Local 372

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...]

The Role of Women in Electoral Politics

May 7, 2018 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO A discussion about how women can become more engaged in electoral politics is taking place around the country. That discussion took place also at DC 37 recently with Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Public Advocate Letitia James, Local 372 President Shaun D. Francois I and City Council member Carlina Rivera. Activists from Local 372 and Transit Workers Union Local 100 also participated in the April 28 conference presented by the Latino Leadership Institute. Also in attendance was Mei-Ling Ho-Shing, who lives in Florida and survived the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. On Feb. 14, 17 students from the school were killed. “Those students from Florida, especially the young women, are doing a great job organizing young people,” said Francois, who met the high school activist in Memphis recently during the commemoration of the death of [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...]

Labor’s Black History Makers

March 7, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Black History Month began with a ribbon-cutting and opening night dedicated to “The African-American Experience in the Labor Movement.” “We chose to honor our First Lady of Labor, Lillian Roberts, who has devoted more than 60 years to the labor movement. No other person alive today embodies our theme this year as Lillian Roberts does,” said Deborah Pitts, the Black History Committee chair who is the union’s secretary and president of Local 1113. “As an organizer and union leader, Lillian broke through glass ceilings and brick walls to build our mighty union, empowering women and including working families’ needs in labor’s fight for dignity and fair wages.” Throughout February locals honored extraordinary labor leaders, past and present, including Ms. Roberts, retired American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employeees Secretary-Treasurer [More...]

School Crossing Guard Hospitalized After Car Hits Her in front of Brooklyn School

December 12, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO School Crossing Guard Ezznati Elkhayatia was injured on the job while looking out for school children and pedestrians crossing the street in front of PS 28 in Brooklyn. Elkhayatia, a member of Board of Education Employees Local 372, was helping a pregnant woman cross the street at her post on Ralph Avenue and Herkimer Street when she was hit by a car on Dec. 4. Elkhayatia was taken to Kings County Hospital where she was treated for a broken leg. She is expected to make a full recovery and return to work. “Our members face this danger every day in front of all the schools in this city as they attempt to protect our schoolchildren,” said Shaun D. Francois l, the local president. “She’s doing fine,” said Grace Spinks, who visited Elkhayatia in the hospital. Spinks is a School Crossing Guard at PS 236 on Avenue U and Mill Avenue in Brooklyn. She is also a shop [More...]

When Terror Struck, DC 37 Members Responded

November 7, 2017 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS DC 37 members were crucial first responders to the deadly rampage in lower Manhattan on Oct. 31 that claimed eight lives and sent eleven injured people to the hospital. Mayor Bill de Blasio called the incident “an act of terror, and a particularly cowardly act of terror aimed at innocent civilians.” Officials called it the deadliest terrorist attack in New York since thousands of lives were lost when the World Trade Center towers were destroyed on Sept. 11, 2001. Local 983 Urban Park Rangers in Hudson River Park first spotted a rental truck speeding southbound on the bicycle and jogging paths at Houston and West St. around 3 p.m. “They made the first calls to 9-1-1,” said Local 983 President Joe Puleo. The driver mercilessly plowed into pedestrians and cyclists along the West Street path. Victims laid strewn and broken among crumpled Citibikes. “In the [More...]

Hiring Hall for School Lunch Helpers on Oct. 17 and Oct. 19

October 2, 2017 // 0 Comments

Due to popular demand, registration for the Oct. 17 and Oct. 19 hiring hall is now closed. Future hiring halls are planned for the near future. By ALFREDO ALVARADO District Council 37 and the Dept. of Education will be holding a hiring hall to fill part-time positions throughout the city’s school districts. The department is looking to hire Sr. School Lunch Helpers. Their responsibilities include accepting food deliveries and cleaning the school kitchen. Applicants should be able to lift a minimum of 30 pounds. The hiring hall takes place on Tuesday, Oct. 17 and Thursday, Oct. 19 from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at DC 37 headquarters at 125 Barclay St. in Manhattan. “This is a great opportunity to begin a career at the Dept. of Education,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. “This is our way of reaching out to the community and sharing these opportunities. We look forward to [More...]

City Launches Free School Lunch Program with Help from the Union

September 8, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO After DC 37 spent years battling City Hall to make sure all students, regardless of their ability to pay, receive a hot meal at lunch time, free lunch will now be available to all of the city’s 1.1 million students. “We are extremely proud to have played a role in making this happen,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. “With this change in policy, learning just became easier for many kids in our schools.” Garrido joined Chancellor Caren Farina, Local 372 President Shaun D. Francois I, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Public Advocate Letitia James and activists from the Lunch 4 Learning coalition on Sept. 6–the day before the beginning of the new school year–at PS 51 in Manhattan to mark the start of the new program. “This is about equity,” Farina said at the press conference. “All communities matter.” DC 37’s Local [More...]

School Activists and Elected Officials Push for Extension of Mayoral Control over Schools

June 21, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO Teachers and principals helping students cheat on standardized tests in 18 of 33 school districts and incompetent contractors who took two years to install just four windows at PS 55 in Queens were just two of the examples of the corruption and incompetence that plagued the Dept. of Education prior to the schools being put under mayoral control in 2002. Mayoral-control supporters fear the DOE could too easily return to those scandal ridden days if legislators in Albany don’t vote to extend mayoral control on this week. The current legislation giving the mayor control of city schools is set to expire on July 1. Legislators are locking horns over the issue of charter schools. State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan wants lift the cap on charters – a move opposed by de Blasio and other mayoral control supporters, including DC 37. “The future of our children is [More...]

Union Backs Legislation Requiring Automatic Sign Up for School Pension

May 26, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO City employees are usually enrolled automatically in the retirement system when they are hired. But that’s not true for many members of Board of Education Employees Local 372. New Local 372 members are required to sign up. But many members who work for the Dept. of Education neglect to enroll and therefore don’t receive pension benefits when they retire. District Council 37 and Local 372 announced their support of legislation, sponsored by New York state Sen. Diane Savino and Assembly member Nick Perry, that would automatically enroll members in the Board of Education Retirement System. “Under the current enrollment process, too many of our members at the Dept. of Education have missed out on the full pension benefits they are entitled to,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. Local 372 President Shaun D. Francois I applauded the Albany [More...]