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The Contract Vote’s Message

September 6, 2018 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO Executive Director, District Council 37, AFSCME, AFL-CIO I was happy, to say the least, that our new economic agreement was overwhelmingly approved. A lot of work went into this contract. Many union locals encouraged members to share their ideas about negotiations. We reported on our progress in the union newspaper and blog. DC 37 carried out an on-line survey. Our bargaining team stuck together. And our staffers provided important background to back up our case. The contract provides for a decent wage increase; protects our prescription drug and other benefits; maintains our premium-free health-care plan; significantly boosts funding for our education program — which helps members advance their skills and enrich their lives — and includes our new employer-provided paid family leave benefit — something only about 15 percent of the U.S. workers enjoy. [More...]

Grievance Victories for Local 768 Members at NYC H+H

September 5, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS The union settled three separate grievances in favor of Local 768 members employed at New York City Health +Hospitals facilities, in an ongoing fight to protect unionized hospital workers from managers who would violate the contract. Kings County Hospital failed to pay Social Worker Level 2 Adam Turkel for the overtime hours he was assigned to work so Hospitals and Healthcare Professionals Division Council Rep Joel Viera-Vera filed a grievance for the Local 768 member. The case went to Step 2 when H+H finally agreed to compensate Mr. Turkel for two hours of overtime. “These members are relied on to make up for staff shortages,” said Local 768 President Fitz Reid. “So while it may seem small, on principle we stood up for Mr. Turkel and in doing so protected the right of every member to be fairly compensation for any overtime hours worked.” Woodhull Hospital [More...]

Members Outraged by Radical Right’s Anti-Union Campaign

September 5, 2018 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES DC 37 members are angry that, in the wake of a politically charged U.S. Supreme Court attack on unions, wannabe union-busters are trying to dupe New York City public employees into giving up their rights. Janus v. AFSCME capped a decades-long effort by a nationwide anti-labor network to cripple public employee unions, cut government services and support anti-worker state legislators and governors throughout the country. A group calling itself NewChoice NY — which is supported by the Koch brothers and other ultra-rich labor foes — recently sent out an email blast to a total of 500,000 New York public employees — including DC 37 members — at their workplaces, trying to cajole public employees to leave their union. DC 37 also received reports of home visits by right-wing network representatives. “They try to sound as if they’re just doing workers a favor by [More...]

March With Us

August 21, 2018 // 1 Comment

The union invites you and your family to join with us on a very important day, Saturday, Sept. 8. When we march in the city’s Labor Day Parade, we do so to remember what it took to get there: the decades — in fact, more than a century — of at times heartbreaking struggles for unions to gain the power that it has. Things we take for granted, such as civil service protections, a guaranteed pension, a strong collective bargaining agreement, premium-free health care coverage, a safe workplace environment and a vast array of educational, housing and legal benefits, among others, are the culmination of the hard work and struggles of generations before–and this hard work of vigilance and fightback continues to this very day. The Saturday march offers an opportunity to celebrate those accomplishments, as well as an opportunity to show our gratitude for what we have gained over the [More...]

DC 37 Joins Rally in Philadelphia to Protest Trump’s Administration’s Abuse of Immigrants

August 17, 2018 // 1 Comment

By ALFREDO ALVARADO DC 37 members, immigration activists and union leaders traveled to Philadelphia for a rally to protest the abusive immigration policies of the Trump administration. Among the union leaders at the Aug. 15 rally at Penn’s Landing was Elissa McBride, secretary-treasurer of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, DC 37’s parent union. McBride criticized the White House policies that have separated hundreds of children from their parents at the border. “A decent society does not traumatize children or treat people like caged animals,” McBride said. “The policy of zero tolerance is immoral and Trump should be in jail for it,” said Unite Here President D. Taylor. Unite Here — which represents workers in the food service, transportation and hospitality industry — was one of the main organizers of the rally. Members of the [More...]

Union Launches the New DC 37 Women’s Leadership Academy

August 3, 2018 // 1 Comment

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Blazing a trail for the future of the labor movement, the new DC 37 Women’s Leadership Academy held its inaugural meeting in July at union headquarters. As attacks on organized labor increase, the union is doubling down its efforts to protect and grow its ranks by training a corps of women rank-and-file as strong leaders. “One of the best ways to continue to move our organization forward and to show people the power they can harness when they come together is to train and prepare more future leaders now,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. “This leadership academy is composed of a select group of activists with promise and potential,” Barbara Edmonds, the union’s director of field operations, said. “We have with us strong women who can be counted on as mentors and women who will be ready to shoulder the responsibility of leading labor’s [More...]

Rising Up: First-Time Convention Delegates Speak Out

July 22, 2018 // 0 Comments

More than 1,000 of the delegates to the 43rd AFSCME Convention in Boston last week were attending for the very first time. DC 37’s delegation included four new local unions and dozens of first-time delegates, including a new local president. This new generation of union activists is among the thousands of AFSCME members who have pledged to #RiseUp for working families and public services. Andrew Barfield—Local 1321 What I like about the convention is that you get to meet people from different parts of the country who share the same goals of trying to bring equality to the workplace. I think this is positive and inspiring. It’s really opened up my eyes to what the national level is doing, because I never knew anything about it. I didn’t know that everybody comes together in this capacity and all the issues they’re addressing. It’s not just what’s going on [More...]

DC 37 Members #RiseUp at 43rd AFSCME Convention

July 18, 2018 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE AFSCME members are heeding the call to #RiseUp following the 43rd International Convention of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees in Boston. AFSCME, DC 37’s national union, now stands at the forefront of labor’s resistance as public workers nationwide are standing together, pushing back against anti-union forces after the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Janus v. AFSCME in June. In his keynote address to the convention, AFSCME President Lee Saunders told the delegates and guests that while the legal setback in Janus presents serious challenges, the union is well prepared to overcome the onslaught. “If they think we’re going to roll over, if they think this is going to slow us down or shut us up, if they think we’re going to let five unelected men in robes steal our freedom, they’ve got a big surprise coming,” Saunders said. “Because [More...]