Local 1505

Union Fights to Fund and Save Parks Jobs

May 16, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS The Play Fair coalition – consisting of DC 37 locals, parks advocates, elected officials and even the Girl Scouts of New York – returned to City Hall May 14 to keep the pressure on lawmakers to increase funding for Parks maintenance by $100 million in FY 2020 budget. As budget negotiations continue between the two sides of City Hall, Play Fair activists continue to call for sustained, baselined funding for 100 City Parks Workers and 50 Gardeners, tree stump removal, and extending the beach and pool season. “One-shot deals do NOT go far enough!” warned DC 37 and Local 372 President Shaun D. Francois I. “The city has spent millions designing and building new parks and needs to invest in maintaining them.” “It’s insane that for six years we keep asking to baseline 150 Parks workers’ jobs,” said Local 1505 President Dilcy Benn. “Baselining these [More...]

Generating Revenue, Protecting Services: DC 37 Leads the Way in NYC Budget Fight

May 14, 2019 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE As the Mayor and the City Council negotiate next year’s budget, DC 37 leaders say New York City is losing millions of dollars in revenue by failing to invest fully in enforcement measures to safeguard its coffers. DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido and Local 1757 President Maria Policarpo have called on the city to reverse the decades-long reduction of staff responsible for tax assessments and property inspections. At a City Council budget hearing in March, Garrido noted the hazards of the current economic climate – issues with state aid, threats of reduced funding from the Trump administration – and urged lawmakers to take the steps required to generate more revenue. “We believe the root cause of this (lost revenue) problem is an undermanned workforce,” Garrido told the Council’s Finance Committee. “Millions of property tax dollars are left on the table by [More...]

Unions to City Hall: Save Jobs, Fund Parks!

March 1, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS DC 37 joined 40 parks advocacy groups and lawmakers for a noon City Hall rally Feb. 28 to demand $100 million in funding for public parks maintenance and safety in the FY 2020 city budget. “This is a no brainer — better parks makes for a better city. Our members keep city parks clean and safe for 130 million people who use them each year,” said DC 37 and Local 372 President Shaun D. Francois I. “Our city should lead the country, setting the standard for well-maintained, beautified public parks.” DC 37 is part of the Play Fair campaign that calls for the mayor to add $100 million to the city budget for year-round Parks Dept. maintenance, cleaning and gardening jobs. Francois and City Council’s Parks Committee Chair Barry Grodenchik, led chants and cheers with DC 37 presidents Dilcy Benn of Local 1505, Harrison Campbell of Local 957, Joe Puleo of Local [More...]

Stand up for Parks! Rally at City Hall Feb. 28

February 26, 2019 // 0 Comments

Join DC 37 and other members of the Play Fair Coalition to support city parks at a City Hall rally on Thursday, Feb 28 at noon. This year, we are focused  on increasing the city’s Parks expense budget by $100 million to fund critical maintenance and operations that will ensure all New Yorkers access to safe and healthy open spaces while creating good, green jobs, and improving the environment. The union will stand with Parks and Recreation Committee Chair Barry S. Grodenchik, New Yorkers for Parks, the New York League of Conservation Voters, and more 40 other Play Fair Coalition members will launch a new multi-year budget advocacy campaign for our city parks According to NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, at least 130 million people use our parks every year. It’s time to Play Fair for Parks. Parkland comprises 14 percent of all City-owned land, but the Parks Department [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...]

Union Members Make Sure the New York City Marathon Runs

November 29, 2017 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Collecting his 11th New York City Marathon medal, Jorge Serrano, a senior accountant for Civil Service Technical Guild Local 375, said this year’s race was special because he completed it with his son. “Ramon is a doctor in Boston, but we planned to do this together,” Serrano said. Serrano has been a long distance runner since high school. He preps for the 26.2 mile, five borough race by logging dozens of miles on predawn and weekend runs. The marathon is a major revenue generator for New York City that attracts over 50,000 participants and millions of spectators and tourists. DC 37 members make sure the event runs safely. Union members in the Dept. of Transportation and the city Parks and Recreation Dept. map out the marathon course. Blue Collar Division Local 1455 members paint the blue line that guides racers, Parks locals 983 and 1505 install barriers to [More...]

Staten Island Parks Worker Aids Storm Stella Victim

July 14, 2017 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS The last snow storm of the winter, Stella, barreled down on a shuttered New York City March 15 and claimed the life of a Staten Island man who had been revived by a quick-acting Local 1505 member. The man later died at the hospital, the victim of an apparent heart attack. City Parks Worker Albert Torres was driving a Parks Dept. vehicle to plow a Dongan Hill playground when he saw an elderly woman frantically waving. “I was coming down a side street and she flagged me down,” said Torres, who had been on duty since 5 a.m. The woman pointed to her son who was lying face up on the ground. He was white like a ghost and unconscious, Torres said. Edward Wilkinson, 47, collapsed while shoveling his aged parents’ sidewalk. Trained in CPR, Torres went to help the man. “I checked his pulse and breathing there, was no response,” Torres said. “His mother was [More...]

Two Parks Workers Save a Woman Assaulted by her Knife-wielding Boyfriend

April 9, 2016 // 0 Comments

BY DIANE S. WILLIAMS On an otherwise quiet afternoon, two City Parks Workers protected a desperate and bloodied woman fleeing with her young children from a knife-wielding attacker in the Port Richmond section of Staten Island on March 24. “We were about to finish work when we heard a woman screaming for help,” said Edwin Medina,  a City Parks Worker in District 1 of the city Dept. of Parks and Recreation for five years. “She was running towards us, terrified and drenched in blood wearing just a tee shirt,” Medina said. “She had a toddler tucked under each arm. We ran to help her and rushed her into the truck to safety. Then we called 911.” “At first I couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” said his coworker, Mamadou N’doye. “Then it registered. We had to think fast because we didn’t know what was next, whether the man had a gun or what.” “They were all in [More...]