DC 37

New Safety and Health Director a Fearless Advocate for Members

November 26, 2019 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE Deborah Williams, the new director of the DC 37 Safety & Health Dept., learned early in her career that stepping up and taking risks can be essential to effective advocacy. She has dedicated herself to ensuring the health and workplace safety of public sector workers – as an employee, activist and advocate – for more than 30 years. Before joining the staff of DC 37, Williams was the Health and Safety Coordinator/Director for SSEU Local 371. While there, she was also a force behind creating the Charles H. Ensley Scholarship Fund, in honor of the late labor activist and former Local president. It all began when Williams chose to speak out. While a HRA Caseworker at the Waverly Center in Manhattan in the 1990s, Williams decided to stand up for her clients when the city was threatening to privatize an HRA homecare services program. Certain that the proposed privatization [More...]

Retired DC 37 Leader Helps Rescue Couple from Burning Car on Staten Island

November 25, 2019 // 0 Comments

Retirement has not slowed down former Local 1320 President and 9/11 Ground Zero volunteer James Tucciarelli, who put his own life at risk to help others Saturday, Nov. 23. That night, the long-time DC 37 leader, along with two police officers and a neighbor, helped save two people trapped in a burning car. Tucciarelli was driving home on Mill Road in the Oakland section of Staten Island when he saw a crashed vehicle in flames near his house. After pulling over and getting out his car, he heard cries from the woman in the front passenger seat of the burning vehicle and immediately went to help. The vehicle was starting to fill up with smoke as he pulled her out to safety. “She said he couldn’t move her leg,” Tucciarelli told WABC-TV Eyewitness News. ”I said, ‘It may hurt, but I’ll move it for you’—and I got her leg around.” As he was carrying her out, a [More...]

Labor Counts! The 2020 Census Begins Soon

November 21, 2019 // 1 Comment

By MIKE LEE Make sure you’re counted. Millions of dollars and adequate political representation are at stake for New York City in the upcoming 2020 Census. “It is not an overstatement to say that the single most important issue that will effect the city’s future for the next 10 years is the Census,” says Julie Menin, the director of NYC Census 2020, a newly-created office to encourage participation by city residents. She notes that in the 2010 Census, New York’s response rate was only 62 percent and more than a million children weren’t counted. That cost the state two congressional seats and much-needed funding for public services. DC 37 is working with labor unions and community groups to ensure that all New Yorkers are counted in the upcoming Census, which will begin next March. As part of that effort, we will be getting the word out to members at upcoming general [More...]

Update Your Beneficiary Form

November 20, 2019 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES  Protect your loved ones. Keep your DC 37 Health & Security Plan and DC 37 Annuity Fund Plan beneficiary form up-to-date. Outdated information on the form can delay and even deprive your designee(s), spouse or children of much-needed benefits. A recurring example: A DC 37 member fails to update their beneficiary information after a divorce. The member then remarries and passes years later. The first spouse, whose name is still on the outdated form, receives the member’s death and annuity benefits. The death benefit for active employees is $10,000 and for retirees it is $2,000. Children also lose out on benefits if parents neglect to identify them as beneficiaries. So, it’s clearly a good idea to check to see if you need to update your DC 37 Health & Security Plan and DC 37 Annuity Plan beneficiary form. When should you consider changing your [More...]

Latina Equal Pay Day Nov. 20

November 19, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Latina Equal Pay Day is Nov. 20, 2019. That’s the date a Latina who started work on January 1, 2018 has to work until in order to earn the same pay as a white, non-Hispanic male co-worker hired on the same day. The inconvenient and uncomfortable truth that a Latina earns 53 cents for every dollar a white man makes is a national disgrace. The labor movement brings political and social pressure to address the longstanding issue of economic justice for women. Belonging to a union is a pathway to economic gains and justice for working Latinas, and all women. Unions fight for equal pay for workers doing the same jobs regardless of race and gender. Here in New York City, DC 37 keeps the pressure on: We press New York City Council to track pay for women and minorities in city service. Locals 2507 and 3621 filed lawsuits on behalf of EMTs and Paramedics (whose ranks are [More...]

City Achieves a Pathway to Pay Parity for Early Childhood Education Providers

November 18, 2019 // 0 Comments

By RUDY OROZCO On November 18, Mayor Bill de Blasio, NYC City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, Labor Relations Commissioner Renee Campion, and Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza announced a pathway to pay parity between certified early childhood education teachers and entry-rate Department of Education salaries by October 2021. The announcement honors the promise made by the Mayor and City Council to achieve pay parity for community-based childhood education providers as part of the FY 2020 budget agreement back in June. It also builds on the wage parity agreements reached earlier this year between DC 37 Private Sector Locals 205 and 95 and will help address issues of recruitment and retention. “Today’s announcement marks a long-sought milestone in economic justice for the dedicated workers who provide thousands of our city’s children with the care and education they need [More...]

Youngest Local President Elected

November 15, 2019 // 1 Comment

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS When members elected Donique Berry president of Local 3778 New York City Police Department Civilian Unit in July, the 23-year-old scientist became the youngest local president in District Council 37. “This is my first job out of college,” Berry said. “All I knew is that having a union means they can’t fire me. Now I realize there is much more.” Local 3778 launched in 2018 to represent 15 science and engineering titles at NYPD. A coworker nominated Berry for secretary and she did not shy away from the challenge to get involved in her union. “I learned it takes patience and dedication,” she said. “My responsibility as secretary was to assure that things get done.” Now the initial one-year president’s term set by the local’s constitution has Berry’s “clock ticking” to make a difference. Her shift was changed to days which allows her to reach [More...]

NYPD Traffic Enforcement Agent/Local 983 Member Linda Mercer Succumbs to 9/11 Cancer

November 13, 2019 // 0 Comments

By RUDY OROZCO On Nov. 6, the toxic environment at Ground Zero claimed another victim. After a long battle, DC 37 Local 983 member Linda Mercer succumbed to 9/11-related breast cancer in her Queens home. Mercer, an NYPD Traffic Enforcement Agent for 35 years, was assigned to Ground Zero in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, where she took part in the weighing and securing of dust-covered trucks emerging from the pit carrying debris to the Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island. Her prolonged exposure to the toxic air eventually led to her cancer diagnosis. While suffering from the effects of cancer treatment, the mother of two relentlessly lobbied Mayor Billl de Blasio for unlimited sick leave for city employees suffering from 9/11-related diseases. “We mourn this terrible loss to our DC 37 family,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. “Linda was a relentless advocate for [More...]

Head Start Workers Ratify Agreement that Provides for Pay Equity with Public-School Teachers

November 4, 2019 // 1 Comment

Story and Photos by G.L. TYLER DC 37 members employed by Head Start recently ratified a three-year contractual agreement that will allow certified teachers in the federally-funded program to earn $68,652 by 2021. The Head Start educators, members of Local 95, join unionized day-care teachers represented by Local 205 – who ratified their contract agreement this past summer — in becoming the highest paid early childhood educators in the country.  The Head Start workers approved their contract Oct. 23, by a 162-26 vote. The contract will bring the salaries of Head Start teachers into line with their counterparts in the city’s public schools. The contract calls for a retroactive 1.77 percent wage hike dating from Feb 1. It also provides a ratification bonus of $1,000 for non-certified Head Start employees. Under Head Start practices, the program’s centers must have a lead [More...]

NYC Charter Revision Proposals: Vote No on #4!

October 28, 2019 // 0 Comments

The New York City Charter is the city’s constitution. It controls how the city spends our tax dollars, how decisions are made about changes to our neighborhoods and the power of our elected officials. We now have an important opportunity to help amend the charter by voting on ballot proposals covering a wide variety of issues. This election, there are five Charter Revision proposals on the ballot. Most are sensible plans to curb undue influence in elections, enhance police accountability and increase government transparency. But then there’s Proposal #4. Proposal #4 calls for the creation of a mysterious “rainy day fund” without any clarity about where the money comes from – or where it will go.   And at a time when many city agencies are understaffed and as the union pushes to resolve issues that have left too many “hard-to-recruit” titles unfilled, we are troubled by [More...]