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DC 37 Efforts Pivotal in Green New Deal Passage

June 19, 2019 // 0 Comments

  BY MIKE LEE Overcoming staunch political opposition from the real estate industry, New York City has embarked on an unprecedented effort to reduce greenhouse emissions citywide. DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido joined New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, City Council Environmental Protection Committee Chair Costa Constantinides and other Council members and community leaders in announcing OneNYC2050, an ambitious green initiative that comes on the heels of the passage of the Climate Mobilization Act. The Climate Mobilization Act, spearheaded by Constantinides and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, provides $14 billion in investments to cut carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2030. DC 37’s involvement was key in lobbying the City Council, working with community and environmental groups to rally support for the legislation. “Climate justice is the moral imperative of our [More...]

Budget Win! Union Gains in Parks, Libraries

June 19, 2019 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE Standing with City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and other council members and union leaders including DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido in the rotunda of City Hall, the mayor announced an agreement for a budget for fiscal year 2020. “We have a budget. The budget is balanced. It is progressive — and it’s early,” Mayor de Blasio said. Over months, DC 37 waged fierce campaigns with community-based coalitions to press the City Council for hiring and improvements. At rallies at City Hall and in testimony before the City Council, union members urged lawmakers to increase support for public services. . In the end, the union’s message was heard loud and clear. For Parks and Recreation, the city answered with $31 million in additional funds. This includes baseline (permanent) funding of $9.5 million to create positions for 100 seasonal park workers, 50 [More...]

Organizing Leadership Summit

June 5, 2019 // 0 Comments

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...]

Generating Revenue, Protecting Services: DC 37 Leads the Way in NYC Budget Fight

May 14, 2019 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE As the Mayor and the City Council negotiate next year’s budget, DC 37 leaders say New York City is losing millions of dollars in revenue by failing to invest fully in enforcement measures to safeguard its coffers. DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido and Local 1757 President Maria Policarpo have called on the city to reverse the decades-long reduction of staff responsible for tax assessments and property inspections. At a City Council budget hearing in March, Garrido noted the hazards of the current economic climate – issues with state aid, threats of reduced funding from the Trump administration – and urged lawmakers to take the steps required to generate more revenue. “We believe the root cause of this (lost revenue) problem is an undermanned workforce,” Garrido told the Council’s Finance Committee. “Millions of property tax dollars are left on the table by [More...]

Union wins promotion, $12,000 pay hike and $8,000 in back pay for OCME scientist

May 1, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS The union helped a forensic scientist at the Office of the City Medical Examiner win over $8,000 in owed back pay, and a promotion with a $12,000 annual pay bump after settling an out-of-title grievance at Step 2. OCME managers assigned the Local 3005 Criminalist Level 3 supervisory duties of signing timesheets, preparing work orders, scheduling assignments and reviewing other Criminalists’ work. The member asked that PEP not print her name. OCME forensic scientists staff the country’s most advanced toxicology and biology laboratories and the nation’s only molecular genetics laboratory housed in a medical examiner’s office. The scientists upload DNA samples into CODIS, the combined index system of DNA samples that span local, state and federal databases. As experts in mass fatality management, they are called on to share their expertise in responding to [More...]

May Day NYC: Workers + Immigrants, We Rise Together

April 26, 2019 // 0 Comments

Join us to support labor rights, immigrant rights and jobs for all on Wednesday, May 1 to celebrate May Day! Rally and march starts at Columbus Circle, at 5:30 p.m. DC 37 members and supporters please meet up at West 61st Street and Central Park West. The march follows from Columbus Circle at 6:15 p.m. to Trump Tower. Don’t forget to wear your DC 37 green! To RSVP or for more information, please click here,or email Raul Rodriguez, Director of Community [More...]

Union Hosts Earth Day Expo

April 16, 2019 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE A cleaner, safer New York City was on the agenda at the District Council 37 Earth Day Expo, held April 13 at union headquarters. The event, co-sponsored by Queens City Council member Costa Constantinides, chair of the Council’s Environmental Protection Committee, was part of a big push for the Climate Mobilization Act, a sweeping legislative package that is up for a vote later this week. The initiative includes Intro 1253, the most ambitious carbon reduction bill ever passed by a city, which is expected to create thousands of new jobs over the next few years. DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido welcomed the gathering and spoke of the “moral responsibility” to address climate change. He compared the environmental movement to other social justice struggles of the past and present. “This is the moral imperative of our generation,” said Garrido, in support of the [More...]

Quick-Thinking Local 2507 EMT Saves a Man’s Severed Arm

April 9, 2019 // 0 Comments

BY DIANE S. WILLIAMS A fast-acting Emergency Medical Technician in Local 2507 saved the severed arm of a man who was struck by a train on Staten Island. EMT Francis Jost usually works in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, but on that chilly February night he was working an overtime assignment in his Staten Island neighborhood when the call came over the radio around 10:30 p.m. that a man was struck by a train at the Pleasant Plains station. “When I reached the train tracks someone handed me the arm and my mind went to ice. I need ice fast. ICE HOSPITAL GO!” recalled Jost. “I knew there was a bar nearby where I would go to shoot pool sometimes. If we could get ice and pack the limb, maybe we’d save it.” Turns out his idea worked. The call went out for ice. Jost ran down the station steps with the limb in his arms and met another EMT holding the trash bag filled with ice from Hot Shotz, the [More...]

Fighting for Equal Pay!

March 26, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Women suffrage in 1920 won the right to vote. The 1963 Equal Pay Act requires employers to pay women and men equal pay for equal work. We’ve come a long way, but working women still struggle for pay equity. April 2 is the day women must work until to finally earn what a man earned in 2018. Women working full-time earn 80 cents for every dollar paid to a man — a figure that rose by less than a nickel since 2000. For women of color it’s worse. Black women must work until August 2 to earn what white men earned in 2018. Latinas earn just 55 cents for $1 paid to a white man. Only Asian women, who achieved pay equity in March, are closing the wage gap. Women are half of New York City’s workforce and population, “yet we have been short-changed by the very economic system that flourishes because of our contributions,” said Laurie A. Cumbo, City Council Majority [More...]

Sisterhood in Leadership

March 25, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Stacey Payton is a graduate of DC 37’s first Women’s Leadership Academy. A Local 1359 member who has worked as a New York State housing and community renewal specialist for 29 years, Payton has served as her local’s recording secretary for 12 years. Payton recently completed both the six-month intensive WLA training and the six-week Harvard Trade Union program after reading about them on the union’s website. “The idea was planted while I was attending Cornell University’s labor program,” Payton said. She applied for the Harvard Trade Union program and won the William Lucy scholarship. “My employer is very supportive. When I also saw that my union was offering AFSCME’s leadership training at DC 37 headquarters, it was a no brainer.” “The camaraderie, our sisterhood, and relationships I found at WLA are so valuable,” Payton said. “I learned [More...]