dc37

Local 372 Members Vote to Restore and Protect Benefits

July 1, 2016 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO After months of discussions between Local 372, District Council 37 and the city, an agreement was reached on a plan to supplement funding to the local’s depleted Severance Related Fund, restoring prescription drug, optical and dental coverage to the spouses and domestic partners of retired School Crossing Guards, Hourly School Lunch Workers, School Aides & Health Aides. No other part-time employees receive these benefits for their spouses and domestic partners. “We’ve been working since last year to create a way to restore and protect these significant benefits for the families of both current and future retirees,” said Local 372 President Shaun Francois I. The solution agreed upon and presented to the members for their approval was to shift 1.5 percent of their upcoming September wage hike to the fund. Local 372 announced on July 1 that the membership [More...]

Evelyn Seinfeld, Long-Time DC 37 Negotiator, Passes

June 24, 2016 // 1 Comment

BY GREGORY N. HEIRES DC 37 mourns the loss of Evelyn Seinfeld, for years the union’s chief negotiator, who died on June 20 after a long battle with cancer. She was 68 years old. Evelyn, who worked at DC 37 from 1975 until her retirement earlier this year, was admired by her colleagues for her passion for mentoring and her encyclopedic knowledge of the civil service system, its rules and regulations, and DC 37’s many contracts. Together with then-DC 37 Executive Director Lillian Roberts, she led the negotiations with the city for the union’s current 2010-17 economic agreement, which preserves the premium-free medical coverage of more than 100,000 members and provides for a total wage increase of 10.41 percent. “Evelyn was a keen technician and an expert in labor relations,” DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido said. “She worked in a very specialized business that many of [More...]

“An Elderly Guy Called and Said His Wife Just Shot Herself in the Mouth”

June 20, 2016 // 4 Comments

Monique Brown, Police Communication Technician, Local 1549 I have worked as a Police Communications Technician since I was 23. My mom filled out the application. She said, “You have to take the test on Saturday!” I passed. It was right on time because I had just had a baby. It was a city job, and I needed the benefits. But I didn’t know what I was getting into. We have a very stressful job. Two weeks ago, an elderly guy called and said his wife just shot herself in herself in the mouth. I said, “Let me get you an ambulance.” But I think she died. When I hung up, I couldn’t stop hearing him crying. I said to my coworkers, “Wow. Twenty-six years later and this still affects me.” All the dispatchers, we experienced 9/11 and Hurricane Sandy. People screamed to us for help on September 11th: “I’m trapped on the 87th floor!” My sister is a cop. I called the 28th Precinct [More...]

“Having clean, safe parks is important to the community and the quality of life for us all”

June 19, 2016 // 0 Comments

Carole Lee Singleton, Parks Supervisor, Local 1508 Neighborhood parks are backyards for most New Yorkers. Most of us live in buildings and don’t have backyards in the conventional sense. Having clean, safe parks is important to the community and the quality of life for us all. A lot of residents don’t have many options to go away on vacation or travel to rural places. This is it. Parks are where people come to exercise, to meditate, to relax. They bring their children — and their four-legged friends — here to run and play. We make sure the park is nice and clean so they have a memorable experience each time they come. I believe Parks staff works hard to make an enjoyable experience for everyone. As a Parks Supervisor, I can’t take vacations during summer months because that’s our busiest time. It’s a sacrifice I make to get the job done. I take pride in what I do, and I [More...]

Union, Library Advocates Rally At City Hall

May 25, 2016 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES DC 37 is working with a coalition to secure an additional $65 million in operating funds for the city’s three public library systems in next year’s budget. The $65 million includes a $43 million allocation that the coalition won last year and an additional $22 million it seeks this year. The coalition is also calling for local legislators to add $100 million to next year’s budget to cover capital spending for renovations and new buildings. The coalition’s campaign, “Keep Investing in Libraries,” has included budget testimony, a celebrity advocacy letter by poet and musician Patti Smith, online letters, rallies in the five boroughs and a “bike to the branches” in Brooklyn. On May 25, DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido led a group of activists for a rally and press conference on the steps of City Hall to appeal for greater support for the [More...]

DC 37 Activists Help Clinton Win New York’s Democratic Presidential Primary

April 20, 2016 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO Democratic Party presidential challenger Bernie Saunders filled Washington Square Park and Brooklyn’s Prospect Park with thousands of his supporters who were feeling the Bern, but it was Hillary Clinton who rocked the vote in the primary election, winning a decisive victory over the senator from Vermont. Clinton received 58 percent of the vote while Sanders received 42 percent. “Our path has just gotten clearer,” said the former U.S. senator and secretary of state, in her victory speech as the polls were closing in the April 19 New York primary election. With five more primary elections to be held before primary season ends on June 7, Clinton now has two thirds of the pledged delegates. A total of 2,383 delegates are needed to secure the nomination. With her path to the Democratic Party nomination almost certain, Clinton reached out to Saunders supporters [More...]

New York City’s Retirement System Pulls Out of Hedge Funds

April 14, 2016 // 0 Comments

After months of urging by District Council 37 and others, the New York City Employees’ Retirement System (NYCERS) voted today to pull its hedge fund investments, now totaling more than $1.4 billion. DC 37 Executive Director and NYCERS trustee Henry Garrido introduced the resolution to divest, noting the funds charge enormous fees for high-risk investments yet yield tepid results. “As stewards of the retirement security of public employees of modest means, our role is not to facilitate luxury purchases for high-rolling hedge fund managers,” Garrido said. “It is incumbent upon the trustees to ensure that the pension funds are invested securely and responsibly. Today, we took a necessary step to do just that.” The NYCERS vote follows similar actions to pull hedge fund investments by pension funds in California and Illinois. An American Federation of Teachers analysis of 11 [More...]

Hillary Clinton for President

April 13, 2016 // 1 Comment

We urge our members and retirees to cast their vote for Hillary Clinton in the April 19 Democratic primary in New York. Clinton is arguably the most qualified candidate for U.S. President in modern times. Throughout her long career in public service, she has always been a stalwart friend of labor, including our union. We do appreciate the personal integrity of Clinton’s opponent in the Democratic race, Sen. Bernie Sanders. His deep commitment to working people is unwavering. We credit him with putting economic inequality at the center of our national political discourse. But we believe Clinton is the stronger candidate because of her greater experience and electability. In their debates, Clinton and Sanders have engaged in a substantive and civil discussion of such issues as tax fairness, health care, the minimum wage, Social Security and U.S. military intervention in the Middle East. [More...]

Activists Block $800,000 State Budget Cut to CUNY and city hospitals

April 6, 2016 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO In the state budget passed on April 1, lawmakers nixed plans to eliminate nearly $800 million in the state’s financial support for NYC Health + Hospitals and the City University of New York. The original proposal would have shifted much of the costs for NYC Health + Hospitals and CUNY from the state to the city. The loss of about $300 million in Medicaid assistance would have created a big hole in the city’s budget for the NYC Health + Hospitals, which is already struggling with a deep deficit. If the CUNY cuts had gone through, the university would have faced campus closings, according to CUNY Chancellor James Milliken. “This would have created an enormous financial burden on the city and a devastating impact on its public colleges and public health-care system,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. “We couldn’t let that happen.” DC 37 [More...]