education

The College Admissions Scandal and Trump’s Assault on Working Class Students

April 18, 2019 // 0 Comments

By ROBERT A. MARTIN The recent admissions scandal at Ivy League and other elite colleges confirms what everyone already knows: being wealthy and connected can guarantee getting into these schools. But the legal action taken by federal authorities in Massachusetts is only part of the story involving fairness—or the lack thereof—n higher education. So-called “legacy” admissions favor the children of parents who are alumnae and give money to their college. Or, money alone can do it. A $2.5 million contribution reportedly paved the way for Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner – a mediocre student – to be accepted at Harvard. These factors tilt the scales in favor of affluent students and against young persons who may have worked harder and achieved more, but who lack economic advantages. Because rich families who have attended elite colleges tend to be white, there [More...]

Take an Opportunity to Return to School

January 29, 2019 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Interested in going back to school? At a series of one-on-one meetings at the union—“CUNY Days at DC 37”—you will have an opportunity to discuss how you can complete your degree and take advantage of other educational options. The District Council 37 Education Fund is working with the Murphy Institute (the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies) in a new collaboration to help members return to school and advance in their career. This program will help you: Learn about the academic requirements for specific jobs; Choose a CUNY campus and major; Apply to and finance college; Become informed about continuing education and certification options; Long term career development; Find out about the fastest-growing industries in New York City; …and more. Over three months, the program is going to hold free 30-minute individual sessions for members to discuss their [More...]

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...]

Dept. of Education Employees Honored at Ceremony at DC 37

November 15, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS More than 1,000 Dept. of Education employees in a dozen DC 37 locals were recognized for two decades of dedicated service to the city and its 1.1 million schoolchildren at a Quality of Work Life ceremony at union headquarters Nov. 14. “A child will remember your smile, your words of encouragement, and the kindness you show. That interaction may be the only positive adult interaction some children have at that time in their lives,” Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza said. Carranza celebrated with the audience made up of school support staff who had reached 20 years of employment at the city Dept. of Education. “You really care about the children, our schools and our city,” he told the staffers. “Gracias! Thank you for a job well done!” The QWL ceremony coincided with National Education Support Professionals Day and honored school support staff [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...]

Rookie of the Year Helps Find Where the Wild Things Are

June 19, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS For New Yorkers who want to roam the wild, public parks are urban forests teeming with over 600 species of wildlife. Tracking the migratory and breeding patterns of birds, bats and beasts is Community Coordinator Karolina Janik, a self-described computer nerd who works at North Arsenal of the Dept. of Parks and Recreation. “I always wanted to work in public service and for my work to have purpose,” said Janik, a Social Services Employees Union Local 371 member, who was raised in Baltimore. “Before I moved here, I never realized how much wildlife exists in New York City.” Janik collects data on red-tailed hawk fledges nesting on a 96th Street fire escape and wild coyotes in Pelham Bay. She finds blue, yellow, and orange warblers that dart skyward and make New York City a stopover on their epic annual migration from South America to the Artic. Marshlands along [More...]

DC 37 Carries Out Town Hall Meetings on the Value of Unions

May 29, 2018 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO There was standing room only as more than 300 union members jammed the conference room at the offices of the Human Resources Administration in Brooklyn for a town hall style meeting. Members came to hear DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido talk about the fight with the city for a new contract and the upcoming decision in the Janus v. AFSCME case before the U.S. Supreme Court, which is expected to make its ruling by the end of June. If the decision goes against AFSCME, it could cripple DC 37 and public employee unions throughout the country. Janus argues that the mandatory collection of union dues violates the individual’s constitutional right to freedom of speech. “This decision is the start of a bigger attack,” said Garrido. He pointed to Wisconsin and how workers there lost their collective bargaining power once it became a right-to-work state. [More...]

Union Calls for Additional Parks and School Workers

May 14, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS and ALFREDO ALVARADO DC 37 leaders are making their case on behalf of understaffed agencies and overworked employees at a series of City Council budget hearings. At a recent Parks Committee hearing, the union asked lawmakers to fully restore funds to the Parks budget to save 300 seasonal jobs and add 225 new hires to keep public parks clean and safe. Mayor Bill de Blasio presented his $88.7 billion preliminary 2019 budget for the city back in February. At the City Council hearings ,union leaders said more funds — not less — are needed. The preliminary Parks budget for fiscal year 2018-2019 is about $500 million, down from $531 million last year. More funding needed The funds, leaders said, would add more Urban Park Rangers, Parks Envorcement Patrol Officers, City Seasonal Aides, City Parks Workers and Gardeners to the Dept. Parks and Recreation workforce. [More...]

DC 37 Launches Women’s Leadership Academy

May 9, 2018 // 0 Comments

NOTE: The deadline for applications is extended to June 15. By DIANE S. WILLIAMS District Council 37 is preparing women for future leadership roles through a six-month training program that begins in June. Local leaders, officers and activists are invited to apply to the union’s Women’s Leadership Academy. The application deadline is May 31. To encourage diversity, DC 37 seeks applicants from every experiential, racial and socio-economic background for the Women’s Leadership Academy. The course begins with a conference call orientation in June. The program requires participants to complete an interim project and attend a final session in January 2019. Participants will learn to: develop high-level presentation and communication skills, develop strategic planning skills for internal organizing, create a personal five-year plan, establish a mentoring relationship with a seasoned [More...]

More School Crossing Guards Needed

March 31, 2018 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO At a March 14 press conference on the steps of City Hall, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson joined Local 372 President Shaun D. Francois I in demanding the city provide more funding to hire additional School Crossing Guards. “You can’t put a price on the safety of our children,” said Johnson, who is serving his first term as Council Speaker. He called for expedited funding to hire more school crossing guards.“There should not be a debate about this issue,” said Francois. “Let’s do what is right for our kids and let’s do it right now.” The local president wants to ensure that every school is adequately staffed with School Crossing Guards. The city employs only 2,546 School Crossing Guards, leaving many schools without a guard. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero Plan requires hiring an additional 100 full-time crossing guard [More...]