education

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...]

Local 1549 Members are Ready to Repel a Right-wing Effort to Kill Off Public Employee Unions

February 14, 2018 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Local 1549 members met to prepare a fight back against the efforts of right-wing groups to destroy public service unions and dismantle government services. During the conference held on Feb. 3, union leaders briefed members about the U.S. Supreme Court case, Janus v. AFSCME. This case threatens to financially starve public sector unions by allowing workers who are not members to receive services for free. “We face perhaps the greatest attack in the history of unions,” Local 1549 Executive Vice President Alma Roper said. “We need to stand up and be strong.” Ralph Palladino, the local’s 2nd vice president, spoke of the threat posed by the right-wing network and the efforts of the Trump administration and the Republican-dominated U.S. Congress to deeply scale back funding for Medicaid and other services. After passing a new tax law that provides major cuts [More...]

A Passionate Activist, Local 374 President Retires

January 20, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Cuthbert Dickenson, a passionate activist for workers’ and immigrants’ rights, retired as president of Quasi-Public Employees Local 374. Dickenson tirelessly represented Local 374 members for five terms. Local 374’s membership includes maintenance, custodial and security workers, Attendant Guards, Instructors, Custodians, Gardeners, Motor Vehicle Operators, Clerical Associates and Secretaries at public botanical gardens; blue-collar workers at the libraries in the Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island. Dickenson said he was particularly proud of three major accomplishments during his career of servicing the members of Local 374: collaborating with New York Public Library management and the union’s Education Fund to develop a free trades apprenticeship program for Local 374 members who work at New York Public Library. unionizing workers at the Wave Hill public [More...]

New Agreement on Career Advancement

December 19, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES The union reached an agreement with the city to improve training and the career advancement prospects of DC 37 members, particularly women and minorities. The agreement, was finalized on Aug. 2, after a joint labor-management committee spent two years studying how to expand promotional opportunities for union members. The agreement is the result of the work of the Joint Recruitment and Promotion Study Committee, which was established under DC 37’s 2010-17 contract. The agreement includes seed money of $150,000 for the DC 37 Education Dept. to dedicate to training. The funding will be used for a bachelor’s of nursing program for registered nurses, continuing education for social workers, and helping information technology workers upgrade their skills. “In the next few years, the city expects that many of its employees will retire,” said DC 37 Executive [More...]