local 420

June is Caribbean Heritage Month

June 3, 2020 // 0 Comments

By CARMEN CHARLES, President Local 420 and FITZ REID, President, Local 768 Dear Brothers and Sisters:​ Even as our members, including essential workers, continue to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, we rise together to address in earnest longstanding problems that plague our society: racism, police violence and excessive force, the criminal justice system and poverty. We must work together for solutions to these problems. Let’s all take a deep breath and remember that together we will get through this unprecedented time and build a better future. We must also take the time to celebrate our past and our roots. ​On behalf of District Council 37’s Caribbean Heritage Committee, President Fitz Reid (my co-chair) and I want to wish all members and their families a happy National Caribbean-American Heritage Month. Each June, since 2005, our country acknowledges the many significant ways [More...]

Valiant Women of the Vote

March 4, 2020 // 0 Comments

By CARMEN CHARLES, President of Local 420 and DC 37 Women’s Committee Chair March is Women’s History Month and our union acknowledges the great contributions women have made and are making to America. As chair of the DC 37 Women’s History Committee, I invite you to celebrate with us at our Women’s Forum, Friday March 13 at 6 p.m. at DC 37 headquarters, 125 Barclay Street in lower Manhattan. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment that gave American women the right to vote. The women’s suffrage movement took nearly a century, but through hard-work and sacrifice women persevered. As New Yorkers, we have a proud legacy of supporting women’s rights. In 1848, our state hosted the Seneca Falls Convention of the first women’s rights convention in the world. At this historic meeting, abolitionist and orator Frederick Douglass, the only [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...]

NY Daily News Honors Women Leaders of DC 37

February 11, 2020 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE The New York Daily News focused on the role of African American women in the city’s labor movement, featuring DC 37 members. The Daily News article focused on Local 420 President Carmen Charles, Carletta Pogue-Brewer, Local 384 shop steward, and Local 1407 member Isa Clarke. As leader of the New York City Municipal Hospital Employees Union, Charles has served seven terms as president. While a nurse’s aide at Coler-Goldwater Hospital, she was inspired to become active in the union after encouragement from others. She told the Daily News, “There was one lady – I guess she saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself – and she was in leadership in the local at the time.” The local operates with the intense pace of hospital work, as she says “a 24-hour operation.” “I bring passion and a dedication to this job,” she said. The newspaper reported that [More...]

Local 420’s $500,000 Win

September 20, 2019 // 1 Comment

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS In June, DC 37 stopped management from assigning 29 Local 420 members out-of-title duties and resolved a group grievance against North Central Bronx Hospital for nearly $500,000. “These members were clearly performing duties of the higher paid Behavioral Health Associate title. We are glad NYC H+H recognized the need to resolve this grievance after the first day of hearings,” said union lawyer Terri Nilliasca. One of the 29, Patient Care Technician Tyrone Wayne, said he was performing out-of-title duties from the time he was hired in 2001. Wayne said he restrained and medicated patients and de-escalated fights between patients. One day a patient attacked him. Wayne sustained injuries to his neck and shoulder that may require surgery. With limited crisis intervention training, Wayne and Patient Care Associates were assigned to control patients — the duties of [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...]

Moving UP Thanks to the Union’s Ed Fund: From Dietary Aide to Registered Nurse

July 15, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS A unique Education Fund program opened a door to life-altering opportunities for Dietary Aide Yolanda Jeter and other hospital workers to earn college degrees and acquire skills leading to jobs, promotions and better salaries. “I went to a Local 420 membership meeting and that’s where I learned about this incredible program,” said Jeter, a per diem worker at Susan McKinney nursing home since 2013. “Attending that union meeting changed my life.” What Jeter learned about is the Food and Nutrition Worker Education Fund program for dietary aides and other employees with union titles at NYC Health + Hospitals facilities who are supervised by Sodexo management. The program helps NYC H+H employees advance through higher education and certifications, providing up to $2,000 in annual tuition assistance and reimbursement for education, professional development and [More...]

Union’s Caribbean Heritage Starts Its Fifteenth Year

June 7, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS The union celebrated the history and heritage of people of the Caribbean diaspora June 3 at the annual Caribbean Heritage ribbon-cutting ceremony. “I am excited to mark the Committee’s 15th year at DC 37,” said Committee Chair and founder Carmen Charles, president of New York City Hospitals Employees Local 420. With lilting calypso and reggae played on steel drums in the background, the audience enjoyed traditional patties and sorrel, a beverage brewed from hibiscus flowers and herbs. They purveyed art and artifacts that traced the history of peoples stolen from Africa, enslaved as free labor on Caribbean sugar cane, banana, spice and cotton plantations from Antigua to Trinidad. Their story includes mass freedom revolts in Haiti, Jamaica and the Americas and includes the historic presidency of Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. Committee co-chair and [More...]

Union Wins on New Full-Time Positions at H+H Facility

May 14, 2019 // 2 Comments

BY DIANE S. WILLIAMS In an ongoing fight to protect jobs and benefits, the union settled a group grievance to convert nine per diem, hourly and part-time workers at the Susan B. McKinney long-term care facility in Brooklyn to permanent, full-time positions. “These members were hired as part timers but management assigned extra hours and full time work schedules from day one without full time benefits or the opportunity to become full time NYC Health+Hospital employees,” said Local 420 President Carmen Charles, who represents the eight Patient Care Technicians and one Housekeeper the union filed the group claim for. “To add insult to injury,” Charles said, “McKinney management would hire new people off the street as full-time employees, without considering these workers who were already on staff.” “Many of the workers felt they were overlooked because the nursing director [More...]

Women’s History Event at the Union, March 15

March 7, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Sisters and brothers in today’s labor movement are invited to lean in at a special International Women’s Month event presented by the DC 37 Women’s Committee as Local 420 President Carmen Charles hosts an evening of conversation with Hazel Dukes, president of the NAACP NY Conference, on Friday March 15 at union headquarters from 6 to 8 p.m. Ms. Dukes blazed trails in New York suburbs fighting poverty, housing discrimination and racial bias. She cracked the glass ceiling as the first woman president of a statewide chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and was the first black woman to head NYC OTB. Ms. Dukes is a longtime ally and advocate on issues important to DC 37 and labor unions. Unabashed and unapologetic, Hazel Dukes is a vibrant octogenarian who continues to fight for access to better education, quality [More...]