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PSU Can Help You Cope with COVID-19 Stress and Anxiety

April 1, 2020 // 0 Comments

The DC 37 Health and Security Plan is here to help members cope with the stress and anxiety of COVID-19.  Many people feel Stress, Anxiety, and Depression in the face of the uncertainty of COVID-19. If these feelings are overwhelming you, the Personal Service Unit (PSU) can help. The following are common symptoms to look out for: Emotional: Anxiety, Depression, Sadness, Loss, Isolation, Mood Swings, Worry Physical: Disrupted Sleep or Appetite, Chest Palpitations, Upset Stomach, Headaches Behavioral: Outbursts, Short-Tempered Communication, Difficulty Making Decisions HOW CAN A DC 37 PERSONAL SERVICE UNIT (PSU) SOCIAL WORKER HELP? We offer a safe place to discuss and process feelings through confidential individual counseling sessions. We are offering teletherapy during COVID-19. Assist our members challenge negative thoughts and develop a more optimistic outlook.  Teach mindfulness [More...]

Ed Fund Now Providing Online Classes

March 31, 2020 // 0 Comments

The Education Fund office is closed, however we continue working to offer members their benefits. We are still accepting applications to our Spring 2020 cycle. Any changes, cancelations, and postponements within our programing will be sent to applicants. Tuition Reimbursement: Due to current events, the Tuition Refund Department will not be able to process applications until we return to our offices. However, we encourage members to continue mailing their completed applications and/or their additional documents to: DC 37 Education Fund Tuition Refund at either one of our office addresses (75 Broad Street, Suite 2204, NY, NY 10004 or 55 Water Street, NY, NY 10004). Online classes are now being offered to provide the members’ educational benefit. The following programs have officially changed to an online setting: Basic Mandarin at Queens College English As A Second Language- English [More...]

NY Housing Updates: Eviction and Foreclosure Moratorium, COVID-19 Discrimination, NYCHA & Section 8 Rent Hardships

March 30, 2020 // 0 Comments

The Municipal Employees Legal Services (MELS) is operational and ready to serve you. Our offices at 55 Water Street are closed but we are working remotely. Call us with your housing questions and for legal representation at 212-815-1111. During the public health emergency caused by COVID-19:  There will be no evictions or foreclosures through June 18, 2020.  Your landlord cannot start a lawsuit against you for non-payment of rent. However, the landlord may send you a rent demand notice asking you to pay your rent and threatening a lawsuit if you fail to make payment.  Your landlord cannot start a “holdover” lawsuit against you for grounds other than non-payment. However, the landlord may send you a termination notice or a notice to quit threatening to commence a court case if you don’t move out by a date certain. Your landlord cannot evict you or ask you to leave your apartment [More...]

DC 37 Services Update: Also Important COVID-19 Information

March 25, 2020 // 0 Comments

DC 37 SERVICES: ALSO IMPORTANT COVID-19 INFORMATION DC 37 at 55 Water Street in Lower Manhattan is closed. However, your union continues to service members remotely. All DC 37 members can still reach union representatives—council reps, DC 37 staff and grievance reps — by email and mobile phone. Please check www.dc37.net for additional phone numbers for departments and staff.  In response to calls from many members, DC 37 has available on its website answers to frequently asked questions about COVID-19. The DC 37 Education Fund at 75 Broad Street, and the West 45th Street locations are also temporarily closed.  The DC Retirees Association office is closed and all March and April meetings are canceled. Please visit their new website for updates on COVID-19 and for alternate contact information and updates on DC 37 Health and Benefit services at: dc37retireesassociation.org. We [More...]

The 109th Triangle Fire Remembrance Renews Focus on Worker Protections

March 25, 2020 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Today marks the 109th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, a catastrophe that claimed the lives of 146 workers, mostly young immigrant women. That avoidable tragedy led to workplace safety standards and fire safety laws as public outcry brought a renewed sense of urgency to the labor movement. As union members on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, we memorialize the Triangle fire by fighting to protect the health and safety of workers, especially now as the City classifies many as essential workers. That list is fluid and changes daily. Alongside FDNY paramedics and healthcare workers is a growing number of job titles DC 37 represents in dozens of city and state agencies. As the harsh realities of this latest global pandemic make clear, we are in this together. Our healthcare workers and first responders are caring for the sick and most [More...]

Union Legal Services Are Available

March 24, 2020 // 0 Comments

By BILL WHALEN, Director and Chief Counsel, DC 37 Municipal Employees Legal Services The lawyers, legal assistants and clerical workers at MELS are continuing to serve members remotely. Our Screening Unit can be reached at 212-815-1111 and can connect you with an attorney.  New York courts are operating on an emergency basis. They are only handling emergency applications. These include: Applications to stop garnishments and unfreeze bank accounts that are the result of a judgment in consumer debt cases; Applications to get back into your apartment if you have been locked out by the landlord or evicted by a City Marshal; Applications to correct serious housing code violations and reductions in essential services; Emergency family offense petitions; Temporary orders of protection; Orders to show cause in Family Court proceedings. Federal Bankruptcy courts also are operating on an [More...]

Important Information About Your DC 37 Health & Security Plan Benefits During COVID-19

March 23, 2020 // 0 Comments

YOUR OPTUMRx PRESCRIPTION DRUG BENEFIT (All Active and Non-Medicare, Pre-65 Eligible Participants) Refill Too Soon. Effective immediately, in consideration of the COVID-19 situation, the DC 37 Health & Security Plan requested and OptumRx has agreed to immediately lift the “Refill Too Soon” restriction on covered drugs until further notice. Drugs with significant abuse potential (i.e. opioids) or those that are generally dosed for finite durations or intermittently (i.e. hepatitis or fertility treatments) as identified by OptumRx will follow the normal process for renewals. Prior Authorizations Extended. OptumRx has also agreed to extend Prior Authorizations (PAs) for member medications that are set to expire on or before May 1, 2020. This policy went into effect March 18, 2020.  For chronic condition medications, OptumRx will extend PAs for an additional 90 days past May 1, [More...]

DC 37 Contact Numbers

March 20, 2020 // 0 Comments

IMPORTANT: DC 37 COVID-19 INFORMATION DC 37 contact numbers DC 37 Hotline 212.815.7555 DC 37 Safety and Health 212.815.1685 Health and Security Plan Inquiry Unit 212.815.1234 H&S TTY (Teletypewriter) 212.815.1266 H&S Info for Retirees Toll-Free 1.877.323.7738 outside of NY/NJ/CT Personal Service Unit 212-815-1250  Education Fund 212.815.1700 Municipal Employees Legal Services 212.815.1111   DC 37 Divisions DC 37 Non-Profit and Private Sector Division 212.219.0022 DC 37 Blue Collar Division 212.815.1010 DC 37 Clerical-Administrative Division 212.815.1020 DC 37 Hospitals and Healthcare Professionals Division 212.815.1030 DC 37 Professional Division 212.815.1040 DC 37 Schools Division 212.815.1050 DC 37 White Collar Division 212.815.1060 Retirees Association 212.815.1781 DC 37 Locals Local 95 Head Start Employees 212.219.0022 Local 107 National Membership and Fundraising [More...]

NY Daily News: Not enough NYC municipal workers work from home, says union head

March 20, 2020 // 0 Comments

By MICHAEL GARTLAND City government is falling far short of the state’s edict that 75 percent of non-essential workers telecommute, prompting fears from union officials that scores of city workers are being needlessly exposed to the coronavirus. “City workers are not near 50% — not even close to that,” said Henry Garrido, head of DC 37, which represents nearly 150,000 city workers. “We’re not even close to 25%,” he added. “There appears to be a lot of institutional resistance to people working from home.” Gov. Cuomo announced Thursday that 75% of nonessential workers should stay home, upping the number from a 50% recommendation he made a day before. But Garrido said that despite those recommendations, city agency leaders have dragged their feet to get with the program. Mayor de Blasio is well aware of the situation, he added. “I speak with the mayor almost [More...]