local 420

A Generation Rises at Women’s Leadership Graduation

February 28, 2019 // 1 Comment

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS With a packed audience of family and mentors to cheer them on, the Woman’s Leadership Academy graduated a diverse group of 17 working women from a dozen locals, DC 37’s first class of future labor leaders, at a Feb. 23 ceremony celebrating the milestone event. “One hundred women in Congress, the Women’s marches, and now you graduates are poised for leadership– these are exciting times for women!” said Executive Director Henry Garrido. “Leadership means fighting for what you believe to be right. This union is leading the way fighting for better pay, for funding for libraries, for public hospitals and vital public services.” Garrido along with Education Fund Administrator Diallo Shabazz brought the AFSCME women’s leadership training to DC 37 in 2018. Chosen from dozens of applicants, the 17 WLA participants enrolled in an intensive six-month [More...]

Union Helps Homeless Member Start Over

February 11, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Morris Johnson lived in two rooms in a rambling old house he shared with longtime friends that he considered family. “We lived like close family. I paid my $550 rent every month,” said Johnson, a Local 420 Institutional Aide since 2005. The house where Johnson lived was in an East New York neighborhood bordered by elevated train lines, just down the hill from the Jackie Robinson Parkway and Brooklyn’s Evergreen Cemetery. It was Johnson’s home for more than a decade. Until it wasn’t. “I’m blindsided,” said Johnson, 65, who bikes to work each day at the Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene in Long Island City. “I came home to find the sheriff locked the house. The family– a mother and her three grown children — cut out,” Johnson said. In January the house was foreclosed, and seized by the bank. “They never said a word to me about their [More...]

Members Give the Needy a Thanksgiving to Remember

November 30, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS A group of charitable Elmhurst Hospital employees organized their 10th annual holiday Turkey Drive raffle drawing to give 140 families a Thanksgiving to remember. “We sold raffle tickets and gave away a MacBook Air, a flat screen TV, an iPad, and gift cards—things people want–to raise funds to giveaway what families need because without our help these families could not afford a traditional Thanksgiving,” said Melvin Morgan, a Mortuary Technician, who is the Local 420 chapter chair at Elmhurst Hospital. Morgan is one of four dedicated NYC Health+Hospital workers, who for the last decade have made the Turkey Drive an annual feature at Elmhurst Hospital. They stepped up to give back to some of the neediest families in Queens. Local 420 members Robert Isaac, the chief shop steward, Darrian McCray and Morgan worked with Christopher Johnson, a plumber at [More...]

Latino Heritage: Focus on Activism

October 20, 2018 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE The midterm elections and Hurricane Maria were the focus of the union’s annual celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month. DC 37 kicked off its 26th annual celebration of Latino heritage and history with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at union headquarters on Sept. 12. After opening remarks by Isabel Figueroa, former vice president of Local 420 and a DC 37 retiree, DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido spoke of the Sept. 20 first anniversary of Hurricane Maria that devastated Puerto Rico. He called for economic and environmental justice for the island. “We renew our commitment to push elected officials to be true to their word,” Garrido said. “But being good to Puerto Rico is not just showing up to a parade or a hashtag in your Twitter. It’s voting and pushing for what the island needs now. The people deserve it and have earned it.” On Sept. 14, Local 420 held [More...]

Members Make Strides at Annual Breast Cancer Walk

October 17, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Taking steps and making strides is a large contingent of DC 37 members in Locals 372, 420, and 924 who support the annual “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” walk, a 3.5 mile trek through Manhattan’s Central Park on Oct. 14. “We come together to make a difference and show our support for the women and men battling breast cancer,” said Local 372 President Shaun D. Francois I (in photo at right, with Executive Vice President Donald Nesbit), who chairs the union’s Health and Disability Advisory Committee. The union walked with tens of thousands of volunteers in New York City to raise awareness and donations for the American Cancer Society, to honor the memory of dead mothers, sisters, aunts, nieces, coworkers and friends who succumbed to breast cancer, and to support women and men who are cancer survivors. The pink-clad participants help proclaim October [More...]

Caribbean Heritage Celebration Highlights Politics and Citizenship

June 9, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS The contributions and heritage of Caribbean expats were celebrated June 5 at the union’s annual Caribbean Heritage ribbon-cutting ceremony. The event was co-sponsored by Locals 420 and 768. “Like never before we are hearing from the Trump Administration and social media an increasingly amount of anti-union, anti-immigrant, anti-women speech,” said Committee Chair Carmen Charles, a DC 37 vice president and president of New York City Hospitals Employees Local 420. “Such vitriolic speech is irresponsible and unacceptable. I urge you to stand with your union against anti-immigrant policies. We — and all immigrants — have value and bring so much to New York City and to America.” “Take advantage of the union benefit and take steps to secure U.S. citizenship for yourself and your family members,” Charles said. She invited attendees to register for the [More...]

Heroic Local 420 Member Helps Deliver Baby in Hospital Emergency

February 1, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Although delivering babies is not part of his job description, Woodhull Hospital Service Aide William Vega says he just did what came naturally when he saw a pregnant woman and a male companion getting off a bus near the hospital one morning last fall. “I heard screams and saw she was in distress,” said Vega, a 16-year New York City Health+Hospitals employee and Local 420 shop steward. “Through the fence I saw him trying to carry her, to hold her up. I ran into the lobby, grabbed a wheelchair and ran to help them.” The birthing began just 10 feet from the hospital’s entrance. “I rushed her straight to Labor and Delivery on the 7th floor,” Vega said. “As the elevator opened on seven, the baby’s head came out. The mother delivered right in front of the nurses’ station. Everyone pitched in.” Vega was honored for his quick action at a hospital [More...]

Magazine Honors Local 420 President Carmen Charles

January 9, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS City & State magazine named Carmen Charles, the president of New York City Hospital Employees Local 420 and a DC 37 vice president, one of its Responsible 100 Honorees at its annual ceremony Dec. 14 for 100 of New York’s most outstanding corporate citizens. “I am deeply moved to be counted alongside New York City’s First Lady Charlaine McCray and NAACP state chapter chair Hazel Dukes,” Charles said. “The members of Local 420 have given me the greatest opportunity as their president to be on the front lines in the fight for better public health care and a healthier city. “This is no easy task,” Charles said. “The work my members do is in no way glamorous. We are over 8,000 strong– dedicated city workers who provide round-the-clock care at NYC Health and Hospitals facilities, clinics and nursing homes.” Charles said, “We help the sick and [More...]

Member at Harlem Hospital Wins Title Upgrade and Back Pay

July 15, 2017 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS A Local 420 member at Harlem Hospital won a $7,400 title upgrade and $3,200 in back pay after the Office of Labor Relations favorably decided a grievance the union filed on her behalf. Shirley Medina worked for Harlem Hospital as a Central Supply Assistant since 2002. By November 2015, she met the state requirements for certification as a Central Service Technician, Level 2, which pays about $7,400 more annually. The following year, in 2016, the union and Health and Hospitals revised the Central Supply Assistant title to Central Service Technician, levels 1 and 2. “I took the exam, met the hour requirements and submitted my paperwork so I thought I’d automatically get the bump up. I was already doing the work,” Medina said. “I talked to a coworker and we compared our paychecks.” That’s when Medina found out she never received the upgrade. Her manager had [More...]

DC 37 Pushes Budget Agenda at City Council Hearing

June 2, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO As the deadline to approve Mayor Bill de Blasio’s $84.6 billion proposed budget for 2018 draws closer, four leaders from District Council 37 appeared before the City Council’s Finance Committee to advocate for more funds to expand city services. John Hyslop, president of Queens Library Guild Local 1321, pressed for more funding to modernize the libraries’ dated computers and install additional electrical outlets so customers can recharge their electronic devices and use their laptops. “The public wants better services in their libraries and we want the resources to provide those services,” said Hyslop, at the committee’s hearing on May 25. The network of libraries continues to provide an array of services for New Yorkers from adult literacy classes to programs for children and senior citizens. Our branches are overflowing,” added Hyslop. United [More...]