DC 37

Advocates Press City Council for Additional Library Funding

March 23, 2016 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Library advocates are pressing the City Council and Mayor Bill de Blasio to restore $65 million in funding to maintain and improve services at the city’s three public library systems. They are renewing a pitch they made last year for the city to make that commitment so that the library systems would return to the funding level before the financial crisis hit in 2008. The economic downturn led to years of downsizing, budget cuts and reduced services. To make their case this year, DC 37 leaders and activists joined community supporters and the heads of the city’s three library systems for a news conference on March 23 in front of City Hall and a later budget hearing. Speakers noted that last year’s campaign, the group convinced the City Council to add $43 million of the $65 million to the library budget. This year, they want the City Council to make the $43 [More...]

Assembly and Senate at Odds over a Proposed $485 Million Cut at CUNY

March 16, 2016 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Albany legislators are divided over the state budget plan to cut $485 million in funding for the City University of New York and pass along that responsibility to New York City. On March 14, Senate Republicans approved a resolution that backs Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to shift one third of the state’s CUNY costs to the city. The change would end the state’s decades-long commitment to fully fund senior colleges. The Democratic-controlled state Assembly approved a resolution to restore the nearly half- billion dollar cut to the city’s university system. The Assembly resolution also demands a two-year freeze on tuition. The proposed executive budget increases tuition by $1,500 over the next five years—on top of annual tuition increases in the preceding five years. In a statement, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said, “The Assembly [More...]

Hundreds protest CUNY budget cuts and stalled contract talks

March 11, 2016 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Hundreds of CUNY workers, students and community activists turned out Thursday evening for a boisterous rally in front of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Manhattan office, where they demanded ample funding for the City of University of New York and new contracts for its employees. The protesters directed their ire at Cuomo, who seeks in his executive budget proposal to slash nearly $500 million from the state’s contribution to CUNY and impose that funding obligation on the city. Clad in green union T-shirts, DC 37 members expressed their frustration and anger at the failure of Cuomo and CUNY administration to agree to a new contract. The latest economic agreement expired in 2008, and the workers have gone seven years without a raise. CUNY has offered DC 37 workers a 6 percent pay increase over six years. In its counter-proposal, DC 37 called for a 14 percent wage increase [More...]

Rally for a new contract and decent funding at CUNY on March 10

March 3, 2016 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES DC 37 will join community activists at a rally on March 10 to call for full funding and a fair contract for union members at the City University of New York. Please sign up TODAY for this important event. Protesters will gather at 5 p.m. outside Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Manhattan Office at 633 Third Ave. between 40th and 41st streets. Demonstrators will march from the governor’s office to the nearby Community Church of New York (40 East 35th St.), where the CUNY crisis and future action will be discussed. The rally is sponsored by the CUNY Rising Alliance, a coalition of community groups, civil rights organizations and non-profits. Currently, DC 37 is pressing the New York State Legislature to reject a $485 million cut in CUNY funding under Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed executive budget. If approved, the plan would shift the responsibility for $485 [More...]

Black History Month Finale to feature two showings of “Mandela”

February 19, 2016 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Join the DC 37 Black History Committee for the Black History Month special finale at union headquarters – a presentation of the play “Mandela” celebrating the 25th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s historic visit to New York City. Because of high demand for tickets, the committee decided to schedule a second show at 4 p.m. To reserve tickets for the 4 p.m. show, click here or call 718-930-0175 and leave a message. “Mandela,” written, produced and directed by two public employees, had a limited run in July to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Mandela’s three-day visit to New York. About five years ago Yolanda Brooks caught a bug, the theater bug, and with retired Firefighter John Ruiz she honed their mutual admiration for Nelson Mandela into a play about the freedom fighter’s historic 1990 visit to New York City. By day, the Public [More...]

The Big Pharma rip-off

February 12, 2016 // 0 Comments

  By HENRY GARRIDO Executive Director, District Council 37, AFSCME, AFL-CIO Americans don’t like Big Pharma. And there’s a good reason for that. Earlier this year, a Kaiser Family Foundation poll found that 70 percent of Americans believe prescription drug prices are excessive. We also feel that way at the union, where the DC 37 Health and Security Plan has struggled to maintain our popular prescription drug benefit in the face of skyrocketing costs. Big Pharma suffered a public relations blow in September, when the CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals announced a 5,000 percent price hike of Daraprim, a drug used to treat a parasitic infection affecting people with AIDS and some cancers. The tone-deaf CEO of Turing, Martin Shkreli, a former hedge fund manager, said he would cancel the increase after a consumer backlash. But so far the company has only announced it has set up a savings [More...]

DC 37 urges Albany legislators to restore CUNY budget cuts and fund new contracts

February 9, 2016 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE At a news conference at the state capitol in Albany on Feb. 8, DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido, along with other union leaders and state legislators, called on the state Legislature to increase funding for the City University of New York. “If you believe that higher education is a priority then you are going to have to fund it in the proper way,” said Garrido at the news conference. “We believe that is a priority for not only who we represent, but also for the people in our communities who otherwise have no other opportunities to advance themselves.” In his proposed budget, Gov. Andrew Cuomo shifts nearly $500 million in CUNY funding from the state to the city. DC 37 wants those funds restored in the budget in part because the cost shifting would impose in a new financial burden of the city. The union and other CUNY supporters also want to stop a $300 tuition [More...]

First responders get support

February 3, 2016 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO Anyone convicted of assaulting the brave men and women who work as Emergency Medical Technicians or Paramedics will now be facing a stiff seven-year prison sentence. Most New Yorkers appreciate the valuable service they provide as first responders, but EMTs and Paramedics have increasingly been victims of assaults, often from the people they are trying to save. A recent study, published by the American Journal of Industrial Medicine found that Paramedics had significantly higher odds of patient-initiated violence than Firefighters. Female EMTs reported higher odds of patient-initiated violence injuries than their male counterparts, and many of these attacks go unreported. EMT Betty Higdon and her partner responded to an emergency call and were taking a man to the hospital when he suddenly attacked her. “He punched me in the head, grabbed me by the neck and then [More...]

A $15 Minimum Wage for City Workers

January 6, 2016 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a $15-an-hour minimum wage for 50,000 low-paid city workers, including 20,000 workers mostly represented by DC 37, before an enthusiastic crowd of members, activists, City Council members and labor leaders at union headquarters on Jan. 6. “This is a historic day for our union and for working people,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido during the news conference at union headquarters. “We are here to celebrate a moment in history where working people won a major victory in our city.” The wage increase will go into effect by the end of 2018. The DC 37 titles covered by this plan include School Crossing Guards represented by Local 372, City Seasonal Aides, who are members of Local 983 and several thousand Job Training Participants (JTPs). School Crossing Guard and Local 372 member Maria DeLaura spoke movingly about [More...]