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 Garrido, [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...]

City Lifeguards Save Drowning Man at Orchard Beach

August 14, 2020 // 0 Comments

BY DIANE S. WILLIAMS A crew of five City Lifeguards rescued a Bronx man who collapsed in knee-deep water at Orchard Beach July 29. “We saw him wade out and suddenly he collapse face down into the water,” said Lifeguard Supervisor Neil Veloz. “When we reached him and pulled him out, he had no pulse and wasn’t breathing.” Lifeguards Andriy Kapys and Arlene Suvana pulled the victim, Joachin Rosado, 33, from the water. Immediately Lifeguards Julio Benjamin and Troy Washington began CPR to resuscitate Rosado. But when they used the defibrillator, “he had no shockable heart rhythm,” said Veloz. Lifeguards began a cycle of cardio-pulmonary resuscitation and used a Bag Valve Mask (BVM) to pump air into Rosado’s lungs. Soon they saw signs of life return even as the victim lay on a backboard semi-unconscious. FDNY Paramedics in Local 2507 arrived in [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...]

Local 372 Presses for Ventilation and Cooling in All Public Schools 

August 6, 2020 // 0 Comments

BY DIANE S. WILLIAMS Kitchen temperatures in a Manhattan public school exceeded 135 degrees during a recent heat wave as 3,400 essential workers prepared Grab-and-Go meals to feed hungry New Yorkers, children, young adults and seniors, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. “The excessive heat in school kitchens creates work conditions that are unacceptable, unhealthy and inhumane. We need safe, healthy and ventilated school kitchens. We need a permanent fix now!” said Local 372 President Shaun D. Francois at a press conference Aug. 5 in Manhattan. With union leaders and elected officials, Francois called for Mayor DeBlasio and School Chancellor Richard Carranza to impanel a task force to remedy ventilation and cooling systems in all public school kitchens and sent them correspondence asking the same. Since schools shuttered in March, Mayor De Blasio tasked 3,400 Kitchen [More...]

Oliver Gray: A Quiet Giant

July 31, 2020 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE District Council 37’s Associate Director Oliver Gray, who helped guide two of the union’s Executive Directors with a quiet, yet proactive approach since 2002, died on June 29, three days after suffering a heart attack in his home in Manhattan. He was 79. Until his death, Gray was deeply involved as a guiding force for the union during the COVID-19 pandemic, including preparing Union Headquarters at 125 Barclay St. for the next phase of the long-term modernization of the building, as well as serving his other duties assisting Executive Director Henry Garrido, and supervising the DC 37 staff. Both in times of relative stability and during the tough labor struggles in helping lead the fight against layoffs during the administration of Michael Bloomberg, Gray remained calm during crisis. He supervised the recovery of Union Headquarters in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, [More...]

The Fight Moves to Washington

July 31, 2020 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO, DC 37 Executive Director We are in a fight for our lives.  I am supportive of the efforts of Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council in hammering out a budget under the worst conditions New York City has endured in recent memory — tragic and brutal circumstances. While there are reasons to believe this budget process could have ended much worse, the conclusion leaves me with no cause to celebrate or a sense of relief because of the danger that lies ahead as we navigate through this crisis. The budget the city passed just before midnight on July 1 opens the door to an October layoff of tens of thousands of the city’s public service workers. This will happen unless we succeed in getting our fair share of federal funding to help recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.  Of course, this leads us to our next fight, this time with the U.S. Senate, which only recently [More...]

Did You Vote Today? Polls Close at 9 p.m.

June 23, 2020 // 0 Comments

Sisters and Brothers, We have only a few hours left until polls close at 9 p.m. TONIGHT.  If you haven’t done so, please go vote and be the change we want in our communities.  You can look up your poll site here. Here’s the list of the progressive, labor-friendly candidates DC 37 has endorsed this year.  Your vote will make the difference in the outcome of these races. Please make sure you are taking proper precaution when voting, and always practice social distancing. Poll site locator.   [More...]

Time Off to Vote June 23 New Changes

June 18, 2020 // 0 Comments

VOTING UPDATE: Primary Day is June 23. We are providing you with the updated information on getting time off to vote on June 23.  Section 3-110 of the New York State Election Law, which relates to providing employees in New York State time off to vote, was amended effective April 3, 2020. The changes made are as follows:  Employees are eligible for voting leave only if they do not have four (4) consecutive hours either between the opening of the polls and the beginning of their working shift, or between the end of their working shift and the closing of the polls; and  Employees who do not have such a four (4) hour window are eligible to take off only as much working time as will, when added to their voting time outside working hours, enable the employee to vote, up to two (2) hours of which time must be without loss of pay.  The PSB 440-3 that was referenced is out of date.  We [More...]

NYC H+H’s Peace Rally for Black Lives Matter

June 10, 2020 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Hundreds of frontline NYC Health and Hospitals workers stood in solidarity with peaceful protesters at a midday rally June 9 to demand justice for the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and others. “As a healthcare worker, I’m proud to work along side so many amazing Black professionals every day, who face racism every day themselves and struggle to treat its health disparities our Black patients suffer from,” said Harlem Hospital Social Worker Nate Franco, who is a Local 768 member and union activist. “As a union member, I know that none of us can win what we deserve until we are all free,” he said. “As a white person, I know it’s past time more white Americans stand with the Black freedom movement.” In support of social justice for victims of racism and police violence,  NYC Health+Hospitals [More...]