Local 372

Union Rallies to Support Universal Free School Lunch

December 17, 2016 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO Union activists added another 8,000 post cards for Mayor Bill de Blasio to receive during the holiday season. But instead of a Christmas greeting, their message called for free universal lunch for all of the city’s public school students. Executive Vice President Donald Nesbit of Local 372, which represents cafeteria workers, delivered more than a dozen bags of post cards to City Hall on Dec. 15. The post cards were signed by people who want to see public schools offer free lunch to all students regardless of their ability to pay. The mayor supported universal free lunch during his campaign; now activists want him to offer free lunch as he promised. Nesbit was joined by City Council members Mathieu Eugene and Margaret Chin and activists from Lunch 4 Learning, a coalition that has been working with DC 37 and many other groups, to make free and healthy meals [More...]

DC 37 Works with a Coalition to Push for Universal Free Lunch in Public Schools

November 17, 2016 // 0 Comments

Sign the petition! Call on Mayor de Blaiso to ensure a free healthy lunch for all NYC schoolchildren! By ALFREDO ALVARADO What do schools in Pittsburgh, Chicago, Detroit and Dallas offer their students that New York City does not? The answer: a free hot lunch. In those cities, students and their parents are not required to fill out forms to verify their incomes and eligibility to receive a free lunch. All students are eligible and, more importantly, are free from being singled out by other students for eating a free lunch. To address the issue and make sure every student receives a hot lunch, a coalition of food activists in New York City is advocating for universal free school lunch. “In our school lunchrooms, many students don’t get on line because they are afraid to get caught eating ‘free-free’ as it’s known in our world,” explained Aminata Abdouramane, a Lunch 4 [More...]

“I hear sad stories. I’m glad to lend a hand.”

September 27, 2016 // 0 Comments

Vivian Rosario, Family Assistant, Board of Education Employees Local 372 Photo: Clarence Elie-Rivera At the shelters, we have people from all over the city and from all over the country and some undocumented people too. I think that’s because the services we provide for homeless people in New York City are very good. People want to blame Mayor de Blasio for the increase in homelessness, but I think the services we provide has something to do with it. People know in New York; they can get help, so they come here. I work for the Dept. of Education and I’m assigned to two shelters, the Concourse Residence and the Fordham Family Residence in the Bronx. As a Family Assistant, I’m responsible for working with the children and assisting with their educational needs. We have kids attending school from pre-K to seniors in high school. I make sure they have transportation to and from [More...]

Union Backs Legislation for Halal and Kosher Meals for City Schoolchildren

September 7, 2016 // 0 Comments

BY MIKE LEE Local 372 is working with a coalition to secure healthy school lunches that meet the religious requirements of observant Jews and the city’s growing Muslim student population. On Sept. 6, along with other DC 37 leaders and activists, Local 372 Executive Vice President Donald Nesbit spoke out at a press conference on the City Hall steps in support of the effort. “We need to provide halal and kosher food in our schools,” Nesbit said. “I was a cook in the schools for 17 years,” Nesbit said. “I know first-hand what it is like to see children hungry and to leave the lunch room without eating. You can see it in their expressions and they can’t function and learn during the day.” Several Muslim students joined the press conference. They spoke of going hungry because their schools are unable to provide halal school lunches. Tasheef Chowdhury, a student at Stuyvesant [More...]

Local 372 Members Vote to Restore and Protect Benefits

July 1, 2016 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO After months of discussions between Local 372, District Council 37 and the city, an agreement was reached on a plan to supplement funding to the local’s depleted Severance Related Fund, restoring prescription drug, optical and dental coverage to the spouses and domestic partners of retired School Crossing Guards, Hourly School Lunch Workers, School Aides & Health Aides. No other part-time employees receive these benefits for their spouses and domestic partners. “We’ve been working since last year to create a way to restore and protect these significant benefits for the families of both current and future retirees,” said Local 372 President Shaun Francois I. The solution agreed upon and presented to the members for their approval was to shift 1.5 percent of their upcoming September wage hike to the fund. Local 372 announced on July 1 that the membership [More...]

“Parents Felt Their Kids were Safe with Me on the Job”

June 18, 2016 // 0 Comments

Sallie Robertson, School Crossing Guard Retiree, Local 372 For 35 years I worked as a School Crossing Guard. My second assignment was in Brooklyn, at St. Francis of Assisi Elementary School on the corner of Nostrand Aveue and Maple Street in Crown Heights. The Fire Department uses Maple Street as their designated street to cut across Nostrand. It’s a dangerous intersection. I worked there for 30 years. I always told the other School Crossing Guards you have to be a people person to do this job, and I always encouraged them to come to union meetings. You have to have your own style and keep your eyes on the kids. Even in the cold weather, I loved my job and even having to travel all the way from Hollis, Queens. I knew most of the kids and their parents. They felt their kids were safe with me on the job. When I retired in 2008, the Midwood Block Association held a retirement party for [More...]

Bill Clarke Always Delivers

April 17, 2016 // 0 Comments

  By ALFREDO ALVARADO City workers are familiar with employees who anxiously wait for that special date when they’ll retire. They count the days left and announce it to anyone who will listen and have the date circled on their calendar. Bill Clark has been on the job since 1959, turned 76 on Feb.10 but doesn’t mention retirement. For almost six decades he’s worked as a Loader and Handler for the Dept. of Education, delivering meals and kitchen supplies all over the city to make sure hungry school children are feed. Williams leaves his Bronx apartment every morning before dawn when it’s pitch black for the train ride to the industrial section of Long Island City in Queens to DOE headquarters. He joins a crew of 20 Loaders and Handlers to start loading the trucks at 6 a.m. then hit the road to make their deliveries. Given his seniority, the 76-year-old Clark could stay in a [More...]

Bill Clark Always Delivers

March 30, 2016 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO City workers are familiar with employees who anxiously wait for that special date when they’ll retire. They count the days left and announce it to anyone who will listen and have the date circled on their calendar. Bill Clark has been on the job since 1959, turned 76 on Feb. 10 but doesn’t mention retirement. For almost six decades he’s worked as a Loader and Handler for the Dept. of Education, delivering meals and kitchen supplies all over the city to make sure hungry school children are feed. Clark leaves his Bronx apartment every morning before dawn when it’s pitch black for the train ride to the industrial section of Long Island City in Queens to DOE headquarters. He joins a crew of 20 Loaders and Handlers to start loading the trucks at 6 a.m. then hit the road to make their deliveries. Given his seniority, the 76-year-old Clark could stay in a nice warm [More...]

A $15 Minimum Wage for City Workers

January 6, 2016 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a $15-an-hour minimum wage for 50,000 low-paid city workers, including 20,000 workers mostly represented by DC 37, before an enthusiastic crowd of members, activists, City Council members and labor leaders at union headquarters on Jan. 6. “This is a historic day for our union and for working people,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido during the news conference at union headquarters. “We are here to celebrate a moment in history where working people won a major victory in our city.” The wage increase will go into effect by the end of 2018. The DC 37 titles covered by this plan include School Crossing Guards represented by Local 372, City Seasonal Aides, who are members of Local 983 and several thousand Job Training Participants (JTPs). School Crossing Guard and Local 372 member Maria DeLaura spoke movingly about [More...]