DC 37

Union Helps 40 Urban Park Rangers Prepare for Promotional Exam

December 8, 2017 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Forty Urban Park Rangers enrolled in a course offered through the union’s Education Fund to prepare for a promotional exam to become Associate Urban Park Rangers. The six-session course began in late November; the test is Dec. 12. “If UPRs pass with a score of 70 or higher, they can be promoted to Associate Urban Park Ranger and earn as much as $64,000 to start,” said Local 983 President Joe Puleo. AUPRs and UPRs are Peace Officers who educate park patrons and keep city parklands and beaches safe. The starting salaries for AUPRs pay almost $17,000 more than the $47,125 base salary UPRs earn annually, Puleo said. The rate of pay typically increase when the union finalizes its negotiations with the city for a new contract. Salaries also increase when recurring pay increases and other enhancements negotiated by the local union are adopted. Retired Local 983 [More...]

South Asian Labor Group Holds Its Annual Convention on Dec. 9

December 5, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES The Alliance of South Asian American Labor will hold its 10th annual convention on Dec. 9. The theme for ASAAL’s convention is, “South Asians in America, We are Stronger Together!” The convention, which will take place from 3 to 9 p.m. at DC 37 headquarters at 125 Barclay St. in Manhattan, will have panels on the 2018 midterm elections, challenges facing the South Asian community and organizing the youth. Several guest will speak at the dinner. The invited guests include state senators, and members from the Assembly, U.S. Congress members and labor leaders from around the country. Honorees include Terrence Melvin, president of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists and secretary-treasurer of the New York State AFL-CIO, DC 37 President Eddie Rodriquez of Local 1549 and Local 375 member and DC 37 Executive Board member Ahmed Shakir, who is the national treasurer [More...]

EMS Workers Save Four New Yorkers Exposed to Deadly Gas

December 4, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO Four New Yorkers were saved from deadly noxious fumes by two quick-thinking Emergency Medical Technicians. Local 2507 members Frantzi Honore and Zache Cox, who work out of FDNY Station 54 in Springfield Gardens, Queens, were responding to an emergency call in Jamaica at 192nd St. When they arrived at the home on Friday evening Nov. 24, they noticed the carbon monoxide detector in the home was registering deadly levels of gas. Carbon monoxide is undetectable by human senses and is referred to as “the silent killer.” Honore and Cox quickly evacuated four people from the Queens home. “A tragedy and potential disaster was avoided by the quick reactions of these two EMS Technicians,” said Oren Barzilay, president of Uniformed EMTs and Paramedics Local 2507. “All of our members receive great training from the Fire Dept. to help us in our job of protecting and [More...]

Union Members Make Sure the New York City Marathon Runs

November 29, 2017 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Collecting his 11th New York City Marathon medal, Jorge Serrano, a senior accountant for Civil Service Technical Guild Local 375, said this year’s race was special because he completed it with his son. “Ramon is a doctor in Boston, but we planned to do this together,” Serrano said. Serrano has been a long distance runner since high school. He preps for the 26.2 mile, five borough race by logging dozens of miles on predawn and weekend runs. The marathon is a major revenue generator for New York City that attracts over 50,000 participants and millions of spectators and tourists. DC 37 members make sure the event runs safely. Union members in the Dept. of Transportation and the city Parks and Recreation Dept. map out the marathon course. Blue Collar Division Local 1455 members paint the blue line that guides racers, Parks locals 983 and 1505 install barriers to [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...]

Metropolitan Museum of Art Workers Win Health-Care Dispute

November 20, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Thirty-four guards at the Metropolitan Museum of Art will have extra cash on hand for the holidays thanks to the resolution of a payroll dispute between the union and management. Each guard is due $1,200 as the museum acknowledged its failure to meet its obligation to compensate workers who declined to sign up for health-care coverage because they enrolled in an outside plan. Earlier this year, Metropolitan Museum of Art Local 1503 President Rawle Campbell started to investigate the problem after three members — Maria Mantzavinou, Lara Pink and Vera Quehaja — brought the matter to his attention. They had noticed their paychecks didn’t list the payments for the health-care waiver. Pink said the personnel department told her the payments weren’t made because the federal government adopted a new policy requiring recipients to request the opt-out every year. [More...]

Leading the Way: The Transformation of a Union

November 16, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES The union has embarked upon an ambitious, multi-year program to improve services, amplify the voice of members, expand organizing, engage activists, and reach out to the communities where our members live. With this effort, the union seeks to lead the way for the city’s labor movement, even as unions around the country are being targeted by deep-pocketed, right-wing, anti-government groups. These groups and their corporate and political allies have devoted decades to silencing the voices of working families. So far, their work has been successful: In the 1970s, nearly 35 percent of workers belonged to unions. That number has since plummeted to 10.4 percent this year. After decades of attacks, unions now only represent 6.4 percent of private-sector workers.Today, the network is turning its sights on public employees and their unions. A new model of unionism “We [More...]

DC 37 Activists Help Re-elect de Blasio and Defeat the Constitutional Convention

November 9, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO DC 37 helped Mayor Bill de Blasio win another four-year term with his landslide victory over his Republican opponent. “We should all feel elated,” said District Council 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido about de Blasio’s victory. Voters throughout the state also soundly rejected a ballot proposal to hold a constitutional convention. “Union members across the state sent a strong message on Election Day,” Garrido said. “This is a tremendous victory for organized labor in New York and for all working people,” said Mario Cilento, president of the New York State AFL-CIO. DC 37 was among the more than 150 community organizations and labor unions that joined the New Yorkers Against Corruption coalition to spread the word and get the vote out against a constitutional convention, which was the first proposal on the election ballot. Beginning in the summer, [More...]

When Terror Struck, DC 37 Members Responded

November 7, 2017 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS DC 37 members were crucial first responders to the deadly rampage in lower Manhattan on Oct. 31 that claimed eight lives and sent eleven injured people to the hospital. Mayor Bill de Blasio called the incident “an act of terror, and a particularly cowardly act of terror aimed at innocent civilians.” Officials called it the deadliest terrorist attack in New York since thousands of lives were lost when the World Trade Center towers were destroyed on Sept. 11, 2001. Local 983 Urban Park Rangers in Hudson River Park first spotted a rental truck speeding southbound on the bicycle and jogging paths at Houston and West St. around 3 p.m. “They made the first calls to 9-1-1,” said Local 983 President Joe Puleo. The driver mercilessly plowed into pedestrians and cyclists along the West Street path. Victims laid strewn and broken among crumpled Citibikes. “In the [More...]

A Union Mission to Puerto Rico

November 4, 2017 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO Putting aside the Trump administration’s lackluster response to the devastation from Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, we all should be proud of the dedication of the government workers who are providing crucial humanitarian aid on the island. Thousands of federal, state and local public employees from around the country have volunteered for the disaster relief effort. Six members of DC 37 — a nurse and five construction workers—were among 320 union workers who left New York City on Oct. 4 on a flight to Puerto Rico in a humanitarian mission sponsored by the AFL-CIO. The workers on the United Airlines union-made Boeing 777-300ER flight included doctors, nurses, electricians, carpenters, masons, engineers and truck drivers. The city’s outpouring of support for Puerto Rico reflects our special ties with the 3.5 million people on the island. The 723,621 Puerto Ricans [More...]