PEP May Jun 2019

Urban Park Rangers Find a Lost 83-year-old Man on a Search-and-Rescue Mission

July 17, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Local 983 Urban Park Rangers in Staten Island’s Ocean Breeze fanned out across the tidal marsh in a search-and-rescue mission to find a lost 83-year-old man on May 2. Headed to Staten Island University Hospital for a doctor’s visit, the elderly man missed his bus and decided to take a shortcut through the vast meadows he walked as a youngster. He told reporters that he had walked for almost 30 minutes only to discover too late that what he remembered to be dry land decades years ago is now 110 acres of wet marshland. Tired and disoriented, the man stepped in mud, fell backward, and began to sink. He used an old flip phone to call 911. UPR Sgt. Anne Marie Santos was at her post in Ocean Breeze when she saw police gathering. They told her about the 911 call that went out around 2:15 p.m. She radioed UPRs and PEP Officers Winston Farrell, Charles Williams, and [More...]

Moving UP Thanks to the Union’s Ed Fund: From Dietary Aide to Registered Nurse

July 15, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS A unique Education Fund program opened a door to life-altering opportunities for Dietary Aide Yolanda Jeter and other hospital workers to earn college degrees and acquire skills leading to jobs, promotions and better salaries. “I went to a Local 420 membership meeting and that’s where I learned about this incredible program,” said Jeter, a per diem worker at Susan McKinney nursing home since 2013. “Attending that union meeting changed my life.” What Jeter learned about is the Food and Nutrition Worker Education Fund program for dietary aides and other employees with union titles at NYC Health + Hospitals facilities who are supervised by Sodexo management. The program helps NYC H+H employees advance through higher education and certifications, providing up to $2,000 in annual tuition assistance and reimbursement for education, professional development and [More...]

Union’s 9/11 Memories at Memorial Glade Dedication

July 12, 2019 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE “It is 17 years since we completed the cleanup of the World Trade Center site. We’re not going to be here that much longer, you know?” said Local 375 member and Dept. of Design and Construction Project Manager and Chapter 4 President, Mike Kenny at the dedication of the 9/11 Memorial Glade near the World Trade Center on May 30. Kenny was part of a contingent of DC 37 members — veterans of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack — who spent months of arduous rescue and recovery work at the site. At the Thursday morning ceremony, the greenspace at the site was packed with spectators; elected officials; workers who toiled at the site, and family members. They congregated under the morning’s gray sky to remember the dedication of thousands of public workers and volunteers who risked their lives to help seal the wound caused by the 2001 event, which took more than 3,000 [More...]

Moving Forward

July 12, 2019 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO Honoring the past is important. Building a future is essential. Perhaps nothing has exemplified the grit and determination of our union quite like our headquarters at 125 Barclay St. in lower Manhattan, which has been our prime location for generations. DC 37 headquarters has been the place where contracts have been negotiated… where elected officials have come to explain themselves… where our rich cultural diversity has been celebrated. It is where members’ rights have been affirmed — and where members’ problems have been solved. This is where DC 37’s past and present come together with a promise and commitment for a better future. During our decades at 125 Barclay St., we’ve had to leave the building twice for prolonged periods of time — the first time after the tragedy of 9/11 in 2001; and, more recently, after the devastation wrought by Superstorm [More...]

Paid Family Leave Benefit is a Hit

July 3, 2019 // 0 Comments

3 By GREGORY N. HEIRES In the first six months since its inception, more than 1,000 union members took advantage of the new paid family leave benefit. “We are glad so many members are participating,” DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido said. “The union and New York City are setting an example for the rest of the country.” As of early June, 1,032 DC 37 members had applied for paid family leave, which went into effect in January. The union won the benefit as part of the 2017-21 economic agreement. Most participants–64 percent–took the benefit to bond with their newborn child. Other reasons cited were 35 percent responded they took paid family leave to care for a family members. In 2019, the paid family leave benefit allows members to take up to 10 weeks to care for family members. The benefit covers 55 percent of the statewide average weekly wage, with a maximum [More...]

CUNY Sets Contract Pay Dates

June 26, 2019 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES The City University of New York has set pay dates for its new contract with the union, for 2 percent increases effective Feb. 1, 2017, Feb. 1, 2018 and Feb. 1, 2019. The tentative pay date for full-time and part-time employees at CUNY’s senior colleges is Aug. 1. Full- and part-time employees working in CUNY’s community colleges will receive their pay rate increases and retroactive pay on Aug. 23. College Assistants represented by Local 2054 in Community Colleges will be paid on Aug. 23. The pay dates for College Assistants in senior colleges had not been finalized as PEPtalk went to press. CUNY’s recent announcement of the pay dates for the 2017-21 economic agreement came after the union pressed the city’s university system to implement the increases. DC 37 and CUNY settled the new contract in November 2018. Members overwhelmingly approved the agreement the [More...]

DC 37 Efforts Pivotal in Green New Deal Passage

June 19, 2019 // 1 Comment

  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...]

Equal Pay For Equal Work! Local 372 Goes to Court for School Crossing Guards

June 18, 2019 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE The union is backing a legal effort to equalize pay for the more than 2,500 school crossing guards with the city’s Traffic Enforcement Agents, both of whom perform the same work. Board of Education Employees Local 372 held a rally and press conference in front of the federal Court House in Foley Square in lower Manhattan on May 16, shortly before an important hearing in a lawsuit against New York City stating it is in violation of the Equal Pay Act. The case, Miller v. New York, was filed on behalf of the union’s school crossing guards, workers who are predominantly female and paid substantially less than the city’s Traffic Enforcement Agents who perform similar job functions—and are mainly male. The goal of the lawsuit is to equalize pay between the SCAs and TEAs, given that the latter is often called upon to work as crossing guards, but at the same rate as their [More...]

Union Wins on New Full-Time Positions at H+H Facility

May 14, 2019 // 1 Comment

BY DIANE S. WILLIAMS In an ongoing fight to protect jobs and benefits, the union settled a group grievance to convert nine per diem, hourly and part-time workers at the Susan B. McKinney long-term care facility in Brooklyn to permanent, full-time positions. “These members were hired as part timers but management assigned extra hours and full time work schedules from day one without full time benefits or the opportunity to become full time NYC Health+Hospital employees,” said Local 420 President Carmen Charles, who represents the eight Patient Care Technicians and one Housekeeper the union filed the group claim for. “To add insult to injury,” Charles said, “McKinney management would hire new people off the street as full-time employees, without considering these workers who were already on staff.” “Many of the workers felt they were overlooked because the nursing director [More...]