered at DC37Rewards.com by August 30, 2019. The winner will be drawn at random from all contestants registered on DC37Rewards.com before midnight Friday August 30, 2019. The winner will be announced on Monday September 2, 2019. No cash substitutions. About DC 37 Rewards: www.DC37Rewards.com offers big savings at Six Flags, the New York Yankees, Best Buy, Enterprise, Priceline, Jenny Craig, and other companies. DC37Rewards.com helps you save on everyday items plus travel, gym memberships, [More...]

Urban Park Rangers Find a Lost 83-year-old Man on a Search-and-Rescue Mission

July 17, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Local 983 Urban Park Rangers in Staten Island’s Ocean Breeze fanned out across the tidal marsh in a search-and-rescue mission to find a lost 83-year-old man on May 2. Headed to Staten Island University Hospital for a doctor’s visit, the elderly man missed his bus and decided to take a shortcut through the vast meadows he walked as a youngster. He told reporters that he had walked for almost 30 minutes only to discover too late that what he remembered to be dry land decades years ago is now 110 acres of wet marshland. Tired and disoriented, the man stepped in mud, fell backward, and began to sink. He used an old flip phone to call 911. UPR Sgt. Anne Marie Santos was at her post in Ocean Breeze when she saw police gathering. They told her about the 911 call that went out around 2:15 p.m. She radioed UPRs and PEP Officers Winston Farrell, Charles Williams, and [More...]

Moving UP Thanks to the Union’s Ed Fund: From Dietary Aide to Registered Nurse

July 15, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS A unique Education Fund program opened a door to life-altering opportunities for Dietary Aide Yolanda Jeter and other hospital workers to earn college degrees and acquire skills leading to jobs, promotions and better salaries. “I went to a Local 420 membership meeting and that’s where I learned about this incredible program,” said Jeter, a per diem worker at Susan McKinney nursing home since 2013. “Attending that union meeting changed my life.” What Jeter learned about is the Food and Nutrition Worker Education Fund program for dietary aides and other employees with union titles at NYC Health + Hospitals facilities who are supervised by Sodexo management. The program helps NYC H+H employees advance through higher education and certifications, providing up to $2,000 in annual tuition assistance and reimbursement for education, professional development and [More...]

Union, City Settles Preschool Teachers Pay Gap

July 12, 2019 // 0 Comments

After long marches, huge demonstrations and weeks of intense negotiations, the City of New York and the NYC Day Care Council have reached a tentative contract agreement that will benefit more than 4,000 members of Day Care Employees Local 205. At issue is the wide pay gap between teachers who work in community-run preschools — which enroll the bulk of students in the city’s free, universal pre-K program — and those who teach in public school classrooms overseen by the education department. The new agreement would steadily boost salaries for pre-K teachers over three years, eventually matching what starting teachers in public schools make. Mayor de Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson called the agreement historic, and noted the past difficulties of recruiting and retaining educators at community-based centers. DC 1707 Executive Director Kim Medina praised the Mayor [More...]

Union’s 9/11 Memories at Memorial Glade Dedication

July 12, 2019 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE “It is 17 years since we completed the cleanup of the World Trade Center site. We’re not going to be here that much longer, you know?” said Local 375 member and Dept. of Design and Construction Project Manager and Chapter 4 President, Mike Kenny at the dedication of the 9/11 Memorial Glade near the World Trade Center on May 30. Kenny was part of a contingent of DC 37 members — veterans of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack — who spent months of arduous rescue and recovery work at the site. At the Thursday morning ceremony, the greenspace at the site was packed with spectators; elected officials; workers who toiled at the site, and family members. They congregated under the morning’s gray sky to remember the dedication of thousands of public workers and volunteers who risked their lives to help seal the wound caused by the 2001 event, which took more than 3,000 [More...]

Moving Forward

July 12, 2019 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO Honoring the past is important. Building a future is essential. Perhaps nothing has exemplified the grit and determination of our union quite like our headquarters at 125 Barclay St. in lower Manhattan, which has been our prime location for generations. DC 37 headquarters has been the place where contracts have been negotiated… where elected officials have come to explain themselves… where our rich cultural diversity has been celebrated. It is where members’ rights have been affirmed — and where members’ problems have been solved. This is where DC 37’s past and present come together with a promise and commitment for a better future. During our decades at 125 Barclay St., we’ve had to leave the building twice for prolonged periods of time — the first time after the tragedy of 9/11 in 2001; and, more recently, after the devastation wrought by Superstorm [More...]