libraries

Budget Win! Union Gains in Parks, Libraries

June 19, 2019 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE Standing with City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and other council members and union leaders including DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido in the rotunda of City Hall, the mayor announced an agreement for a budget for fiscal year 2020. “We have a budget. The budget is balanced. It is progressive — and it’s early,” Mayor de Blasio said. Over months, DC 37 waged fierce campaigns with community-based coalitions to press the City Council for hiring and improvements. At rallies at City Hall and in testimony before the City Council, union members urged lawmakers to increase support for public services. . In the end, the union’s message was heard loud and clear. For Parks and Recreation, the city answered with $31 million in additional funds. This includes baseline (permanent) funding of $9.5 million to create positions for 100 seasonal park workers, 50 [More...]

Union, Advocates Fight Against Cuts to Library Budgets

May 21, 2019 // 0 Comments

Facing possible cuts in the city budget, DC 37 leaders of locals representing public library employees took to the steps of City Hall May 21 with the heads of the city’s three library systems, elected officials and advocates to warn of a dramatic impact should funding to the library systems be reduced– including loss of weekend service, reduced programming and delayed revitalization projects. “Our public libraries are lifelines for NYC neighborhoods – and cutting their budgets would jeopardize hours and days of service. We urge City Hall to find a way to keep what amounts to less than half of 1 percent of the city’s overall budget,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. “Libraries are the great equalizers in our society, and the most-equipped vehicle to a fairer and stronger City,” said Queens Public Library President Dennis M. Walcott, “We need increased [More...]

Libraries Are What Unites Us

April 9, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DAN RATHER I love libraries. Always have and always will. They shaped my life from childhood onward. In my book What Unites Us, I dedicated a large section of the essay on books to libraries. And since tomorrow marks the beginning of #NationalLibraryWeek, I thought I would share an extended excerpt. I am grateful to all make libraries a continued part of our civic fabric. I recognize a quaintness in waxing nostalgic about libraries in an age when we have instantaneous access to more information than was contained in all the combined library collections of my youth. Still, libraries represent an aspirational notion of democracy. They were, and still are, civic institutions that welcome anyone who wishes to become a more informed and independent citizen. In books we can find expert and trustworthy scholarship on any subject imaginable. By reading books, we can continually challenge our [More...]

Inmates at Rikers Island Jail Say “Thanks!” to a Dedicated Library Worker

August 19, 2017 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Stacks of handwritten thank-you notes for the New York Public Library’s mobile library and literacy program at Rikers Island underscore the value of the services Local 1930 member Louise Stamp provides to hundreds of incarcerated men awaiting trial. In their letters, the men at Rikers express profound respect for Stamp, a Library Administrative Assistant in Correctional Services at the George R. Vierno Center on Rikers Island and a vice president of Local 1930. “I would love to give thanks to a very blessed and brave woman for faithfully bringing books to men like me…locked up on Rikers Island 24/7. Ms. Stamp you are forever loved and appreciated,” one detainee wrote. “Many take the time to complain, I thought it was necessary to give thanks to Ms. Stamp and the NYPL,” said another detainee, who even offered money to support the unique library [More...]

Library for the Blind Clerical Workers Receive Promotions

May 22, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES After settling a grievance with New York Public Library, the clerical staff at the Library for the Blind received title upgrades and salary increases. The grievance contended the DC 37 members were working out-of-title since their job responsibilities includes different and more tasks than that of their counterparts at neighborhood branch libraries. The library, New York Public Library Guild Local 1930 and District Council 37 signed the settlement in January. This agreement assigns the six covered clerical workers at the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library — the formal name of the Library for the Blind — to collections processing titles, which better reflects their work. “The staff at the Library of the Blind do a lot of behind the scenes work in addition to their traditional clerical duties,” said Louise M. Stamp, Local 1930’s vice president [More...]

Advocates Call for More Library Funding

May 19, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Before today’s City Council budget hearing, library advocates gathered on the steps of City Hall this morning to demand more funding for the city’s three public library systems. Union and city leaders, along with the heads of the library systems, joined community activists and library workers to call on the City Council to provide an extra $24 million to fund seven-day library service. Only 15 of the city’s 216 libraries are open seven days a week. They also asked the council to approve an additional $150 million to help the library systems continue to carry out their long-term $1.1 billion capital plan. The funding would be used to address chronic flooding, faulty air conditioners and heating systems, overcrowding, outdated electrical systems, broken elevators and insufficient space. “Our communities need funds for seven day service in this [More...]

Library Advocates Gear Up for Friday Rally

May 16, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Library supporters are gearing up for a rally on Friday to press the City Council to fund seven-day service and capital projects. The rally on the steps of City Hall–supported by DC 37 and the advocacy group Invest in Libraries–is scheduled for 10 a.m. The theme of the coalition’s campaign is, “Invest in libraries, Invest in All New Yorkers!” The group has two demands: an $24 million increase for daily operating to ensure that every City Council district has a library open seven days a week, and an additional $150 million to continue addressing $1.1 billion in capital needs. Last year, the city’s three public library system received support from the City Council to guarantee a permanent funding floor for six-day service. Now, the library systems seek additional funding to meet the public’s demand for seven-day service. The coalition is carrying [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...]

Fighting For Fair Budgets

May 6, 2016 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO Executive Director, District Council 37, AFSCME, AFL-CIO As part of a coalition we played an important role in stopping nearly $1 billion in combined cuts in the state budget to the City University of New York and the city’s public hospitals. The fight-back is an example of how we participate in the political process to protect our jobs and the services we provide. The campaign involved demonstrations, lobbying, and social media, including collecting thousands of signatures for an on-line petition. Now that the Albany fight is over, we focus our attention on the city’s budget. We expect a busy couple of months ahead as the City Council and Mayor Bill de Blasio work out an agreement on the budget, which should be signed by the end of June. We have a number of priorities for the city’s fiscal 2017 budget that I want to share with you. ● We seek $65 million more [More...]

Advocates Press City Council for Additional Library Funding

March 23, 2016 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Library advocates are pressing the City Council and Mayor Bill de Blasio to restore $65 million in funding to maintain and improve services at the city’s three public library systems. They are renewing a pitch they made last year for the city to make that commitment so that the library systems would return to the funding level before the financial crisis hit in 2008. The economic downturn led to years of downsizing, budget cuts and reduced services. To make their case this year, DC 37 leaders and activists joined community supporters and the heads of the city’s three library systems for a news conference on March 23 in front of City Hall and a later budget hearing. Speakers noted that last year’s campaign, the group convinced the City Council to add $43 million of the $65 million to the library budget. This year, they want the City Council to make the $43 [More...]