members

Local Presidents Administer Exam for Parks Dept.’s Arborist Jobs

June 20, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS The Dept. of Parks and Recreation tested 10 applicants hoping to join the agency’s “delta force” of expert arborists who maintain and remove damaged and dead trees in the five boroughs. Dept. of Parks Climbers & Pruners Local 1506 President Ibn Mann and Mike Zeno, president of Parks Supervisors Local 1508, administered the exam in Forest Park, Queens earlier this month. In addition to a timed climb up a tree using brute strength, a harness and ropes, applicants took a written test and a practical exam to test their knowledge of knot tying, ability to identify species of trees and operate bucket trucks. Climbers and Pruners jobs are physically taxing, making it a hard-to-recruit title. This year, 10 men applied for five openings. “I was very pleased to see many viable candidates take the climbing test,” Mann said. “I’m confident Parks will [More...]

Rookie of the Year Helps Find Where the Wild Things Are

June 19, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS For New Yorkers who want to roam the wild, public parks are urban forests teeming with over 600 species of wildlife. Tracking the migratory and breeding patterns of birds, bats and beasts is Community Coordinator Karolina Janik, a self-described computer nerd who works at North Arsenal of the Dept. of Parks and Recreation. “I always wanted to work in public service and for my work to have purpose,” said Janik, a Social Services Employees Union Local 371 member, who was raised in Baltimore. “Before I moved here, I never realized how much wildlife exists in New York City.” Janik collects data on red-tailed hawk fledges nesting on a 96th Street fire escape and wild coyotes in Pelham Bay. She finds blue, yellow, and orange warblers that dart skyward and make New York City a stopover on their epic annual migration from South America to the Artic. Marshlands along [More...]

Burning Down the House

June 18, 2018 // 0 Comments

By JEREMY JOHN On April 25, Ben Carson, secretary of Housing and Urban Development in the Trump administration, pulled the curtain back to what typifies the worst aspects of the regressive views shared by the alt-right extremists now in power since the November 2016 election. His proposed scheme, called the Make Affordable Housing Work Act, deals a brutal blow to decades of efforts by previous administrations — both Republican and Democrat — to create affordable housing and to maintain and expand the social safety net for millions of vulnerable Americans who need a decent place to live. Under the proposal, millions of families living in subsidized public housing will see their rents rise from 30 percent of adjusted income to 35 percent of their higher annual gross income. This subtle distinction makes a powerful difference. By changing the rules on income, the increase in reality is [More...]

City Honors Fallen EMT Heroine Yadira Arroyo

June 18, 2018 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO Members of the FDNY stood in honor of their fallen comrade EMT Yadira Arroyo at the street renaming ceremony in her honor on June 15, in the Bronx. Her friends and colleagues joined her family and elected officials for a moving memorial tribute. The Local 2507 member was killed on the job in the Bronx last year. At the Friday morning ceremony, Arroyo’s cousin Sean Acevedo spoke of the loss. “It still hurts. But seeing all of these people here and what she meant to this community means a lot to me,” he said. Acevedo works at Bedford Academy High School and is a member of Board of Education Employees Local 372. NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio was among those paying tribute to the 14-year veteran of FDNY Station 26. Also in attendance were Donald Nesbit, executive vice president of Local 372, Vincent A. Variale, president of Local 3621 and Oren Barzilay, president of [More...]

Tramp’s Tax Scam

June 16, 2018 // 0 Comments

So far, what critics said about the Trump tax plan is proving to be true: It’s a scam. After its unveiling last year, opponents last described the proposal as a giveaway to corporations and the wealthy with crumbs for the rest of us. Earlier this year, House Speaker Paul Ryan urged his colleagues to talk up the tax law by pointing out that a high school secretary in Pennsylvania was happy with her $1.50 weekly pay raise as a result of the legislation. He abandoned that sales job when he realized how silly his spin was. As attention shifts to this November elections, Republican legislators in tough races are backing away from touting the plan, according to a Reuters study. It seems that they don’t want to be identified with their own achievement. As it turns out, the typical CEO is receiving an annual tax cut of more than $51,000. What about the bottom three-fifths of the population? [More...]

DC 37’s Disability Advisory Committee Moves Forward With New Leader

June 14, 2018 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO The new chair of the DC 37 Health/Disability Advisory Committee, Local 372 President Shaun D. Francois I, welcomed members to their April 3 meeting at the union. Francois was appointed to chair the committee after Eileen Muller retired. Muller was also president of Brooklyn Library Guild Local 1482. One of the issues the committee plans to address is Access-A-Ride. “Members have raised a concern about the quality of service they provide,” said Francois.  Access-A-Ride is operated by private carriers under contract to the city and provides transportation service for New Yorkers who are not able to get around using the subway or bus. Many union members and activists depend on the service to attend meetings at DC 37. “We want to build a better relationship with this company,” said Francois. The union’s Health/Disability Advisory Committee advocates on behalf [More...]

It’s Time for a Contract Now

June 12, 2018 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO We are pressing the city to work with us to wrap up negotiations for a new economic agreement that will affect 90,000 DC 37 members. There is no reason to prolong negotiations, which has occurred too often in previous talks. The local economy is strong and the city is in good shape financially. A decent contract certainly won’t break the bank. Too many of us are financially squeezed as we contend with the rising cost of rent, transportation, utilities, clothes and groceries. We want relief — and fair compensation for our work. As public employees, we often feel like an invisible workforce. Though our work usually goes unrecognized, we are proud to be the workers who deserve the most credit for making the city run. Our expansive and efficient government services are one of the reasons New York City is able to attract tourists, businesses and families happy to call [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...]

Town Hall Meetings: Creating a More Dynamic Union

June 8, 2018 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO There was standing room only as more than 300 DC 37 members jammed the conference room at the offices of the Human Resources Administration in Brooklyn. They came to meet with Executive Director Henry Garrido and DC 37 local leaders to talk about workplace issues, the status of contract negotiations, and to learn about vital services and benefits offered by the union. The May 2 event kicked off a month-long series of union town hall meetings at workplaces across the city. Members listened intently as Garrido updated them on contract negotiations. He expressed concern about the increasing cost of health care and emphasized the union’s commitment to preserving member benefits. His observation that “We need a raise and we need it now” drew an eruption of applause. And he made it clear that the union is pursuing paid family leave. “City workers deserve paid [More...]

EMS Wins Important Decision

June 1, 2018 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO DC 37 and Uniformed EMS Officers Local 3621 won an improper practice decision they filed with the Office of Collective Bargaining. The union, represented by Associate General Counsel Steven Sykes, charged that members of the local who work in the Paramedic Response Units have had their workload expand increasing overtime yet the FDNY has refused to bargain over work conditions. Not only has the workload increased, but those assigned to the PRU work in a more dangerous environment. The members, who perform paramedic and supervisory duties, are assigned to work in vehicles that, unlike ambulances, cannot transport a patient. There’s only space in the back for special equipment and there are times we arrive at the scene earlier than the ambulance and there may be safety issues, but we have no safe place to retreat to,” said Local 3621 President Vincent Variale. The [More...]