local 1508

DC 37 Leaders: More Funds Needed to Maintain City Parks

September 27, 2019 // 0 Comments

By RUDY OROZCO The presidents of four DC 37 locals with members in the Department of Parks and Recreation called for more funding in the city budget during a recent City Council hearing. Appearing at the Committee on Parks and Recreation hearing were Joe Puleo, president of New York City Motor Vehicles Operators Local 983; Mike Zeno, president of Uniformed Park Services Local 1508; Parks Gardeners Local 1507 President Daniel Clay and New York City Department of Parks Climbers & Pruners Local 1506 President Ibn Mann. Each spelled out staffing needs to keep neighborhood parks safe and clean. Puleo, who represents urban park rangers and PEP officers in the Parks Department thanked the City Council for “working with us to increase parks funding in the city budget which kept 50 urban park rangers and 80 PEP officers on the job.” But he stressed the need to make those funds [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...]

Locals Lead Parks Urban Forestry Summit

February 27, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Two local presidents were among an international group of arborists and urban forestry experts at the Dept. of Parks and Recreation Forestry Summit, held in Queens in February. Mike Zeno, president of Local 1508 Uniformed Park Officers, and Ibn Mann, president of Local 1506 NYC Climbers and Pruners, coordinated the seminar that focused on tree care and maintenance. “There is more to forestry than cutting down trees,” said Zeno. “Our work includes planting, retaining natural resources, preventing soil erosion, caring for trees planted along city sidewalks, pruning and tree removal and more.” Most New Yorkers live within a 10-minute walk of a public park or urban forest. New York City Parks oversee MillionTreesNYC, a 10-year long-term sustainability plan to plant 1 million trees by 2017. The project was completed in 2015, two years ahead of schedule. The [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...]

Local Presidents Administer Exam for Parks Dept.’s Arborist Jobs

June 20, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS The Dept. of Parks and Recreation tested 10 applicants hoping to join the agency’s “delta force” of expert arborists who maintain and remove damaged and dead trees in the five boroughs. Dept. of Parks Climbers & Pruners Local 1506 President Ibn Mann and Mike Zeno, president of Parks Supervisors Local 1508, administered the exam in Forest Park, Queens earlier this month. In addition to a timed climb up a tree using brute strength, a harness and ropes, applicants took a written test and a practical exam to test their knowledge of knot tying, ability to identify species of trees and operate bucket trucks. Climbers and Pruners jobs are physically taxing, making it a hard-to-recruit title. This year, 10 men applied for five openings. “I was very pleased to see many viable candidates take the climbing test,” Mann said. “I’m confident Parks will [More...]

Members Lead Cleanup After Four Nor’easters Hit NYC

April 12, 2018 // 1 Comment

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Thunder snow, bomb cyclones and blizzards — three massive snowstorms struck New York and the eastern seaboard within a 10-day span, and a fourth storm struck during the month of March. DC 37 members in several locals responded with Climbers and Pruners of Local 1506 and their Parks Supervisors in Local 1508 leading the city’s emergency cleanup. The Nor’easters dumped heavy snow mixed with thunder and lighting, rain, and slush with powerful 40- to 90-mile-per-hour winds that nearly paralyzed a half dozen states. The city is seeing an uptick in widespread, severe storms that are attributed to climate change. Riley, the first Nor’easter, pulled down older trees — and powerlines — in Southeast Queens. The Dept. of Parks and Recreation disbursed its tree-cutting Delta Force of Climbers and Pruners in a race against time to remove fallen trees and debris [More...]

Parks Hero Saves Woman

July 14, 2016 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Parks Supervisor Larry Kalman was inspecting the fishing pier at Midland Beach, when a fellow Parks Dept. employee pointed to a woman walking out on the jetty. “She’s going to kill herself,” thought Kalman, a Local 1508 member who works in District 2 of the Dept. of Parks and Recreation Supervisor on Staten Island. Kalman jumped over the pier’s 4-foot railing into the sand, about a 6-foot drop, and started to go toward her. “I asked her was she OK? She yelled ‘F— off! I hate my life!’” On the morning of April 19, the distraught woman stormed to the end of the jetty and jumped. “She went under several feet,” Kalman said, “The water was dark and choppy” — a bone-chilling 45 degrees. “Suddenly she popped up. I reached for her and grabbed her arm. She gasped for air.” “I held on, but she fought back,” Kalman said. She screamed, [More...]