economics

The CUNY Contract Blitz

December 11, 2018 // 0 Comments

DC 37 Council Rep Leo Morris informs CUNY workers at John Jay College about their proposed contract, which calls for a 8.24 percent wage increase over 52 months. The union many meetings around the city to explain the terms of the contract to members. Photo: Clarence Elie-Rivera. By GREGORY N. HEIRES DC 37’s citywide CUNY campaign is providing the union’s 10,000 members working in the city’s public university system the chance to learn about their proposed contract and to ask questions about bread-and-butter issues affecting them. A 45-member union team is carrying out the information blitz to ensure members are able to make an informed vote on the tentative economic agreement. Union representatives have addressed members at campus, local executive board and general membership meetings, and a conference of an Asian labor coalition. Besides informing members about the provisions of [More...]

Union, City Set Pension Investment Goals

October 15, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS At a press conference on Sept. 13, Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Comptroller Scott Stringer announced the New York City pension fund goal to invest $4 billion in clean energy and other climate change solutions by 2021. “New York City leads from the front when it comes to the fight against climate change,” said de Blasio. “We’re taking a stand for generations to come with our goal to double our pension investments in job-creating climate solutions. I know that other cities will look to our example, and I implore them to join us.” The mayor said NYCERS new goal doubles investments in climate change solutions to $4 billion, or 2 percent of the city’s $195 billion pension portfolio over the next three years. “This is an important step in finding clean energy solutions,” said Henry Garrido, executive director of DC 37. “I applaud the Mayor and [More...]

March to Fight Climate Change and Support Jobs, Justice

September 4, 2018 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES DC 37 environmental activists are gearing up for a march on Thursday to protest against climate change and speak up for green jobs. Hundreds are expected to show up to “Rise for Climate Jobs & Justice,” occurring in advance of the four-day Global Action Summit in California later this month. The summit will bring together leaders and activists from around the world to accelerate action to put the brake on dangerous climate change and fulfill the Paris Agreement on the environment. “The Rise for Climate, Jobs & Justice will begin at 6.pm. on Thursday, Sept. 6 in Battery Park in Lower Manhattan. It will move north from the park. One of the march’s aims is to demand that New York elected officials step up the political pressure  to avert a climate catastrophe. Its principal demands of the demonstrators will be to call for: a just [More...]

98 Percent Vote ‘Yes’ on Contract

August 15, 2018 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES DC 37 members voted overwhelmingly for a contract that provides for a total wage increase of 7.42 percent and preserves their premium-free health-care coverage with no givebacks. Members voted 31,133 in favor and 743 against the contract, an approval rating of 97.6 percent. The mail-ballot vote was tabulated on Aug. 14 at the American Arbitration Association’s office in downtown Manhattan. “Our members have spoken loudly and clearly in favor of a new 44-month economic agreement, which provides for a total pay hike of 7.42 percent, substantial funding for benefits, a new paid family leave plan, and a continuation of premium-free health insurance until at least 2021,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. “The 98 percent yes vote was a powerful display of union solidarity.” The contract includes a new paid family leave benefit, which a growing number [More...]

Burning Down the House

June 18, 2018 // 0 Comments

By JEREMY JOHN On April 25, Ben Carson, secretary of Housing and Urban Development in the Trump administration, pulled the curtain back to what typifies the worst aspects of the regressive views shared by the alt-right extremists now in power since the November 2016 election. His proposed scheme, called the Make Affordable Housing Work Act, deals a brutal blow to decades of efforts by previous administrations — both Republican and Democrat — to create affordable housing and to maintain and expand the social safety net for millions of vulnerable Americans who need a decent place to live. Under the proposal, millions of families living in subsidized public housing will see their rents rise from 30 percent of adjusted income to 35 percent of their higher annual gross income. This subtle distinction makes a powerful difference. By changing the rules on income, the increase in reality is [More...]

It’s Time for a Contract Now

June 12, 2018 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO We are pressing the city to work with us to wrap up negotiations for a new economic agreement that will affect 90,000 DC 37 members. There is no reason to prolong negotiations, which has occurred too often in previous talks. The local economy is strong and the city is in good shape financially. A decent contract certainly won’t break the bank. Too many of us are financially squeezed as we contend with the rising cost of rent, transportation, utilities, clothes and groceries. We want relief — and fair compensation for our work. As public employees, we often feel like an invisible workforce. Though our work usually goes unrecognized, we are proud to be the workers who deserve the most credit for making the city run. Our expansive and efficient government services are one of the reasons New York City is able to attract tourists, businesses and families happy to call [More...]

Stand with Spectrum Workers

May 26, 2018 // 0 Comments

This has gone on too long. This disgrace should be confronted and settled. What are we talking about? We are talking about the hardworking women and men at the cable provider Spectrum, who are on strike in a fight to protect benefits they’ve had for decades. A year ago, 1,800 New York City-area technicians walked off the job after Spectrum’s parent company, Charter Communications, demanded the workers give up their union benefits for company-controlled health and retirement plans—policies that would leave Spectrum workers far worse off. These demands by Charter were a consequence of its purchase of Time Warner Cable in 2016. As part of its anti-worker plans, Charter came into New York to gut contracts like they did with cable technicians nationwide, including unionized workers. The intent was to break contracts and bust up the union, in this case, Local 3 of the International [More...]

The Mission of Public Service: People Over Profits

May 15, 2018 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Many DC 37 members joined the city’s workforce after spending years in the private sector. Those interviewed by the Public Employee Press say they are now happier with their work, because it comes with union representation, good benefits, and job security. Helping city residents instills a motivation absent in the private sector, where work was about helping their bosses make a profit. The members say their enthusiasm for the private sector wasn’t as great because they received fewer benefits and they could be fired at the whim of a boss. “It’s really nice to help the public — and the community as a whole,” said Dental Assistant Lisa Blackett. A dental hygienist and Local 768 shop steward, Blackett has worked at Harlem Hospital for nearly 10 years. “A lot of the people without insurance come here and are happy to find they can get affordable dental [More...]

Toward a People’s City Budget

April 27, 2018 // 0 Comments

Budget negotiations continue at City Hall after Albany lawmakers passed a state budget that, perhaps most urgently, protects vital services at New York City Health+Hospitals. The state budget makes the city hospital system eligible for a fairer share of Medicaid reimbursements, thus preventing cuts to the system . DC 37 will be pushing for the New York City Council to provide sustainable funding for safety net hospitals and clinics. Also, the state budget included more funding for substance abuse counselors (SAPIS) to assist in fighting the opioid epidemic. We want the City Council to match the $2 million state contribution for the school counselors. Mayor Bill de Blasio released the city’s $89.06 billion executive budget for fiscal year 2019 on April 26. In recent weeks, the New York City Council held hearing’s on the preliminary budget. While state budget victories [More...]

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: A Labor Leader

February 12, 2018 // 0 Comments

By LEE SAUNDERS The photograph is iconic. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., only 39 years old but the nation’s most prominent civil rights leader, lay fatally wounded on a motel balcony in Memphis, Tennessee. His lieutenants stood over his body, pointing frantically across the parking lot in the direction of the shooter. Dr. King was in Memphis to support the city’s sanitation workers — members of the union I’m proud to serve as president, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees — who were striking in protest of poverty wages and dangerous, degrading working conditions. Their fight for dignity and respect was expressed with a simple, compelling slogan: “I Am a Man.” In his final campaign and throughout his life as an activist, Dr. King highlighted the struggle of all working people to get a fair shake. He’s best known, of course, for his civil [More...]