Local 375

Leaving Absence: 9/11 Memorial Designed by a DC 37 Member

September 20, 2021 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE When you visit Leaving Absence, the memorial to the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, you are struck by its expression of poignancy and an overwhelming sense of creating a place for contemplation and healing. The memorial rests at the footprint of where the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center once stood. It memorializes the nearly 3,000 innocent lives lost on that late summer day in New York City, the Pentagon, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The memorial was designed by DC 37 member Michael Arad. He won a design competition in early 2004 to create the expansive memorial, which took eight years to complete, and was dedicated in 2011. Arad faced steep competition for his project design, which he began sketching in the first weeks following the 9/11 attacks. His winning entry was one of 5,201 design submissions from around the world. At the time his design [More...]

Schools Shut Down, But Construction Work Continues

April 24, 2020 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Building Code Inspector Lorraine Barcant’s job is to keep school buildings safe for the city’s 1.1 million school children and the teachers and support staff that feed, educate and protect them. She visits dozens of school construction sites a month to make sure workers are safe and projects are up to code. But the coronavirus pandemic upended New York City and led officials in mid-March to shutter schools and later all construction sites citywide to stop the spread of the deadly virus. Rather than opening new school buildings and visiting sites where workers busily complete renovations and upgrades, Barcant said, “I’m shutting down projects and patrolling empty sites. COVID-19 has turned my job on its head.” Barcant, the vice president of Local 1740, said social distancing and budget concerns mean a lot of the work can’t go [More...]

A Humble Engineer Keeps NYC’s Ferries Afloat

March 16, 2020 // 0 Comments

By PETE LEVINE With degrees in marine engineering, mechanical engineering and management, Local 375 of District Council 37 member Earl Baim might appear overqualified, at least on paper. However, Baim is a vital member of a very small team of Department of Transportation engineers responsible for the constant maintenance and construction of New York City’s ferry system. The crown jewel in the system is the iconic Staten Island Ferry, which transports some 70,000 New Yorkers every day. According to Baim’s boss, A’gota Fejes, without the 32-year veteran on the team, they’d all be sunk. “His hand is everywhere,” says Fejes, a civil and structural engineer, who is based out of the St. George Terminal in Staten Island, where the Staten Island Ferry originates. “He’s a very sharp person. He’s diligent, he’s efficient, wise … he’s a great support not just to me but to [More...]

Coronavirus: DC 37 Workers on the Frontlines UPDATED

February 18, 2020 // 1 Comment

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS As the novel coronavirus emerges to threaten a global health crisis, DC 37 is protecting the workers who protect the health of New Yorkers at public hospitals and clinics and in emergencies. “This is a public health concern, and while there are few reports of patients infected with Covid-19, or coronavirus, in the US, there have been only a handful of confirmed cases in New York,” said DC 37 Safety and Health Director Deborah A. Williams. “But that can change.” “It was only a matter of time before the coronavirus would arrive in our area, and it has,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. “Since the outbreak began, we have been working diligently with H+H and other city agencies to ensure that our members are well prepared to provide the vital health care services to those afflicted by the virus, while also ensuring protocols are in place to [More...]

Top National Honors for NYC Public Hospitals and Their Hardworking Employees

August 13, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS In August, the American Heart Association gave high achievement awards to all 11 NYC Health + Hospitals facilities for implementing AHA’s national standards to achieve healthier outcomes for heart failure and stroke patients. Some 18,000 DC 37 members work at NYC H+H, the nation’s largest public hospital system. They are committed to giving quality care to the one million patients treated each year. Also this summer, U.S. News & World Report named seven New York City public hospitals as high performing in their 2019-2020 Best Hospital issue, which compares outcomes at 4,500 medical facilities nationwide in 16 specialty areas. The study helps patients and their doctors make better informed medical care choices. The high performing H+H hospitals for heart failure are: Bellevue, Coney Island, Harlem, Jacobi, Kings County, Lincoln and Elmhurst, which is also [More...]

Union’s 9/11 Memories at Memorial Glade Dedication

July 12, 2019 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE “It is 17 years since we completed the cleanup of the World Trade Center site. We’re not going to be here that much longer, you know?” said Local 375 member and Dept. of Design and Construction Project Manager and Chapter 4 President, Mike Kenny at the dedication of the 9/11 Memorial Glade near the World Trade Center on May 30. Kenny was part of a contingent of DC 37 members — veterans of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack — who spent months of arduous rescue and recovery work at the site. At the Thursday morning ceremony, the greenspace at the site was packed with spectators; elected officials; workers who toiled at the site, and family members. They congregated under the morning’s gray sky to remember the dedication of thousands of public workers and volunteers who risked their lives to help seal the wound caused by the 2001 event, which took more than 3,000 [More...]

DC 37 Efforts Pivotal in Green New Deal Passage

June 19, 2019 // 2 Comments

  BY MIKE LEE Overcoming staunch political opposition from the real estate industry, New York City has embarked on an unprecedented effort to reduce greenhouse emissions citywide. DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido joined New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, City Council Environmental Protection Committee Chair Costa Constantinides and other Council members and community leaders in announcing OneNYC2050, an ambitious green initiative that comes on the heels of the passage of the Climate Mobilization Act. The Climate Mobilization Act, spearheaded by Constantinides and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, provides $14 billion in investments to cut carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2030. DC 37’s involvement was key in lobbying the City Council, working with community and environmental groups to rally support for the legislation. “Climate justice is the moral imperative of our [More...]

Union to CUNY: Do the Right Thing, Pay Workers Now!

May 8, 2019 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE Workers at City University of New York are outraged that, despite having reached a quick economic agreement with the city in November 2018 and voting overwhelmingly to ratify that contract the following month, they have yet to receive their pay increase and retroactive pay. Citing unforeseen technical problems in their accounting systems, the university system has failed to issue checks that reflect the new terms of the contract. The union is pushing the university hard to resolve this issue, and union activists joined local presidents to speak out before CUNY’s Board of Trustees at LaGuardia Community College on April 30. “Our members our loyal employees who work hard. Way back in December we ratified a contract with you,” Local 2627 President Laura Morand told the trustees. “You have failed to keep up your end of the contract. Why must we wait so long to get what [More...]

Union Hosts Earth Day Expo

April 16, 2019 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE A cleaner, safer New York City was on the agenda at the District Council 37 Earth Day Expo, held April 13 at union headquarters. The event, co-sponsored by Queens City Council member Costa Constantinides, chair of the Council’s Environmental Protection Committee, was part of a big push for the Climate Mobilization Act, a sweeping legislative package that is up for a vote later this week. The initiative includes Intro 1253, the most ambitious carbon reduction bill ever passed by a city, which is expected to create thousands of new jobs over the next few years. DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido welcomed the gathering and spoke of the “moral responsibility” to address climate change. He compared the environmental movement to other social justice struggles of the past and present. “This is the moral imperative of our generation,” said Garrido, in support of the [More...]

CUNY Members Overwhelmingly Approve New Contract

December 19, 2018 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Members at the City University of New York voted by more than 98 percent in favor of a 52-month new contract that provides a raise of more than 8 percent with no givebacks. The contract–which covers 10,000 members–includes a new paid family leave benefit, which will go into effect in 2019. “It’s a good contract,” said information technology assistant Anthony Chambers, a Local 2627 shop steward. “It’s in line with what the other city workers got, it’s equitable.” “We are proud to have negotiated a no-giveback contract, with a decent wage increase, that protects our benefits and provides a great new benefit,” said DC 37 executive director Henry Garrido. He expressed his appreciation to the union’s negotiations committee and staff for working hard on the contract. DC 37 and the City University of New York reached agreement in [More...]