Parks Dept.

OCB Sides with Local 1505 in IPP Win

June 9, 2021 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS An impartial Board of Collective Bargaining determined that the City and the Parks Department Advocate’s Office violated the New York State collective bargaining law when it tried to dictate to Local 1505 and the union who could represent members. The Office of Collective Bargaining also shot down management’s attempt to modify the procedure for scheduling investigatory interviews. It dismissed two other charges. “I have had issues with the Advocate’s Office ever since I became president in 2008,” said Local 1505 President Dilcy Benn, who filed the improper practice petition in 2018. “President Benn came to the DC 37 Legal Department with clear evidence of mistreatment by the Parks Advocate’s Office. Put simply, Local 1505 members, facing disciplinary charges or pre-disciplinary investigations, were being subject to treatment different than other Parks [More...]

Parks Workers Help Homeless Sisters Get Safe Shelter

June 1, 2021 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Two Burmese sisters, who were homeless in New York City for over 12 years, are now in temporary housing thanks to the care and persistence of two Parks Department workers.  Parks Enforcement Officer Odelia Lee of Local 983 and Captain Cynthia Thompson of SSEU Local 371 worked together to successfully relocate the two sisters to a Lower East Side hotel at the end of March. But getting the two women to accept help and city services was a journey that spanned far beyond the eight miles separating the Upper West Side’s Verdi Square Park from the Lower East Side.   Lee and Thompson were assigned to assist and develop a rapport with these homeless sisters in February. They usually work in Queens parks but traveled to Manhattan for this special assignment. “It took a lot of patience and persistence over the two months. We visited them two or three times a week [More...]

Rally for Parks Funding, Jobs

May 20, 2021 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS At a virtual rally today, the Play Fair Now Coalition consisting of DC 37, New Yorkers for Parks, and the League of Conservation Voters, as well as parks advocates urged the Mayor to restore $84 million in funding for city parks. New Yorkers relied on public parks more than ever in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Visits to city parks, green spaces, beaches, trails and wetlands were up 64 percent.  Still last year the City drastically reduced the Parks and Recreation Department budget. Parks eliminated hundreds of unionized jobs, including Urban Park Rangers, Seasonal City Aides and PEP Officers, Gardeners, Pruners, City Parks Workers, Debris Removers and Park Attendants, who protect park goers and clean and maintain grounds. All told about 1,700 seasonal and permanent Parks jobs went unfilled in 2020.  Volunteers cleaned local parks in their communities but [More...]

City Lifeguards Preserve 6-Year Safety Record

November 4, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Four City Lifeguards saved two drowning children from the waters of Manhattan Beach on August 24. The rescue was among the most dramatic of the many acts of exemplary service that has resulted in a six-year safety record of no drownings or fatalities at any public beaches or city pools guarded by the Parks Department corps of first responders in DC 37 Locals 461 and 508. “The emergency skills learned at the Municipal Life Guard Training School and their rapid response saved the lives of two young victims who otherwise may not have survived,” noted Peter Stein, president of Lifeguard Supervisors Local 508. “It’s very unfortunate that the Parks Department has failed to recognize these lifeguards for their heroism. It’s a shame and a huge oversight that the agency has not publicized the outstanding and unmatched safety record set by City Lifeguards and their [More...]

Union Fights to Fund and Save Parks Jobs

May 16, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS The Play Fair coalition – consisting of DC 37 locals, parks advocates, elected officials and even the Girl Scouts of New York – returned to City Hall May 14 to keep the pressure on lawmakers to increase funding for Parks maintenance by $100 million in FY 2020 budget. As budget negotiations continue between the two sides of City Hall, Play Fair activists continue to call for sustained, baselined funding for 100 City Parks Workers and 50 Gardeners, tree stump removal, and extending the beach and pool season. “One-shot deals do NOT go far enough!” warned DC 37 and Local 372 President Shaun D. Francois I. “The city has spent millions designing and building new parks and needs to invest in maintaining them.” “It’s insane that for six years we keep asking to baseline 150 Parks workers’ jobs,” said Local 1505 President Dilcy Benn. “Baselining these [More...]

Climbers and Pruners Win Jobs

May 24, 2016 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Four provisional Climbers and Pruners who were denied appointment to permanent status by the Dept. of Citywide Administrative Services are now civil servants in the Parks Dept. thanks to DC 37’s successful appeal on their behalf. “They had been doing the job for about two years so there was no reason their bump up to permanent status should not have gone through,” said DC 37 Blue Collar Division Council Rep Bob Gervasi. “So I did some digging.” Gervasi contacted DCAS, which referred him to the Dept. of Parks and Recreation. He said, “It was a tangle of bureaucracy trying to find the person who would have the answers.” Gervasi found out that DCAS rejected the Local 1506 members’ job applications, but that decision gave them the opportunity to appeal. Local 1506 worked with DC 37 Legal Dept. lawyer Ana Papadhimitri, who appealed the cases before the [More...]