dc37

Day-Care Educators Win Pay Equity with City Teachers

August 6, 2019 // 0 Comments

  By GREGORY N. HEIRES By more than a 3-to-1 margin, members of Local 205 — early childhood educators who work for non-profit organizations — voted for a contract extension that puts them on a path to wage parity with their counterparts at the New York City Dept. of Education. The contract extension covers more than 4,000 members of the local and is the first demonstration of how the recently-announced unification of District Council 1707 and District Council 37 can increase the bargaining and political power of New York City public and private sector workers. “This is an historic achievement — after decades of hard work, early childhood educators are being recognized as true professionals,” noted Kim Medina, the executive director of DC 1707 who now becomes special assistant to the executive director for the new Non-Profit and Private Sector Division of District Council [More...]

We’re Moving

July 3, 2019 // 1 Comment

Throughout the month of July, DC 37 staff will be moving to 55 Water St. in lower Manhattan as DC 37 headquarters at 125 Barclay Street undergoes extensive construction and repairs. DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido and the Executive Board, delegates, local presidents and union officers have agreed on the necessity to do the work which will close most of the building for approximately three years. We are building a new state-of-the-art facility that will allow us to improve member services while bringing the building up to code. The project will include interior renovations, new electrical, air conditioning and water sprinkler systems and, once complete, will leave us with essentially a new union headquarters. Until then, the union must move to space at 55 Water Street in Lower Manhattan for the duration of the project. However, some activity will continue in the building at 125 [More...]

The Battle of the Badges Has Begun

June 5, 2019 // 0 Comments

It’s on! A 12-week weight loss competition among four city agencies, dubbed The NYC Battle of the Badges, began June 3. Team up with your coworkers now to compete against other agencies and WW (Weight Watchers® reimagined) will donate up to $20,000 to a charity chosen by the winning agency. The four uniformed agencies participating in NYC Battle of the Badges are the Dept. of Corrections (DOC), Sanitation (DSNY), Fire (FDNY), and Police (NYPD). Participation is free and voluntary. Teams should consist of 8 to 10 people. The more people who sign up, the bigger the jackpot. To build the jackpot, WW (Weight Watchers® reimagined) will contribute $5 for every participant and $15 more for each new or current WW member who participates. The agency with the greatest percentage of teams achieving the six (6) percent average weight-loss goal wins. NYC Battle of the Badges is administered [More...]

Quick-Thinking Local 2507 EMT Saves a Man’s Severed Arm

April 9, 2019 // 0 Comments

BY DIANE S. WILLIAMS A fast-acting Emergency Medical Technician in Local 2507 saved the severed arm of a man who was struck by a train on Staten Island. EMT Francis Jost usually works in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, but on that chilly February night he was working an overtime assignment in his Staten Island neighborhood when the call came over the radio around 10:30 p.m. that a man was struck by a train at the Pleasant Plains station. “When I reached the train tracks someone handed me the arm and my mind went to ice. I need ice fast. ICE HOSPITAL GO!” recalled Jost. “I knew there was a bar nearby where I would go to shoot pool sometimes. If we could get ice and pack the limb, maybe we’d save it.” Turns out his idea worked. The call went out for ice. Jost ran down the station steps with the limb in his arms and met another EMT holding the trash bag filled with ice from Hot Shotz, the [More...]

Meet Your New Safety and Health Director

February 21, 2019 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE Veronica Foley, a skilled leader with years of experience as a principal program coordinator for the union’s Safety and Health Dept. was recently promoted to director of the department, replacing Guille Mejia, who retired at the end of last year. Foley, who is a graduate of SUNY Geneseo, also has a master’s degree in international affairs from The New School. Prior to coming to DC 37, she worked several years as a consultant for several non-governmental organizations. “Protecting the safety and health of our members is paramount,” Foley said. “This responsibility affords us the opportunity to create sustainable models of support for each other and the labor movement as a whole.” Foley plans to integrate communication with other divisions and departments within DC 37 to better assess safety and health conditions for the union’s 125,000 members. “I’m working [More...]

Union Helps Homeless Member Start Over

February 11, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Morris Johnson lived in two rooms in a rambling old house he shared with longtime friends that he considered family. “We lived like close family. I paid my $550 rent every month,” said Johnson, a Local 420 Institutional Aide since 2005. The house where Johnson lived was in an East New York neighborhood bordered by elevated train lines, just down the hill from the Jackie Robinson Parkway and Brooklyn’s Evergreen Cemetery. It was Johnson’s home for more than a decade. Until it wasn’t. “I’m blindsided,” said Johnson, 65, who bikes to work each day at the Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene in Long Island City. “I came home to find the sheriff locked the house. The family– a mother and her three grown children — cut out,” Johnson said. In January the house was foreclosed, and seized by the bank. “They never said a word to me about their [More...]

Union Mourns Intern Killed in Car Accident

January 16, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE W. WILLIAMS The AFSCME family is stunned and saddened by the tragic death of 21-year-old Nadia Mourtaj, a 2018 summer intern in DC 37’s Organizing Department. Nadia and her sister Zeyneb, 15, were in a car accident on Dec. 31, in Charles County, Md. Zeyneb was killed on impact and Nadia died nine days later. They are survived by their mother, Sara Ghebre, and father, Abdelilah Mourtaj. “Nadia was a bright star whose enthusiasm for life and the labor movement was contagious,” said DC 37 organizer Nichole Laing, who helped train the young activist seen in this union video. After Nadia completed the internship, Organizing Dept. Director Barbara Terrelonge said, “Nadia visited New York City in September, marching with DC 37 in the annual Labor Day Parade.” “There were many reasons why I chose Nadia for AFSCME’s program, but what stood out to me was her extensive [More...]

DC 37 Stands With Spectrum Strikers

December 10, 2018 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Striking workers stepped up the pressure on Charter Communications to return to the bargaining table as the labor dispute drags on. Some 1,800 members of Local 3, a chapter of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, are in a bitter fight over the cable TV giant’s plan to gut their health and retirement benefits. Because of the dispute, a number of workers have depleted their household savings, sold their homes, while others have become homeless. Since the strike began in March 2017, the union counted on the support of New York’s unions and many elected officials, including Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. Hundreds of electrical workers and supporters, including a contingent of DC 37 activists, turned out Dec. 5 for a major demonstration at Charter Communications’ headquarters in Manhattan. The Spectrum cable company — a [More...]

“The union is there when you need help. It provides job security.”

October 12, 2018 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Local 1549 member Geraldine Morina signed her union card in 1992, and since then she has remained a passionate activist. Morina, 63, is the local’s chapter chair at the Dept. of Transportation, where she enjoys being an advocate for her coworkers and a source of information about their workplace rights and union benefits. With a keen interest in politics, she keeps members updated on DC 37’s legislative and electoral priorities. “A lot of members are unaware of what the union provides,” said Morina, a clerical associate level 3. “I tell them they should view their membership as an investment. The union is there when you need help. It provides job security.” Through her own experience, Morina learned how joining the union makes a good investment. She once avoided being evicted from her apartment by going to the union’s Municipal Employees Legal Services [More...]

Local 1549 Shop Stewards Help Energize the Union

October 11, 2018 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES More than 200 shop stewards in Local 1549 are fired up about carrying the union message to the workplace after they spent the Columbus Day weekend at a training conference. The stewards had a full agenda at the gathering, whose theme was “Rise Up & Stay Strong Shop Steward.” They learned about communicating effectively with their coworkers, organizing members to strengthen the union, dealing with workplace conflict, and getting involved in politics. “The conference provided members with a wonderful opportunity to strengthen their skills in communicating with their coworkers and defending them in the workplace,” Local 1549 President Eddie Rodriguez said. “By gathering everyone in one place, the conference encouraged our stewards to interact and trade stories about what they do at work to be the voice of the union.” “We have this [More...]