DC 37

The Unfulfilled Dream

April 17, 2018 // 0 Comments

A half century after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination is an appropriate time to reflect upon the accomplishments of his movement. Undeniably, the struggle led by King resulted in vital civil rights and voting rights gains for blacks, along with protections against housing and job discrimination. But the economic advancement of minorities and the poor that King advocated never came about. And since his death, our country has veered toward plutocracy and authoritarianism that provides little reason for hope. At the end of his life, King was leading the Poor People’s Campaign. His criticism of the economic divide and opposition to the Vietnam War clearly shook the country’s levers of power. Today, King has a saint-like aura. But back then, his popularity was far from universal. “A man of peace, he died violently,” the Rev. Jesse Jackson wrote in a New York Times op-ed [More...]

Members Lead Cleanup After Four Nor’easters Hit NYC

April 12, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Thunder snow, bomb cyclones and blizzards — three massive snowstorms struck New York and the eastern seaboard within a 10-day span, and a fourth storm struck during the month of March. DC 37 members in several locals responded with Climbers and Pruners of Local 1506 and their Parks Supervisors in Local 1508 leading the city’s emergency cleanup. The Nor’easters dumped heavy snow mixed with thunder and lighting, rain, and slush with powerful 40- to 90-mile-per-hour winds that nearly paralyzed a half dozen states. The city is seeing an uptick in widespread, severe storms that are attributed to climate change. Riley, the first Nor’easter, pulled down older trees — and powerlines — in Southeast Queens. The Dept. of Parks and Recreation disbursed its tree-cutting Delta Force of Climbers and Pruners in a race against time to remove fallen trees and debris [More...]

Union Action: PEOPLE Power

April 11, 2018 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Our political system is dominated by corporations, lobbyists and wealthy individuals. As the 2016 election cycle wound down, five individual donors had spent more than $210 million on political contributions while labor, which represent nearly 15 million members, donated $132 million to super PACs and another $35 million on federal elections. Republican casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson and his wife alone contributed $52.9 million. The political strength of the labor movement depends a great deal on our “people power. Volunteers take part in the union’s get-out-to vote work, such as phone banking, attending rallies and going door-to-door to encourage members to vote. Across the country members help fortify our political strength by supporting the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees’ own political action fund — known as PEOPLE. John [More...]

Public Employees Aren’t “Leeches”

April 9, 2018 // 0 Comments

By RALPH PALLADINO As public employees, we have targets on our backs. Right-wingers like President Trump say we are taking from the “job creators,” meaning the 1 percent. They say we have no value and the people receiving the benefits we work hard to provide are freeloaders interested in getting what they describe as “free stuff.” Fifteen years ago, while attending a union conference in a Washington, D.C., hotel, I wandered into a room where a “think tank” was coming up with ways to destroy unions — especially public employee unions. I picked up a document describing those who work in public service as “leeches.” Public employees work mainly in life-saving programs such as Food Stamps in SNAP and Medicaid, both of which are in the Human Resources Administration. We also work in public hospitals in NYC Health+Hospitals. The vast majority of people receiving those [More...]

Slow Down Youth Inmate Transfers

April 8, 2018 // 0 Comments

An Oct.1 deadline for transferring 16- and 17-year-old offenders from Rikers Island looms. We have no problem with the transfer. But with the transfer only months away, we fear a debacle is in the making. The unrealistic October deadline imposed by the state should be extended to allow more time to prepare for the transfer. New York City unfairly stands alone with that deadline. The transfer of the youthful offenders is occurring as the city is preparing to close Rikers Island, something that human rights advocates have demanded for years. We need to be a part of the process as we are concerned about the safety of our members, primarily represented by Social Service Employees Union Local 371, and wish the change of the workplace is as smooth as possible. Furthermore, the union estimates that 500 additional workers will be needed for the new site. Understaffing is at the root of too [More...]

Labor Confronts a Post-Janus Future

April 7, 2018 // 1 Comment

By GREGORY N. HEIRES The anti-union case before the U.S. Supreme Court — Janus v. AFSCME — has led to a lot of soul searching about improving labor’s way of doing business in the future. A ruling in favor of the plaintiff Mark Janus would allow non-members to receive union services for free without paying dues. This would deliver a tremendous financial blow to public employee unions, undermining their ability to provide services and use their political power to protect the interests of working families. On March 19, DC 37 hosted a meeting of labor leaders, public officials and academics convened by Public Advocate Letitia James that examined the implications of Janus v. AFSCME, which the right-wing hopes will defund unions and ultimately politically destroy them. “Let’s look at our own institutions,” said Vincent Alvarez, president of the AFL-CIO’s New York City Central [More...]

The Path of Most Resistance

April 6, 2018 // 0 Comments

The union waits for the U.S. Supreme Court to decide our fate in anti-union Janus v. AFSCME case. We need not bother. Instead, it’s long past time to hit the road — and take action. Taking this path of most resistance is already showing a positive impact, both in regards to the big picture of winning hearts and minds of working people in the United States and also in concrete achievements. The pushback is growing more effective with each day. For example in West Virginia, a state which recently passed a “right-to-work” law, tens of thousands of teachers and school workers went out on strike for nine days. Not only did the West Virginia teachers win a raise and guarantees on their health insurance, they achieved much more: In a time when unions are under intense attack, the strikers defeated a raft of anti-union bills, including a Wisconsin-style “paycheck protection” bill [More...]

Union Fights to Break ICE From City Courts

April 5, 2018 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE The union is standing up against Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents parking themselves in our city courthouses, intimidating immigrants seeking legal help. As part of a draconian Trump administration plan, ICE agents have been out in force implementing an enforcement policy supposedly intended to “target criminals.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Instead, the ICE agents have created an atmosphere of anxiety and fear for New York’s undocumented immigrants, preventing many from appearing in court in a wide variety of cases. According to The New York Law Journal, in an article published in February, ICE agents arrested more than 130 undocumented immigrants at courthouses in New York, with nearly two-thirds of the arrests in the city‘s courthouses. Research by the Immigrant Project, which monitors the agency’s presence in New York court facilities, [More...]

DC 37 Members: Enjoy a Free Day at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan

April 4, 2018 // 0 Comments

DC 37, members, bring your Member ID Card for a free admission between 9 and 10 a.m. only, on Sat., April 14 for you and your family. This early opening is only for members of DC 37 and their families. All are welcome to stay all day. Please RSVP to RSVP@cmom.org or call 212-721-1223 for more information. This event is best for children under age 10. Also, members of DC 37 will be able to purchase a CMOM Family Passes Package for only $50 (4 family passes) valued at $224. This is also only available during 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. The Children’s Museum of Manhattan is located on 212 West 83rd Street. For more information about exhibits and programs, please visit their [More...]

Sharpening Skills for the Courtroom

April 3, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS One hundred Court Reporters, Interpreters and clerical workers in Local 1070 wrapped up 2017 with a two-day job skills seminar at union headquarters in December. “Based on our strong labor-management relations with the Unified Court System, we again presented court recess training for members in workshops and seminars led by an outstanding group of legal professionals,” said Local 1070 President Fausto Sabatino. UCS agreed to open the sessions to state employees who are mandated to use their comp time or annual leave while courts are on recess between the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. Court employees will be credited for attending the two-day event. “The training helped build solidarity among the Interpreters,” said Elana Grossman, who interprets Spanish and Hebrew at Manhattan Family Court. “Being in the same room with so many colleagues who share [More...]