nyc

Union Backs Legislation for Halal and Kosher Meals for City Schoolchildren

September 7, 2016 // 0 Comments

BY MIKE LEE Local 372 is working with a coalition to secure healthy school lunches that meet the religious requirements of observant Jews and the city’s growing Muslim student population. On Sept. 6, along with other DC 37 leaders and activists, Local 372 Executive Vice President Donald Nesbit spoke out at a press conference on the City Hall steps in support of the effort. “We need to provide halal and kosher food in our schools,” Nesbit said. “I was a cook in the schools for 17 years,” Nesbit said. “I know first-hand what it is like to see children hungry and to leave the lunch room without eating. You can see it in their expressions and they can’t function and learn during the day.” Several Muslim students joined the press conference. They spoke of going hungry because their schools are unable to provide halal school lunches. Tasheef Chowdhury, a student at Stuyvesant [More...]

In Defense of Public Health Care

June 16, 2016 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO Executive Director, District Council 37, AFSCME, AFL-CIO Mayor Bill de Blasio has proposed a sensible rescue plan for our city’s public hospital system. His plan addresses the system’s financial crisis without hospital closings and layoffs. The $2 billion plan charts a course for NYC Health + Hospitals to meet the challenges posed by major changes to the health-care sector throughout the country. But critics are calling for cuts that would hinder services and slash jobs. Charles Brecher, the research director for the Citizens Budget Commission said, “Transforming this system can’t be done without making painful choices.” Daily News columnist Errol Louis wrote: “De Blasio has promised that no hospitals will be closed and no personnel will be laid off…. One wonders when and how any real savings will ever happen if the administration refuses to bite the [More...]

DC 37, CUNY Reach a Tentative Contract Agreement (Updated)

June 10, 2016 // 4 Comments

City University of New York Chancellor James B. Milliken and Henry Garrido, the Executive Director of District Council 37, AFSCME, AFL-CIO, and its affiliated locals, today announced that a tentative contract settlement has been reached on a collective bargaining agreement covering more than seven years. The proposed contract covers the period from November 1, 2009 through January 31, 2017 and provides 10.41% in compounded wage increases.  A $1,000 bonus upon ratification of the contract is also part of the terms of the agreement.  The agreement also includes an annual $200 increase to the welfare fund for all active and retired employees. The deal covers 12,000 members of Locals 2054, 384, 2627, 983, 1597, 1407, 375 and 1797 who work at the university’s 24 campuses citywide. The agreement, which is subject to approval by the CUNY Board of Trustees and ratification by the CUNY [More...]

Climbers and Pruners Win Jobs

May 24, 2016 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Four provisional Climbers and Pruners who were denied appointment to permanent status by the Dept. of Citywide Administrative Services are now civil servants in the Parks Dept. thanks to DC 37’s successful appeal on their behalf. “They had been doing the job for about two years so there was no reason their bump up to permanent status should not have gone through,” said DC 37 Blue Collar Division Council Rep Bob Gervasi. “So I did some digging.” Gervasi contacted DCAS, which referred him to the Dept. of Parks and Recreation. He said, “It was a tangle of bureaucracy trying to find the person who would have the answers.” Gervasi found out that DCAS rejected the Local 1506 members’ job applications, but that decision gave them the opportunity to appeal. Local 1506 worked with DC 37 Legal Dept. lawyer Ana Papadhimitri, who appealed the cases before the [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...]

Mayor’s Plan Offers More Affordable Housing in East New York

April 7, 2016 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES and MIKE LEE DC 37 released an analysis of the Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan for East New York’s housing showing that proposed rent levels for new affordable housing to be significantly less expensive than apartments currently renting in that neighborhood. “The status quo is just not working — it’s leaving East New York without the tools or investments needed to protect against rising rents,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido on April 7. “We looked hard at the facts. And the facts are that under the city’s plan, East New York will become more affordable for working men and women such as our members.” The DC 37 report shows union members and other working families who live in the Brooklyn neighborhood are struggling with rising rents. Rents in the neighborhood rose 26 percent between 2000 and 2013. About 40 percent of residents in [More...]

City Council Approves Union-Backed de Blasio Housing Plan

March 26, 2016 // 0 Comments

BY MIKE LEE After certain modifications, the New York City Council voted in support of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s ambitious and innovative housing plan, which he presented in late 2015. The City Council overwhelmingly approved the housing package — the Mandatory Inclusionary Zoning and Zoning for Quality and Affordability — on March 22. The proposals follow on the heels of other de Blasio policy changes, including a first-ever rent freeze for a million rent-regulated tenants. Also, the mayor intervened to ensure tenant protections in the recent sale of Manhattan’s Peter Cooper Village/Stuyvesant Town apartment complex. The initiative is a clear break from the retrograde policies of previous mayors, and it requires private developers receiving tax breaks and state and federal subsidies to make a quarter of new housing units affordable for working families. The plan will [More...]