PEP MAY 2018

Update Your Beneficiary Record

May 23, 2018 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Every so often, a widow stops by the DC 37 Health & Security Plan to obtain a inquiry about a benefit of a deceased member. The benefit could be thousands of dollars from her husband’s DC 37 Annuity Fund. Or a $10,000 death benefit. But when the widow asks about the benefit, she finds out she isn’t eligible. Why? Her husband failed to update his beneficiaries after his divorce, meaning the benefit will go to his previous wife. So, it’s a good idea to check to see if you need to update your DC 37 Health & Security Plan beneficiary form. When should you consider changing your beneficiary? Be certain to do it if there’s a significant change in your life, such as ● your beneficiary dies ● you get divorced and your former spouse changes her last name when she remarries ● your beneficiary moves from the address listed on the form ● you get divorced [More...]

EMS Workers Prevent Attack on Bronx Man

May 21, 2018 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO Two DC 37 members jumped into action in the Bronx to protect a defenseless man in a wheelchair. Lt. Daniel Burgos and FDNY Paramedic Kevin Costello spotted a woman punching a 62 year-old man and trying to take his wallet. They quickly intervened to stop the attack until the police arrived. Burgos, a member of Uniformed EMS Officers Local 3621, and Costello, a member of Uniformed EMTs and Paramedics Local 2507, were on 230th Street and Broadway on Saturday evening, April 7, when they spotted the assailant. “She was beating him up and wanted to take his bag,” said Burgos, who works out of Station 19 in University Heights. Police then arrived on the scene and arrested the assailant. The assailant, according to The Daily News, was busy that Saturday stealing the bag of another wheelchair user. Burgos, who has been on the job 11 years, doesn’t only lend a hand when [More...]

The Mission of Public Service: People Over Profits

May 15, 2018 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Many DC 37 members joined the city’s workforce after spending years in the private sector. Those interviewed by the Public Employee Press say they are now happier with their work, because it comes with union representation, good benefits, and job security. Helping city residents instills a motivation absent in the private sector, where work was about helping their bosses make a profit. The members say their enthusiasm for the private sector wasn’t as great because they received fewer benefits and they could be fired at the whim of a boss. “It’s really nice to help the public — and the community as a whole,” said Dental Assistant Lisa Blackett. A dental hygienist and Local 768 shop steward, Blackett has worked at Harlem Hospital for nearly 10 years. “A lot of the people without insurance come here and are happy to find they can get affordable dental [More...]

Union Calls for Additional Parks and School Workers

May 14, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS and ALFREDO ALVARADO DC 37 leaders are making their case on behalf of understaffed agencies and overworked employees at a series of City Council budget hearings. At a recent Parks Committee hearing, the union asked lawmakers to fully restore funds to the Parks budget to save 300 seasonal jobs and add 225 new hires to keep public parks clean and safe. Mayor Bill de Blasio presented his $88.7 billion preliminary 2019 budget for the city back in February. At the City Council hearings ,union leaders said more funds — not less — are needed. The preliminary Parks budget for fiscal year 2018-2019 is about $500 million, down from $531 million last year. More funding needed The funds, leaders said, would add more Urban Park Rangers, Parks Envorcement Patrol Officers, City Seasonal Aides, City Parks Workers and Gardeners to the Dept. Parks and Recreation workforce. [More...]

Defend Our Jobs and Benefits

May 2, 2018 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO Members of a DC 37 delegation were among the thousands of people who visited Memphis, Tenn., last month to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. We feel a personal connection to the tragedy on April 14, 1968, because the civil rights leader was in Memphis to support striking sanitation workers represented by our national union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. King described the goals of the civil rights movement and labor movement as intertwined. He recognized that unions built our middle class. “The labor movement was the principal force that transformed misery and despair into hope and progress,” King said. “Out of its bold struggles, economic and social reform gave birth to unemployment insurance, old age pensions, government relief for the destitute, and, above all, new wage levels [More...]

Toward a People’s City Budget

April 27, 2018 // 0 Comments

Budget negotiations continue at City Hall after Albany lawmakers passed a state budget that, perhaps most urgently, protects vital services at New York City Health+Hospitals. The state budget makes the city hospital system eligible for a fairer share of Medicaid reimbursements, thus preventing cuts to the system . DC 37 will be pushing for the New York City Council to provide sustainable funding for safety net hospitals and clinics. Also, the state budget included more funding for substance abuse counselors (SAPIS) to assist in fighting the opioid epidemic. We want the City Council to match the $2 million state contribution for the school counselors. Mayor Bill de Blasio released the city’s $89.06 billion executive budget for fiscal year 2019 on April 26. In recent weeks, the New York City Council held hearing’s on the preliminary budget. While state budget victories [More...]

Four DC 37-Backed Candidates Win in Special Elections

April 26, 2018 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO Four Democratic Party candidates endorsed by DC 37 won their special elections that took place on April 24. In the Bronx’s 32nd State Senate District election, Assembly member Luis Sepulveda beat Republican Patrick Delices. In the race to represent Westchester County’s 37th Senate District, Assembly member Shelley Mayer defeated Republican Julian Killian. In Queens, Aridia Espinal will now represent the 39th District in the state Assembly. Her seat was vacated by Francisco Moya, who now serves on the City Council. Espinal will serve in Albany until December. Harvey Epstein won a seat in the state Assembly and will represent Manhattan’s 74th District. That seat was also vacant. With the victories of Mayer and Sepulveda, Democrats now have 32 seats in the Senate, but the balance of power in Albany will likely not change. Brooklyn Democrat Sen. Simcha Felder plans [More...]

Please Attend DC 37 Town Halls Scheduled for May

April 19, 2018 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE The union is under attack. Our collective future is at stake. As the nation waits for the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court on Janus v. AFSCME District Council 31, DC 37 and you — the members — have many questions about the future of your union after the ruling by the court, which could go against us. The Janus case aims to undercut unions by reducing the vital funds used to negotiate with management for raises and benefits, handle grievances and fight for workplace rights. In reality, Janus is a carefully crafted assault on our freedoms to organize and to bargain fairly with our employers for wages and benefits. But DC 37 is fighting back. We are educating and organizing, explaining our future, and answering your questions as the clock ticks down to the court’s decision. Please attend a DC 37 Town Hall Please join DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido and local [More...]

Cuomo Signs Legislation Strengthening Workers’ Rights

April 13, 2018 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Governor Andrew M. Cuomo yesterday signed landmark legislation to strengthen the rights of working men and women in New York state. This new law increases access to and protects union membership in New York’s public-sector workplaces in anticipation of an adverse ruling in the pending Supreme Court case Janus v. AFSCME. Additionally, the law provides safeguards against the deliberate actions taken by the federal government that continue to undermine the efforts of organized labor across this country. Cuomo described the new law as a response to a long-term campaign by the extreme right to destroy unions. “Too often, and at the hands of this federal administration, we are seeing the labor movement going backwards. In New York it is a different story, and our efforts to protect working men and women are moving labor forward, making the workplace fairer and [More...]