legislation

Union Explains Statewide Tenant Reforms at Workshop

September 30, 2019 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE The hard-won, historic changes to New York’s rent regulation laws have raised many questions about the new rights and benefits tenants now have under the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 passed by the state Legislature. DC 37’s Municipal Employees Legal Services (MELS) stepped up to help answer these questions at a recent workshop attended by more than 100 members. “There are more than a 100 pages of changes in the new law,” explained supervising attorney John Bart. “These are changes that benefit our members.” Tenant rights activists and organizers Michael McKee and Anita Long briefed the audience on the efforts to push Albany to pass these reforms. This effort reversed a decades-long trend of legislation wedded to big-money real estate interests. Among the legislation’s many reforms: Ending “vacancy increases,” which landlords used to [More...]

State Lawmakers Pass Patient Protection Legislation

June 22, 2019 // 0 Comments

DC 37 members scored a major victory earlier this week when the State legislature passed legislation that protects patients from excessive hospital emergency room charges. Passage comes after intense lobbying by a coalition of patient advocates, consumer health and business organizations, and unions, including DC 37. The legislation would strengthen our state’s current Surprise Hospital Bills Law and shield patients from price gouging by hospitals, an issue that threatens to bankrupt working families. When emergencies have caused city employees – and DC 37 members – to go to hospitals out of their network, insurance companies eventually pass on the cost of care to patients – either in higher rates or reduced benefits. This legislation helps establish a process to negotiate fair payments for excessive emergency care charges. In a letter to lawmakers signed by leaders of the [More...]

DC 37 Joins Campaign to Extend and Expand the State Millionaire’s Tax

March 7, 2017 // 0 Comments

DC 37 joined a broad coalition at the state capitol on Tuesday, March 7,  to rally in support of expanding the millionaire’s tax and closing a loophole that benefits the financial sector. These are two key measures that would raise billions of dollars in new revenue from the wealthiest New Yorkers. Hundreds of community, labor, and faith leaders, joined by policy experts, influential advocates, and dozens of state legislators, called for these measures to be added to the state budget. A new report from the hedge fund watchdog group Hedge Clippers revealed that closing the carried interest loophole would raise at least $3.5 billion in revenue annually. This loophole allows hedge fund and private equity firms to report fees as capital gains rather than ordinary income that is taxed at a higher rate. A bill to recapture this revenue as ordinary income has strong support in both [More...]

DC 37 Launches “100 Days of Resistance” Campaign

February 1, 2017 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me. Martin Niemoller (1892-1984) They are coming for us. Today, Republicans introduced national “right-to-work” legislation. Last night, Donald Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch for the U.S. Supreme Court. These are just the latest assaults against labor emanating from the White House during the new president’s first 100 days in office, and we anticipate these attacks to intensify. Trump pledged to roll out his agenda right away, and he is moving at a quick pace, catching the progressive community off-guard. Through executive orders, [More...]

Garrido Speaks at an anti-Trump Rally in Manhattan on the Eve of the Inauguration

January 20, 2017 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE At a nighttime demonstration and rally on Jan. 19, DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido demanded action to protect health care for millions of Americans, against the onslaught promised by President Donald J. Trump, and the expected repeal of the Affordable Care Act, a decision that threatens the health insurance of tens of millions of Americans. Citing the story of his grandmother, who was unable to receive affordable treatment for a rare form of cancer and had to leave her home in Virginia to receive treatment in Europe, Garrido spoke fiercely of the possible dangers ahead if the threatened repeal of Obamacare is carried out. “Are we going to allow this man [Trump] to take away our health care? Are we going to allow him to take away the health care for 30 million people without a replacement plan?” Garrido told the crowd. “Are we going to allow him to dismantle [More...]

A Review of 2016: A Year of Key Victories for DC 37 Members

January 10, 2017 // 0 Comments

District Council 37 had a banner year in 2016. Here are some of the union’s achievements. Insourcing victory: DC 37 is working with the de Blasio to reduce the city’s employment of consultants and bring work in-house. The city has so far hired several hundred information technology workers. The union expects the city to hire up to 1,000 IT workers in the near future. We won our Fight for $15 campaign: Union members have participated in demonstrations to support food service workers in their struggle for a living wage and union representation. At home, the union backed Mayor Bill de Blasio’s adoption of a $15 minimum wage that covers 50,000 low-wage workers in the city, including a few thousand school workers in Local 372. As bargaining for a new contract concluded, the union convinced the City University of New York to match the pay hikes of the state minimum wage law, which [More...]

A Review of 2016 (Part 1): Building a Dynamic Union

January 10, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES In 2016, DC 37 advanced its mission to become a more dynamic and grassroots-oriented union.Despite the anti-union era in the country, DC 37 made significant strides by recruiting new activists while strengthening its workplace presence, deepening ties to the community and developing more political clout. “The transformation of our union will take a long time,” DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido said. “But so far, we have made a lot of progress, and next year we will continue down this path. We are talking about a change in culture at DC 37.” Union activists and elected leaders had a busy year in 2016. Workers at the City University of New York participated in fight-back campaign to win a new contract. Members helped block Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to cut $300 million in state support for the city’s public health-care system and nearly $500 million [More...]

DC 37 Plans Legislative Agenda for 2017

December 28, 2016 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO The financial crisis at NYC Health+Hospitals, reducing the number of provisional employees and mobilizing against the proposed constitutional convention were the top priorities laid out by DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido at the union’s 41st annual Legislative Conference. A vote on whether to hold a constitutional conventional will be held in November 2017. The New York State Constitution mandates a vote every 20 years to decide whether to convene a constitutional convention. DC 37 does not support a constitutional convention. “We say no because it’s an opportunity to use public workers as scapegoats,” said Wanda Williams, legislative director of the Political Action and Legislation Dept., at the conference. “Our pensions are protected now, but that could change with a constitutional convention.” Supporters say they would like to convene a [More...]

DC 37-backed Law will Help Provisional Workers Become Civil Servants

December 22, 2016 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Under a new law signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in late November thousands of provisional city employees will have the opportunity to become civil servants with layoff, seniority, and disciplinary  job protections. The law allows the city to extend a plan for reducing the ranks of the 22,000 provisional workers on its payroll. By law, municipalities are only supposed to employ provisional workers for up to nine months. At that point, the workers must be hired into a permanent position or be let go. “This is a tremendous achievement for the union,” DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido said. “It will eliminate the specter of job loss that is always in the back of the mind of provisional workers.” The city began trimming its provisional workforce after a 2007 court ruling, which upheld the civil service rule that restricts municipalities from employing [More...]

Unions and Community Activists Pressure Cuomo to Sign Safety-Net Legislation

December 20, 2016 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS As the December 31 deadline fast approaches, a coalition of health-care activists, elected leaders and working men and women call for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to sign a bill that would give safety-net hospitals a fairer share of funds to care for the neediest New Yorkers. “Local 1549 and DC 37 have been on the frontlines fighting for decades to preserve and protect public hospitals in New York,” said Eddie Rodriguez, president of Local 1549 and District Council 37. “We urge all union members, members of the community and patients to tell the governor to sign this critical safety-net legislation that would increase funds for public hospitals and insure that our communities continue to receive vital health-care services,” Rodriquez said. The grassroots coalition held a press conference at Harlem Hospital Nov. 15, urging the governor to enact the enhanced safety-net [More...]