organizing

Local 983 Enrolls 1K+ New Parks CSAs

July 16, 2021 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS   Local 983 is working around the clock to build union membership in a massive campaign to enroll 1,500 new City Seasonal Aides. The Parks Department hired the CSAs to clean up public parks across the five boroughs. “Our grievance reps are working 15-hour days in order to get these newest Parks employees to join the union,” said President Joe Puleo. Since June, the local has signed up about 1,000 members as part of their all-out effort. During the COVID-19 lock down, New York City residents are using neighborhood parks, beaches and boardwalks, urban forests and nature trails more than ever. These greenspaces are essential to the well-being of New Yorkers seeking reprieve from the confines of their apartments and homes. But in 2020 and throughout the pandemic, public parks quickly became overrun with trash and debris. DC 37 Executive Director Henry [More...]

Museum of Jewish Heritage Workers Hold Union Solidarity Event

June 23, 2021 // 0 Comments

Staff from the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, located in Lower Manhattan, held a solidarity demonstration on June 10, in support of the unionization effort currently stalled by Museum management. The demonstration was timed for when audience members arrived for an indoor concert by Sharabi, a Bhangra-Funk-Klezmer fusion group. The workers brought their own instruments, including kazoos and maracas to make the protest more entertaining. Sarah Gordon, the band’s singer, came out to greet the workers and offer support. In June 2020, 40% of Museum of Jewish Heritage staff were laid off, and remaining workers believed it was time to unionize. Issues include job security, inequality in pay and promotion, safety issues, and other provisions to ensure their dignity as workers. Museum staffers won a union election with DC 37 last December. However, efforts to [More...]

Summer School and Sisterhood

September 4, 2019 // 2 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Women comprise more than half of DC 37’s membership. And one of our union’s highest priorities is to support the ascent of women within the ranks of leadership and activism. Toward that end, a contingent of DC 37 women attended a week-long boot camp,  hosted and coordinated by the City University of New York School of Labor and Urban Studies, at Hofstra University,  , where they honed their union-building skills. “It really motivated me to continue encouraging as many people as possible to get involved in the labor movement,” said Dept. of Education Employees Local 372 member Trina Prior. The DC 37 activists who attended are all graduates of the Women’s Leadership Academy, a program initiated by our national union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).  At DC 37, the program is named in honor of former Executive [More...]

Organizing Leadership Summit

June 5, 2019 // 1 Comment

More than 100 DC 37 activists gathered early on Saturday morning, June 1 to harness the power of organizing during a day-long event held at union headquarters. Guest speakers, including political activist Kevin Powell and New York State Assemblywoman Diana Richardson, wowed the activists with their calls to “communicate, collaborate and commit.” Attendees explored best practices on such topics as enhancing one-on-one contact with digital organizing; learned about what’s at stake for New York in the upcoming 2020 census; and focused on developing future leaders in the labor movement. “At a time of so much national polarization and division, our goal was to put together a powerful day of engagement, education and empowerment,” said DC 37 Field Director Barbara Terrelonge. “In order to enhance members’ rights in the workplace, influence public policy on behalf of our [More...]

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...]

Rise Up and Become a Union Activist

February 27, 2019 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE Stand up, get involved and organize! Starting on March 12, the DC 37 Organizing Dept. begins a series of activist trainings at DC 37 Union Headquarters, in Room 2. These intensive two-part sessions will be held from March to June. These sessions will offer valuable tools and advice for participants to work in strengthening DC 37’s collective voice and to equip members with the necessary knowledge to move our union forward together. In the year ahead, the union faces many challenges, and it is critical for DC 37 members and retirees to become leaders at the workplace and in their communities. “These activist trainings are part of an effort to strengthen the union from the grassroots,” said Barbara Terrelonge, director of the DC 37 Organizing Dept. “With more active members, our union will be stronger, whether that involves our involvement in a contract fight, [More...]

Union Mourns Intern Killed in Car Accident

January 16, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE W. WILLIAMS The AFSCME family is stunned and saddened by the tragic death of 21-year-old Nadia Mourtaj, a 2018 summer intern in DC 37’s Organizing Department. Nadia and her sister Zeyneb, 15, were in a car accident on Dec. 31, in Charles County, Md. Zeyneb was killed on impact and Nadia died nine days later. They are survived by their mother, Sara Ghebre, and father, Abdelilah Mourtaj. “Nadia was a bright star whose enthusiasm for life and the labor movement was contagious,” said DC 37 organizer Nichole Laing, who helped train the young activist seen in this union video. After Nadia completed the internship, Organizing Dept. Director Barbara Terrelonge said, “Nadia visited New York City in September, marching with DC 37 in the annual Labor Day Parade.” “There were many reasons why I chose Nadia for AFSCME’s program, but what stood out to me was her extensive [More...]

Shop Stewards Trained for Key Role in Union Building at Local 3005

December 15, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS The first training for shop stewards of Local 3005 was an intense condensed one-day session at union headquarters on Dec. 12. “Our agenda specifically catered to what we needed our stewards to know to better service our membership,” said Local 3005 President Jeff Oshins. “When we formed Local 3005, the leaders set the goal to establish a shop steward program and to engage members to become more active in their union,” Sessions said. “We looked for volunteers. Our search was an easy one: We had no problem as dozens of members reached out to the new leadership in response to our call to action that we put out at our first general membership meeting back in September. I am proud to say six months later we were able to get our first training off the ground.” The one-day program gave the 10 shop stewards an overview of their responsibilities and how to [More...]

Union Wins New Workers at NYC Health+Hospitals

December 5, 2018 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES A group of about 50 unrepresented public hospital workers recently voted to become DC 37 members. DC 37 and the Organization of Staff Analysis competed to represent the workers. The city’s Office of Collective Bargaining tabulated the vote on Nov. 9. The workers — whose title is patient representative — voted to join DC 37. Their mission at NYC Health+Hospitals is to advocate for patient rights. “I never had any experience with unions before,” said Patient Representative Mira Temer, who works at Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn. “It is nice to know that someone will be there if there is a problem.” But Temer said the rich benefits package of DC 37 is the main reason she voted for DC 37. She complained her household budget was financially pinched by an expensive prescription drug rider for her health-care plan. DC 37’s drug plan has a three-tier [More...]

Welcome to DC 37

November 26, 2018 // 0 Comments

At Meetings Around the City, Public Service Workers Are Signing Up With the Union By GREGORY N, HEIRES DC 37 continues to sign up new members under our Leading the Way campaign to promote the benefits of union membership and encourage rank-and-file participation. Last month, DC 37 held five meetings with mid-level city employees whose misclassified job titles had kept them out of the union during the Bloomberg administration but are now eligible to join or re-join. A sixth meeting was also held in November for City University of New York employees, who recently won a new contract. Union Offers Job Security Many workers who signed union membership cards at the meetings indicated that job security was their top reason for joining. Monifa Thomas, a 20-year city employee who is now a senior project manager at the Administration for Children’s Services, described job security as “an [More...]