nyc budget

Rally for Parks Funding, Jobs

May 20, 2021 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS At a virtual rally today, the Play Fair Now Coalition consisting of DC 37, New Yorkers for Parks, and the League of Conservation Voters, as well as parks advocates urged the Mayor to restore $84 million in funding for city parks. New Yorkers relied on public parks more than ever in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Visits to city parks, green spaces, beaches, trails and wetlands were up 64 percent.  Still last year the City drastically reduced the Parks and Recreation Department budget. Parks eliminated hundreds of unionized jobs, including Urban Park Rangers, Seasonal City Aides and PEP Officers, Gardeners, Pruners, City Parks Workers, Debris Removers and Park Attendants, who protect park goers and clean and maintain grounds. All told about 1,700 seasonal and permanent Parks jobs went unfilled in 2020.  Volunteers cleaned local parks in their communities but [More...]

It’s Time You Get Your High School Equivalency Diploma

October 21, 2020 // 0 Comments

Do you need your High School Equivalency Diploma? You may be eligible for the TASC test waiver due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The test for the High School Equivalency Diploma is now called the TASC Test. The TASC, Test Assessing Secondary Completion, replaces the GED exam. It has five subtests: Reading, Writing,  Science, Social Studies and Mathematics. There are four pathways to get your equivalency diploma: The TASC test Approved 24 college credit program National External Degree Program (NEDP), and The Regents-HSE Examination Pathway The most popular pathway is the TASC test.  If you took and passed at least three subtests on the TASC and/or the GED exam, and/or Regents credits, you are in luck! You may qualify for the COVID-19 TASC test waiver in effect through June 30, 2021. To qualify for the waiver, you must meet the following criteria: Enroll in an adult education preparation [More...]

Local 983 to Albany Legislators: Approve Short-Term Borrowing to Save 22,000 Jobs

August 13, 2020 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS  More than 100 members of Motor Vehicle Operators Local 983, went to Albany August 13 to urge state lawmakers to block the proposed layoffs of 22,000 NYC public employees. “The proposed layoffs will hit some of the lowest-paid municipal workers in New York City,” said Local 983 President Joe Puleo, “the same workers who are essential and on the frontlines in New York City’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.” Puleo organized the rally for his members to see first-hand the political bureaucracy that goes into saving their jobs. Local 983 represents more than 3,000 NYC Asbestos Handlers, Assistant City Highway Repairers, City Seasonal Aides, Associate Park Service Workers, Motor Vehicle Operators, Traffic Enforcement Agents Levels 3 & 4, Urban Park Rangers, Associate Urban Park Rangers, High Pressure Plant Tenders, Motor Vehicle Operator Supervisors, [More...]

Midnight Budget Passes. Pressure is on Washington and Albany to Prevent 22,000 Layoffs

August 1, 2020 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE As hundreds of Occupy City Hall protesters gathered in front of the City Hall steps, the New York City Council passed the $88.1 billion budget for the 2021 Fiscal Year in a midnight vote, after hours of contentious hearings. The final vote was 32-17, with one member absent. New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson summed up the difficult evening saying, “Heart wrenching, impossible choices had to be made. It was not easy,” Johnson said. The current budget was negotiated at a time when New York City is confronted with a $9 billion loss in tax revenue. The Mayor cut his proposed budget by nearly $8 billion. After intensive negotiations with the City Council, $1.1 billion was added to the final fiscal agreement. Opposition to the budget was strong, with members voting against the size of cuts to the New York City Police Department (NYPD), who were criticized in the [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, City Agree on Funding for Senior Centers

July 15, 2016 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE After negotiations with the de Blasio administration, the union won an agreement with the city to maintain 15 New York City Housing Authority senior centers funded by the city. The City Council included funding for the centers in the city’s new budget, which was approved on June 8. Mayor Bill de Blasio recommended the funding in his executive budget. Since last year, SSEU Local 371 has led the fight to keep the centers at NYCHA. The city proposed that NYCHA shift the responsibility of maintaining to the Dept. for the Aging, which runs more than 100 senior centers in NYCHA housing complexes. Last year, DC 37 and SSEU Local 371 leaders blocked a city plan to close or privatize 57 community and senior centers at the authority. Instead, the Housing Authority shifted 41 centers to the Dept. of the Aging and the Dept. of Youth and Community Development. Because the City Council [More...]

Union, Library Advocates Rally At City Hall

May 25, 2016 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES DC 37 is working with a coalition to secure an additional $65 million in operating funds for the city’s three public library systems in next year’s budget. The $65 million includes a $43 million allocation that the coalition won last year and an additional $22 million it seeks this year. The coalition is also calling for local legislators to add $100 million to next year’s budget to cover capital spending for renovations and new buildings. The coalition’s campaign, “Keep Investing in Libraries,” has included budget testimony, a celebrity advocacy letter by poet and musician Patti Smith, online letters, rallies in the five boroughs and a “bike to the branches” in Brooklyn. On May 25, DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido led a group of activists for a rally and press conference on the steps of City Hall to appeal for greater support for the [More...]

Fighting For Fair Budgets

May 6, 2016 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO Executive Director, District Council 37, AFSCME, AFL-CIO As part of a coalition we played an important role in stopping nearly $1 billion in combined cuts in the state budget to the City University of New York and the city’s public hospitals. The fight-back is an example of how we participate in the political process to protect our jobs and the services we provide. The campaign involved demonstrations, lobbying, and social media, including collecting thousands of signatures for an on-line petition. Now that the Albany fight is over, we focus our attention on the city’s budget. We expect a busy couple of months ahead as the City Council and Mayor Bill de Blasio work out an agreement on the budget, which should be signed by the end of June. We have a number of priorities for the city’s fiscal 2017 budget that I want to share with you. ● We seek $65 million more [More...]