New York City

Labor Counts! The 2020 Census Begins Soon

November 21, 2019 // 1 Comment

By MIKE LEE Make sure you’re counted. Millions of dollars and adequate political representation are at stake for New York City in the upcoming 2020 Census. “It is not an overstatement to say that the single most important issue that will effect the city’s future for the next 10 years is the Census,” says Julie Menin, the director of NYC Census 2020, a newly-created office to encourage participation by city residents. She notes that in the 2010 Census, New York’s response rate was only 62 percent and more than a million children weren’t counted. That cost the state two congressional seats and much-needed funding for public services. DC 37 is working with labor unions and community groups to ensure that all New Yorkers are counted in the upcoming Census, which will begin next March. As part of that effort, we will be getting the word out to members at upcoming general [More...]

Public-Sector Training Partnerships Boost Job Satisfaction, Productivity and Unions

October 4, 2019 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES All too often, employers set up training programs without the help of those who know the best way to improve the workplace — workers and their unions. A new report from the Center for American Progress, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, highlights the key ingredients of successful public sector training partnerships between unions and governments. “The benefits of public sector training programs are clear: Workers gain the skills they need to be successful in good, middle-class jobs, while city and state employers are able to obtain and retain the highly trained, diverse workforce they need,” said Karla Walter, director of employment policy at the Center for American Progress and author of the report. She added: “Moreover, training partnerships provide a tangible example of the benefits of unionization to workers and thereby help to sustain public [More...]

Building Worker Power

September 18, 2019 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO As Labor Day approached this summer, a well-known polling organization, Gallup, released its annual, national survey on public attitude toward unions. The findings were remarkable: Sixty-four percent of Americans approve of labor unions, one of the highest approval ratings in the past 50 years — much higher than Trump’s or Congress’. Young people overwhelmingly support unions. In fact, the younger the respondent, the more likely they were to have a positive view of unions. Sixty-seven percent of people between ages 18 and 34 approved of unions. Across all party lines — Democrat, Republican, independent — union approval has increased by 16 to 17 points. This survey comes on the heels of a 2018 study that found a growing number of Americans want to join a union: Nearly half of non-unionized workers said they would join a union if given the opportunity to do so. [More...]

Union Fights to Fund and Save Parks Jobs

May 16, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS The Play Fair coalition – consisting of DC 37 locals, parks advocates, elected officials and even the Girl Scouts of New York – returned to City Hall May 14 to keep the pressure on lawmakers to increase funding for Parks maintenance by $100 million in FY 2020 budget. As budget negotiations continue between the two sides of City Hall, Play Fair activists continue to call for sustained, baselined funding for 100 City Parks Workers and 50 Gardeners, tree stump removal, and extending the beach and pool season. “One-shot deals do NOT go far enough!” warned DC 37 and Local 372 President Shaun D. Francois I. “The city has spent millions designing and building new parks and needs to invest in maintaining them.” “It’s insane that for six years we keep asking to baseline 150 Parks workers’ jobs,” said Local 1505 President Dilcy Benn. “Baselining these [More...]

Union Rallies for Climate Justice

April 9, 2019 // 2 Comments

By MIKE LEE The union came out in force at City Hall Park to demand action on climate change and to support proposed legislation before the City Council. The legislation, Intro 1253, calls for direct proactive measures to address this vital issue and urges the creation of thousands of green jobs throughout the city. At the rally, DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido addressed the city pension issue. As a trustee overseeing the pension, Garrido has led efforts to divest from fossil fuel investments and shift money to green energy. Garrido told the crowd that city pension fund trustees are working to double the fund’s investments in climate change solutions to $4 billion. He said, “We are fighting for this because it is right thing to do. We cannot expect anybody else to do this for us. New York City should be the leader in taking a stand for climate justice.” The action was part [More...]

New York City’s Black Women Earn 57 cents for Each Dollar Earned by White Men

August 10, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Black Women’s Equal Pay Day, Aug. 7, was a grim reminder of longstanding gender and racial income gaps, but data shows women who belong to unions fare much better than those who don’t. “The income gap and pay disparities between men and women and women of color are harsh realities,” said Carmen Charles, Local 420 president, who chairs the union’s Women’s Committee. “The sting of lower wages–and poverty–is especially felt by single mothers and their children,” Charles said. The National Women’s Law Center notes that a college-educated black woman can lose about $870,000 in potential earnings over the course of her career. In New York City, black women earn an estimated 57 cents for every dollar earned by a white man. “In a city like New York that touts its progressive ideals, it is an outrage that Black women in 2018 are still denied [More...]

Cuomo Signs Legislation Strengthening Workers’ Rights

April 13, 2018 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Governor Andrew M. Cuomo yesterday signed landmark legislation to strengthen the rights of working men and women in New York state. This new law increases access to and protects union membership in New York’s public-sector workplaces in anticipation of an adverse ruling in the pending Supreme Court case Janus v. AFSCME. Additionally, the law provides safeguards against the deliberate actions taken by the federal government that continue to undermine the efforts of organized labor across this country. Cuomo described the new law as a response to a long-term campaign by the extreme right to destroy unions. “Too often, and at the hands of this federal administration, we are seeing the labor movement going backwards. In New York it is a different story, and our efforts to protect working men and women are moving labor forward, making the workplace fairer and [More...]

Juan Gonzalez: Iron Man of the News Room

May 4, 2016 // 1 Comment

By TOM ROBBINS (Editor’s Note: After 29 years as a columnist for the New York Daily News, Juan Gonzalez retired from the paper in April to teach at Rutgers University. He will continue to write an occasional column. We asked his colleague and kindred spirit Tom Robbins, a recent Pulitzer Prize finalist for his coverage of violence in New York’s prisons, to reflect on Gonzalez’s contributions to our city and to the craft of journalism.) In the fall of 1987, Juan Gonzalez came up to New York from Philadelphia where he had been working as a reporter for a few years. He came at the invitation of an old editor, F. Gillman Spencer III. The son of one of Philadelphia’s wealthy Main Line families, Spencer was a true traitor to his class. As editor at the Philadelphia Daily News, he had loved the way Gonzalez, a former street organizer from East Harlem and East New York by way of Ponce, [More...]

Advocates Press City Council for Additional Library Funding

March 23, 2016 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Library advocates are pressing the City Council and Mayor Bill de Blasio to restore $65 million in funding to maintain and improve services at the city’s three public library systems. They are renewing a pitch they made last year for the city to make that commitment so that the library systems would return to the funding level before the financial crisis hit in 2008. The economic downturn led to years of downsizing, budget cuts and reduced services. To make their case this year, DC 37 leaders and activists joined community supporters and the heads of the city’s three library systems for a news conference on March 23 in front of City Hall and a later budget hearing. Speakers noted that last year’s campaign, the group convinced the City Council to add $43 million of the $65 million to the library budget. This year, they want the City Council to make the $43 [More...]